Written by: Gabriela Schilling
When used well, social selling can be a powerful lead generation tool. But what exactly is social selling? Another marketing buzzword? Is it the same as social media advertising or social media marketing?
Social selling is more than that. It’s the process of building powerful relationships with qualified leads on social media by understanding their needs and providing them with valuable content that helps them make informed buying decisions. You then become their go-to alternative when they are ready to buy.
Can you just post a few articles or share something that happened at your practice and call it social selling? No. Just like you do with your traditional sales approach, you need to build your social selling strategy and have clearly defined goals in order for it to work well.
How can you start building your social selling strategy? It depends on which social media platforms you’re using. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss LinkedIn and Twitter because these are the two main platforms we recommend for advisors.
It is no secret that this is the best social media platform for advisors to find qualified leads and, after all, LinkedIn users are 11 times more likely to engage with professional content than users of any other social network. You can use these advanced prospecting techniques if you want to take a more focused sales approach, but you can also simply start with social selling by:
- - Joining the conversation: Engage with your existing contacts and join groups to meet new people. Like their posts, comment on them, and stay present.
- - Expanding your network: Take full advantage of LinkedIn’s advanced search. You can use filters like job titles, locations, and more to locate the target audience you’d like to connect with. You can also leverage your connection’s network by asking them to make an introduction to someone you’d like to connect with
- - Building your credibility: Share articles that you have written and ask others to endorse you for your skills. These are two simple ways to tell others that you are knowledgeable about your industry. Don’t forget to join LinkedIn groups to meet likeminded people.
Check out this blog for more on LinkedIn best practices.
Twitter is the perfect tool for social listening, which is a crucial part of social selling as this allows you to monitor your audience’s behavior online. Twitter facilitates social listening by giving you the ability to create lists of specific people and brands that you want to keep track of.
You can use Twitter lists to accomplish the following:
- - You can build a list that includes your current clients and use it to engage in conversations with them and like their tweets.
- - You can create a list of potential clients. By keeping track of what is important to them, you can strategically offer them tools and information to keep them moving through your sales funnel.
- - And finally, you can keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Create a private list that allows you to keep an eye on what others are doing, to help you adjust your own selling strategy.
So, is social selling the end of cold calling? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is certain: Combining traditional sales techniques with the latest available tech trends will give you a significant edge over advisors who are not doing the same.