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What is social selling?

Updated: Jan 11, 2023


The ways things are sold has drastically changed over time and there is no sign of this stopping! So, you may have heard of social selling but what is this? Social media marketing? Nope. Social media advertising? No.

Social selling is where people will utilise social media to find new connections, nurture these leads and then sell to them. It scraps the cold calling and hard sell and replaces it with meaningful relationships that are built with understanding and trust.

Listening to your community

People are savvy to those cold callers now and don’t have the time for a pushy sales pitch. Social selling is about building relationships and finding the right time to offer that support in your product or service.

Social listening allows you to find new connections, tab into communities and discover where conversations are happening. It’s a whole conversation in its own right but listening to what is happening on social media will give you insight and find conversations of interest. Read more about social listening.

By building connections on social media you get to see the personalities of your target audience, who they really are, what they need and their pain points. This knowledge helps you build a better relationship and in turn trust.

It’s a two-way thing

As well as you gaining an understanding of your audience its also an opportunity for the audience to get to know you better and understand why they should work with you. Being on social media enables you to demonstrate your ability and skills and showcase your work.

A lot of people (B2B and B2C) will do their research before they approach a business. Looking at what they want, gathering information, comparing companies and looking at reviews. If you are on social media and demonstrating your ability the customer can automatically put you into their research without you even having to do too much. Then when it is time to have that conversation, the conversion can happen much quicker.

Think about the social media platform you are on and how you can develop these relationships. You might join groups and start networking on LinkedIn. You may join Twitter and create lists to monitor content and listen to topics. Or create a Facebook business page and share knowledge people can engage with.

Social selling is the modern relationship building exercise. Actively connecting with potential customers so you are ready to assist and at the front of their mind when they are looking to purchase. It’s not about bombarding strangers with messages and jumping straight in with your sales pitch, its about building meaningful interactions.

Social selling vs traditional

Social selling best practices

Establish your brand and show your knowledge

Be sure of your brand, your values and what you want to offer. Being clear on your brand will ensure you are clear with the message you want to get across and show your audience your area of expertise.

Share tips and information on your topic and provide your audience with an education. This helps to build trust in providing them with something for free rather than jumping in straight with a sales approach.

When you are sure on your brand fill in all the information on your social media account to make the most of this space. When people are visiting your profile it should be clear who you are and what you provide.


Be consistent with your posting on social channels. This doesn’t mean posting every day but try to set certain days and times you will be online, posting and connecting with others. This ensures you are putting out regular content and your audience will start to expect it and look out for your posts.

Building an audience, getting engagement and social selling takes time. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get instant results, keep the consistency and over time this will build.

Show up

Connect with potential customers and those in your industry to build your network but keep these relevant and show the value you can provide. As well as individuals look for groups and communities to interact with. Comment on other peoples posts, share knowledge and congratulate them on their success to build that relationship.

Social media analytics

All social media platforms have some form of analytics behind them that will help you gain insight on your followers and the effort you are putting into your social channels.

These analytics will show you how well you are building your network and how your content is performing. You can also gain further insight on your audience and understand more about them. Use this data to learn and keep improving your social selling techniques.

Conclusion on social selling

Social selling can help build your following on social media channels, spread awareness of your offering and help to build meaningful relationships.

Each social media platform is different and has its different audiences and ways of engaging so give this some thought before you delve straight into social selling. Don’t come across as that pushy salesperson and plan your approach carefully.

To conclude here are some of the benefits from social selling:

  • Provides you insights into your target audience

  • Builds trust and relationships

  • Increases brand visibility and awareness of your offering

  • Generates long term results

  • Increases sales


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