Social selling on LinkedIn: a guide
Social selling is a very fashionable concept among the marketing industry lately. Especially when we think about B2B activities and establishing business relations. Most activities of this type are carried out on LinkedIn, which is why I will focus the most on this platform.
Why social selling is important
There is no denying that with more than 500 million users (but only around 100 million daily users), LinkedIn invests heavily in research and content marketing. Its goal is to strengthen the social selling trend. On LinkedIn pages, you can find a lot of research showing how many people use the website in sales and B2B activities. Is it a hype or a productive action? I leave the decision to you and your experience. I’ll tell you how to jump into this hype.
Complete your LinkedIn profile. This is the basis of social selling.
A few years ago, a Polish industry specialist active in the USA told me an interesting thing. You don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then you don’t exist. The same applies to people who want to implement social selling activities.
I hope that you are such a person and you will be able to complete your profile with a professional profile picture, an appropriate job description, a short description of what you do. and your experience. However, if you want to know more about it, I invite you to a separate post on:
LinkedIn: what should a profile look like?
Social selling index
You can check the value of this indicator for your profile at www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. On the one hand, the obtained result should be treated with a grain of salt. On the other hand, it shows if you really act on a regular basis and build your personal brand.
I must admit that I have neglected my profile for a long time. However, it was enough to spend 20 minutes a day for 3 weeks for my social selling index to increase from 60 to 80. How did I do it?
Expanding the group of friends
I was inviting people I know personally or they work in social media. I tried to send 7 to 10 invitations a day. I also used the search engine on LinkedIn by entering “social media” as the key phrase. At the same time, I did not accept invitations from people with whom I have no professional relationship (for example, they work in a completely different industry, nor do I accept invitations from recruiters and HR employees).
It is important to ensure that the contact group is as close as possible uniform and in the subject of what you do. Thanks to this, your publications and shares will gain a greater CTR, and thus engagement and organic reach.
Commenting on posts
I was browsing my newsfeed on LinkedIn and when there was an opportunity to comment something meaningful , in-depth way, this is the comment I left behind. Remember that, like on Facebook, comments like “Super text”, “I agree 100 percent” are of little value. I tried to make it at least 3 sentences and about 300 characters long. The advantage of such commenting is that you reach new people who send invitations to make contact. Often this is followed by a specific request for quotation, because they treat you as a specialist, check your profile, etc.
Writing articles on LinkedIn
I have adopted a new strategy. I post my blog posts on LinkedIn as articles, not links. This way, I get greater reach and engagement than in linking posts. LinkedIn likes typing on their platform. Ultimately, he wants to publish 2 to 4 publications per month.
According to research, the best articles (causing the greatest engagement) have at least 1800 characters and 5.7 or 9 headlines.
Activity on groups on LinkedIn
It’s the only thing I haven’t done yet, but I have plans. So far, the groups are in a mess and spam has emerged. The only meaning is groups in English (Polish not very active, few members). If you know any sensible group, please write in the comment – I’ll be happy to join.
Social selling is like a pick up
When you go to a club and try to pick someone up, you have a much better chance when you find an excuse to start a conversation on a specific topic. Only the best parties in the club can afford an approach and a direct question like “Will you dance with me?” Let’s assume that you are not one of them, also on LinkedIn.
Here comes the well-known content marketing, which is one of the most effective tools for B2B activities. Its production and distribution gives us an excuse to establish contact with potential business partners and / or clients.
It is worth observing who comments and recommends publications on LinkedIn. By entering into discussions with these people (not arguing) you have a better chance that they will accept your invitation to friends and listen to what you have to say.
Talks about industry events in the form of fairs or conferences are also a good excuse. Since we are in one place, why not meet, talk and exchange business cards? Even after such an event, it is easy to start a conversation by asking what the other party thinks about a given conference, speech or discussion panel.
Don’t focus only on the tool itself!
We can’t, however. forget about the most important thing – just hammering nails into the boards will not make us build a house – warns Kamil Mirowski from MrSocial.pl. We need to have a broader view, vision. We must have a presence on this portal. If our goal is to stand out, to make known – all this is enough. However, there is an additional aspect. Social Selling and presence in portals such as LinkedIn is a perfect place to establish business relations. Tools alone will not help us in this without soft skills, empathy and openness. Therefore, when using them, remember that what you write / do has a specific value for other users of your network. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge, don’t be afraid to help, don’t be afraid to recommend good solutions or good specialists, if you know them. This is a very important part of Social Selling activities, which have been forgotten quite a lot lately.
Introducing Social Selling activities in the company is a process. It is not enough to read a few articles. Sales department employees must change the philosophy of their work and switch from thinking about “Customers” to thinking about “Business Partners”.
If you would like to introduce such a process in your company – you will be happy to do so I will help, see an example of the agenda of a 1-day workshop that can be the beginning of such a process: What is Social Selling, or how to effectively sell in social media.
What is your experience with social selling? Feel free to share your experience in the comments!
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