The last thing you want to do in social networks is to come across as a pushy salesperson.
Social selling has emerged as the new buzzword to describe the art of selling in social networks. The objective of effective social selling is to attract an audience of prospects that are so drawn to you that they will consider buying your products and/or recommending you within their own social networks.
Let’s start with two key questions you need to answer to be a effective social seller: Who are you and who are you trying to reach?
Define your personal brand
Social networks are made up of people connecting to people: friends and family on Facebook, clients and peers on LinkedIn, and people you just find interesting on Twitter.
Effective personal branding works in social networks because of the social part: people do business with people they know, like and trust. Ultimately, some part of every decision to do business with you has a personal component.
The key to developing a personal brand in social networks is to know who you are and to embody it authentically online. Nilofer Merchant calls it your “onlyness” – that unique combination of strengths, weaknesses and insights that makes you so you.
Once you have a handle on your personal brand, the next question is: who are you trying to reach?
Define your target market
Knowing who is a qualified candidate for your product and what matters to them is essential to succeeding as a social seller.
People don’t want to be told a thousand different ways why they need your product or all about its features and benefits — unless, of course, they ask.
What people want is information that is useful, practical and helpful to them. If you sell products to dentists, then offer practical tips about running a professional practice. If you sell products to small businesses, then share information about how they can leverage new technologies to address pain points in their businesses.
Social networks, it turns out, are a great source of knowledge about what people like and dislike, what they don’t understand and what they’re interested in. All you have to do is listen to:
- What people like and dislike;
- The questions they ask; and
- What they respond to and share with others.
Once you know what people want, then help them find it.