Social Selling - More About Authenticity, Less About Selling

Social Selling - More About Authenticity, Less About Selling

Editor's note:   Mindi Rosser is the Social Media Business Strategist & Programs Manager at The Conversion Company Network. She can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What is social selling?

According to Hubspot, social selling is when sales people use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Sales people will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

The LinkedIn State of Sales 2016 Report [PDF 16MB] states that 90% of top sales professionals are using social selling tools, compared with 71% of overall sales.

Signal vs noise

This selling technique however isn’t only for the top sales professionals - you too can make use of this powerful selling technique.

One thing to consider though: If every sales person and marketer is out there answering prospects’ questions and offering thoughtful content, prospects can easily tune out these messages from sales people and marketers on social media.

So how can you avoid merely adding social noise with your social selling efforts?

  1. Provide your prospects with genuine help and information.
  2. Remain authentic even if it means not pushing prospects as quickly through the buyer’s journey.

If you provide your prospects with genuinely useful information, remain authentic and not in “sales mode” you will contribute to your own sales and marketing efforts whilst at the same time satisfying your prospects.

Think about the last time you purchased something for your business online from an unfamiliar site. Who did you interact with prior to buying? Were they fans, customers or employees? Did those people influence your decision? Most likely, they did.

We’re human. Whether we like it or not when we make a decision we are influenced by other people. Though you might not be able to develop deep relationships on Twitter, Twitter is an effective a tool for engaging “just enough” with fans, prospects and customers (and NOT feel creepy.)

In our culture of always-on-social media, it is easy to choose automation over authenticity - avoid this trap.
 

Authentic Social Selling on Twitter:
Quick Start Guide

The last business purchase I made was signing up for CoSchedule to straighten out my editorial calendar situation. As a marketer, I am familiar with [almost] all the tips and tricks for getting the attention of a buyer. When you can market to me like I want to be marketed to, I’ll buy from you rather than your competitor.

It’s that simple.

But, the marketing needs to feel authentic. And, CoSchedule’s social selling techniques did just that.

Here are 3 social selling tactics I’ve picked up from the CoSchedule team.

Tactic 1:
Whenever someone mentions CoSchedule or tags them on Twitter, they respond with a personalized message and sign the tweet with the team members’ name.


Each of us want to feel our tweets are noticed. When companies and team members respond to fans with a personal touch and within 24 hours, fans will remember you and your brand.

Tactic 2:
CoSchedule team members are active on Twitter and share content relevant to the brand.


When employees represent their company and product on Twitter, it makes potential customers want to buy from them. The authenticity comes through.

Tactic 3:
CoSchedule knows how to share content on Twitter without feeling spammy. They turned my shout out for their product into a way to share new content about their tool with me. Yes, I know it’s a sales tactic, but it got me to click.


When you share relevant content AFTER a prospect shows interest in your product, you are likely to strengthen customer loyalty.

Start Using Social Selling Tools

Now that we’ve analyzed three authentic social selling tactics, let’s explore a few tools to help you do social selling better.

ManageFlitter - I like using ManageFlitter for identifying prospects. Because I can search bios and also which topics are of interest to Twitter users, I can find prospects to keep an eye on and add them to a Twitter list. This helps me to authentically engage with them on Twitter.

Tweetdeck - If you’re not using Tweetdeck to monitor conversations, you’re missing out. It’s a free Twitter tool to help you filter conversations and cut through the noise, while also monitoring accounts that matter to you. Kevin Garber covers Tweetdeck in his recent blog post.

Buffer - Scheduling tweets with content that is interesting to your prospects and content that “shouts out” your prospects will help you develop authentic relationships. I like to schedule one to two tweets per day that are fan-centric.

Twitter/Tweetdeck email notifications or pop-ups - These go against my own productivity habits, but I turn on these notifications when I am in an aggressive social selling phase because they help me to respond in real time to mentions of the brand or company thought leaders.
 

A Social Selling Twitter Checklist

  • Respond to every tweet that mentions you or your brand.
  • Track all engagements with fans and customers on Twitter.
  • Create Twitter(insert link) lists to monitor prospects.
  • Use tools—like ManageFlitter—to find and engage with the right prospects.
  • And, never use an auto-responder tweet!

Once you get this first stage of social selling on Twitter in place you can move towards the next stage - an integrated social selling strategy for LinkedIn and Twitter that will accelerate your results.

If you have not tried social selling tactics on Twitter, pick one of the tactics above to use today. Then, report back to let us know how it goes!

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Other relevant articles from the ManageFlitter Blog:
"From Twitter To Close - A Repeatable Social Sales Funnel" by Evan Dunn

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