Social networking takes up 75% of an internet users time. However, engagement on Facebook has shifted from "This is how I feel today" to "What's going on with the rest of the world?" Social media isn't just about liking photos and stalking your ex anymore. It's about social selling. Social selling is engaging with your target audience via social media, whether for business development or promoting your brand, that is social selling.150225090737-exp-ns-instagram-professional-fukuda-00002001-large-169 (1) Instagram-AnthropologieThat's why you see that pretty girl you went to high school with "for inquiries and booking call:" in her Instagram bio. That's why you can't scroll your Twitter without passing up a funding train for a new start up. That's why you still haven't really deleted your Facebook. Just in case, right?

Social Selling is such an innovative way of business because it is all your responsibility. If you don't want to make a LinkedIn, that's okay, but maybe you won't make certain connections. If you're not going to broadcast your work on your Facebook, how is your grandma going to show it to one of the young men at the post office that could possibly be your perfect connection?

You have the opportunity to do so many things online such as establishing your crediility, selling your ideas, securing funding for projects, attracting talent, and winning over customers. Work it. Doing it the old fashioned way won't cut it anymore because the game has officially changed.

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Here are the three basic rules for social selling:

BE KNOWLEDGEABLE

Take time to research your demographic, customer, talent, investor, etc. Understanding their business model and knowing who they are is the first step in beginning a relationship.We are living in a time where we show the world our breakfast or our OOTD. We are much more capable of opening up online and this gives us the ability to relate to each other on a smaller scale.

BE DEPENDABLE

Being authentic and genuine is just good business. Engage with those in your network and those who are virtually related to you (mutual friends and such). Find your common ground. Be likable and show that you're open to making relationships. Give credit where credit is due and compliment a blog post or give a shout out to a new prospected project. This is the new wave of networking.

BE ATTENTIVE

Forge long lasting relationships, not on-going negotiations. Your credibility is important and having your connections feel like they know and trust you is important so nurturing your relationships is very important. Social selling is about engaging with people in business in a more personable way and this last step will take time and calls for much...attention. Just like launching any other new campaign, you should measure your metrics (new followers, likes, messages, etc.) at regular intervals. THEN, take the extra step that is often forgotten: reach back out. Keep creating content. Keep up those connections.

These are the basics. You and your company should build on and tweak a social selling strategy that is right for you. If you don't have social media yet, today's the day!

by Rikki Hurt

Be successful in your creative endeavors. To contact Velvet Cartel about social marketing inquiries, send us an email at info@velvetcartel.com or visit our website for more information.

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