Social Selling Works! How I Used It to Sell… Me
What is Social Selling?
Social Selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today, this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, but can take place either online or offline.
I’m part of the Engineering Team in charge of developing social selling solutions at Hootsuite. This year, we developed Amplify for Selling, a mobile app designed to help sales reps generate leads and fostering relationships that drive revenue. So, ever since we had a first working prototype (way before the official launch) I started using it everyday, so I could prove to myself, and my team, that the vision that we set for this solution was real!
I could call myself a lot of things, but “Sales Rep.” is certainly not one of them. If I wanted to prove that our app and social selling works, then I had to sell something. That’s when the idea came; why not sell or promote my image, myself? Selling doesn’t have to be limited to material things, right?
So that’s what I did, I set up Amplify for Selling in a way you set it up when selling any product:
- Connected my Twitter account.
- Set up Keywords so every time there were signs of my contacts posting related messages (social signals), I would get a push notification on my phone.
The difference was, that instead of entering keywords related to a product, I setup keywords related to my professional interests: engineering, programming, leadership, machine learning, open source, etc.
Soon enough, I stared getting push notification when a contact posted things related to my professional interests. This allowed me to engage with them on social media (like, reply, quote), which in return, increased my number of followers, expanded my professional network and helped me nurturing my existing connections.
Amplify for Selling also provides you with content, curated by your organization, so you can share it out to your social networks. I didn’t have to set anything special for that. I only shared content that I thought my audience (mostly Tech) would be interested in. This expanded the reach of my own messages within the networks that I was targeting.
I was completely blown away by the increase of the amount of followers in such a short period of time. Below if a graph that shows how, the moment I started using the app for social selling (February, 2017), I almost instantly doubled my followers, and then in a matter of weeks, I tripled, and quadrupled the original number!
All of the sudden, I was able to engage in online conversations with my followers (via Twitter), created new connections, and developed relationships with people in my area of professional expertise.
Imagine having that amount of boost in online reach, and influence, if you were selling an actual product! Social Selling is a necessary and effective response to a changing selling environment. Some remain skeptical, however, the numbers obtained by this experiment show that there is an opportunity that should not be missed, and that the original vision that my team set when we started building the app, was real.