Social selling is a lot like making the perfect chocolate soufflé; everybody wants to do it, but only a few know how to make it really work. I’m one of those few people who understand social selling.

As part of the marketing team at Dynamic Signal, I manage all of our digital marketing and social media efforts. Little did I know that would include social selling. By sharing our company content to my social channels through our employee advocacy program, I started to build my personal brand online while also gaining the exact audience my company was targeting. As these relationships grew, many of them entered our sales cycle and became customers.

The recipe for a successful social selling endeavor begins and ends with content.

This is the recipe I follow on a daily basis. A few of my daily shares are content from Dynamic Signal that keeps my audience up to date on employee advocacy, employee engagement, and content distribution. This is followed by engagement and authenticity so that my audience can connect with me as a person. Engagement can be a mix of liking posts, replying to shares, and re-sharing others’ content. Authenticity lies in developing different types of content like a poll on Twitter or posts with non-industry related content (i.e. things I enjoy like wine, travel, or The Bachelor (guilty pleasure)). When people connect with me online they know they’ll see content they can learn from while also finding out about me as a person and that’s part of building a relationship.

Social selling is the building of a social relationship that creates real time trust and holds the promise of engagement.

Here are two examples of success with social selling. I found a key social media manager at a large tech company on Twitter and started following him and engaging with his tweets. Eventually he followed me back and we continued engaging with content that resonated. One day he tweeted a link to his daughter’s Girl Scout cookie page asking if people wanted to buy any. I piped in with an offer to buy 20 boxes for 20 minutes of his time. We booked a 20 minute meeting that day.

On Monday nights I can be found on my couch enthralled with The Bachelor while also following what people are saying on Twitter. I spotted a marketing manager from a large B2B company tweeting about The Bachelor so I started engaging with her shares and after she followed me I sent her a direct message tying in The Bachelor with what our tool does. She loved it and directed me to the right person to talk to.

Social selling does not have to be complicated. When your company provides you with great content the rest is all up to you. Add your personality to your social media effort with a pinch of savviness (GIFs, emojis, hashtags) and you’ll be building great relationships in no time. Many of which could turn into new business.

Stephanie Dobyns

About Stephanie Dobyns

Stephanie Dobyns is the Digital Marketing Manager and has 10 years of marketing experience. She's an advocate to startups having supported the marketing efforts of a business incubator and advised early-staged founders on strategy and execution. She tweets from San Francisco, reminisces in San Diego, and Eight-Claps at the Rose Bowl.