Social Selling Importance for your Business

It is hard to imagine a life without social media. The well known platforms offer many opportunities not only privately, but also professionally: Social Selling uses the establishment of contacts to find potential customers for their own products or services.However, the concept has nothing to do with cold calling via social media. Anyone who tries this is not successful, but annoying. Here you can find out what constitutes social selling and how you can use it to build customer relationships

Definition: what is social selling?

The term social selling describes the creation of an online profile, the search for potential customers or business partners and the establishment of contacts for sales purposes. The networking possibilities of social media platforms are used to bring their own offer together with the demand of interested parties. Social selling is part of sales and marketing .

A simplified example of social selling: A self-employed consultant can search for his target group on social media to establish contacts. A collaboration can emerge from these in the further course of social selling – so the consultant tries in the long term to market his own services.

Social sales has nothing to do with digital cold calling . An initial contact with a message “Hello, I’m Peter Smith and I would like to introduce you to my product …” is almost never successful. Recipients do not perceive such inquiries as an exciting offer, but as annoying spam. We explain how to do it right below in the article.

Read: How to Use Social Media Promotions to Grow Your Business

Difference Between Social Selling and Social Media Marketing

Social selling should not be equated or confused with the concept of social media marketing. Marketing via social media is all about a content strategy to increase your reach and reach potential buyers. The brand is generally presented and made known.

Social selling, on the other hand, is more focused and targeted. No general content is created and distributed, but individual contacts are established and maintained. This is how sales should be promoted within the network .

Which networks are suitable for social selling?

The selection of platforms is large, but you should carefully consider which ones you actually want to use for marketing. Two key questions are decisive for the selection:

  • Where do you reach your target group?
    In order to reach customers, build your reputation and ultimately generate sales, you need to know which channels you actually use to reach your target group. The user groups and also the intentions of the users in different networks are very different. While Facebook is used more privately, career networks like LinkedIn are all about professional exchange.
  • Where can you market your expertise?
    You want to market yourself, your products or your service through contact and exchange. To do this, you need to position yourself with your expertise and offer added value. Here, too, the professional business networks offer particularly good opportunities. You can score points and be convincing with your informative profile.

Read: Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses

Social Selling Index (SSI): what is it?

LinkedIn offers its users the so-called Social Selling Index (SSI). This key figure is determined from four factors and indicates how successfully you reach other people via the network, build relationships and position yourself (as well as your brand and products).

The four decisive aspects for the Social Selling Index are:

  • Building your professional brand
    The determination of your SSI begins as soon as you create your profile. Complete information, a profile photo, slogan and descriptions – all information contributes to the personal brand and increases the index.
  • Finding the right people in a targeted manner
    The quality of the network plays a major role for the SSI. Are you looking for other people using the various functions of the platform? Do you regularly take a look at the contacts suggested to you and thus build up a relevant network? Are you an active member of different groups? Do you react to people looking at your profile? All of these can increase the SSI.
  • Arousing interest through insights
    Here there is an overlap with the above-mentioned social media marketing. One aspect for the SSI is the content that you publish yourself on LinkedIn. This can be blog posts, pictures or information from your everyday work. In addition to the content you share, engagement rate is also an important factor. Lots of likes and comments on your posts have a positive effect on the Social Selling Index.
  • Building relationships
    As a business network, building contacts naturally also flows into LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. Exchanging comments and direct messages with key decision makers is particularly important.

The individual SSI value is determined automatically . If you are signed in to LinkedIn with your profile, simply click on this link. There you will see your personal SSI value as well as detailed information on the individual factors:

Read: How Can Social Media Help Develop a Relationship With Customers

5 steps to successful social selling

Unfortunately, some mistakes are made again and again when social selling is to be pursued. Above all, the far too direct sales strategy of cold calling is rarely crowned with success on social media. You should therefore be clear: Sales via LinkedIn and other networks are long-term oriented. If you want to sell something as quickly as possible, you need a different strategy.

The five steps below will show you how social selling can work:

  1. Create a meaningful profile
    The basis is a complete and meaningful profile. Whoever calls it up doesn’t just have to know who you are. Your strengths, experience, previous successes and references complete the picture. Even here you can build important trust through the first impression .
  2. Take an active part
    Create your own posts, be active in groups and discussions, publish exciting information from your area or like and comment on other posts: A large activity is essential for social selling. In this way you become visible to others and show that you are a valuable contact on the network. Relevant groups in particular offer good opportunities to position themselves.
  3. Make targeted contacts
    The more active you are, the easier it is for you to identify leads – i.e. potential customers – and establish closer contact. Here, too, the following still applies: Don’t fall into the house with your door and openly advertise. A good start is, for example, the exchange in groups on a common topic. You can then, for example, send a contact request to maintain and expand it.
  4. Wait for the right time
    The right time is an important success factor for social selling. Follow posts very carefully and wait for a suitable opportunity to position yourself. A good opportunity arises, for example, whenever another user has a question or a problem that you can solve and answer with your expertise.
  5. Offer added value
    The last step is: Offer others added value in order to establish trusting contact. An example: When discussing complicated tax issues, an independent financial expert could intervene and write “This is exactly my topic, maybe I can help and answer a few questions.” This way you can convince potential customers directly, advertise yourself and become Recommended by others at the same time


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Marianne elanotta

Marianne is a graduate in communication technologies and enjoys sharing the latest technological advances across various fields. Her programming skills include Java OO and Javascript, and she prefers working on open-source operating systems. In her free time, she enjoys playing chess and computer games with her two children.

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