card-reader-businessman.jpgWith over 2.2 billion people on social media, it’s no wonder companies are choosing to participate in social media as a way of promoting their business. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow business people to promote their expertise to billions of others with little cost involved. However, social selling gives entrepreneurs a new strategy to conduct business that goes beyond cold calling. If you want to learn how to keep the social in social selling check out these tips:

Image is Important

Think of the content that you put on your social media pages as your greeting, handshake and elevator pitch all in one. This is the first time an “outsider” is likely to “see” you, which means you want a good first impression. From your profile picture to your bio, everything needs to be professional but personable. Your social media is a representation of who you are and what you represent. LinkedIn is a site where you should especially focus on being professional. Take a look at Bryan Kratz’s LinkedIn page for some inspiration. And keep in mind that just because social media is all about posts and photos, the information you do share should be appropriate and focused on your brand image.

More than Likes and Shares

Networking is so much more than liking and sharing posts of others. It focuses more on the depth of information that you offer to your followers. Answering the questions of users will be more appealing than simply liking their question. The amount of content you like and share won’t set you a part from others. In fact, it might be keeping you from gaining any step in the right direction. Take a look at why Tim Hughes, the Leading Social Seller, says, “The marketing and social professionals who grasp social selling will be the winners in the new digital world.” Social selling is about getting to know others on more of a personal level and allowing others to know you. Keep in mind that engagement matters more than likes.

Build credibility

Social selling is all about connections. The best way to grow your credibility among users is to expand your network. While adding everyone on Facebook and LinkedIn may seem like the way to connect with others, it isn’t. Instead, try joining groups on social media sites that are interesting to you to such as LinkedIn groups. While on these social media platforms, join in on the conversations and add thoughtful insights that will show others your knowledge of the industry. Once a well-established connection between others has been made, asking for recommendations and introductions will be easier to do.

Get offline

Finally, take your social media skills to the real world. It is important to create relationships that are more than back and forth comments. If you live near someone you have built a relationship with online, ask for a meeting over coffee. If you don't live nearby, set up a phone call to better establish the relationship. Studies show that this strategy generates 40% more contacts than cold calling. Doing these small tasks can help further your social circle and improve your goals in social selling. Entrepreneurs should notice that establishing a connection outside of the internet is important.