Social Selling

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is the art of using social media platforms to find, connect with, engage, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers, so you’re the first person or brand they think of when they’re ready to buy.

Selling on social media involves listening to your audience, sharing insightful content, and participating in discussions to establish expertise in your field. Doing so builds trust and credibility, which are the cornerstones of a successful sales motion.

The practice of social selling is less about direct sales and more about building long-term relationships, making genuine connections, and creating an environment where sales can occur naturally.


  • Social media marketing funnel
  • Selling on social media

The Rise of Social Selling

With nearly 100% of Gen Z and younger active on social media, social selling skills are quickly becoming the most important tool in a salesperson’s toolkit. If you can’t (or won’t) sell on social media, you’re far behind. In 10 years, you’ll be out.

But why did social selling become a “thing” in the first place, you ask?

The Evolution of Sales

Sales has always been about building relationships.

Before technology made its grand entrance into the world of sales, people relied on in-person meetings and phone calls to get to know potential customers.

With the rise of ecommerce, SaaS, and social media, the way we communicate (and sell) has changed drastically. Suddenly, there was a new environment where people could interact and build relationships right from their screens.

Now, social interactions primarily take place online.

And that’s when social selling was born. More than anything, it’s a logical evolution of the traditional sales process.

B2B Sales on Social Platforms

These days, (practically) everyone hangs out on social media.

LinkedIn is a prime example. Out of its 900 million users (and counting), the company reports that 48% are monthly users and 16% log in every day. This means, on LinkedIn alone, more than 100 million people are waiting for you to connect with them.

And yes…a lot of them are decision-makers. An estimated 50% of B2B decision-makers are active on the platform, making it one of the best digital channels for B2B sales teams who want to reach potential buyers.

Here are a few stats to help you understand the efficacy that social selling has already proven for B2B sellers:

  • LinkedIn’s Social Seller Index shows that social sellers generate 44% more sales opportunities, and 78% outsell their peers.
  • HubSpot’s 2023 Sales Strategy and Trends Report ranks social media as the #3 most effective sales channel.
  • Businesses that prioritize selling on social media channels are 51% more likely to meet sales quotas.
  • Social media influences 75% of B2B buyers when making purchase decisions.
  • Of Gen Z consumers, 97% cite social channels as their top source of inspiration, which reinforces the fact that it will only become more important.
  • As such, it’s no surprise that 95% of B2B marketers and 90% of top salespeople already use social selling.

Other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram also boast impressive user numbers. They aren’t the best channels to connect with a B2B buyer in most cases, but certain industries may find success there. For DTC ecom brands, social selling on TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest is also popular.

Why Social Media is an Integral Sales Channel


Perhaps the most significant benefit of social selling is its networking capabilities. As you build authority on a social network, you start to build relationships.

These will include:

  • Engaged followers who might not buy but reinforce your credibility
  • Other salespeople who share their strategies and processes
  • High-quality talent that can fill your open roles without spending tens of thousands on recruitment
  • Interested affiliate and channel sales partners
  • Qualified buyers who take action by reaching out directly or clicking through to your website

There are millions of motivators behind a buying decision. Some do it because your company’s culture aligns with their values. Others do it because you can save them money. Many do it to improve efficiency or stimulate growth in a way they didn’t realize was possible.

As you build a strong network, you’re making it easier for you and your salespeople to close deals. And you’re creating new inbound opportunities left and right.

Establishes Credibility

By publishing valuable content on social media, you can build an audience as a thought leader. Others will learn about your product through your content, which creates inbound leads and referrals in the long run.

Beyond this, there are tons of scams, spammers, fake sellers, and dishonest companies on social media. It’s free and easily accessible, so the barrier to entry is low.

That’s why nearly half of US- and Canada-based buyers look up sellers who contact them on LinkedIn before engaging. By being active and showing your face online (and not just a logo), you’re demonstrating to every potential customer that you’re real, credible, and worth talking to.

Build Trust with Prospects

Platforms like Sales Navigator help you segment prospects and target your outreach strategy. And, you can use them to find prospects’ email addresses and phone numbers.

In addition to building your own authority (and your company’s), you can use social media’s networking capabilities to build trust with cold prospects.

For example:

  • Comment on their posts and be helpful without pitching your product.
  • Find common ground like shared interests or mutual connections (but avoid the generic, “I see we both breathe air” copy-pasting).
  • Join relevant communities where potential buyers ask questions.

Getting a potential buyer to join a call is easier once they’re familiar with you (and appreciate the value you add). The reality is they get hundreds of direct messages. They’ll probably only respond to the person they recognize, especially if it’s a big buying decision like a B2B contract.


People post their lives on social media. This puts you and your sales team at a tremendous advantage. Now, instead of a blind cold call to an exec, you can read up on their social media accounts.

You’ll see what they’re interested in. You’ll know what they look like and their role at the company. You might even see it they have kids, went to the same college as you, or share personal details through social media posts that give you insight into what motivates them to buy.

All this info makes it 100x easier to create a connection. Instead of attempting to get their attention with a generic pitch, you might even be able to speak directly to a problem they’re having and take a solution selling approach from the very beginning.

Expand Reach

Social media platforms give salespeople access to an exponentially larger pool of potential customers than traditional methods do. That’s why the vast majority of top sellers use it for sales prospecting.

B2B marketers advertise on social media for the same reason. With so many active users, running ads and publishing content on these platforms is much more likely to get in front of interested prospects.

More importantly, it helps sellers and marketers take a targeted approach. A buyer with a social media profile who’s also active on the platform is much likelier to respond to sales outreach. Cold emails and cold calls have very low success rates, but a targeted approach improves lead conversion rates through these channels.

Provides Data Insights on Customers

By listening to what your followers are saying, you can spot buying signals and learn more about the people who are purchasing from you. You can also see how they’re talking about your competition and where there might be opportunities to differentiate or upsell.

Analytics data helps not only with understanding buyer behavior and preferences but also by providing insights into your own social selling strategy. You can see which posts or content types perform the best, for example, and tailor your future efforts to buyers who fit your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Lead Generation

Social media platforms are a goldmine for lead generation. By actively participating in social discussions, sharing valuable content, and demonstrating industry expertise, businesses can attract potential leads who are interested in their products or services.

Social platforms also offer advanced targeting tools, which companies can use to target members of their ICP based on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. This targeted approach can significantly increase the likelihood of converting a social media user into a lead.

Through social channels, sellers and buyers can interact in real-time, which dramatically reduces lead response times and helps companies nurture leads through the sales funnel.

Social Selling Best Practices

Build a Strong Profile

Treat your social media profiles like landing pages.

Optimize your social media profiles with a photo that reinforces who you are (or who you want others to perceive you as). Also include a compelling headline and a concise, informative bio.

Highlight your expertise, experience, and achievements. Use relevant keywords in your bio to make it easier for prospects to find you. And highlight customer testimonials, important pillar content, and a CTA button/link to book a demo.

Share Valuable Content

Sharing valuable content establishes you as a thought leader and keeps you top of mind with potential buyers. Focus on creating or curating quality content that is relevant to your industry, product, or service. This could include:

  • Blog articles
  • White papers
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Customer success stories

Understand and Relate to Your Audience

Identify and understand your target audience. Know their pain points, challenges, and needs. Then, tailor your messaging to resonate with them.

Then, focus on building genuine relationships rather than pushing for immediate sales. Establish credibility and provide free value before asking for anything in return.

Choose the Right Platforms

Focus on the social media platforms where your target audience is most active. Different platforms cater to different demographics and industries.

Most B2B sellers choose LinkedIn because that’s where their buyers spend the majority of their time. Direct-to-consumer usually works better on TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest. 

Engage and Listen

Actively engage with your audience by commenting useful insights on their posts, participating in discussions, and responding to comments on your own posts. Listen to what your audience is saying to understand (and speak to) their concerns and interests.


Customize your interactions and communications based on individual needs and preferences. Avoid generic, one-size-fits-all messages.

Here are some ideas:

  • Personalize your LinkedIn connection requests and messages by mentioning something specific from the person’s profile.
  • Use buyer data to craft personalized proposals, emails, or presentations.
  • Reach out to prospects with a relevant piece of content they might be interested in.

Personalizing your outreach is a lot easier when you follow and engage your prospects’ content, which probably won’t always be the case. When you find new prospects through a search, it’s always a good idea to check out their social profiles ahead of time and see if there’s anything relevant they recently published that you can reference in your message.

Use Social Selling Tools

Take advantage of social listening tools to monitor conversations about your brand, industry, and competitors. Stay informed about trends and discussions in your field.

Integrate them with CRM and sales engagement platforms to streamline your social selling efforts.

Stay Consistent

Consistently post, engage, and share content to build and maintain an active and visible presence. Avoid going “dark” for prolonged periods. An active social media presence keeps you top of mind with your audience and helps you stay on their radar. And, since your audience will expect more content from you, it will keep the algorithms working in your favor.

Collaborate with Marketing

Collaborate with the marketing team to align social selling efforts with broader marketing initiatives. Each team can use the insights to refine their messaging and communications strategies.

People Also Ask

Does social selling really work?

Social selling really works. 95% of B2B marketers and 90% of top salespeople already use social selling. And those who do are 51% more likely to hit their sales quotas.

What are the features of social selling?

The defining characteristics of social selling are direct communication, personalization, publishing content, and building relationships with prospects and industry professionals on social media platforms. It also includes monitoring, tracking metrics, and collaborating with marketing efforts to align the overall messaging and communications strategy.

What is an example of social selling?

When DealHub’s sales team uses LinkedIn to connect with potential buyers, comment on their posts, share valuable content, and engage in industry discussions, that’s an example of social selling. The things our team learns from prospects during those interactions help us understand their needs, personalize our outreach and solutions, and close more deals.

How do you measure social selling success?

You can measure social selling success by tracking metrics such as engagement rates, lead generation, conversion rates, and revenue generated from your social selling efforts. You can also track how many deals were influenced by social selling and use customer feedback to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.