7 months ago
February 21, 2017

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for Sales Reps

Sales reps can reap many rewards from using social media, but only if they do it right. Follow these do’s and don’ts of social selling.

Rhys Metler

Social selling is a relatively new selling strategy used by an increasing number of sales reps. Sales repswho use social media by and large outperform those who don’t. However, just being on social platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter won’t immediately result in an increase in leads and improved sales. There’s a right way and a wrong way to use social selling.

You need to make sure that you’re doing it the right way if you want to see positive results from your efforts.

Follow this list of do’s and don’ts.

DO: Add Value

Social selling can be an excellent way to become a trusted advisor for your buyers and potential buyers. So add value as much as you can. Write and share blog posts about your expertise or experience in the industry. Share articles that buyers might find helpful during the sales process. Answer questions and appease concerns in conversation. Adding value will establish your thought leadership, improve your credibility, and build trust. Sharing funny cat memes all the time won’t.

DO: Be Human

Yes, you want to be professional, but you don’t want to come off as starchy, stuffy, and well, boring. Be the real you. Be authentic, funny, and genuine. Be honest. People want to do business with real people, not robots.

DO: Research

Sales reps can gather valuable information about their prospects on social platforms before getting on the phone with them or getting into that first sales meeting. Using LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to research prospects and their companies will help you get prepared for your sales calls.

DO: Engage

You can learn a lot by simply listening in on conversations people are having on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but you can’t just stay silent if you want to make the most out of social selling. You have to engage with your followers, reply to their comments and posts, answer their questions, and start conversations in order to effectively build relationships.

DO: Join Groups

Joining relevant groups that your buyers are in can offer many advantages. You might get to generate more leads from your engagement in these groups. You’ll get to learn more about your buyers’ wants, needs, and pain points. And you’ll get to increase your visibility among your target audience.

DON’T: Post Sales Content

The name might confuse you, but the point of social selling is to be social, not to sell. Use social platforms to build and deepen relationships and to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Inundating your followers’ feeds with self-serving sales content will only alienate prospects and make them want to unfollow you, at the very least.

DON’T: Be Inconsistent

Successful social selling requires sales reps to commit. You need to prioritize and engage on a daily basis if you want to see positive results. Social selling isn’t something that sales reps can do once a week, or whenever there’s free time. Make time to interact, engage, post, comment, and share.

DON’T: Try to Make a Sale

You’re having a great conversation with a prospect over social media chat. Things are going well. And then you go and ruin it by asking for the sale. Don’t do it! Social selling is about nurturing relationships slowly, not about aggressively asking for the sale every chance you’ve got. Use social media as your introduction to warm up leads, but take the sale offline.

DON’T: Talk about Yourself

Constantly posting about how great of a sales person you are or how amazing your company iswill only turn off your followers. People don’t want to hear this kind of stuff on social media. Talk about other people’s content; don’t brag.

DON’T: Trash Talk

Social media isn’t the place to trash talk your competitors or complain about your last prospect. Stay positive. Stay classy.

Embrace social selling, but do it right by following this list of do’s and don’ts.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.