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What is Social Selling?

Benefits, Tactics and Reasons why Social Media Outreach is Here to Stay

Author: Chaz Van de Motter - Chief Executive Officer

what is social selling

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At its most basic form social selling is the act of building customer relationships originating on social media through personalized engagements such as likes, comments and direct messages.  

Looking for an answer to the question, “What is social selling?” 

Social selling gets a bad wrap. Any phrase with the word “selling” insinuates that a greasy used car salesman is involved. And yes, “social selling” has turned into a ravenous game of who can send the most mile long sales direct message. 

 

Spoiler alert. That isn’t how selling works, and it sure isn’t how “social selling” should work. That is why we at Social Cycle are changing this narrative 1 personalized social media outreach at a time. 

 

Another social selling spoiler alert

You can’t automate building a relationship. You can’t stick a cardboard cutout of yourself with a recording of your voice in front of your spouse on date night and expect it to work. You can’t automate helping your coworker move after work. So… why do we think that on social media we can automate strong relationships. ESPECIALLY relationships where you are asking for time or money from the person you are speaking with.

 

"Social media is a place where you operate a digital extension of yourself online."

Instead of asking “What is social selling?” ask “What could social selling be?”

 

Social media is a place where you operate a digital extension of yourself online. If you wouldn’t go up to a stranger and say, “Hi I help businesses like yours to get more leads with less money, how about you schedule a time to chat with me through my website… blah blah blah” why is it ok on social media?

 

Laziness? Maybe. 

 

Lack of understanding? Possibly. 

 

In an instant gratification society, we like to check boxes and avoid painful work by any means necessary in the name of convenience. Well I am here to tell you that that attitude never led to a strong client relationship, business partnership or meaningful collaboration. 

 

Earning the right to start a dialogue with someone takes persistence, intention and TIME. If you aren’t willing to commit to those three attributes, well, social selling just won’t work. You may as well stop reading now because the rest of this information will not be relevant to you. 

 

Social Selling as a part of your other sales efforts

 

Social selling is not meant to be a replacement to all of your other sales efforts. Social selling is a compliment to email outreach, cold calling, and text messages. Social selling is considered a top of funnel activity. With millions active on social media, social selling can serve as a pattern interrupt amid the cacophony of sales emails, voicemails and notifications. 

 

What is social selling? Social selling helps you to start conversations that can transition into your CRM or database of leads and prospects. 

 

The transition occurs once rapport is established on social media. The key is equipping yourself with the right tools to seamlessly transition the conversation from your social media inbox to your CRM. This transition can be facilitated by the use of a calendar link such as Calendly or Hubspot

Generate More Targeted Leads on Social Media.

Measure their engagement to determine which ones are most likely to convert.

Social media outreach to warm up your pipeline

 

Buyers in today’s environment are busy. As inboxes pile up, diversifying outreach to social media platforms serves as a low intensity way to recondition and reconnect with your prospect. It also shows your persistence and commitment to starting a conversation.

 

Furthermore, social media profiles can humanize you as a vendor in the mind of your prospects. If done properly, a well timed personalized comment or personalized dm will help you stand out from the crowd of transactional sales outreach. It can also be the key to advancing a prospect through the sales process as well as build loyalty with your prospect.



Social Selling with Social Cycle

 

At Social Cycle we think that social media outreach can be done better. There are two problems when it comes to social selling that Social Cycle aims to solve. These two problems are as follows:

  1. Social selling lacks strategy: Social selling is usually organized separately from traditional forms of outreach. Oftentimes social selling efforts are coordinated randomly and lack organization or tracking. 
  2. Social selling lacks efficiency: Automated social media interactions have been banned by Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. Without automation social selling is viewed as not being scalable. Fortunately social selling is not meant to be scalable; it is meant to be personalized and focused on a specific pool of highly targeted prospects. 

 

Social Cycle is meant to provide solutions to both of the aforementioned problems. By curating a workflow of personalized social media outreach touchpoints for users and tracking the completion and response levels of prospects we are able to expedite the social selling process without cutting corners on personalization. 

 

What is social selling changing in the sales world

 

Social selling is opening up new channels for outreach for sellers. For the last 20 years, sales outreach has been done via email and cold calling alone. With over 4billion social media profiles worldwide, social selling opens the door to millions of sales conversations. 

 

Furthermore with the rise of personal brands, gig economy workers and social first brands the sales profession is changing drastically. The era of smooth talking sales guys is over. Social selling is changing the way coaches, consultants, MLMs and gig economy workers connect with their prospects. Because their social media profiles act almost as a resume, social media can oftentimes be a better place to start a conversation than an email. 

 

How do I start social selling?

 

The first step is getting started. Proper social selling is about finding the right prospects and engaging consistently. By using a tool such as a CRM, Spreadsheet or Social Cycle you can begin to hold yourself accountable to a consistent strategy. 

 

As you continue to engage with specific prospects your efforts will begin to compound. The key is to be patient with engagements. Reaching out via direct message too early can result in spooking your prospect into thinking you are just another salesperson ready to pitch them.

 

Engagements should be centered around an interest in your prospect. 

 

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