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The key to elevating your social selling to the next level and over the top is to focus on customer experience. Of course, the product or service you’re delivering is obviously important, but building a unique and memorable experience for your digital customers is fundamental to establishing yourself as a leader in your industry—both in thought and in practice. As the social seller, it’s up you to craft what your customers associate with your brand. Your online presence determines what your audience learns to expect for your interactions. With each click, post, and share, you can establish relationships with each potential digital buyer.

We’ve included four pillars to shaping digital experiences as a social seller. But remember—these are just guidelines. As the expert on your own brand and profile, the way you interpret each of these pillars is exactly what makes your brand stand out, so don’t be afraid to personalize each of these steps to offer the most distinctive and unforgettable digital experience your brand can offer.

  1. Craft an authentic brand

Shaping a digital experience for your audience is your chance to lean into the most compelling and identifiable parts of your brand. Your online personality should always be a professional one, but it should also be personable and relatable. Customers don’t want a one-on-one relationship with a company, they want to get to know a brand, a culture and an attitude. Your online presence offers a special opportunity to create a dynamic overall digital experience that will keep your audience interested, entertained, informed, and trusting.

With this pillar in particular, social sellers should consider crafting an authentic personality that travels beyond just the language used in your blog posts and commentary. What colors do you want associate with your brand? If photos or images are involved, what are the consistent visual aesthetics? This pillar provides an opportunity for you to pay attention to the brand’s visual presence, keeping in mind that authenticity with your brand is something that customers can pick up on pretty easily. So, don’t be afraid to take the time to figure out what feels genuine to you and your brand before moving forward.

  1. Offer resources, tools, expertise and knowledge

One of the most underestimated openings in social selling is the opportunity to be recognized as a thought leader in your field or industry. Sharing expertise and relevant knowledge demonstrates that you’re genuinely interested in the latest trends and insights in your industry, and that you’re skilled enough to have a hand in shaping them. As a social seller, being recognized as a thought leader establishes a level of trust between your brand and your audience. When potential customers have a question, you want to be their first resource—offering reliability and customer-focused language.

Providing resources or tools that would be useful to your audience shows that you know and understand them, that you’re paying attention and that—more than attempting to sell them something—you’re interested in making sure they are successful. Customers are willing to invest in a social seller who routinely shows that they’re invested in their own customer base.

  1. Foster relationships on multiple social platforms

The most basic principle of social selling is that you can’t sell anything where you aren’t present. In order to shape any kind of digital experience on a social platform, you have to build your presence, your visibility, and your brand in authentic ways. But first, you need to learn ow your audience exists on those social channels. Are there any avenues for greater potential, any specific features they use more than others, or possible opportunities to surprise your audience with how well you know their interests and habits? Use what you learn and observe to be as effective as possible, offering a digital experience based on the actual features of your audience.

And another often-forgotten piece of advice: as you’re developing your understanding of your audience as a social seller, they’re also building their own understanding of you. Building digital relationships can’t happen without a series of meaningful interactions, which requires an authentic knowledge of the platform itself and genuine understanding of your customers’ digital presence. Learn how to effectively deliver one-to-one interactions with your audience, rather than offering one-size-fits-all blog posts and comments. Successful customer experiences focus on individual relationships that establish trust, and maintain digital communication and virtual interactions on social platforms.

  1. Assist digital buyers with every step of the process

With this last pillar, the focus is on creating an overall digital experience that ensures that your audience is in contact with you or your brand during every single step of the buying process. Similar to the pillar above, you can’t influence your buyers where you aren’t present. So, part of knowing your audience, means learning how, when, and where they’re most likely to begin their customer experience. Your job as a social seller involves interacting with your audience in meaningful ways from their initial inquiry to the follow up after becoming a customer, including providing opportunities to sustain that initial customer relationship.

Shaping a digital experience that successfully serves your audience builds a stronger online presence, widens your audience and creates loyal customers who will also maintain their relationship with you and your brand. This is your chance to establish and sustain meaningful relationships with each of your customers, ensuring a dynamic and personal digital presence that will ultimately work towards your brand’s longevity and success.

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Learn more about Unpacking Social Selling and Revamping Social Selling.