Content’s Role In Social Selling And Social Influence

Social selling is the focus of my new feature for The Content Strategist. I describe social selling in the article as the practice of leveraging social networks to enhance lead generation and boost conversions.

The point of the piece is to help determine content’s role in the sales process. We already know how content is the centerpiece of marketing campaigns, but how do sales teams leverage content to gain a competitive advantage?

For a good answer to this increasingly common question, I turned to Jill Rowley, social selling evangelist at Oracle.


“Content is the currency of the modern sales organization,” she says.

Rowley is currently busy educating 23,000 salespeople at Oracle on how to prospect and engage leads via social media channels. “The goal is to socially surround the buyer in a buyersphere of influence.”

We can make OPP (other people popular) by using OPC (other people’s content), she suggests.

I also spoke to a marketing director none too keen on the idea of using Twitter or Facebook for social selling.

Andy Tretiak, chief marketing officer for Sporting Kansas City, said, “We’ve put a large stake in brand and the last thing we want to do now is turn people off with the sales machine.”

Yet, clearly there is a time and place for social selling. For instance, if I turn to you now and suggest that you consider hiring Shawn, Dan, Wade or me to make ads for you, I am selling our services in this extremely content-rich environment of our own making.

And content’s role is clear here: it’s the price we pay to get on your radar and open doors to larger conversations.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.