Think of copywriting, and you probably think of product descriptions, billboard advertising, and content marketing.
But copywriting is key to social selling. It’s about communication, speaking to your customers as humans rather than potential sales. Read on to discover five hacks that bring copywriting and social selling together that will get you sales.
Recommended reading: How to Start Social Selling - 7 Tips to Set up Your Strategy
Go for the emotional jugular with power wordsWhen your customers scroll through their news feed, they’re faced with a barrage of content. Consequently, it can be difficult to grab their attention.
Visuals are a great way to quickly hook a user as they scroll through Facebook. But you know what can be just as effective? Power words.
These are words that trigger an emotional reaction in the reader, eliciting a powerful response that compels a person to act. Here are just a few examples of power words that will make your followers stop in their tracks:
Different words elicit different emotions in different people. Want to inspire your customers? Use words like ‘zen’ and ‘healthy’. Or perhaps you need to appeal to your customers’ sense of greed? Try out words like ‘free’ or ‘bonus’. For a full list of power words you can use in your social selling, click here.
Curiosity killed the cat (but thrills your customers)Curiosity is a curious thing. It’s irresistible to consumers and is virtually guaranteed to drive clicks. And social media is the perfect platform for piquing people’s curiosity. It’s a place where customers are actively daily, and they are more receptive to content that grabs their attention.
Check out this example from Egyptian property developer La Vista Developments:
Super-cryptic and mighty mysterious, the ad doesn’t actually say what the developer has planned, but it piqued its followers curiosity considerably, making for stunning social selling. The comments section was full of people trying to guess what La Vista had planned, generating significant buzz for the business.
Create teaser campaigns for an upcoming product launch and drip-feed them on social. Cryptic copywriting like La Vista’s is ideal — tease your followers and leave them always wanting more. Combine this with close-up product photos that don’t reveal the full picture — your audience will scramble over themselves to try and guess what it is.
Like a good magician, don’t give it all away from the off. A prolonged campaign that builds on audience curiosity makes for great social selling that will boost your sales.
Embrace the active voice to tell, not askThe active/passive voice is an important distinction that surprisingly few know about.
Most of us automatically use the passive voice in our writing. It feels better, sounding more poetic and floral. But the passive voice lacks direction, and is more ruminative than commanding.
The active voice, on the other hand, is more imperative. It is clear and concise, and addresses the reader directly. This makes it great for compelling the reader — your customers — to act.
Let’s look at an example:
Passive voice:“You can impress your friends with this stylish unicorn tee!”
Active voice:“Impress your friends with this stylish unicorn tee!”
Can you see the difference? The passive voice is weak and noncommittal, but the active voice is commanding and direct. For a real-world example of a successful active voice at work, check out this example from webstore creator, Shopify:
Shopify could have written: “you can take your website design to the next level with our live workshop today,” but this feels less pushy and more optional. By using the active voice, Shopify literally tellsits followers to check out its live workshop, increasing engagement as a result.
Familiarize yourself with the active voice and use it in your social copy. It takes a little getting used to, and it might feel unusual at first. But get comfortable with it, and your social selling will benefit as a result.
Make customer negativity work for youLast year, Twitter users were surprised to see a number of sponsored tweets from fast food chain KFC appear on their feed. But rather than the usual promotional content, these were tweets from unhappy KFC customers, complaining about the quality of their fries.
KFC followed up these tweets by replying directly to the complainants and used the otherwise bad publicity to announce their new fries recipe.
It was a masterclass in social selling, and one made possible by their willingness to acknowledge their shortcomings. The lesson? Learn how to deal with negativity and turn it into something that benefits you.
This goes beyond KFC’s smart handling of unhappy customer complaints. Not every brand can sponsor angry tweets and turn them into sparkling marketing.
But by reaching out to dissatisfied customers on social and responding in a sincere, helpful way does wonders for your brand and will actually encourage prospective customers to shop with you in the future.
But most importantly, don’t shy away from your shortcomings — acknowledge that you dropped the ball, and actively work to be better in the future.
Place the most important message firstIn the social sphere, attention is a valuable commodity. A strong hook is vital for effective social selling, so don’t waste time setting the scene — go in for the kill.
Put your key message in the first sentence of your social post. For example, if you’re announcing a new product or a time-specific special offer, don’t beat about the bush — just say it.
While a more gradual opening to your social post might work for less conversion-driven content such as thought leadership articles, your social selling strategy should be targeted and driven.
For example, rather than saying:
“Planning that perfect summer vacation and need some new dresses? Check out our summer discount sale today!”
“Summer discount sale! Perfect for finding some summer style for your next vacation.”
It lets customers know straight away what to expect, grabbing their attention immediately.
Copywriting and social selling go hand-in-hand. Delving into the nitty-gritty of language and connecting with your customers, teasing their curiosity, and playing on their emotions will improve your social selling considerably. Follow the tips above, and enjoy the benefits of copy-driven social selling today.
Guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro Startups www.microstartups.org, your online destination for everything startup. Micro Startups is dedicated to spreading the word about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.
LinkedIn is the most powerful platform for B2B social sellers. The vast network that LinkedIn provides gives you the opportunity to identify and connect with decision-makers that fit your ideal client profile. On LinkedIn, there are more than 61 million senior level influencers and 40 million people in decision-making positions. LinkedIn provides a straightforward way to build real, genuine relationships with senior level decision-makers over time instead of relying on rapid pitching techniques.
While it is true that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B social sellers, it offers a lot of different options and therefore can be a tough platform to navigate if you don’t have experience. Building relationships with dozens of different prospects at one time can be tough to manage. Under the standard subscription membership, LinkedIn’s built-in limitations can make it difficult to get your social selling strategies off of the ground. Some of the key differences between the basic free level and LinkedIn’s paid plans include:
There are a few tools that every social seller should consider using in order to effectively identify prospects and develop quality relationships on the platform. Trying to manage all of the manual tasks on your own can leave little time for actually engaging in quality conversations. Ultimately, it will hurt your ability to focus on the most important tasks, leading to fewer sales and beneficial relationships.
If you want to become an active social seller on LinkedIn, there are a few tools that can help to automate and simplify processes and research, freeing you up to focus on the most important goal in social selling — building relationships with prospects.
#1) LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the must-have tool on this list. For a subscription of around $80 per month, you receive a number of advanced selling features and the removal of limitations on messages and profile limits that would otherwise hamper your strategy. This means that once you sign up for a premium account, you can view unlimited profiles and make unlimited searches without having your results filtered, allowing you to connect with more decision-makers.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator brings a number of premium features to the table that assist social sellers in other ways as well. First and most importantly, their Advanced Lead and Company Search features help you to find the right people at the right companies, matching your ideal client profile. You can search for leads using a number of advanced features. The Sales Navigator backend will automatically generate potential lead matches that you can sift through, tag, and add to lead lists. Their system also provides you with a number of automatic lead recommendations based on your previous usage history.
Sales Navigator also offers direct CRM integration. This is extremely helpful as it lets you save leads and accounts that you are selling to. You can directly log activity into your CRM of choice with a single click. That’s on top of their own CRM offering that you gain access to with your subscription. The built-in Sales Navigator CRM is robust with a lot of features that will help you to streamline and fill your pipeline. Sales Navigator integrates with a large number of CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, Hubspot, Zoho, and many others.
Their “Professional” plan is geared toward individuals and costs $79.99 per month. With this plan, you have up to 20 InMail messages per month. InMail messages can be sent to people that aren’t connections and areideal for making initial connections with decision-makers . You can also use LinkedIn’s prospecting platform to create custom lists with a wide range of prospect-filtering options. Additionally, LinkedIn’s job change alerts allow you to take advantage of changes in decision-making teams and speak to new entrants in account-based sales conversations.
Do you need a solution that will help you to automate your public interactions on LinkedIn? Remember to login every day and find new content to share is a time-consuming task that is usually best completed in batches.
HootSuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms on the market today. It’s an ideal tool for social sellers that are looking to leverage relationships on several platforms. Many large brands use HootSuite to manage and schedule their entire social media marketing operation. While the tool is more robust than what most LinkedIn sellers will require, it offers a number of features that help social sellers leverage its powerful features and improve their social media skills along the way.
First — HootSuite shines because of its excellent scheduling features. Thankfully, these aren’t limited to LinkedIn integration and also work for your other social platforms.Hootsuite lets you save time by scheduling your LinkedIn content in advance, making it easy to increase engagement and mix in manual updates along with automated content.
Hootsuite also lets you schedule and publish LinkedIn videos directly from their platform. According to LinkedIn, videos posted on the platform see five times more engagement than other types of content.
Hootsuite’s system offers an in-depth tracking and analytics suite that allows you to analyze and optimize new follower growth, impressions, and engagement levels of your specific posts. Hootsuite will generate easy-to-understand reports that ensure that you have a top-down view of your efforts on the platform and can identify areas for improvement.
Nimble is perhaps the best social customer relationship management (CRM) tool on the market today. The platform’s focus on social media connections and easy-to-use sidebar interface make it the perfect tool for agile social sellers that need to react quickly to secure connections with new prospects. At a price of $22/month after a 14-day free trial, it’s definitely affordable for all of the excellent features that it provides.
Nimble makes finding information about your prospects easy through their Chrome extension. It auto-populates your sidebar with information about your prospects. This information includes any relevant info from your contact lists, social interactions (including all social platforms, not just LinkedIn) and email exchanges that you had with the prospects.
Nimble even notifies you when your prospects are celebrating important events — such as starting a new job or celebrating a birthday. This gives you a simple and straightforward way to start new conversations.
While it may not be the most robust platform available today, Nimble does a great job of simplifying the process of connecting information between your inbox and social media accounts. It may be the best option on the market for automating important parts of your social selling workflow. It makes social selling on LinkedIn easier and is a tool that any B2B social seller should have on their radar.
Crystal is a pretty cool tool. In this particular case, another word you could use to describe Crystal is ‘creepy’. In a good way, of course. The company describes their system as “the world’s largest personality platform.” Crystal helps to guide you by providing insight into the personalities of particular LinkedIn users. That might seem basic on face value, but it is actually a very powerful tool for social sellers that are able to integrate it correctly into their systems.
Crystal is a very unique tool, different from any other on this list. It can review a LinkedIn profile or premium account in seconds and provides in-depth information on the person’s likely personality, expressed in a DISC profile. This will help you make your cold outreach much more effective and allows you to touch on subjects that you otherwise would have had no idea about without the help of their system.
Crystal is a tool that is all about improving your communication by giving you very specific and personalized guidance on how to interact with your prospects. It will give you recommendations on how to interact with someone over the phone, in a meeting or via email. You can even use the Chrome plugin and while you’re writing an email to someone, Crystal will give you real-time recommendations on which words to use or which ones to avoid. Impressive. Is Crystal always 100% correct? Of course not - at least not yet. But using Crystal definitely brings you a lot closer to sending an email to that has a high probability of resonating with your prospect.
Crystal also allows you to compare two different LinkedIn profiles while providing you insights into how you can set yourself up for success in your conversations with them. Crystal gives actionable insights like:
Crystal simply helps to guide your conversations and actions by pointing you in the direction of actions that give you the best chance of appealing to specific prospects. By learning more about your prospects, you’ll be able to carefully tailor your messaging to them and ensure that they receive information that is consistent with what they care about and would like to know about your offering. If you want to approach social selling from a data-driven perspective, then Crystal is the perfect tool for you and comes in at $29/month.
Dux-Soup is one of the most effective and well-known LinkedIn automation tools and with $11/month a very affordable one. If you use Google Chrome, you should give at least the free version of Dux-Soup a try. Dux-Soup works by automating some of the most important social selling tasks, freeing up your time to focus on relationship-building and conversations.
Dux-Soup lets you:
Using Dux-Soup you can auto-visit profiles, auto-invite targeted individuals with a personalized message, message first degree connections, auto-endorse new connections, and automatically follow and tag relevant profiles.
Dux-Sup is very robust and very easy to use. It is highly recommended for any social seller that wants to take LinkedIn seriously as a social selling channel. The best part is that they have gone through great length to ensure that their software is safe to use - meaning, you’re unlikely to get flagged by LinkedIn for violating their ToS regarding automation. They randomize waiting times between actions, run on scheduled hours online, and avoid profiles based on a wide variety of internal rules that help the system to create the appearance of randomness. But as with all automation tools, use caution and at your own risk - if you push the system too hard, you may find yourself with a warning
#6) eLink Pro
eLink Pro is a solution that is similar to Dux-Soup in many ways. It functions primarily as a LinkedIn automation tool. eLink Pro can help you automate the process of connecting with prospects. Instead of the typical workflow, eLink Pro allows you to input keywords that are relevant to your business and automatically searches for the right matches for your business.
This is extremely helpful because it allows LinkedIn social sellers to devote more time to actually making connections with prospects and building relationships rather than simply identifying. eLink Pro will automatically view profiles for up to 5,000 prospects per week. This will notify those prospects that you have viewed their profile, enticing them to visit your own.
The company claims that the average “look back rate” for LinkedIn profile views is 8%-9% on average. Building awareness of your profile is important to social selling, and you’ll be surprised how much engagement the tool is able to generate for your social selling campaigns.
LeadFuze is an all-in-one relationship building tool for LinkedIn social selling. Their system allows you to search for new leads instantly. You can search for leads in specific roles and industries, using specific software combinations, pay for AdWords campaigns, are hiring, or other criteria that comes custom-backed in their system.
Once you identify a lead, Leadfuze allows you to verify their email, phone number, and social profiles so that you can take a multi-channel approach toward engaging with your target accounts. One interesting feature they offer is Fuzebot, which is their automated sales assistant solution. Fuzebot will crawl the web according to parameters that you set and create daily data sources for leads that are a good fit. It utilizes Leadfuze’s database of more than 350 million records and syncs with other data providers.
Discoverly helps you to learn what your prospects are doing on other social media platforms. When you visit a LinkedIn profile, Discoverly gives you valuable contextual social media information about the individual. For example, it will tell you if you share any Facebook friends, if you have shared similar content, and it will provide you an overview of your prospects most recent social media posts. All of this gives you starting points for personalized conversations, which are more likely to yield responses and turn prospects into customers.
It’s a simple platform that can have a big impact, connecting you to your top prospects through multiple social media platforms. It makes for an excellent addition to your Gmail inbox, providing more insight about where you can reach certain prospects and what connections you might have in common with them.
#9) Sales Navigator Plugin (Formerly Rapportive)
If you use Gmail — you need LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator plugin. Using their free Chrome add-on (they also offer Firefox), you can find LinkedIn profile information for anyone that you interact with through Gmail. You won’t have to jump back and forth from tab to tab trying to learn more about prospects anymore. Instead, you’ll have their LinkedIn information in your Gmail sidebar!
The sidebar provides some basic information including their Profile link, company name, title, shared connections, and locations. The plugin also provides twitter profiles, personal websites, and Skype accounts if it is able to find that information.
The plugin isn’t game-changing, but it’s a highly useful tool for anyone who is regularly on LinkedIn in order to uncover leads. Whether you want to connect with new prospects, leverage relationships that you already have in place through LinkedIn, or simply expand your network — the LinkedIn Sales Navigator plugin makes it easy.
Bonus: LinkedIn Automation: Orca
Please Note: Orca has been acquired and is not currently accepting new customers. Current customers can still use the tool without limitation.
Orca is amazing and makes for the perfect complementary investment to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The tool is built for social selling automation, handling some of the most important social selling tasks. In return, you can focus on revenue-boosting actions. An investment in Orca is an investment into your own time.
Specifically, Orca is designed to help you scale social outreach on LinkedIn in a genuine way while scaling your operations. It’s designed to help you create conversations with your prospects prior to engaging with them for business. You can automate and sequence a number of different tasks through the platform:
This is extremely powerful. These are the most important LinkedIn tasks for social selling and being able to free up your time lets you focus on quality engagement with your prospects and driving personal conversations. Orca’s simple drag-and-drop interface makes it a great choice for teams, who will require minimal training to use the platform. If you want to make LinkedIn a key component of your social selling strategy, Orca is one of the best tools you can pick.
Work Smart, Not Hard
Success in social selling requires that you are able to identify where best to spend your time in the prospecting, relationship building, and selling process. Understanding what tasks can be automated, what tools will provide you with the biggest boost, and where you want to invest your budget are critical for ensuring that you extend your reach on the platform.
Trying to do everything by hand might seem doable at first, but after just a few days you’ll begin to realize just how time-consuming and cumbersome all of the small social selling tasks can be. In the end, they all come together to create an ecosystem that generates revenue for your business. But until then, it’s important that you use tools to automate some tasks so that you can focus on more important tasks. Alternatively, you could also use a virtual assistant to help you execute many of these steps. If that’s your preference, you should check out this blog by Chris Ducker about the various things to keep in mind, including social media strategy, planning of the activities you want someone to execute on your behalf, account security, and many more.
In our last article, we showed you some good ways to identify and find prospects through LinkedIn and we touched on engaging with them. Today, we want to focus on the engagement part and expand on processes and strategies you can put in place for engaging with your targets on LinkedIn. We’ll tackle some tips that you can use to improve your LinkedIn engagement strategies and develop more relationships with ideal prospects.
#1) Study Your Prospects’ Profile
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many sales professional out there could be doing a better job if they would only just take the time to dive into some research for each of the prospects that they speak with.
Take some time to read their profile. What do they have to say about themselves? Where did they go to school? What does their previous employment look like? How have they grown as a professional throughout their career?
The more you know about them as people, the more that you can cater your messaging to them. In the beginning, having a baseline of knowledge about your prospects is so critical for developing that initial connection and setting the stage for further collaboration. A terrific complentary tool for that is Accompany, which provides quick profiles and gives you great conversation starters. The tool even syncs with your calendar and tells more about the people in your next meeting. Through the calendar connection, it even automatically extracts dial-in information from all your meetings and turns tedious typing of dial-in and passcode combinations for conference calls into a one-click thing. Magical.
#2) Look for Common Connections or Interests
Do either of you work in the same industry or with the same people? Do you know someone at a company that they may potentially have a relationship with? LinkedIn’s shared connections are a great starting place for finding this information.
When you search for a profile using LinkedIn’s standard search form, their system lets you know how many connections you have in common with a given person.
Leverage any special connections or interest that you might have in common. These are great conversation starters and the information here will give you common ground to build on with other relevant questions, content, and information that you decide to send their way.
#3) Personalize All Messages, Be Specific
Automation is changing the way that we do business and smart salespeople can find innovative ways to integrate automation into social selling on LinkedIn. However, the conversations that you engage in should not be automated in that way.
From your first connection request through every interaction you have — your goal should always be to personalize your messaging and tailoring your topics and viewpoints to match your prospect’s way of thinking. Reference things that are specific to their work history, company, products, business, or industry. Really, find any way to show them that you aren’t sending them automated messages and demonstrate that you are engaging with them in a genuine way. Often, that’s the main hurdle for developing relationships through LinkedIn.
#4) Keep Your Messages Short
People are busy and respect people that show them that they value their time. You don’t want to send a 1,000-word opening introduction to a new prospect. Instead, keep things short and sweet. If you send them a message, keep the focus of the message on one thing. Ask one question. Share one piece of content. Mention one connection that you have with them. In doing this, you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving a response and put yourself in position to play off of that response with your next reply.
#5) Ask Questions
Everyone likes talking about themselves, including your prospects. Asking questions about their work, company, product, or industry can be a great way to start a conversation with a new prospect and begin gathering more information that you can use to fuel future discussions. Too often, social sellers will use gimmicks meant to persuade without taking the time to get to know a prospect first. So start there — with getting to know and understand your prospects.
Bonus Tip - Get Away From LinkedIn
You’ve nailed the art of engagement on LinkedIn and people are actually reading your messages and replying to them. But one of the key obstacles folks run into is that the conversation will always stay in LinkedIn. Try to get away from the LinkedIn messenger platform and transfer the conversation directly over to email as quickly as you can, ideally even with the first message.
The reason you want their email is easy: you can send them more detailed information, it’s better formatted, attachments look better and you have their email address. That’s key, because most people check their email multiple times per day - but folks may not be so diligent with their LinkedIn messages. And it happens quickly that a LinkedIn message falls through the cracks and will never be seen again. If you have a CRM or lead generation tool, the prospect’s email address also lets you do targeted and scheduled outreach. In a nutshell: ask them to send them their email address, so you can send them more information.
Social Selling on LinkedIn — A Powerful Platform
LinkedIn is without a doubt the most powerful platform for B2B social sellers. It gives you unprecedented access to prospects and data about them that would be hard to come by through another means. However, this access doesn’t make you successful on its own. You have to know how to identify prospects on the platform and then successfully engage with them. The tips outlined in this article should give you a good starting point for improving your social selling on LinkedIn and engaging with more prospects, more meaningfully.
Had any success with B2B selling on LinkedIn? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!
So, you’re a B2B seller. You know that you should make LinkedIn the centerpiece of your social selling strategy but you aren’t sure how. It’s a different kind of network. If you’re used to engaging with prospects through cold email, Facebook, Twitter, or cold calling — LinkedIn can seem like a completely foreign concept until you begin to get a feel for it.
72% of buyers use social media to research before making a purchase. They’re trying to get to know your company, product, and your market. They want to ask questions and do do their due diligence before making a buying decision. 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with a strong, professional brand. In short — it’s important that you have a game plan to follow as you go into these interactions.
Luckily, there are some tried and true steps that any social seller can take to ensure that they are not only identifying the right prospects on LinkedIn, but engaging with them in a way that will produce results in the long-term.
Take these tips for finding and engaging with prospects on LinkedIn into consideration as you design your strategy on the platform:
9 Ways to Find Quality Prospects Through LinkedIn
One of the biggest challenges that new social sellers face is understanding how to use all of the different LinkedIn features to their advantage in their search for relevant prospects to build relationships with. For B2B social sellers, LinkedIn often becomes a way of life after they begin to understand how much power the system offers.
But to be successful, you have to know how to find the right people. LinkedIn has a wide range of features that are designed to make prospect identification easier, but the sum of all of the parts can be confusing. What are the best ways to find quality prospects through LinkedIn? What specific steps should you take? We’ll cover key elements in the following tips.
#1) Make Use of the Search Function
Not only since it was acquired by Microsoft, but for the longest time, LinkedIn has been an enormous search engine for professional and related content. Its standard search function is very powerful for a free, out-of-the-box solution. You can use it to search for prospects. It allows you to use boolean searching features, just like you would in a Google Search. It provides a number of different filters that you can use to sift through their vast database of users. These filters include, but are not limited to:
The search function is your home base of sorts. It’s your quickest way to sift through LinkedIn’s database of 590+ million members and find prospects. However, LinkedIn does limit the number of profile-views and searches that you can make per month unless you subscribe to their Sales Navigator plan. If you want to use a super-powered version of the search, Sales Navigator is an excellent investment.
#2) Subscribe to Sales Navigator
Sales Navigator is the premier tool for finding prospects on LinkedIn. It provides a number of highly valuable features that allow you to more easily, quickly, and successfully identify the right targets within your market. These features include advanced lead and company search features, lead recommendations, and direct CRM integration.
Beyond that, Sales Navigator gives you functionality that helps you sift through their database, using profile data points that are not available with the standard search. Just take a look at the filter sidebar that shows up when you search on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator platform:
Sales Navigator is a must-have tool for social sellers on LinkedIn. We’ve covered it many times throughout our LinkedIn-focused content, for example HERE, but the usefulness subscription can’t be overstated.
#3) Look Through the “People Also Viewed” Sidebar
One often overlooked way to identify new prospects is through the “People Also Viewed” sidebar on a person’s profile. Don’t you wish that you could find people that are similar to your best customers? This feature makes it easy.
The types of profiles that show up in this area are typically from the same organization, hold a similar position in a different company, or are connected in some other way (alumni of the same school, work in the same area, etc.).
It looks like this:
Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions
This area provides a simple and straightforward way to find related profiles. It’s a great way to turn one great prospect into several great prospects.
#4) Reach Out to Prospects in New Jobs
A new position is often a trigger event for sales professionals. When a prospect takes a new role, either within their current company or at a new company, both the prospect and the company themselves are more open to shaking things up. They may be looking for new solutions. Their needs may have changed or expanded overnight with the hiring. Or maybe they need to prove themselves in the new role and showcase their leadership by taking action and drive change.
Whatever the motivation, LinkedIn automatically lets you know when a connection enters a new job. Click on the “Notifications” tab and scan through the daily updates. You’ll find the system lets you know when someone changes jobs, is celebrating a birthday, or has posted new content for their network to consume.
#5) Scroll Through Skill Endorsements
People tend to attract other like-minded people. This is especially true for social media, where everyone gets to choose who they interact with. The people that are endorsing the skills and expertise of your prospect may themselves be great prospects if you dig in far enough.
Go into the “Skills & Endorsements” section of your prospects’ profile and begin looking through the people that have endorsed them. This area looks like this:
Not only are they more likely to be the type of person that would be a good fit for your product or service, but they also have shown that they are active on LinkedIn besides simply having a profile.
#6) Use Alumni Search
LinkedIn’s standard search feature isn’t the only tool at your disposal. The Alumni Search feature is absolutely useful in its own right. It will let you search through the alumni of a given institution, find profiles, and provide you with other interesting data about the school and its current and former students.
#7) See Who Engages with Your Prospects’ Content
Scroll through your prospect’s updates (or if you see them on your own activity feed or through LinkedIn notifications) and keep an eye out for who your prospects are engaging with on the platform. Many of the people that interact with them may be good potential fits for your product.
Their interactions with your prospect can also give you a jumping off point for the engagement. You have a mutual connection and you can use that connection as a basis for starting a conversation with them.
#8) Seek Out Those Who Engage With Your Content
In the same way that the people who engage with your prospects can be worthwhile to keep an eye on, look to engage with people that comment, like, or otherwise engage with the content that you share as well. Use their engagement as a basis for striking up conversations.
Free LinkedIn accounts are only able to see a limited number of the users that have viewed their profile. With a Premium account (subscription to Sales Navigator works) you can have a complete view of everyone that views your profile or engages with your content.
#9) Use Google Boolean Search on LinkedIn
You don’t have to stick with LinkedIn’s internal search. Google is also an excellent tool that can help you to find profiles and identify prospects on the platform. By using in-depth boolean search features and applying them to searches on the LinkedIn website, you may find prospects that would not have shown up on your ‘regular’ searches on LinkedIn’s platform.
A search string like this, for example, would provide you with Founders in the greater Seattle Area, in the marketing & advertising industry:
site:linkedin.com/in + “Founder” + “Greater Seattle Area” + “Marketing & Advertising”
Google’s index will only pick up publicly listed accounts but may help you to identify prospects you otherwise would have missed.
Hopefully, this overview has given you some ideas on how to find prospects and engage with them.
If you have any additional comments on how to find targets or if you have questions, leave your thoughts in the comments below. Check back later this week when we post our article on “5 Tips for engaging with prospects through LinkedIn”
For B2B social sellers, a healthy LinkedIn presence is the “golden goose.” It’s the most direct and effective tool that you have for generating interest in your products or services and building relationships for mutual benefit.
80% of all social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn. As a B2B social seller, the most important task you have on your calendar every single day is to build relationships with the people that make buying decisions within your target organizations. That’s where the power of LinkedIn truly lies. 75% of B2B buyers use social media to research their buying decisions. 50% rely on LinkedIn as a part of that process.
LinkedIn provides you with direct access to decision-makers at organizations that need, want, and are actively searching for the exact solution that you provide. That’s why the platform performs 277% better than Facebook and Twitter when it comes to generating visitor-to-lead conversions.
Building an audience on LinkedIn allows you to get on your buyers’ radar and find opportunities for genuine engagement with them. A presence on LinkedIn is something that you can rely on for years to come, as your career grows and you move to new positions.
But — building an audience on LinkedIn is easier said than done. People understand the power that the platform holds. There is a lot of competition there these days. But that doesn’t mean that standing out in a good way on this amazing platform can’t be done.
Building an audience on LinkedIn requires that you to be willing to put in the time and effort to build your followership organically. You are unlikely to generate the type of relationships that lead to sales in a few short days, so don’t get discouraged. Success on LinkedIn comes from daily engagement and smart strategies that allow you to take on a less-is-more approach. And keep in mind that you have to follow this approach for 10-12 weeks before you have fully built your runway.
Here are some tips that will help social sellers to grow their LinkedIn audience:
Tip #1) Optimize Your Profile
Optimizing your profile should be the first step that any social sellers take before starting to build their presence on the platform. Your LinkedIn profile doubles as a virtual resume. 42% of users update their profiles regularly. It tells your prospects about your experience and expertise while helping them to better understand how you came to be where you are today. It’s important that you are sending the right message to prospects and ensuring that your profile is optimized to be found through LinkedIn’s search features.
We recently published an article that covers the steps that you can take to optimize your headline. Here is a short teaser of the different steps that were included in the article:
These are just a few of the many tips that were shared in the article. It’s a good first step on your way toward your larger goal of building an audience.
Tip #2) Choose a Headline That Clarifies Your Value
Your headline shows up throughout the LinkedIn platform. It is, other than maybe your headshot picture, the most visible part of your entire profile. It’s located directly below your name on your profile page and also shows up anytime that you leave a comment on someone else’s status. For this reason, it’s critical that you get the headline right.
In our LinkedIn profile optimization article, we gave some very specific recommendations for choosing a headline that displays your value proposition and makes it clear to your prospects. You want them to have a very clear idea of what they will get from working with you.
Follow the above steps as you plan your headline. You want it to be short and easily digestible without sacrificing a majority of the tips above. For someone at SocialSellinator, our headline might read something like:
We Help B2B Companies Leverage Social Selling to Grow Sales
Simple. Effective. Clear. The length of your headline depends on your offering and personal preferences.
Tip #3) Publish Engaging Content
Do you want people to follow your account and engage with what you share through the platform? Yes, of course you do. That’s what having an audience is all about. Well — you can follow all of the tips and tricks that you want but if you aren’t providing valuable content to your audience you’re going to have a hard time developing those connections.
You must create content to be successful in social selling. You have to put your expertise on display and show your prospects how your solution will help them solve a very specific problem. As a result, you should be publishing high-quality content that covers that problem or tangentially related subjects on a regular basis.
Now, keep in mind that “content” can refer to all types of content. Off-site articles, posts published through the LinkedIn platform, videos, infographics, surveys, social media updates — the medium that you deliver it through it less important than the information that you are delivering. Just focus on delivering it as effectively as you possibly can.
Tip #4) Comment on Content That People Share
People (your prospects) like validation. They like to know that the content that they have shared with others was enjoyed and found useful. On most social media platforms, the clearest sign that a person’s audience has found something that they shared interesting is actual engagement in the comments section.
Think about how you react when someone comments positively on something that you’ve shared. You probably remember that person, right? Or at least you would if they commented consistently on the things that you posted. You might go to their profile, check out their website, and read other content that they have shared — all steps that we want prospects to take when we comment on their articles. See what this means for you…?
Tip #5) Maintain a Steady Posting Cadence
Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t have to be out there posting new content five times a day. In fact, if you update your profiles too much, some of the content that you share will get overlooked and not make the impact that you were hoping for.
A study from Social Report states that those that are looking to build an audience on LinkedIn should post one post per day. This is backed up by a report from LinkedIn, which showed that posting 20 times per month (or about once per workday) will enable to reach about 60% of your unique audience.
Yes, posting more often does mean that you will be able to eventually reach a larger portion of your audience. However, you want to make sure that when you do reach them that they are being exposed to high-quality content. Less is more and quality needs to be the focus.
Tip #6) Share Content From Others (And Let Them Know!)
If you are going to be sharing one piece of new content per day, you are going to have to share content from other brands. While it would be great to only share content that you (or your brand/company) produced, it’s most likely not realistic for you to create a new piece of content for this purpose every day.
A healthy LinkedIn content sharing strategy mixes in resources from several different sources. Remember, your ultimate goal is to share content that is valuable to your audience. You want to be a source of information but that doesn’t mean that everything that you share has to come from you. There are a lot of people creating high-level content that your audience would find interesting. Don’t keep that content from them because you feel you need to stay 100% on-brand. Doing so might mean you miss out on some great opportunities.
Sharing content from other brands also serves as a way to drum up conversations with people from that brand. It’s a great networking tool to share content that others have produced. But the key here is to tag authors and brands in any social media posts where you share their content! That way, not only the original author gets notified, but also everyone who follows them on LinkedIn. As a result, you massively amplify the visibility of your post and you increase the chance of engagement with the authors. Because after...if someone quotes your article, wouldn’t you at least give that post a ‘thumbs up’ or even comment on it? Exactly!
Tip #7) Connect with New People Daily
Want to grow your audience on LinkedIn? Want to have more people that see and engage with the content that you share? The quickest path to growing your audience is to use the platform's main mechanism for audience growth — the ability to ‘connect’ with other people.
Every single day, you should be connecting with a number of new people. Later, after they’ve added you, you can drum up conversations with them. But, you can only message people that have connected with you on LinkedIn, so it is important that you continually add people that fit your prospect profile to keep a consistent flow of new conversations happening on LinkedIn.
Additionally — when someone adds you on LinkedIn, your posts will begin to show up on their feed. If they engage with the things that you share, your posts are prioritized and show up more often for them. This is another reason why it is so important to ensure that the content that you post is very valuable. After all, you may only get one chance to convince someone to engage with your content.
Important: You never want to add more than 100 people in a day and should, in fact, add fewer than that. LinkedIn has a very finely-tuned machine when it comes to detecting people who may try to game or exploit their system. LinkedIn itself doesn’t really tell you clearly how many connections you can make per day and what number will have you go directly to LinkedIn jail. We recommend to send no more than to 3–5% of your total LinkedIn connections per day. For example, if you have 1,500 total LinkedIn connections, send 75 connection requests per day.
Tip #8) Visit a Healthy Number of Profiles Daily
Since you can (or should) only add ~100 new people per day on your account. But, you can visit up to 500 profiles per day, if you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator This is useful because, by default, LinkedIn profiles will tell people who has viewed their profile in their dashboard
Showing up here will get you on people’s radar. You’ll start seeing your own views start to go up, as these people land on your profile. Not only that, but you’ll find a fair amount of the people that hit your profile adding you. Someone that reaches out to establish a connection with you is typically higher on your value scale that someone that you reach out to cold. An awesome tool to automate profile visits is Dux-Soup - a Chrome browser plugin.
Tip #9) Engage in Conversations with Influencers
Like any social network, the best way to grow your audience is to start getting mentioned by people with their own audiences. Identifying influencers that you would like to target and engage with on LinkedIn is critical for growing your own audience quickly.
Of course, you want to be really selective about how you engage with them. To follow them like a puppy, commenting on everything that they do would seem needy. Be selective in picking their posts that you engage with. When you do engage, do so thoughtfully. Bring real value to the table for their audience. Having real insight to share is what will separate you from the hordes of people engaging with them half-heartedly. For a great way to quickly identify influencers on specific topics, use Right Relevance.
Tip #10) Personalize Connection Requests When Appropriate
The trends on LinkedIn have changed in recent years. There once was a time when it was inappropriate to friend-request anyone you didn’t know or have experience working with on the platform. However, today, it is allowed and encouraged to connect with a wide range of people within your industry.
When you do come across someone that you have a connection to — maybe you worked at the same place, or have a mutual colleague that bridges the gap between you — include that in a personalized note that you send them when you connect. This will help you to stick in their mind and give you a natural opening for starting a conversation as soon as you connect.
Tip #11) Share Images with Your Content
Including images with your social posts will significantly increase engagement. According to research by BlueStone 360, using visual content will increase views by up to 11x. Using an image will not only help your audience to notice your posts as they are scrolling down the page. It will give you an opportunity to visualize your content by choosing a relevant image. Your audience will have a better idea of what they can expect when they click-through to the post. Or maybe you pick an awesome visual that is so unexpected or tongue-in-cheek that it piques people’s curiosity and makes them want to click and read more.
Take this example from Melonie Dodaro, where she uses pictures of the people that were included in the content. That’s a whole lot of social proof!
Tip #12) Tag People in Content You Share
It seems like common sense, but so few people do it. Maybe they feel like it comes across as desperate or attention seeking, but there is no better way to establish a connection with someone than to tag them in your post. Maybe you reference them in a blog post or mentioned their brand in some way. Maybe they authored the content that you are sharing with your audience. Or maybe you just tag them to make them aware of something you’re sharing because you think it might be relevant or interesting for them. Either way — you have a surefire way to get on someone’s radar with very little time investment. Just make sure that anything that you are tagging them in is either a piece of content they had a hand in or is very valuable to them.
Bonus Tip: Extend Your Headline on Mobile
If you would like to extend your headline, we’ve got a nice little tip for you. The desktop version of the LinkedIn websites limits you to 120 characters for your headline. However (and we are unsure if this is an intended feature or simply a bug), if you edit your headline on your phone’s LinkedIn app, you are given approximately 200 characters for your headline. If you can find a smart way to pack more information that your customers find relevant into a longer headline, this is a cool way to stand out from the crowd. Just keep in mind that this may not not look great on all devices. For this trick and seven more, check out Andy Foote’s great post on “8 Stunningly Clever LinkedIn Hacks” via LinkedInsights.com.
Continuity is Key
The key to social selling on LinkedIn is persistence. There are so many facets to being a good social seller on the platform that you can excel in a few specific areas and still generate more business than you can realistically handle through LinkedIn. But if you aren’t posting new content, engaging with people, adding new connections and working to build relationships on a daily basis — you’ll have a hard time growing your LinkedIn audience.