Are you wondering if LinkedIn marketing is worth your time? Want to find out how other marketers and sales are doing LinkedIn marketing effectively? LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful B2B tool that can help you boost your marketing and sales business. We can now define LinkedIn as the B2B social media par excellence and from this year it is clear that it is quietly coming out of the shadow of its competitors. With the right LinkedIn marketing strategy, but above all: an effective social selling strategy, it can be immensely useful for building your brand and supporting sales.
As with any big trend, once it became part of common use, LinkedIn’s value dropped significantly. But for the layman, we can easily say that we are on the crest of the wave.
This is mainly due to incorrect use of the platform carried out by those who have always used other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
For example, until recently there were few groups on LinkedIn that dealt with very specific topics capable of attracting tens of thousands of members. Today, on the contrary, there are thousands of groups without a compelling theme capable of bringing together the various interlocutors.
Someone states that in most cases, LinkedIn groups are not able to stimulate meaningful conversations, on the contrary, they are rather fragmented and characterized by the inability to create engagement around a product or topic of value.
We find ourselves inundated by groups without having a specific topic inside, in fact, the vast majority of them are inactive and lacking in interaction.
After paying $ 26 billion for the quintessential B2B social media marketing platform in 2016, Microsoft has aggressively developed its LinkedIn marketing services step by step.
More than 660 million subscribers in over 200 countries and 675 million monthly active users (of which 40% use it on a daily basis). In Italy, we are enrolled in 13 million professionals, with 224 thousand companies. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn’s target is an enviable audience, made up of large companies, opinion leaders, influencers, and of course recruiting agencies that connect and share with each other.
LinkedIn is a platform that allows more sophisticated marketers and sales to build relationships with professionals. It’s no wonder LinkedIn has quickly become the quintessential B2B content publishing platform. LinkedIn remains a healthy and fit social media marketing platform because it is still able to influence every phase of the B2B buying process.
Is Facebook Killing LinkedIn?
After LinkedIn’s initial wave of seduction, most professionals are now back to what really works, inbound sales and outbound sales strategies with an eye on social media.
The other side of the coin in the social selling field is represented by the huge Facebook group which despite the facts with Cambridge Analytic and the losses of subscribers (and the negative sentiment on the stock exchange), with Instagram and WhatsApp, have total coverage of a few billion. of registered users and regularly active monthly.
We don’t want to alarm anyone.
Much less you who are starting or are already immersed in a healthy LinkedIn marketing activity.
This article is used to try to refocus one’s focus on a strategic and effective LinkedIn marketing activity and give value to the real activity: social selling.
Here is the index of the topics of this article:
- Determine what your marketing goals are with LinkedIn
- How to do LinkedIn marketing
- 8 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for 2020
- The power of social selling
- How to take advantage of the opportunities offered by social selling in B2B with LinkedIn marketing
- Social selling: the advantages
- On which platform to do social selling?
- Will Facebook take the place of LinkedIn in social selling?
- You can’t just do social selling
- Determine what your marketing goals are with LinkedIn
The first step in the LinkedIn marketing goal development process is to understand what your marketing goals are.
Do you want:
- Generate leads?
- Drive traffic to the website?
- Increase the shares of your content?
- Establish leadership as an expert in the field?
- How can LinkedIn contribute to your marketing goals?
Once you’ve established your marketing business goals, you can begin to determine how LinkedIn can help you contribute to those same overall goals.
Let’s start with some advantages of LinkedIn which are:
According to Hubspot, visitors from LinkedIn convert 277% more than other social networks.
According to LinkedIn, the social professional network is the number one source for quality hires.
LinkedIn marketing relies on creating a network of connections, which can help kickstart brand awareness.
Thanks to its professional foundation, LinkedIn allows you to share information that, when done right, can help increase the authority of your company.
How to do LinkedIn marketing
Most marketers and salespeople strive to generate leads via LinkedIn by sending a connection request, followed by a typical commercial message.
We all know that these efforts are in most cases totally useless for generating leads.
Why read this guide and why does your company need to be represented in the best way on LinkedIn?
In this advanced and constantly updated LinkedIn marketing guide, we will share the best strategies for doing LinkedIn marketing, increasing sales, and generating meaningful revenue for your company.
How does LinkedIn marketing really work compared to other social networks?
Most social networks only serve to generate opportunities at the top of the funnel (Top Of the Funnel) and to provide limited ways to connect.
On LinkedIn, you can customize the platform for each marketing goal and use it as part of a broader content strategy. The platform aims to serve its audience through spaces where it is possible to distribute content tailored to the individual, both in terms of depth and timing.
This makes LinkedIn an intelligent and relevant distribution channel on a large scale.
LinkedIn is by far the largest platform where hundreds of millions of professionals come together to stay connected and informed. It all starts with the ability of marketers and salespeople and their concern with the ability to lead gender on social media.
Following recent changes to Facebook and Twitter algorithms, which continue to diminish the organic reach of brand posts, it’s clear that a LinkedIn marketing strategy continues to have great value.
Especially to promote leadership content and drive traffic to your website.
LinkedIn must now be part of your integrated marketing and sales strategy and in total 2.0 key.
Born in 2002, LinkedIn is still an immense unexplored gold mine, especially for those who discover step by step the benefits of the platform for a healthy B2B marketing and sales activity.
Some data from LinkedIn sources, just to remember the facts:
- More than 50% of all traffic generated by social media to corporate websites in the B2B field comes from LinkedIn
- 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as the primary distribution channel for their content
- 91% of marketers point to LinkedIn as the first place to find quality content
- 92% of B2B marketers include LinkedIn in their digital marketing mix
- 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, compared with 13% from Twitter and 7% from Facebook
- LinkedIn, as we have already seen above, does not rely on its laurels as the only social selling platform. Nor is it basking in the glory of its announced 60% increase in engagement rates (also resulting from the increase in monthly active users).
In this era of the corporate world, relationships matter more than ever.
People are inundated with both irrelevant or promotional messages and high-value content. But people now only want to engage with those companies that focus on sharing content that is informative, interesting, and relevant. Only companies and their professional salespeople who inform and engage (not just simply selling), build healthy and lasting relationships with their customers.
And while LinkedIn is busy adding features to its already powerful advertising tool, creating more and more opportunities for marketers to reach potential customers, you shouldn’t ask “why to use LinkedIn” but rather: what are the best practices for doing LinkedIn marketing. Whether it’s doubling the potential of the search filter and leveraging user data or introducing its powerful new format of video ads and opportunities to produce content, now more than ever is the time for Italian B2B marketers and traders to sit back and take note of the potential of LinkedIn
1. Explore potential opportunities. Observe before boarding or you may regret it
First, it’s essential that you have the basics of setting up your LinkedIn Company Page.
We recommend that you follow all the procedures that LinkedIn has proposed on the LinkedIn Business platform. Second, implement a strategy to ensure that your marketing and sales efforts stay focused at all times. Make sure your marketing, sales, managers, as well as managers, are fully educated on the services offered by LinkedIn.
2. Expand your network and identify decision-makers
Be specific about who you want to connect with on LinkedIn. Think industry sector, location, decision-makers’ job titles, and more. Now start your LinkedIn marketing strategy by exploring the opportunities offered by the platform.
There are five main ways to do this:
- Use the advanced search to find your potential customers
- Go deeper with the Boolean search
- Use automation tools like Linkedin Helper
- Learn more about your contacts’ connections
- Use LinkedIn Premium
Build your network using LinkedIn Advanced Search and choose to connect with those you think would be potential customers.
Often the valuable contacts are already connected to your current network.
Seeing who your contacts are connected to offers an additional opportunity to find new ones and get quality presentations. Of course, this is only applicable with someone you know well enough to ask for an introduction.
LinkedIn Premium is one of the best paid social media services you can use.
Using it you will have specific filters that help you find specific leads based on your predefined rules.
LinkedIn Premium then provides valuable statistics, so that you can measure your effort in order to quantify the sale through LinkedIn itself.
3. Interact with your network and build relationships. Increasing your connections won’t do any good if you can’t cultivate them
It is imperative to engage with your connections and potential customers so that you can start building a relationship with them. Engaging with them on LinkedIn helps put yourself on their radar. Here are some great ways to engage your contacts in a conversation:
- Engage your contacts in a conversation with a private message after connecting to them
- Comment on their status updates and articles
- Share their content when you find it relevant
A great first step to starting a conversation with someone after they accept your connection request is to simply thank them for the link and maybe ask them a question that could inspire a potential conversation.
Whatever you do, DO NOT send any commercial messages. This will surely make your contacts run away and you will hardly be able to catch up on the conversation with them. Without interacting, simply adding connections to your network won’t bring any benefit to your business.
You can create a solid relationship through LinkedIn only:
- By sharing meaningful content through your profile
- By posting content on LinkedIn Pulse
- By participating in various LinkedIn groups
- Interacting and commenting with your network (scrolling through your newsfeed)
Regardless of whether it’s short content, stories, experiences, or opinions, good content can really push your prospects and influencers to stop in front of your content and profile.
How is the best content on LinkedIn?
The importance of what you share is the consistency of what you share.
- Start with these three fundamental questions:
- What are the contacts in your network interested in?
- What is important to them?
- What problems do they face?
- Then you can move on to define the contents in the form of:
- Wanted. Studied and supported by a multitude of credible sources.
- Highly informative. Content should be unique, original, and useful to your target audience.
- Authoritative. How much can readers trust the content you post?
From another point of view, there are three types of content that you can successfully distribute to your audience on LinkedIn:
User-Generated Content. Content that comes directly from your target audience
- Expert content. Content that comes from industry experts
- Branded content. Content coming directly from your company
- Be smart in your content strategy
LinkedIn is more than just posting and hoping for something to happen. Success will only be defined by the goals you have previously defined and the content you have available.
How you distribute your content is important but so is, what types of content you choose to share:
- Case studies
- White paper
- Blog articles
- Info graphics
- Post on LinkedIn Pulse
These are just a few of the types of content that work well on LinkedIn.
We have a motto at Adv Media Lab: “To be the best inbound marketing blog on the web in Italy”.
The same motto can be applied to your content on LinkedIn. But instead of producing the best content, you can also share the best content. Design your content plan and what added value your content will bring to your network.
The LinkedIn algorithm will help you.
A vital part of LinkedIn’s marketing strategy includes establishing an active or proactive relationship with your connections. I can’t stress enough the importance of building relationships with your prospects. People buy from those they know and trust, and the only way to get there is to show them genuine interest.
There are many ways to start and establish relationships on LinkedIn:
- Show interest in your contacts and see what matters to them
- Pay attention to the content your connections share
- Try to be a connector whenever possible by presenting contacts who may need support at the most appropriate time
- Respond in a timely manner to all messages sent by your connections
Another extremely effective strategy is to start by involving those who have taken the time to read and comment or share your status updates. These contacts can be an important first opportunity to really start building the foundations of a professional relationship.
4. Follow a roadmap and stay focused
Make sure you create a roadmap for every aspect of your LinkedIn marketing and sales plan, covering: how, what and when to post. After the initial launch, it will be easy for tempers to cool down. It’s normal to lose momentum if you don’t build up successes quickly. It is essential to realize that, like any social media marketing and social selling business: the B2B marketing process on LinkedIn takes time to develop and provide returns on your investment. Consistency is required, as with any successful web business.
- 8 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for 2020
- LinkedIn marketing is a very important trend for 2020.
The platform has evolved a lot in recent years: just think that until a few years ago LinkedIn was only for job seekers, and the connections were only between people who knew each other. Today it has become a content-sharing platform.
People share status updates, articles, visual content and interact with each other within a professional context. And because the platform is still relatively young, the organic reach of each post is still incredibly high.
LinkedIn is today where Facebook was 5-7 years ago.
The only way to build a large audience online
We need to understand what Value means. This is the only way to become great. If you want to have thousands of followers on LinkedIn (or any other channel) you need to understand what Value means to them. You have to understand what value you can offer on LinkedIn, you have to understand how people consume content and how you can make it more contextual to the platform. Basically, value comes in 2 forms: entertainment and education. On Instagram, for example, entertainment can take different forms: from that more related to fun in the strict sense to that linked to the quality of visual content.
Education can also be conveyed in different forms. The main problem is that most people create content that is not built to entertain or educate. They create self-referential content instead of thinking about their audience and the value they want to convey.
Let’s now see 8 marketing strategies to build an audience on LinkedIn by giving value to other people:
1. Write more in your personal post
You have 1,300 characters for a personal LinkedIn post. But in this case, only in this case, it is better that it is longer. Some people have reported that their longer form updates received 10x more exposure than a short post or link to an article. According to Mark Rogers, Carney’s director of marketing, there are two things you should do before sharing a link to your blog in the LinkedIn post:
Offer value within the post
Before the link, explain the context of the article and why people might want to read it. Write this in a way that tells a story and engages the reader. If the reader continues to read your post, it is very likely that they will click on the link for more information. Stop using the link preview (link preview)
When you publish a post, LinkedIn gives you the option to remove its preview. Mark Rogers suggests doing just that. People see many, too many links on LinkedIn, inevitably ending up ignoring most of them. Removing the preview link might seem counterintuitive, but it is very effective in grabbing the attention of users.
By removing the preview, people will see that this is not the traditional and (somewhat) boring post ever and will decide to take some time to read what you wrote (as long as your post offers value. ).
You can replace the preview link with an image or video.
As for where to insert the link of your content, it is advisable to do so in the first comment, rather than within your post. If you do, remind your readers to check the link in the comments section.
LinkedIn’s algorithm, like that of other social networks, wants users to stay on their platform as long as possible. Every time you publish a post on LinkedIn, the algorithm is able to determine not only if the content is displayed in the feed, but also the range of readers that the content can reach. Precisely for this reason, choosing not to include a link that would lead the reader to leave the LinkedIn platform, will ensure that your content appears in the feeds of your followers.
2. Use other people’s content
Find the best-performing posts in your area or industry by searching for relevant hashtags, and then add your opinion in the comments. Don’t leave generic comments, write something meaningful that shows you’ve actually read the content. Do it 50 times a day and you will start building a community and a personal brand. By clicking on the individual hashtags, you will see posts from people who are adding their opinion to the topic in the form of status updates. You can also share your point of view, perhaps together with an article on the subject that you find interesting. You can also search for the top 5, 10, or 20 hashtags related to your field, click on them and see what people are talking about. Go through the posts and comment on whatever you find interesting, you can also follow influencers and leave thoughtful comments on the content they post.
If you leave the best comment on a post that gets high visibility, you can be sure that people will notice.
The reason many people don’t do this is that it’s difficult. It’s really hard to read 50 pieces of content a day and leave a relevant and interesting comment on each one. But if you want to build a community of followers, you need to worry about valuing the community before expecting them to care about you.
Write native articles on LinkedIn
There are 2 ways to use the content: either you exploit the content produced by others, or you produce the content yourself. The “use other people’s content” strategy is about the first way, it’s about seeing which posts and topics may be relevant to your niche and leaving thoughtful comments to build a following.
The other way to do this is to actually produce video, written or audio content. One thing that is getting a lot of interest on LinkedIn is native articles and posts with business-contextual content. If you are for example a tour operator, you could post a lot of beautiful travel photos on Instagram. On LinkedIn, you should instead write an article about how CEOs can travel more efficiently. Do you want to know more about the topic of social media marketing?
Learn more about the topic:
Social media trend 2020: evolution, behaviors, and scenarios
TikTok Marketing: complete and updated guide by brand
Lead generation and social media marketing
3. Tag people in your LinkedIn posts
Once your post is ready for publication on LinkedIn, it will also be time to tag people on it.
When you tag someone in your LinkedIn post, their connections and people who follow them will also see your content.
Warning, this does not mean that you can tag anyone in your post. Instead, keep tagging the people you’ve mentioned or referred to in the content you’re sharing.
And if there is someone you have talked to recently and who you think may find your article useful and valuable, you can tag him too. This is an effective strategy, but don’t overdo it. Not everyone will appreciate being tagged this way. If so, you could start, for example, by sending your post directly to people via a private message, and explaining why you think they might find it interesting. If they respond positively, continue to tag them in the next posts you share on LinkedIn, always making sure that the topics covered are of interest to them.
4. Use hashtags to get discovered on LinkedIn
LinkedIn users can choose to follow hashtags to make all the contents that deal with the topic of their interest appear on their feed, even when they do not follow the specific influencers for that topic. Have you noticed that LinkedIn now automatically suggests hashtags just before I post an update?
At first glance, LinkedIn’s hashtag recommendation system leaves a lot to be desired. LinkedIn often suggests hashtags that are very broad or have little, if any, to do with the posts you share. However, the hashtags that are suggested can give you some idea of what to include. If you are not sure which to choose, we suggest you do a quick search for that topic on LinkedIn and you will be able to see their number of followers. To get an idea, also take a look at Adv Media Lab’s LinkedIn profile.
5. Create native videos
As mentioned earlier, all social networks try to keep users on their platform as long as possible.
Precisely for this reason, LinkedIn favors native videos over external video links.
By native video, we refer to a video file that is uploaded directly to the platform, rather than simply sharing its link from another platform where it is hosted (for example, YouTube).
Here are some great ways to include native video in your LinkedIn 2020 marketing strategy:
- Record a short video that gives a general overview of the content you are sharing on the platform
- Review a book or other content and share your opinion
- Share customer testimonial videos
- Take an overview of a product or platform and share some tips or tricks on how to best use them
6. Add your LinkedIn profile link to your email signature
When you create content and post it on LinkedIn, the people who see it are those who follow you (or are connected with you) and those who follow the hashtags included in your updates. A good trick for building connections when starting out is to add a link to your LinkedIn profile to your email signature – it’s a quick way to get more exposure on your LinkedIn profile and get more followers.
7. Don’t spam
What doesn’t work on LinkedIn is spam.
It’s funny to see so many salespeople and entrepreneurs who get annoyed when they receive spam messages on LinkedIn but are then the first to send them to others. There is a lot of blindness and hypocrisy in this vicious circle – the truth is that this approach is the worst way to extract value from LinkedIn. The correct way to do this is to give value to the community.
8. Use LinkedIn to make personal events
Hosting events in person is a winning strategy, especially if you work in B2B.
People in B2B recognize how valuable hosting conferences can be to gain leads and customers, but many don’t see the value of hosting smaller events. The truth is that a small event with totally targeted attendees can give you very interesting conversion rates. You can use LinkedIn’s organic reach to reach your desired number of attendees, or you can leverage the advertising platform to target specific people. The announcement can also be very basic: you can record a short video from your phone telling people the place and date of the event, then ask people to register by filling out a Google Form. In this form, make sure you ask an open-ended question that gives you qualitative information on whether or not you can convert them.
The power of social selling
New social media marketing strategies and the content marketing applied to them have become a vital part of any successfully integrated marketing plan. Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with customers through social networks. Have you ever thought about commenting under the posts of your prospects and leads, sharing their post, or putting a simple like?
Here, today these are the extremely important factors and not to be underestimated if you want to create a relationship with the public and increase the recognition of a brand.
The social salesman is the one who mixes both old and new sales and marketing techniques in a compelling hybrid format. This type of Mad Men-style marketing and sales strategies are combined through modern technologies.
Social selling is an activity aimed at aligning the marketing and sales teams: creating targeted content, on the one hand, to nurture leads and on the other to generate leads.
It certainly does not represent the quick way to sell the product immediately since you will notice the first results in the medium-long term or in any case after having created a network of at least 3-4,000 contacts. Arm yourself with time and patience and constantly strive to connect with your leads.
There is no certain guarantee that it will ensure a positive result but, as in all things, commitment and dedication to one’s work very often pay off. In this regard, it is important to underline that, according to the research by Social Center Selling and Sales Guy, the marketers who have implemented social media in their business outperformed the competition in terms of interaction with the prospect by 72.6%.
A 2012 survey revealed that 64% of teams who smartly leverage social selling have achieved significant results, compared to 49% of other teams who have not yet incorporated social media into their sales processes.
Companies that use social selling can boast an improvement in the customer loyalty rate and the precision with which sales forecasts can be made.
First of all, however, we want to fully immerse you in the new era of the engagement economy, a digital future where everything and everyone is connected.
How to take advantage of the opportunities offered by social selling in B2B with LinkedIn marketing?
Are you still wondering if social selling is right for you? Of course, but it is only successful if it is done in a certain way. Below you will find our tips that will help you implement social selling in your B2B enterprise effectively.
Do not attack the contact
Surely every commercial must do their job: sell as much as possible the product or service offered by their company. However, your results will depend on how the value of what you offer is presented. In general, people hate it when connection or friend requests from unknown vendors pop up, and they hate it, even more, when they are bombarded with the annoying “Can I show you how our product can help you?” or phrases like that.
Sending a friendly tone message to your prospect with a free PDF will change that by placing you at the top of your marketing and sales funnel.
Encourage “hot” calls
Prospects are currently looking for more information about your potential product and service at specific times, depending on their needs.
For this reason, it would be appropriate for you to abandon the “cold calls” to make room for the “hottest” ones. Pre-programmed “hot” phone calls are targeted, made only to those who are truly interested in your product and are able to initiate truly meaningful relationships: so are conference calls, video chats, and remote meetings. Today, we are in the information age (for all targets) and everyone can control the sales process, imposing it would not work.
Respond to inquiries within one hour
Speed is important, this applies to websites, social media conversations, and responding to inquiries.
If you have nurtured your leads, do not miss the opportunity to create a relationship with them, answer the critical issues, questions, and information that are asked about the product within an hour. Or if you do it within five minutes you will notice even more an increase in results in terms of generated leads and closed sales. According to David Meerman’s infographic, you could generate more conversions if you respond within an hour.
To date, despite this important competitive advantage, only 37% of companies in the US (think Italy …) respond within an hour.
Create (really) relevant content
Do you want to be irresistible in the field of B2B social media?
Become an opinion leader by posting helpful content every day or even twice a day. Do potential customers want to control the sales process? You let them find you through the content they are looking for, inform them, update them, keep them stuck to your content and, in all likelihood, they will not hesitate to contact you!
How can you do all this?
Segment your leads to better target content and send it to the right people. Pay great attention not to overload your audience with continuous updates, carefully choose the most interesting content and distribute it in a balanced way. And start throwing them.
- One on LinkedIn
- Two on Facebook
- Five on Twitter
No more because there is a high risk of losing the interlocutor’s attention.
Customize the content
Before launching the content within the different social networks, take some time to get to know the person you are trying to contact. Obviously, this study takes time but there is a hidden advantage: you will be more focused on dedicating yourself only to prospects interested in you, your company and your product. Before taking any action such as an email or a connection request, spend those extra 10 minutes looking at who your prospect is and what they do, what they need, and what their problem could be. In a nutshell, through the content you are going to launch, you have to make yourself useful, almost indispensable in the eyes of your potential customer, only in this way can you create a constructive relationship and generate contacts.
A piece of advice?
Don’t send out predefined, sterile, and standard invitations, your audience will notice!
Social selling: the advantages
Every commercial should know how to use social networks to the fullest of their abilities, because they are an excellent tool for finding contacts, reaching the prospect they are looking for, or simply staying updated on the latest trends in the sector. Creating content, writing articles, educating prospects trying to trace all this back to CRM to justify the time spent, it is not the task of the sales team but rather of the marketing team but, in any case, there are many salespeople who do not actually know how to adopt social selling. Here are some interesting statistics and best practices to adopt in the field of social selling for sales and commercial managers for B2B companies:
1. Generate leads
The number one rule in social selling for the sales team is to generate leads to create the best long-term results. In this phase, the marketing team manages to generate 30% of the leads that a particular member of the sales team will work on to achieve their goals … it’s up to him to get the remaining 70%.
2. Build a relationship
Building a relationship is particularly difficult, as we have seen previously. Attacking someone before having established a minimum relationship is certainly an unintelligent action to take. Cold calls in 97% of cases are not effective, they do not improve the relationship between you and your prospect, on the contrary, and they worsen it.
3. Provide value before asking for something
You will be more effective when you provide value to your target through social selling campaigns.
If you try to attract real estate investors, a useful action will be to send them a brand new and effective article that will inform them about possible changes to the tax laws. Whatever you want to propose, be sure to provide your interlocutor with clear and immediate value so that they are not ignored.
It is not necessary to be too close to the prospect, he would get tired. Just send them the right information to start establishing a meeting point and credibility.
4. Optimize all your profiles on social networks
They call it the “Google Test” because 93% of B2B buyers search online before choosing their product or service. But what happens when your prospect does that research?
Surely, updating your profiles on social networks and the company website will allow you to present yourself in a more complete and above all attractive way in the eyes of the prospect. This analysis and optimization of profiles is vital for marketing and to understand which values to aim for in the social selling process.
5. Refine your follow-up process
Do you know when most of the sales were made?
Do your salespeople know that 80% of sales come between the fifth and twelfth “contact” with the lead?
At least 25% of your sales representatives already give up on the second contact.
The best customers and the most significant sales arrive after some time spent in building the relationship, do not throw in the towel at the first contacts, persevere, it’s just a matter of time.
6. Don’t wait for results, be proactive
Social selling mainly consists of two operational terms that require you to be extremely aligned with the social part on the one hand (marketing team) and the sales part on the other. Surely this process is not immediate because finding the right content for the target, of high quality and above all relevant to the product or service you offer, requires a lot of effort, sacrifice, and time. Start immediately to be proactive: associate with groups relevant to your audience, constantly share informative content that educates leads to always remain at the center of the network.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant obstacles to adopting social selling is that it takes too long. How can marketers follow their shoppers on popular social networks like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, or even Instagram for example?
9 points to put into practice through social media every day to interact with your potential customers:
- Find interesting content to share
- Share the content on the social networks of your interest
- Check (also) who has seen your LinkedIn profile
- Send a connection request to the profiles that have visited you
- Accept friend requests (possibly from potential customers)
- Reply to messages
- See who liked, commented on your post, or shared it
- Organize the “hottest” potential buyers in a specific place (spreadsheets or CRM)
- Create more and more conversations
On which platform to do social selling?
Are you wondering on which platform it is best to apply the advice we have just given you?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter still remain the most popular social networks used for social selling today.
Below you will find some very useful tips for each of them.
Be very cautious when thinking of Facebook as a means of communication for social selling. Because? Facebook is the most personal social platform compared to the others. In this context, the line between the private and public spheres is very thin, and it is easy to be too intrusive.
Some people don’t want to mix business and pleasure on Facebook.
Sending friend requests to contacts or prospects in your company could be risky, as these requests could be bounced. But you can overcome this criticality by creating a company page on Facebook and starting the social selling activity from there.
Learn to listen to your friendships.
If you really want to start a social selling activity, we recommend that you always reply to the posts of each of your followers, ask questions to trigger the fuse that favors conversation, you will get 100% more comments. This simple activity allows you to interact directly with your followers in a natural way and, at the same time, you can know what their problem is in such a way as to create tailor-made content: a report, a whitepaper or even a simple post.
As a professional social network, LinkedIn is the most obvious social network for engaging in social selling, particularly in the B2B sphere. After all, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a resource when deciding to buy. Despite what is reported at the beginning of this article, having an active profile on LinkedIn is essential for being found professionally, quickly and easily.
Here are three ways to get started using LinkedIn in the best possible way if your goal is social selling:
Build your credibility
Start by asking for “recommendations” from your connections with whom you have a good relationship.
These will be published directly on your profile to immediately increase your credibility in the eyes of new contacts.
Make sure your profile highlights your skills to attract potential customers, show through case histories how, in the past, you have concretely helped your customers achieve their goals.
Extend your network
The next step is related to the extension of your network of contacts, take advantage of the advanced search on LinkedIn to discover new potential connections useful for your company. A consultant can collect 35 references from a single client thanks to LinkedIn.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Despite being too fragmented, LinkedIn groups are still relevant enough in your industry to foster a broader network of prospect contacts. Use the search function on your LinkedIn homepage to find new groups, or choose LinkedIn suggestions. You could also implement “LinkedIn Sales Navigator”, the professional social selling tool on the net.
Twitter is a very valuable aid for social listening because it is capable of creating lists to monitor user content within groups.
Here are three key points about Twitter that you can start applying to social selling:
Create existing customer lists
Use this list to have your existing and potential customers’ profiles at hand to analyze opportunities that may arise, reply to their Tweets in order to keep them warm and keep control over them. Don’t overdo it, make sure your interventions are meaningful, and only comment when you have something valuable to communicate.
Interact with extreme caution
When you identify potential customers, you have to add them to a private list: you don’t want to share this information with your competitors, do you?
Above all, users will not want to know that they have been identified by you as a prospect, keep everything secret. As noted several times, make sure you respond to requests for help, information with useful comments, which can go to solve a specific problem.
Create competitor list
Again, this list should remain private. Adding competitors to a private list allows you to keep track of them without having to follow them. This competitive intelligence is useful for generating and creating content, highly targeted ideas. Twitter chats also become an important part of your social selling activity as they allow you to introduce yourself as an industry expert.
Join an existing chat that is relevant to your industry or create it yourself!
For example, Madalyn Sklar hosts the #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat, through she shows her credibility as a Twitter expert and puts her in front of a lot of potential customers: the last chat involved 496 profiles and had 150 million impressions.
Will Facebook take the place of LinkedIn in social selling?
Despite the high percentage of executives who use LinkedIn, it is also true that, more and more often, the most important business conversations also take place on Facebook. Moffat Ahmed, a successful entrepreneur claims that he uses 99% Facebook and Messenger for his company. Why do professional relationships now also take place through Facebook rather than LinkedIn?
Dan Knowlton, a well-known influencer in the field of digital marketing, pointed out that groups on LinkedIn are too static and many dead (if not to generate a few clicks of traffic). Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is opening up more and more to business needs.
For example, “Facebook Live” offers a lot of imagination in terms of content distribution compared to LinkedIn. Facebook is the most popular web platform compared to the others for multiple reasons:
- Budgeting to create very flexible ads
- Higher performance
- Lower cost per click pricing
Furthermore, LinkedIn groups require time and dedication to create quality engagement with users.
The speech changes when it comes to Facebook groups: users quickly reach new levels of quality in conversations, it is in this way that relationships are built and maintained even in business terms. It is surprising to know that today, taking care of communication on the most connected platform ever like Facebook becomes almost necessary to build even more personal business relationships than any other social network. People now show an “agnostic” attitude towards the channels through which they communicate, inform and buy.
The new buyer wants to live an experience that we can define as onlife commerce, in which the purchase is only the final part of a broader relational process that enhances all the points of contact between the buyer and the seller.
For this reason it is now evident that Facebook (for certain buyer personas) is no longer a social network just to contact friends and relatives, on the contrary, it is much more, it has become a social network oriented to business activity from which many entrepreneurs and executives can already get qualified contacts for your business.
This peculiarity is involving more and more companies to convert to social selling.
You can’t just do social selling
Although there are several advantages related to social selling, it is also true that this is still an excessively expensive and vague action if left alone, slowing down the sales process.
When has it ever been easy to sell a product?
Of course, it is always possible to work harder and smarter, but it will never be an idea to sell a product.
Sales will always be the result of the combination of quantity and quality where, for the first concept we refer to the number of activities and types adopted while the second concept concerns the aspect of personalization of each interaction. That said, if you read or hear about someone who firmly believes that social selling is the best way to achieve success, don’t listen to them.
It’s obviously easier and more fun not to use statistics or data to throw subjective anecdotes about how to sell or not to sell, but it’s not the right way to go. In this regard, it is good to report an interview with a main focus on communication at work conducted on 463 executives in which the goal was to know where they spend most of their time and what communication methods they use to be contacted or reach important decisions.
What do you think they replied?
55% of those 463 executives said they could log into LinkedIn, 26% Facebook, and 17% Twitter to reply to messages. Whichever way you want to see these percentages, it is utterly baffling that business executives could spend most of their time trying to make business decisions on LinkedIn.
Don’t just become a social seller
57% of respondents say they would prefer to reply to emails rather than messages on LinkedIn during working hours, while 82% say they prefer telephone calls.
However, when new prospects come up, don’t let yourself be persuaded by social selling activities but rather, become a skilled email marketer and use all the tools at your disposal to target and reach your prospect thanks to activities that really work. Sometimes talking about social selling also means that the marketing team needs to better educate prospects.
Why are statistics useful for traders to sell better?
67% of the buyer’s journey is digital
On average, shoppers read 5 pieces of content before engaging with salespeople. Now do you understand why it is essential to launch an inbound marketing business?
75% of B2B buyers and 84% of executives use social networks to make a purchase decision. Opinion leaders oriented to social selling believe that commercials should necessarily devote time to creating content and managing platforms related to social networks, all this is unthinkable for a commercial!
It is true that the customer’s purchasing process has evolved, but the creation of content is the job of the marketer who transforms interest in a product into a need thanks to the content, certainly collecting feedback from salespeople. It is the work of the marketing team that transforms interest into need through education towards a specific product or service.
Do you still think LinkedIn or other social networks are channels to ignore for your sales department?
LinkedIn, for example, gives your company that power to brand positioning and increase the reputation of your company like no other. Now thanks to this content you can create a strategy and be able to publish authoritative and highly informative content that gives you an edge over your competitors and that your customers are looking for. And with this guide, you’ll be able to leverage social selling to attract more customers than ever.