You have surely heard of it before: social selling is on the rise! It is a commercial approach which consists in using social networks throughout the sales journey. This modern prospecting method fits perfectly into the evolution of society, professional practices and new marketing levers. Indeed, far from intrusive practices such as phoning or advertising, social selling is based on creating a relationship of trust with your prospects. LinkedIn ™ is the ideal network to implement this strategy. To help you, discover 7 concrete tips for using LinkedIn ™ in social selling.
Why use LinkedIn ™ for social selling?
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For BtoB professionals, LinkedIn ™ is a real gold mine. Indeed, it is the largest professional social network present in more than 200 countries. It brings together 720 million members worldwide (see the article key figures from LinkedIn ™ ). With LinkedIn ™, you access a gigantic database of professionals with whom you can connect for free. Which makes it the ideal network for social selling. But like any marketing approach, using LinkedIn ™ for social selling can be learned. In this article, I describe the process to follow in 7 tips.
It is essential to understand that social selling is not just a fad, but a real business strategy in its own right. Applying two or three general principles is not enough to make social selling and reap the rewards!
Tip number 1: target and add your targets to your LinkedIn ™ network
Identify your core target
Any business practice, whether it uses social selling or not, is first and foremost about defining a target audience. To do this, sit down for a few moments and think about which audience your products or services are aimed at. The criteria for selecting your target can be multiple: geographic location, professional status, age, gender, hobbies, etc.
Do not hesitate to make real robot portraits of your target (s). To support you, use the buyer persona tool in order to create one (or more) model customer (s). In this way, you get to know perfectly the needs and expectations of the people most able to engage in your sales funnel. Which gives you three huge advantages:
- First, you are precisely targeting the people you can help. That is, those who are interested in your products and services. Here we are very far from the mass phoning sessions that we have all witnessed (“Hello, I’m selling windows. Do you own your home?” – “Uh … no.” – “Thank you, goodbye.” ).
- Second, you gain valuable information to help you improve or internally develop products and services that exactly meet your audience’s expectations.
- And third, you capture useful data to tailor your communication messages to a highly qualified audience. You anticipate their questions by offering them the answers spontaneously. In short, you have balls to address them with precision and quality, therefore to build a solid customer relationship.
Add your target audience to your LinkedIn ™ network
With the characteristics of your personas, you identify and target the right people on LinkedIn ™. Then, it’s up to you to send invitations to individuals who bring together the specifics of your target.
To go further: invite people to join your LinkedIn ™ network with personalized messages! I have gathered in an article 15 examples of personalized LinkedIn ™ invitations in order to help you in this process.
Tip number 2: expose the target to the mark
Now that your target customers are well established and that you have added them to your LinkedIn network ™, place at the second stage of social selling. This step is simply to familiarize your target with your brand.
Forget the harassment by LinkedIn ™ messaging or comments praising your merits! For the moment, it is only a question of disseminating your brand image through high added value content (quality is inseparable from your success), customer testimonials, advice, photos, a carousel , etc. The objective here is to show your target that you are not just anyone in your sector: you are an expert, a referent.
It is also during this step that you present your brand values to your target audience. Your prospects understand that in addition to being an expert in the field that solves their problem, you are a convinced brand, which tells a story, which has a past, a present and a future. Show behind the scenes of your services in your publications, broadcast things that are sometimes less formal, let your imagination run wild by saying to yourself: “If I were my target clientele, what would I like to know about this brand? “.
Tip number 3: the basis of social selling on LinkedIn ™ is to publish content and interact with your audience
Now is the third stage of the social selling model. Here, the objective is to make your target evolve in order to lead them in new avenues of reflection by publishing high added value content that encourages them to react.
It is from this moment that the first interactions with your target can begin. a prospect commented on your post? Jump at the chance and respond to it. Another liked the post? Take the opportunity to send him a nice little message thanking him for liking.
Here, you start to create a fundamental relationship with your target customers, distant, yet very present, which lays the foundations for your future collaboration.
Tip number 4: use LinkedIn ™ to connect at the right time
Social selling is a small wonder when you realize that thanks to social networks you can easily seize the perfect right moment to get in touch with a prospect . With LinkedIn ™, you have access to a lot of information about your prospects. You know which publications they react to the most, what their news is, their last contributions on the social network, etc. All of these help you determine the perfect time to take it to the next level.
Thanks to the previous steps, you have several things:
- Your prospect is part of your network;
- They encounter problems that your products or services solve;
- He knows your brand and your values;
- He has already interacted with you personally.
The door is thus wide open to exchange in a qualitative way, you can offer him a telephone meeting for example.
To go further, LinkedIn ™ Sales Navigator is a premium subscription of LinkedIn ™ focused on sales prospecting. It is a tool that helps you laser target your target hearts and connect even if they are not in your professional network. Discover the complete LinkedIn ™ Sales Navigator guide here.
Tip number 5: generate leads with LinkedIn ™ social selling
Now is the time! It’s up to you to interact with your prospects in a human and authentic, benevolent way, to listen to them and answer all their questions. Here, you surely only need to listen and gently guide your qualified prospects to the act of buying.
For this step, it is essential to highlight the human side of social selling. Be a confident person, listen and have real interactions with your prospects that make them feel privileged. In their eyes, you don’t have to be a simple salesperson. You have to be the solution to their problem, the person who will help them solve their problems and move them forward.
Tip number 6: get bought, the essence of social selling
Your prospect was convinced by your expertise and trusted, step by step, your brand and your values. You didn’t sell yourself, you got bought. The nuance is great and fits perfectly into the more human approach of social selling which aims to develop a less aggressive sales technique than the usual methods (which we all know!).
Remember: don’t sell, get bought!
Tip number 7: optimize your LinkedIn ™ profile
To attract and seduce on LinkedIn ™, there is one element that should not be overlooked: your LinkedIn ™ profile. It is the foundation of your presence on this network and a capital asset for social selling. So, configure and optimize each plot of your profile:
- A professional photo;
- A visual, creative banner incorporating the components of your graphic charter ;
- An explicit title so that your prospect quickly understands who you are and what you can offer them;
- An accurate and concise summary that details how you can help;
To transform your profile into a sales page that converts visitors into buyers, discover the Proinfluent® Profile .
LinkedIn ™ and social selling: 7 tips to go further, in conclusion
LinkedIn ™ social selling is a long-term method. Indeed, integrating social selling into your presence on LinkedIn ™ is a day-to-day strategy. This is in order to build up an excellent e-reputation for you, which generates qualified prospects on its own. Here are our 7 tips for success: p>
- Target and add your target customers to your network.
- Expose your targets to your brand by publishing high added value content.
- Create a first relationship through your interactions on LinkedIn ™.
- Use LinkedIn ™ to get in touch at the right time.
- Generate leads with LinkedIn ™ social selling.
- Get bought and close sales.
- Optimize your LinkedIn ™ profile.
LinkedIn ™ and social selling: to sum up in four questions
Qu’est-ce que le social selling ?
Social selling is the art of using social networks throughout the sales journey of your target customers. Before the sale, your activity on social networks is used to make yourself known (and liked). During the sale, using the information collected helps you tailor your marketing messages. And after the sale, social networks allow you to maintain a link with your customers.
Pourquoi le social selling est-il important en BtoB ?
The use of social networks in BtoB is used to create and maintain a professional relationship different from a classic commercial approach. Social selling is the method that adapts perfectly to modern tools, and which allows you to establish a gentle commercial strategy in line with the expectations of your target customers. Your presence and activity on social networks, for example on LinkedIn ™, ensure good visibility with your prospects. In addition, you create and maintain a relationship of trust thanks to these new communication channels.
Comment faire du social selling sur LinkedIn™ ?
Social selling on LinkedIn ™ cannot be improvised. It consists of 6 steps:
- Target the right people (your personas) and add them to your network.
- Expose your targets to your brand by posting content regularly.
- Publish and share by interacting on LinkedIn ™.
- Connect with people in a human way (without trying to sell right away).
- Generate leads.
- Get bought.
Quelles sont les bonnes pratiques de social selling sur LinkedIn™ ?
On LinkedIn ™, good social selling practices consist first of all in creating an effective and professional LinkedIn ™ profile. That is, don’t make an online CV, but a page where your visitors understand at a glance who you are and how you can help them. Second, knowing your target audience is imperative to adding relevant people to your network. And finally, publish content with high added value for your targets, to appeal to them and to create an image of an expert in your field.