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Social Selling: Using Social Media to interact directly with sales prospects by providing value through thoughtful content and question answering, until the prospect is ready to buy. (Hubspot)

Social Selling removes intrusive direct sales from the equation, no more cold calls or sales pressure, especially when the prospect doesn’t want to be sold to or interrupted. It uses Social Media to interact and engage with prospects on their terms.

Social Media is often misunderstood by business owners and sales people, thinking the hard sell is what will convert people fast. Using Facebook or Pinterest to push your products or services with only sales updates is a surefire way to turn people off your accounts and stop following, ensuring no one will receive your message, sales announcement or not.

Here are the 3 keys to using Social Media as your “sales” platform and get results:

1. Skip the Hard Sell

If you focus only on posting direct sales information may get you a new client or two, but it will most likely turn people off. The Feeds on all Social Platforms are valuable real estate spaces. There is a lot of content from many different sources that are competing to get into followers’ News Feeds. In fact, on Facebook the algorithm takes personal relationships into account when deciding what content to put in their users News Feeds.

2. Provide Value

If you want to reach people and you want a fighting chance for your business updates to reach your followers’ News Feeds you must provide valuable information.

Focus on content that will interest your followers. Content that will inspire them or educate them, i.e. home efficiency tips to save money on heating bills if you are an HVAC company, or a decorating tip if you sell home goods, or a stain removal guide if you are a laundromat.

Give them content they want to see; not content you want them to see. Getting them interested in what you have to say and valuing what you are sharing will get them to be more likely to purchase from you.

3. Engage & Interact

You are using Social Media to reach people and find new prospects, be SOCIAL! Watch for people to like, comment, or share your updates and respond to them. Have a conversation with them, be human and not just as sales billboard.

Have fun and get involved with your followers. Share a joke, share useful information and explain how it works in your personal life, etc.

Be human and be social.

Don’t Skip Social

If you think using Social Media takes up too much time or doesn’t provide a worthwhile ROI or fast enough results you are missing out on a huge opportunity to tap into potential sales.

75% of buyers use Social Media when making a purchasing decision. Whether your message is a sales message or not, your activity on Social Media matters to people.

An active Social presence conveys that you are a legitimate company that cares about its customers.

Take the time to use your Social Media platforms daily or hire someone who will do it for you, provide value, be human, engage and interact and the return on this investment will pay off.