Social selling. The practice of developing relationships as part of the selling process has become increasingly popular with the advance of digital communities and social networks. Why? Because sales is a numbers game. By leveraging social selling, you'll increase the number of leads in your pipeline that you can pursue with your direct sales activities. Hi, I'm Erik, and this video is an introduction to social selling tools. By the end of this video, you'll be able to start identifying the basic principles and practices of social selling tools that support engaging conversations with your audience. Let us get at it. In order to effectively manage social selling activities at a scale that's effective, without taking time away from active selling activities, you will need a strong set of tools to support you. Let's break these down into three categories. First, they are content research tools. These will help you find what to write about and what to share. Second, there are content creation tools. These help you quickly turn your content ideas into something engaging and shareable. Third, there are content delivery tools. These will help schedule and automate your activities. The first question you need to answer when social selling is, what am I going to say? The key to successful social selling is providing real value and insights to the communities that you're a part of. The trick is you're early in your career and you don't yet have a lot of unique insights from your experience to share yet. In order to provide value, you mostly need to curate content published by other reputable sources in the industry and provide key learnings and insights that you gleaned from them. This will help you build the credibility that you're looking for. The simplest content research tool that you can use to identify good content and articles to share is a simple Google alert. Find a few good keywords and set up a daily or weekly Google alert so you're notified of new matches to your search. This will surface new articles about your industry, blog post by relevant companies and thought leaders, as well as give you a sense of what's being talked about most by the people that you care about. Beyond Google, sites like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, and Answer the Public will point you to popular content in your communities by analyzing organic internet traffic, site linking and sharing statistics to identify the most viral content. Then you can share the same or related content along with your own unique take to capitalize on that topics attention. Simply sharing a link to an article or someone else's post isn't doing much to add value to your community and likely won't be noticed by many people. How can you quickly create content that will stand out? Visual content is far more engaging than simple text. A human brain processes visual 60,000 times faster than text. Creating good looking visual content, be it videos or images takes time and some sense of design principles which if you're like me, you have neither in abundance. There are content creation tools that will take this workload off your plate. Either providing easy to edit templates or automatic visual creation to turn hours of work into minutes. To make good looking images in no time checkout tools like Canva, Easel.ly, and Hyperise to quickly make engaging image content to post alongside your text. Other tools like Lumen5 and Veed.io help you create super-short videos out of the content that you're sharing in as little as one click, turning an article into a video with subtitles in the same format you see getting shared around social media thousands of times. While these tools are awesome, remember that there's nothing wrong with simple. Not every post needs to be a high production value visual treat. In fact, I'd use them sparingly to preserve the unique value. Pay special attention to how the style of your post performs on each individual platform. Not only do people engage with different types of content in different amounts on different platforms. But each platform will also favor different types of content in its algorithms. Increasing or decreasing the number of people who will end up seeing your content. For example, on LinkedIn, directly sharing an article that takes people off of LinkedIn will get your post almost no visibility. But throwing that link in the comments of a video post that you make sharing your insights onset article, we'll see tremendous engagement as the algorithm prioritizes the video in people's feeds. The last thing you'll need to do is get your content out to your audience. In order to be most efficient around content creation and delivery, you'll want to produce multiple pieces of content in one focused time block, outside of your golden activity hours. You can then use content delivery tools to schedule these posts in advance, sending them in peak engagement hours, and preserving your days for more time sensitive activity like calls. This is a crowded niche with tons of tools boasting powerful analytics and brand management features. Don't get distracted though. As an individual user, you pretty much only need basic analytics and scheduling capabilities, which almost every tool have. A few big names are Buffer, Loomly, SproutSocial, and Hootsuite. This by no means an exhaustive list. When picking a tool to schedule your posts, make sure it covers the basis for a single user. Ideally allowing you to schedule multiple posts at one time, creating mini content calendar for yourself. In addition, make sure it can work with your preferred platforms, whether that's a LinkedIn scheduler or a Slack scheduler. In the new age of human interaction and technology, It is common that your prospects will have some sort of presence on social media, whether it's LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. By incorporating social selling practices and leveraging content research, creation and delivery tools in your outreach strategy, you can significantly increase pipeline volume, drive meaningful results, and become recognized as the rockstar SDR that you are.