As a small business owner, you’ve probably had the feeling of being overcommitted. You’re “crazy busy” as you seek to make sales, find new customers and introduce new products and services.

Could social selling be the answer?

Research has shown that half of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day. One in five page views in the United States occurs on Facebook. Social networks are where consumers go to not only connect with friends, but to look up products, check references and ask opinions.

Through social networking, you can build relationships with key connections. Of course, the initial barrier for many small business owners is the time it takes to learn and implement social sales. Traditional sales and marketing methods are, well, more familiar.

Is it worth jumping in?

Research shows 1 in 2 businesses are increasing their time on social media channels. If it’s not you, chances are your competitors are investing in the online communities. In fact, you can use social media to monitor not only your prospects, but your competitors. You don’t need to be on every social media channel. Stick to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, depending on your market.

Unlike an unwanted cold sales call, social selling is more about sharing quality content and building connections. Start with the development of a robust online profile and sharing professional content. The key to success, however, is social listening. Take time every day to examine what your prospects are posting. Join their online groups. Engage them on their news and comments.

What you’ll find is when you have a conversation ­– albeit online – it is still a conversation. Just like attending a networking event, you can have one-to-one messages. And quite often, you can identify the decision maker much quicker thanks to networks like LinkedIn.

People spend more time on Facebook than any other social media platform. If your business is highly visual, such as an upscale clothing retailer or a restaurant, Facebook and Instagram are great ways to showcase who and what you are all about.

If you are in more of the business-to-business space, LinkedIn provides an awesome opportunity to build rapport with vendors, prospects and thought leaders in your market. Twitter users tend to prefer news content. It can often be a more effective platform for consultants, freelancers and professional contract workers.

Sales is about building relationships and establishing credibility. Don’t let your increasingly busy life as an entrepreneur get in the way. Your story needs to be told… online.

Make a Personal Connection

What goals do you have to accomplish? As your credit union, we strive to help you grow your business and positively impact the community. Call Inspire and talk with Jake today at (212) 788-5270, extension 308.