5 Social Selling Techniques That You’re Getting Wrong

By Sander Biehn | Sep 11, 2019

Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.

You wouldn’t go to a big industry conference only to sit in the corner and seclude yourself from your fellow guests. You also wouldn’t try and meet every stranger on your way into to hand them your business card. Would you?

This is how the social selling arena looks like. Everything you do has to be relevant to your brand and should be guided by a promising strategy. Jumping on the bandwagon with any missing element only makes you appear like a driver who is driving at night with no headlights. 

Getting feedback is a real gift for us. We love to hear from social sellers, especially when they are telling us what we are getting right (or wrong). One thing we have noticed lately is that while so many in Sales wish to engage in social selling, they are not always getting the big picture. 

Here are some examples for you to understand how to use social selling to your advantage: 

1. Don’t Chase After a Perfect Profile

The first step to kickstart social selling is to get your profile ready. You need a social presence that demonstrates your ability to deliver value as well as get you leads and conversions. However, when we tell social sellers to obtain a good profile, this doesn’t mean spending big dollars or hundreds of hours contemplating the best headshot or headline. 

Rather, “don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough for now.”

Start by making a profile that considers the customer’s point of view. Don’t go the extra mile in highlighting your sales prowess. That’s only going to scare your customers away. Keep your profile customer-centric, and be more specific with what you bring to the table when it comes to your prospects’ business challenges. Share some highlights of how you have added value for your buyers, and how you continue to do it. Post regular updates, show off your industry knowledge or tout a compelling piece of content copy you have created. Social selling takes place over time and so should the updates and improvements to your profile.

2. Becoming Exhausted on Content Production and Publishing

Businesses tend to use social selling in two ways: the “soapbox method” and “dinner parties.”

Soapboxes accounts are the ones who make it all about themselves. Brands get on top of it, grab their proverbial megaphones, and start boasting about their content until they are done with all that they have. They keep following this process continually.

But there are some who choose the “dinner party approach.” They welcome people in and encourage conversations between the host and the guests. 

It is easy to blast out content on social media. However, are you using the avenue correctly? 

Arguably, content is the fuel to the fire of social selling. However, no engine runs well on fuel that isn’t clean burning. When we see social sellers put any content out just to avoid going dark, it’s the same thing. It can really bring your social selling to a standstill. Getting good content posted is way more important than just filling the feed. That being said, you really need to do both to succeed.  

3. Social Media Engagement

Social media is meant to be social. Engaging with others on social media is essential to good social selling. You need to publish engaging content regularly to ensure that you can leverage your social profile to generate leads, build brand awareness, and garner customer support. However, many businesses get this wrong. 

Besides engaging with your audience, the way you do this is also critical. We’ve seen too many people trying to prove just how smart they are when responding or sharing another person’s post. When sharing or engaging, it is time to be humble. Ask questions. Go ahead and propose a different idea, but come at it with an open mind and willingness to have a discussion. Shutting down others from responding will not win you any points within your network or help you find that next lead.  

4. Do Not Overdo #hashtags

Hashtags are, of course, awesome. They provide a great way to build your company’s brand, boost a marketing campaign, and reach out to a broader audience base. That said, make sure you don’t go above and beyond making every hashtag a part of your post. They are good to use, but don’t use too many!

You don’t want to include every irrelevant hashtag you can think of. That only makes you look foolish in front of the masses you are actually trying to intrigue. In fact, the effectiveness of your posts decreases due to the overuse of hashtags. 

Hashtags help your target audience to discover you easily and join the conversations around their area of interest. Make sure you look for the keywords that best define your content and use corresponding hashtags. According to popular notions, posts with two hashtags receive the greatest percentage of engagement, and engagement starts decreasing for the posts with three or more hashtags.  

5. Don’t Go Unguided

For a few sales pros out there: social selling is magic. You simply hang out with your social circle, and prospects come running to you. For instance, many of us often read the title and designation of the person and assume we know everything about them. You publish the content that you think they will love and BAM –  they leave you. 

Your prospect’s profile is a gold mine of information that can help you gain insights to help nurture the connection, converse and communicate with them, and do a lot more. Use it wisely. Gleaning such tidbits from profiles helps you bring a personal touch to the process of building your network.

Take Home Message

Think of social selling as a natural extension of how you perceive traditional selling: keep your eyes open for opportunities, build new connections, and strengthen those relationships. And along the way, make sure to avoid these common mistakes and getting carried away with social selling. The key is to keep the social aspect intact and add value to the prospects.

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