I like the way Michael Brenner describes “social selling”. He says (paraphrasing) it’s about salespeople building a strong personal brand and helping social buyers become customers via content and exchanges.
To bring social into your selling process though, you need to create a few foundational elements. Much like a modern marketer will set up a process for creating content that educates their audience, a social selling expert will find ways to share useful content at meaningful moments with their potential buyers.
Your goal will be to establish and nurture a strong personal brand and sleuth out the right types of content to share. Building up your social selling foundation won’t happen overnight, but when the effects kick in (expect 3 to 6 months…), you’ll be in a strategic position that is very difficult to unseat.
While nothing but dedicated hard work will make a social selling strategy work, influencers can shorten your ramp-up time and help you get the most out of your efforts. Here are three ways influencers can help you excel at social selling:
1. Stay on Top of Trends with Minimal Time
To sell socially means you must be a part of conversations about the trends, challenges, and opportunities your buyers face. But with the sheer volume of news, blogs and other content published on a daily basis, a salesperson can easily get distracted. By using influencers as your filters to get to the content you are guaranteed to follow the important trends without getting lost in the noise.
Tip: Use an influencer identification tool to build influencer lists and follow important content.
2. Curate Useful Content to Share with Prospects
The more you hone in on your influential people, the easier it will be to share valuable content with your prospective customers via social channels. As you follow your influencers and the content they create, you’ll become able to curate the best pieces to share with your audience or with specific prospects.
Tip: Optimize your time by using a social media publishing tool to help you schedule shares.
3. Identify Serendipitous Moments to Join Key Conversations
Social media has enabled serendipity. Instead of having to catch someone at the right moment at a trade show or manage to get them on the phone, you have a third opportunity available 24/7/365. On social channels your prospects are listening to influencers as well so when they ask questions or join conversations, you can seize these moments to add value to the exchange and get on their radar.
Tip: Use your influencer lists to follow conversations and alert you when good opportunities arise.
For the busy social salesperson, influencers are incredibly important filters that help you cut down on the time it takes to do social well. Do you have other tips for incorporating influencers into your social selling strategy?
Evy Wilkins is VP Marketing at Traackr, an influencer marketing platform. She practices and writes extensively about influencer marketing or how to build impactful relationships with people who matter to your business. Most recently she produced the Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing & Influencer Strategy. You can join Evy on Twitter, Google+ and .