Articles 9 Social Selling Mistakes to Avoid as a Business

9 Social Selling Mistakes to Avoid as a Business

Vlad Kovalskiy
12 min
Updated: February 21, 2024
Vlad Kovalskiy
Updated: February 21, 2024
9 Social Selling Mistakes to Avoid as a Business

A lot of us can agree that social media has evolved from simply being a place to connect with strangers and friends alike. Indeed, more and more companies have learned to leverage their online presence to market and sell better. However, that is not to say there aren’t social selling mistakes being made left and right, some of them contributing to brand failures and business collapse. If you’re afraid of committing the common social selling errors, we’ve got your back.

We’re covering a lot of ground with this article: going over some commonly asked questions like "What is social selling?", showing you some of the pitfalls in social selling and giving you tips on improving social media sales strategy as well as some of the best practices in social selling. Ready? Here we go.

What is social selling?

Social selling is the practice of using social media platforms to connect with potential customers, build relationships, and establish trust. This approach goes beyond just posting about products or services; it involves actively engaging with the audience through comments, messages, and social interactions. It's about understanding and addressing the needs, struggles, or frustrations of the audience, often through sharing valuable content, providing insights, and demonstrating expertise. This strategy allows brands and businesses to nurture leads and convert interest into sales more effectively. Social selling also encompasses customer service and after-sales care, using these platforms to maintain ongoing customer relationships.

What are the top 9 errors to evade in social selling?

Social selling can be extremely rewarding. Whether you’re a people person or not, learning what social selling is and how to sell on social media is an adventure. Relating to leads and prospects can be interesting. Finding out what their needs are, frustrations, and pain points can be instructive and insightful. Tailoring your business’ social media content to show everyone how your products and/or services can help improve their lives can be enjoyable.

That’s not to say it’s all a bed of roses. You need to watch out for the pitfalls in social selling. At the same time, taking advantage of effective social selling techniques for continuous improvement. That’s what we’re here for today. We’re going to go over a number of social selling mistakes you should work hard to prevent, along with tips to help in improving social media sales strategy for your company.

Social Selling Mistakes

1. Ignoring the importance of follow-up and engagement

It might be tempting to sit back, relax, and give yourself a high five as soon as you close a sale or make contact with a potential customer, even. Being complacent in this way is an example of social selling mistakes to be avoided at all costs. A sale is great, yes. Establishing a connection with a lead is awesome. However, what really sets your brand apart from the fray is what you do when the goods have been delivered and the order tagged "complete".

Make good use of your buyers lists and prioritize them when sending out marketing newsletters, discount announcements, and promotional emails. Aftersales care can go a long way. Check in on your previous customers from time to time. This is not only to encourage them to order again but also to reconnect with them on a more meaningful level. Keep them engaged and hooked on your brand through the use of good old rapport, camaraderie, and top-notch customer service.

While you’re at it, remember that any feedback is good, even if it’s not initially favorable to you. Take into account every piece of information you get back from clients, good or bad. If they express dissatisfaction or frustration about your products and/or services, take note. You can always use those to take a closer and unbiased look at what you have on the market and what you can do to further improve.

2. Sharing random and irrelevant content

Even when it comes to social media, keep in mind that there should always be a separation between personal and business. In your personal social media accounts, you can be as pious, political, or opinionated as you like, but when it comes to your business profiles, keep things neutral, clean, and drama-free. You want your brand to always come across as professional, sleek, and polished. Whatever your business tagline or mission and vision, make sure that your social media content reflects them.

Social selling mistakes happen when managers and business owners forget that followers – potential buyers, existing customers, competitors, and industry contacts alike, treat your content as an extension of your business. Your customers, both existing and potential, especially, follow you so they can make better buying decisions before they even engage with your company. They look at how you converse with other people, your values, and even gauge your sincerity. For this, always put your best foot forward, so to speak, across all your platforms. Make posting and sharing informative, engaging, and relevant content part of your social media selling tactics.

Use content calendars and scheduling apps to help ensure that every piece of content that goes up in your business accounts is vetoed. Give your marketing access to content, but assign only one person to post and a couple or three to reply to comments and messages. Check and recheck content before they go out so nothing gets past you.

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3. Doing inadequate research on prospects

We all like to joke about how intrusive and downright creepy social media algorithms can be. However, a winning business that employs effective social selling techniques uses this to its advantage. Imagine you’re at a restaurant. You’re more than likely to dine there again after you feel that your waiter or server is able to anticipate your needs. Whether it’s more water, some cutlery, or condiments, it’s impressive to find your attendant at your elbow before you can even raise a hand.

Being proactive when it comes to customer service can help elevate your social selling index. Once your leads notice that you’re able to anticipate their needs and you seem more than capable of answering them, they will be more than happy to do business with you. You can avoid social selling mistakes like being reactive instead of proactive by knowing your target audience – their interests, their wants, and most importantly, their needs.

4. Being unable to optimize your social media profile

It’s a self-preservation tactic for buyers: conducting online brand research before deciding to do business with particular companies. First impressions count even in the area of social selling. One of the social selling mistakes that you want to avoid is not having an optimized or streamlined profile. Your content should speak to your brand image – the quality of the product you’re selling, the standard of care you provide to customers, and the level of professionalism and competency your team is able to deliver.

Another one of the social selling mistakes to look out for is forgetting that how you present your company online through social media can help a lot in generating revenue. Stay on top of your business’s public accounts, and if you are unable to, hire a social media manager who will be more than capable of doing the job for you. Your goal should be to keep your business profiles speak to your company values, mission, and vision for your customers. Leads, prospects, and existing buyers should be able to relate to your content and connect with your brand.

5. Not investing in social selling training

Avoiding social selling mistakes is very much like raising a child: it takes a village. It can’t all be the responsibility of one person; otherwise, you’ll end up doing your company and customers a massive disservice. There are billions of people all over the world who use social media for one purpose or another; you’re bound to successfully sell with the proper training. All you need is to be armed with the knowledge and skills.

The good news is that there are a lot of social selling training courses that you can invest in. As the manager or business owner, you can also take on the task of teaching your team yourself. Whatever you decide, social selling training courses should cover:

  • Professional branding that makes a true and lasting impact

  • Gaining recognition as an expert in your chosen field or line of business

  • Establishing and maintaining lasting connections with customers and industry colleagues alike

  • Producing the appropriate social content for your audience

  • Identifying your target market and conducting thorough research

Don’t be afraid to ask for help especially if you’re new and looking to gain solid footing in the business world. Encourage your team as well to be more active on social media so they’re comfortable communicating with people online. Look at what’s on trend, and what’s hot, and see if it’s something you can adopt.

Social Selling Mistakes

6. Using your social networks for promotional gains

No one likes feeling as though they’re being used or even taken for granted, whether in a personal or business setting. The beauty of social media is that it can be used to make profits but also to network and create lasting relationships with businesses within the same industry. In the same way, you can learn a lot from your competitors. Although you might not readily agree, they may have protocols, systems, or marketing schemes that you might like to emulate.

Using your social networks mainly for promotional gains is one of the social selling mistakes that you may want to avoid. Being callous in this way can ruin your brand reputation and make progress difficult for your business by alienating customers and external stakeholders. Instead, seek to build enduring partnerships with both your audience and market colleagues. Simply asking about their day before getting down to brass tacks can do you a lot of good in the long run. Consulting with them even on minor details and seeking their feedback also does the trick. Take a sincere interest in the people around you and network to broaden your horizons.

7. Not using digital tools to aid in social selling

Being in sales, and working on social selling does not necessarily mean that you have to be in front of your computer or have a mobile device in your hand. Clever salespeople nowadays leverage the perks of modern technology to help them get the word about their products and/or services out into the world. There are a lot of apps and software that can help monitor trends, and measure the level of interest on the latest products as well as the influx of need based on online searches.

Don’t be afraid to use technology and tools such as social CRM to your advantage. These can help you:

  • Send out email and SMS marketing campaigns

  • Setup a contact center for optimal support

  • Integrate marketing, social, and customer service channels

  • Analyze data and reports to continuously improve

  • Collect leads from your corporate social media accounts

Apart from these functions, there are also tools that can help better educate you and your sales team about the best practices in social selling as well as avoiding social selling blunders. Arm yourself and your team with not only the best applications for the job but knowledge and training as well.

8. Failing to establish trust before selling

Be honest. Will you listen to someone you don’t trust? If you’re approaching someone for the first time, what are the chances that they will pay attention to what you have to say, much less buy what you’re selling? This in itself is another of the social selling mistakes you should be wary of. It’s important to gain your audience’s trust first before you attempt marketing your products and/or services. You don’t have to be an industry leader per se, but your brand reputation should show your company as reliable, dependable, and trustworthy to begin with.

Instead of starting strong with a sales pitch from the get-go, show your audience that your products and/or services are essential by offering solutions. Content like hacks, how-tos, and DIY tips do well, and you’ll notice people starting to take notice. Once you give importance to your leads’ needs, questions, and concerns, they’ll know that you’re not just in it to sell.

Social Selling Mistakes

9. Disregarding your target audience’s pain points

Pain points or frustrations, recurring issues, and persistent problems have a lot to do with customers’ buying decisions. Not paying attention to these is considered part of the social selling mistakes to keep away from. How do you do this successfully? If you’ve conducted thorough research on your target market, it should not be too challenging. You already have your potential customers’ needs and common issues planned for. This means you’re also better able to angle your product and/or services to secure more sales.

Use the knowledge you have acquired from your target audience research to tailor your social media content. Make sure that every piece of information is properly stored in your CRM and that your salespeople are documenting every interaction thoroughly. Show your followers and visitors what you’re capable of and what you can do for them. Catch their attention by posting helpful content like tips and tricks that will solve their issues through the use of your products and/or services. Being intuitive like this will help you keep common social selling errors at bay.

The delicate balance of social selling

Social selling entails a balancing act of the customer’s needs, your business relationship with your network, and your sales requirements. The secret? A foolproof social selling plan after thorough research and careful study. You need to dig deep to gain a foothold in the industry. Encourage everyone in your team to pitch in to ensure that your business has a solid social media presence. Network with other businesses and connect with prospects with a sincere drive to alleviate their frustrations and needs.

Lastly, partner with a company that offers you all the social selling tools you may need to succeed. Bitrix24 has a CRM tool perfect for lead generation, prospecting, marketing, and more! Need help with your customer service focus? We’ve got you! Sign up today and have fun selling!


What are the most common mistakes in social selling strategies?

The most common mistakes in social selling strategies are:

  • Ignoring the importance of follow-up and engagement

  • Sharing random and irrelevant content

  • Doing inadequate research on prospects

  • Being unable to optimize your social media profile

  • Not investing in social selling training

  • Using your social networks for promotional gains

  • Not using digital tools to aid in social selling

  • Failing to establish trust before selling

  • Disregarding your target audience’s pain points

How can businesses improve social selling techniques?

Businesses can improve social selling techniques by:

  • Scheduling and carrying out consistent follow-ups

  • Successfully engaging with their target audience

  • Building healthy relationships within social networks

  • Properly addressing their target audience’s pain points

  • Streamlining their content to aid in closing more sales

What best practices should be followed in social selling?

The following best practices should be followed in social selling:

  • Strictly following a schedule for posting content and engaging with your audience

  • Establishing a theme or brand image for your social media profiles

  • Researching prospects thoroughly

  • Focus on your audience’s pain points and be sincere in offering solutions

  • Build trust with fellow businesses as well as your audience
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Table of Content
What is social selling? What are the top 9 errors to evade in social selling? 1. Ignoring the importance of follow-up and engagement 2. Sharing random and irrelevant content 3. Doing inadequate research on prospects 4. Being unable to optimize your social media profile 5. Not investing in social selling training 6. Using your social networks for promotional gains 7. Not using digital tools to aid in social selling 8. Failing to establish trust before selling 9. Disregarding your target audience’s pain points The delicate balance of social selling FAQs
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