Social media is borderline-omnipresent nowadays, and that trend isn't exclusive to our personal lives. It's become a fact of professional life as well — particularly in the sales world.

Solid social selling skills are transitioning from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have for sales professionals, but developing that kind of expertise is much easier said than done.

So to help you up your social selling game, we reached out to a few HubSpot experts for some key tips and tricks you can apply to better leverage your social media presence to connect with prospects and make hard sales.

Let's dive in.

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1. Leverage information on social media to connect with prospects on mutual experiences.

When we reached out to Sarina Kowaguchi, HubSpot Senior Growth Specialist, she stressed the importance of leveraging social media to find common ground and build rapport with prospects.

She says, "I've found that Social Selling can be truly impactful when you can leverage information on Social Media — such as LinkedIn — to connect with a prospect on mutual experiences, interests, or connections.

"In the past, I've leveraged mutual team connections with a HubSpot director on LinkedIn to successfully initiate and book calls with prospects. Prospects were more likely to respond from a first-degree contact — especially someone higher up the chain than a rep — and my director was well connected with many of my prospects at target accounts.

"Once I established this selling motion with my director, I would send him a LinkedIn message draft for him to send to the prospect with personalized information based on my research on the prospect and the company.

"While email and phone calls will remain a large part of my day-to-day prospecting efforts as a sales rep, it's important to diversify your efforts across other channels of selling as well, and I've found that Social Media messages can cut through the noise that emails often present."

2. Use multiple platforms to promote visibility and showcase your brand.

HubSpot Sales Director Dan Tyre emphasized the value of maintaining a broad, eclectic social media presence across various platforms. He says, "Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin are my jam. Part of being an inbound executive is to make sure you are optimizing multiple platforms to make it easy for people to find you and reinforce your brand.

"I post on Instagram three times per week, usually to give visibility to free HubSpot products, tools, or research reports to help prospects and customers grow better and encourage interaction.

"I also have two Facebook accounts — one for the book we wrote Inbound Organization and another for my personal speaking engagements. We run monthly Facebook Live sessions for each site to motivate our audience and to answer questions.

"LinkedIn has also been a great sales tool for helping me generate more business for our partners and providers. We like to post videos of the specific type of prospect and customers we are looking for (and in what time frame).

"For instance, we might say something like, 'We are looking to acquire two new manufacturing companies in South Florida, by the end of April 2021, who are looking to accelerate growth and need help transitioning a face-to-face sales team to virtual.'

"Once we post and share, we can get thousands of views. By placing a calendar link in the comments section, you can generate quality leads. According to my HubSpot social media report, I created about 44,000 impressions in February 2021."

3. Connect with and follow prospects on Twitter to demonstrate interest.

Tyre also alluded to the value of demonstrating interest in prospects via Twitter interactions. He says, "Twitter has changed a lot since I got 38,000 followers — which always amazed me. I find that prospects and customers appreciate it when you retweet pertinent information and help expand their reach.

"If I am going to target an account, I always follow them on Twitter and have some interaction before I call or email so that they know I did my research and I want to help them get more business."

4. Be yourself, and be sincere.

Senior Channel Account Manager Kathleen Rush suggests that sales reps stay true to themselves through their social selling efforts. According to her, "I live by this mantra in person and on social media — be yourself, and be sincere. And your audience will naturally grow as a result.

"When you affirm how you genuinely feel about a client or a product, you build authenticity as a helpful resource. By sharing pertinent and relevant articles and insights about your partners, colleagues, and industry, you can become a resource for conversations and problem-solving. Once that trust is established, the conversations can really begin! Watch those views and shares grow!"

5. Solve for the customer, and the recommendations will follow.

When we touched base with HubSpot Principal Account Executive Marlon De Assis-Fernandez about his approach to social selling, he had this to say, "When I think about social selling, I think about trust and how I can use my social media as social proofing if you will. In any sales process, I'm always trying to solve for the customer. To do this well, you need to challenge some ways of thinking and help the customer 'see the light.'

"But how do they know that you are really looking out for them? In these cases, having a slew of recommendations can help showcase who you are and your integrity. Integrity is one of my values and it's highlighted in how I serve my customers.

For those that I haven't worked with, I like to point them in the direction of my recommendations on LinkedIn to hear straight from other customers I've worked with. The key is being genuine.

"If you do a great job solving for the customer, they'll always be keen to provide feedback — and the more you solve for them, the more positive that feedback will be. It's a great habit to get feedback after a sales process and even better to have that feedback displayed in the form of a LinkedIn recommendation.

"Whether you save those positive affirmations for yourself for a rainy day or to showcase your integrity and trust to other potential customers. I lean on my customers to tell the story of how I will be solving for them!"

As I said at the beginning of this article, developing strong social selling skills is easier said than done — still, sales reps stand to gain a lot from making that development a priority.

Social media isn't going anywhere, and when properly navigated, it can be a powerful resource for understanding, connecting with, and ultimately making deals with prospects.

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Originally published Mar 14, 2021 9:45:00 PM, updated March 19 2021

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Sales Strategy