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Social Media Networks for Social Selling: Types, Pros & Cons

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson discusses the advantages and disadvantages of four social networks with respect to social selling. We'll discuss the pros and cons of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Social Networks

Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are great for social selling. However, all of these networks have numerous pros and cons. For instance, LinkedIn is great for networking with professionals, while Twitter is a great informal communication medium. Similarly, each network has its pros and cons with respect to social selling. Let's take a closer look at some of these advantages and disadvantages.

Facebook

Let's start with Facebook. One of Facebook's great advantages for social networking is that it allows you to create both a personal and business page or social selling. For example, with prospective clients, you might take a more formal approach and reach out to them using a business page. However, for clients with whom you have a long history, a personal page with a personal touch may be better suited. The advantage here is that you have a nice choice to do both at the same time. Another massive advantage to Facebook, especially over Twitter and LinkedIn, is the user base. There are simply more people to network with and to sell to.

Now, not everything is perfect with Facebook with respect to social selling. First, Facebook is mainly geared towards business-to-consumer social selling as opposed to business-to-business. Second, due to the sheer volume of Facebook's user base and content, you may find it difficult to get your message or outreach heard or reacted to. All of the noise on Facebook may simply drown out a lot of your efforts.

Twitter

Of course, you don't have to depend on Facebook alone for social selling. There's Twitter too. Like Facebook, Twitter helps you reach a relatively large user base. Moreover, more than 50% of that user base makes a decent living ($50,000 or more per year) which can certainly help improve the odds of making a sale in the end. Finally, it doesn't take as much effort (given limitations of the platform) to create content on Twitter as it does to, say, on YouTube.

There are disadvantages to Twitter for social selling, however. First of all, your tweets limit the amount of content that you can create in order to engage your network. So while this helps save you time, it may not be great for getting your point across to all audiences and for all topics. Second, Twitter is seen as less professional than, say, LinkedIn, so it's not always the best platform to build or engage a social network composed purely of very formal professionals, such as doctors or lawyers.

LinkedIn

Speaking of formal professionals, LinkedIn is a great place to find them. Social networking and social selling becomes that much more productive thanks to this professional networking website. Another major advantage to LinkedIn is that it's a great place for B2B, as opposed to B2C, social selling.

One disadvantage of using LinkedIn for social selling is that many of its best social selling features can be expensive, and the costs add up over time. Furthermore, it has a smaller (mainly professional) user base. So if you want to expand your outreach, you shouldn't rely on LinkedIn alone unless your clientele base is going to be found there and only there.

YouTube

Last, but definitely not least for this lesson, is YouTube. While some don't consider YouTube to be a formal social network, it is arguably the biggest social network. So don't ignore it!

The advantages to social selling on YouTube are many. First, your prospective customers get to see and hear you. This helps build a stronger and more personal connection than a simple tweet. Second, you can directly promote not only yourself but your products or services with a show and tell. This can be more difficult to pull off on other social networks (if not impossible).

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