Have you heard about social selling? If you have not there are still chances that you already know it but just not what it is called. Social selling refers to developing interactive relationships with buyers to understand them serve their needs and generate sales. That is one way to put it. You can also think of social selling as the use of online interactive communication and conversations to create symbiotic transactional relationships. A third way of defining social selling is the use of digital content to engage with building trust to generate sales. Here are 5 important pillars of social selling you need to know:


It matters who you target or engage with. You cannot just engage anyone. You have to be strategic so that you target a pool of people with prospects. As in, people who will most likely buy what you sell. That is why you need to have a well-defined buyer persona. A buyer persona is the detailed description of what you consider your target or ideal customer. You must also have a solid unique value proposition or unique selling point. This all refers to a real or perceived benefit of a product or service that differentiates it from competing brands. These are elements that will help you draw the right audience. If you do not attract the right audience you will waste time, resources, and effort.


Let us suppose you have ticked the first box i.e. the audience pillar we just discussed. Where will you find those people – your ideal audience? You have to figure out where your ideal audience spends most of its time online and even offline. Online is of course the major focus in most cases. Some of the major online platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, amongst others. You need to know the right platforms where you need to direct the bulk of your efforts. You also need to appreciate that people on the different platforms in question must be engaged differently. The platforms are configured differently. These are dynamics you have to be abreast with regarding the second pillar of social selling.


Then we have the issue of content in social selling. This is the most important pillar of social selling. No wonder content marketing is a big deal nowadays. In social selling, it is not just about posting content like many people do. Your content needs to be carefully thought out – it must be relevant and engaging. Roughly 80 percent of your content must inform and entertain – edutainment. Understandably you want to sell, that is a given. However, do not make the mistake of hard selling like many people do. It is advised that it should just be 20 percent of your content and or 20 percent of the time where your content’s core focus is actual selling. You will generate more leads this way than always hammering your audience with calls to buy.


When posting content it is no doubt important that you need to be regular and consistent. Unfortunately, some people do not prioritize this enough. Then some do post content regularly and consistently but ignore one important issue – timing. It matters what time you post your content. Play around with posting your content at varying times and note the performance of the posts. You will realize that posts perform differently concerning the time they are made. This means you have to closely look and figure out what the ideal timing is. To help you navigate that pursuit you need to use the principles of A/B testing. Once discussed A/B testing in an article from before; find time to check it out to understand it more.


The fifth pillar is analytics. This is literally like the anchor of all the pillars of social selling. It binds them together. The good thing is that all social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools. You can get comprehensive insights regarding your audience, how your content is performing, and many other important aspects of social selling. Even websites have Google Analytics which also provides the same tools and insights. You must actively make use of analytics in social selling. This will help you make empirical decisions; decisions that are premised on real evidence.

These are the 5 pillars of social selling. That is all you need to pay close attention to if you are to execute effective social selling. Every pillar is paramount and needs to have its fair share catered for. If you do not strike a healthy balance or mix of the 5, you may not enjoy the best results. Everything is connected.