May 1, 2024

What is social selling?

Discover folk - the CRM for people-powered businesses

ffective social selling takes a lot of effort. From understanding what platforms your clients are likely to hang out on, to figuring out how to build a strong personal brand, your social selling efforts are going to be time consuming. But it's a good long term strategy to have up your sleeve. Growing your social networks can be a huge benefit to your sales process and personal brand. But your approach shouldn't be about getting the right social selling training. Instead, it should be experimental, especially if you haven't built a personal brand before.

In this blog post, we explore what social selling is, social selling tools, examples of leaders in this space and social selling best practices so that you can start building your own social selling success story.

What is social selling

Social selling is a technique used by sales professionals to leverage social networks in the sales process. It involves using social media platforms to find and engage with potential customers, build relationships, and ultimately close sales.

What are the key aspects of a social selling strategy?

A good social selling strategy has a few key aspects. Below are some typical social selling activities you should be aware of.

1. Knowing your ideal customer profile inside out

A successful social marketing strategy requires you to know exactly who your ideal customer profile (ICP) are so you know where they're likely to hang out. This helps you identify and connect with potential customers who might benefit from your products or services. To get you started, we've got more on how to build an Ideal Customer Profile here.

Our blog takes a closer look at Gartner's framework for creating an ICP

2. Building a personal brand

Building a personal brand, especially in a professional context, is a strategic process that involves showcasing your unique skills, experiences, and values to establish a distinct and reputable identity. You'll need to be aware of things like:

  • Your unique value proposition: What sets you apart from others in your field?
  • Goals: What do you want to achieve with your personal brand?
  • Content marketing strategy: It's not enough to use Chat GPT to generate a caption if you want a long term strategy. Think about what stories are your target audience going to be interested in? How can you position yourself as a thought leader? What kind of valuable content can you share that might appeal to decision makers or build stronger relationships with target buyers? What original insight and/or trending topic you can share your opinion on?
  • Networking strategy: This builds on your target audience – but also emphasizes the need to connect with others in your industry too.
  • Social media platform: Social media selling doesn't require you to be on every single platform out there. Instead, you need to know where your audience is likely to be and leverage that. Focusing on one channel can be part of a good strategy and will prevent burnout.

3. Engaging with content

Sharing relevant content, participating in discussions, and posting updates about industry trends are common practices in social selling. These activities help you engage with the community and establish your expertise.

4. Nurturing relationships

Social selling focuses on cultivating meaningful relationships rather than making immediate sales. This means interacting with prospects by commenting on their posts, answering their questions, with a strong focus on providing valuable insights to start building trust and rapport.

5. Leveraging social media insights

Use the information available on social media to better understand a prospects' business challenges and needs. This allows for more personalized and targeted sales approaches that addresses their unique pain points.

6. Keep an eye on metrics

From making sure you're leveraging the right social media platform and social media marketing strategy to engage with your target audience, to the number of cold calls gained from lead generation. Keeping an eye on metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates and ROI is useful to understand what's working and what needs improving. The metrics you should pay attention will vary depending on the platform you use. For example, on LinkedIn you might pay attention to your social selling index to gauge whether or not your posts are resonating with your audience.

Examples of social selling leaders

Not sure where or how to start? Check out some examples of entrepreneurs and take notes on the social platforms they use.

Simo Lemhandez, Co-founder of folk

Our Co-Founder, Simo is a fan of Linkedin. He uses it to share stories about folk's milestones and adds value by sharing what the team at folk have learnt whenever they implement any new processes, product updates and hiring. In doing so, he's built a personal brand, expanded his network and increased brand awareness of folk.

One of Simo's recent posts on one of folk's biggest milestones

Jen Allen-Knuth, Founder of Demand Jen

Founder of DemandJen, Jen Allen-Knuth has built a strong personal brand on LinkedIn in B2B sales and marketing. Her LinkedIn posts often add a lot of value by sharing tips and insight into trending topics such as cost of inaction (COI) and evergreen subjects like how to tackle a subject line.

One of Jen's recent posts comes with a top tip on how simple phrases can make a big difference

Interested in exploring LinkedIn? We've got more on how you can use it to leverage social selling on LinkedIn to drive new business

Top 5 social selling tool for 2024

The best sales pros know that you can't rely purely on traditional selling methods. Especially in today's digital world. So it's no surprise that social sellers outsell peers because their name comes to mind first, thanks to their strong personal brand. To start building their personal brand, your sales reps and sales leaders need to know their way round social channels, how to share thought leadership content and the top industry thought leaders to appeal to the right audience.

From helping with social listening to setting up your social selling Here are some of the top tools to help with your social selling campaign to help your sales leaders and their sales team level up their lead generation strategy with social selling.

1. folk

Best for: all-in-one CRM for multiple business functions

folk is an all-in-one CRM designed to help you nurture stronger relationships across sales teams, marketing teams, recruiting, fundraising, partnerships, investing and more. You can use it to create a single source of truth for the pipeline you've generated from your social selling efforts, monitor sales opportunities and keep notes from sales conversations. It's easy to modify it to suit your unique buying process.

Key features

  • User experience: Loved for Notion-like experience. Make it uniquely yours to suit internal processes or start from a template that can be personalized.
  • Pipeline management: Your team will be able to collaborate with ease with all their leads and prospects in one place. Expect auto-sync contacts from Gmail and Outlook.
  • Contact enrichment: Automate the process of manually filling in missing data and save time with 1-click enrichment.
  • Email campaigns and sequences: Design and send email campaigns directly from the folk platform and monitor their performance.
  • Lead capture with folk X:  folk X is a Chrome extension designed to help you save information without interrupting your workflow. Save contact data from anywhere on the web straight to folk with the help of folk X. It can import your search lists from LinkedIn Sales Navigator or contact information from an individual LinkedIn Profile.
  • Integrations: Supports Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, as well as more through Zapier.
folk is an all in one CRM
folk supports multiple databases, helping teams create a single source of truth

2. Lavender AI

Best for: Email writing coach

Wondering whether or not you're using the right messaging to get across to someone? Lavender AI is an email writing coach that scores your email to make sure you're on track and increase your reply rate.  

Key features

  • Automated email analysis: Get real time coaching and recommendations to increase reply rates.
  • Personalization assistant: Get suggestions based on the recipients data based on news, insights and personality data.
  • Dashboard: Get high level data about your emails and quick tips on how to increase replies alongside average statistics across all emails sent.
Lavender AI
Lavender AI's writing coach feature

3. Crystal Knows

Best for: Communication tips

Unsure what approach would appeal to potential B2B buyers? Crystal Knows is a personality data platform that uses the information on someone's LinkedIn to give you a detailed overview on how to personalize your message to them. You can use it to adjust your tone of voice, tweak how statistic heavy your message is, and get meeting tips to facilitate it according to their preferred style.

Key features

  • Personality assessment: Uses a DISC-based assessment to give you insight into individual communication styles and behaviours.
  • Communication tips: Get insight into someone's preferred approach including what tone of voice to use and preferred communication style to maximize the chances of a response to your initial message.
Crystal Knows
Crystal Knows' personality assessment

4. Calendly

Best for: Scheduling calls

Calendly helps eliminate the multiple back and forths it takes to schedule a meeting by creating a custom link to your calendar and allowing recipients to choose the best time. Useful for booking an initial conversation.

Key features

  • Email reminders: Recipients get email reminders before the meeting to ensure a lower no-show rate.
  • Custom forms: Build a customized form for recipients to fill if you're after any particular information that can help you prepare for the call.
Calendly's scheduling tool

5. Sprout social

Best for: Scheduling content

Sprout Social is a content scheduler that can help schedule posts across several platforms including X, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. It's also packed with a powerful analytics report that you can use to keep an eye on your key performance indicators to gauge what's working and what needs improving.

Key features

  • Publishing and scheduling: Allows you to draft, schedule and publish content across multiple channels without switching context each time.
  • Social media engagement: Smart Inbox consolidates messages across your platforms into a single place, useful for customer interactions.
  • Analytics and reporting: Provides detailed analytics and customizable reports on your channels to help you understand social media performance. Track engagement, audience growth and effectiveness of a campaign.
Sprout Social
Sprout Social's analytics feature


Personal branding is key to a building strong professional brand that goes beyond your job title and to build your own social proof. If your'e wondering about whether or not you need social selling training, the answer is no. The best thing about it is the experimental approach you can take. Start small and use this as a chance to experiment with what type of content your target audience are likely to engage with and gauge its performance to determine whether or not that approach is working or not.  

More resources

Looking for more from our social selling series? Check out these blogs.