Don't Make These 4 Social Selling Mistakes

BY Jessica Helinski
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Social selling can have a big impact on a business’s success. SalesFuel’s research reveals that when researching a purchase, buyers consult social media postings by the company, as well as others’ social comments and reviews. And according to Hootsuite, businesses that prioritize social selling are 51% more likely to reach their sales quota than those that don’t. But sellers need to understand what social selling is, and what it isn’t, to avoid making common social selling mistakes. 

4 social selling mistakes

For a salesperson who isn’t clear on social selling best practices, making mistakes can be easy. 

In an article for Hubspot, Tristen Taylor discusses several common social selling mistakes and gives tips on how to avoid them. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to treat social selling as you would any other paid promotion tool. But throwing up an ad or other promotional post simply won’t cut it. Why? Because social selling involves, of course, being social. It’s a place to engage and connect. She recommends that sellers approach this type of media with a different mindset. “Approach social media like how you would approach an in-​person networking event,” she writes. “Connect with people you think can benefit from getting to know you and your business. Hold conversations with them that can capture their interest. From there, you can begin to sell to them after building those relationships and community.”

In short, don’t be passive. You must actively participate to generate interest, effectively target and make connections. While it takes a bit more effort than simply posting an ad and moving on, it can have big payoffs. 

Not establishing credibility

Expecting others to engage and trust you, without first demonstrating credibility, is another social selling mistake. Just like with in-​person sales, sellers must show that they are credible experts if they hope to earn others’ trust and confidence. Do this by creating and sharing posts that highlight your industry knowledge, past successes and thought leadership. Another suggestion is to share customer testimonials. “Few things impress a prospect more than success stories about businesses that have used your solution to solve a big problem,” writes SalesFuel’s Kathy Crosett, adding, “you’ll want to validate testimonials by linking back to the client’s website to assure the prospect that this is a real business.” For advice on soliciting quality testimonials, check out these professional tips

Being irrelevant

Buyers don't want to waste their time, even when it comes to spending it on social media. Don’t make the mistake of posting irrelevant, throwaway content that won’t resonate with your target audience. Instead, prioritize quality over quantity. “Your connections are following you to educate themselves early in the buyer journey,” Taylor explains. “When they've interacted with, saved, or downloaded consistent content from you, they'll look to you and your company for trustworthy solutions.” Make sure you have done your research on your ideal customer’s pain points so you can offer valuable content. While an occasional “fun” post is totally OK, don’t let memes and other random posts overshadow all the value you have to offer. Make your posts a go-​to source for users that inspires engagement by keeping it (mostly) professional. 

Social selling mistakes can be easy to stumble into, which is why sellers need to be thoughtful before they post and engage on social networks. There are so many opportunities that can arise from social selling; don't let them pass you by. 

For even more advice on this topic, check out these other best practices.

Photo by Nik on Unsplash