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Your Complete Strategy Guide to Social Selling in 2022 Social media has become a salesperson's best friend. So if you're a seller, you need to create a good strategy for social selling to ensure that you reap all the benefits.

By Jonathan Riff Edited by Kara McIntyre

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What is social selling and what makes a great strategy for it?

Social selling is a special approach to present-day lead generation. This approach is a vital part of creating relationships, cultivating trust and engaging with your target customers to increase sales.

You need to use social selling to:

  • Cultivate stronger relationships with customers
  • Identify better prospects
  • Achieve your sales goals

Social selling revolves around creating meaningful connections with your potential customers, understanding their pain points, and coming up with ways that your products and services can satisfy their needs. Social selling aims to create connections and cultivate trust with your potential customers, hoping that they will eventually buy what you are selling.

Here's a guide to a great social selling strategy.

Related: The Business of Harnessing the Power of Social Media

1. Be on the right social selling platforms

To do social selling, you need to be on social media — at the very least, Twitter and Facebook. These are the biggest social selling platforms. However, if you are targeting younger audiences, you should consider doing so on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. If you are looking for professional networks, consider using LinkedIn.

Other channels you can use include YouTube and Reddit, where comment threads attract numerous enthusiasts with a wealth of knowledge on a certain topic, or anyone looking to learn. Companies use these pages to share content that is related to their customers' interests.

Besides posting, they also cultivate relationships with their customers by interacting and engaging with them in the comments section, YouTube videos and other forums.

Depending on what you are trying to sell, you should determine the best platform and make your presence known on it.

2. Come up with reasonable goals

While social selling can be a great thing for your business, you need to create reasonable goals. Avoid disappointing yourself by setting unreasonable goals that are way out of your reach. However, your goals should also be a bit challenging to help you push your business further, grow it, and get better results in the long run. Remember that the idea is to be ambitious while remaining reasonable.

Related: Beginner's Guide to Social Media Marketing

3. Use introductions and referrals to your advantage

Whenever you land introductions and referrals, do not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity. While some people may feel like it's unprofessional or "cheating" to ask for a referral or an introduction, it is definitely not — it can turn out to be some of the most powerful and organic marketing and selling tools available.

After taking time to build and grow a relationship with a customer, if it helps you get more prospects, you should consider that successful social selling.

4. Create compelling and engaging social content

If you wish to engage your potential clients and attract them to your pages, you need to create compelling content. You have to give them a reason to spend their time on your page.

You need to have an idea of what to publish according to your audience, goals and brand identity. At this time, you should also know which networks to use too. Have a content strategy that your customers can identify your business with.

5. Determine what works and what doesn't and keep improving

By now, you already know how your social media strategy works. You need to adapt the strategy all year round and keep analyzing it. That way, you can determine which campaign did well and which one, didn't. Scrutinizing your social media activity can help put things into perspective.

This means looking at your best-performing content and adjusting your campaigns whenever your content stalls. Since a lot of social media is a trial and error, you should keep reevaluating your strategy to determine what works and what doesn't. You can do this by monitoring your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time so that you can tweak your strategy accordingly.

Related: Why Instagram Is Every Entrepreneur's Most Powerful Tool

The benefits

Social selling also offers three key benefits to sellers:

  1. Strengthens trust. Trust forms the foundation of the sales process — people want to support brands and individuals they trust. The work of communicating with your customers and building a unique relationship with them translates into your customers feeling comfortable with you and therefore more likely to buy your products or services. These relationships can be built on a myriad of platforms; for example, you could use your Instagram to rally together a loyal customer base that gives these individuals a sense of community.
  2. Playing the long game. Social selling is not about capturing the easy wins. The goal is to continuously establish a connection with your potential customers and to maintain those relationships after converting them into paying customers.
  3. Insight. Companies can learn a great deal about their customer base throughout the processes of social selling effectively making it a great market research approach. Even if your techniques fall short of making sales, it can still prove valuable by shaping future marketing efforts, new product development and brand positioning.

As you begin your own social selling efforts, it is important to remember what differentiates social selling from standard advertising: trust. Engage with your customers, listen and respect them, and trust that you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Jonathan Riff

Principal Brand Architect & Experience Designer

Jonathan Riff is the founder of Captains & Cowboys, a boutique digital agency bringing a human-centered philosophy to everything it creates.

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