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In the Age of Social Selling


We post, tweet, pin, ‘gram and connect constantly with the blink of an eye in our personal lives, hardly moving a muscle. But for businesses and marketing teams, is it that easy? Social media sites help to encapsulate a company’s brand and its appeal to the public, attempting to engage target audiences. These outlets establish a particular voice and attitude for businesses to share who they are. However, this is not a simple task based on aggressive usage and frequent postings on any and all media sites. Instead, a successful social selling strategy is about clever campaigns, engaging content and consistency.

A social media following cannot be created in a day. It takes time, effort and patience to create a consistent voice and gather a following.  While patience is difficult, it is necessary in the virtual social world. In Shannon Belew’s latest book, The Art of Social Selling, she opens with a chapter dedicated to patience and what she refers to as “fishing in social ponds.”  Belew describes how “fishing” involves discovering how people respond to a brand or an idea and whether or not it catches a following – the epitome of social selling.

Here’s how to get a catch:

Come up with creative content and campaigns. On social media, no one really wants to know what a company is selling with visuals of large dollar signs and numbers spewed all over their media outlets. However, people do want to see specific products and company beliefs in action. An athletic apparel store could promote its running clubs or races they are involved with. A flower store may showcase beautiful creations and share care tips with followers. A local coffee shop might share its involvement in the nearby community or fun contests to engage with the public. When followers feel a more personal connection with a brand, they will be more likely to support it.

Kayem Franks, the hot dog company famous for their “Fenway Franks” at Fenway Park, illustrated an engaging campaign through their #FindFenwayFranks contest this past spring. Through their twitter account, Kayem Franks challenged followers to a scavenger hunt to win Red Sox opening day tickets. Clues were tweeted and tickets were hidden across the city for local followers to find. As a local company based in Chelsea, MA this was a creative way to get customers excited about the start of baseball season, but also interested in the local company and its mission. They created a similar contest for Bruins playoff tickets, revealing more of their love for the city and appreciation of their followers.

Social selling and gathering a following cannot happen in a day, but it is worth the thought, time and effort to create interesting content and engage followers. The result will be loyal patrons wanting to share their love of a particular brand and a successful, sustained business. What could be better than that?

-Andrea Missert

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