Forget about videos, photos, texts, and chats. Social Networks are fertile ground for businesses to attract clients and increase sales. And this is exactly what many organizations have been doing recently, using social selling on LinkedIn.
Have you considered how many new opportunities these strategies will provide to your sales team? After all, it stands to reason that your target audience is on social media, so your company should be as well. Wouldn’t you agree?
Furthermore, simply being present everywhere is not enough; you must understand which of these platforms is best suited to your needs. LinkedIn, for example, is ideal for selling to B2B audiences.
So, if this is your target audience, read the article and understand what social selling is and why you should do it on LinkedIn.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a sales approach focusing on social media to attract potential customers.
The practice involves the creation of content of value and brand authority through your team, in order to foster connections with potential customers. People buy from other people, so human interaction is an important aspect of social selling.
It is also worth noting that social selling benefits companies that sell to both consumers (B2C) and businesses (B2B). However, each social network has its own characteristics, characteristics, and purposes, and different people use them differently. Do you think, for instance, that someone would be affected by a LinkedIn advertisement for supermarket deals?
In today’s world, many companies recognize the benefits of using the Internet to build customer relationships. When it comes to prospecting other businesses, LinkedIn is the best platform. Find out why!
Why is LinkedIn the best platform for B2B social selling?
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking in the world and it offers powerful lead prospecting tools, career resources, and career guides. According to LinkedIn data, the network has more than 58 million business profiles.
What’s interesting is that the platform itself encourages users to complete their profiles in order to facilitate communication with the target audience. The Social Selling Index (SSI), which we’ll discuss later, actually evaluate the potential of your own profile.
The social network also features Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s powerful lead generation and sales tool, a paid resource with several applications such as filters to identify audiences based on location, industry, company size, job title, group, and many other criteria.
Social Selling on LinkedIn: How do I measure the performance of my profile for social selling?
As you may already know: social selling consists of establishing a connection that will likely turn into a sale, right? However, for this to happen in the best way on LinkedIn, you need to have a strong and influential profile. Oh, and it’s worth highlighting here that we’re talking about personal profiles that represent a brand, agreed? After all, as we already understood, people buy from people.
4 skill points of Social Index Selling (SSI)
The Social Selling Index (SSI) is a resource that analyzes your profile on the platform to indicate your sales potential. It assigns points from 0 to 100 according to the following 4 skill points:
- Create a Professional Brand: enrich your profile with a focus on the customer, highlighting your authority in a certain subject.
- Find the right people: connect with at least 500 people who share the same interests.
- Engage with Insights: share relevant posts to establish your authority, and build and strengthen relationships.
- Build Strong Relationships: expand your network to reach prospects and those who can introduce you to prospects, and build trust among the decision-makers.
Data from LinkedIn show that social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.
Keep in mind that what’s considered a good performance varies by industry, depending on the scores of other profiles operating in the same field. But overall, there are three important caveats:
- Under 40 points: We encourage you to be more active within the network and follow the platform’s recommendations to understand improvements.
- Between 41 and 60 points: your profile is on the right track, but it can improve.
- 60 points or higher: you are doing well and must continue to increase your score.
Here’s an example of an SSI report for a high-ranking LinkedIn profile:
In summary, so far you’ve understood what social selling is, why LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B social selling, and how to assess a profile’s potential for social selling on LinkedIn. Here are the first steps to optimizing your digital presence and achieving better results with this strategy.
First Steps to Social Selling on LinkedIn
Follow these steps to attract leads and win sales on the social network:
1. Optimize your profile based on SSI evaluation
Optimizing your profile is one way to establish your professional brand, something that is rated by SSI.
Start by filling out your profile with information that is relevant to the customer you want to reach. And remember to include keywords related to your business so that your profile can be found in searches. By doing so, you allow the public to get to know more about you and your business in a shorter period of time.
Also, try to connect with a significant amount of people. The more connections you have, including peers and other professionals in your field, the more credibility you will have with the public.
2. Define your buyer persona
The buyer persona is what guides the creation of content and other lead-generation strategies in attraction marketing. In fact, finding the right buyer personas is another skill point that SSI evaluates.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, made up of real data about your prospect’s behavior, challenges, motivations, goals, and other aspects.
3. Set your goals
To do successful social selling on LinkedIn it is necessary to plan and have well-defined goals. Only then will you know where you want to go and what to do to reach your goals.
Think about the stages you must go through to get to the final goal, which is the sale. Usually, the steps include creating authority, increasing the number of qualified leads, improving the relationship with the customer, and so on.
The most important thing is to identify your actual needs. Then, create a new strategy or try to amend the current one filling the gaps.
4. Create relevant content
Your brand will start to be noticed when you offer your audience valuable and relevant information. Content marketing is of great value as it helps you attract your persona by sharing relevant ideas, information, and tips.
Your posts also contribute to building brand authority. Therefore, in a sales funnel approach, most of your publications should be aimed at the top and middle of the funnel, reserving a smaller amount for the bottom of the funnel, that is self-promotion.
5. Actively participate in groups
Most connections can be established on LinkedIn by being active in groups. In this sense, a good strategy is to have people from your sales team in LinkedIn groups, interacting with other users and developing your authority in the segment.
Groups are also ideal environments for finding highly segmented and active audiences on social media.
6. Take an empathetic approach
Focus on being the “Social” in Social Selling. Even though it is a virtual environment, automated contact or chat-bots are not the best options for selling on social networks. On the contrary, since the goal of social selling is to establish relationships, your sales team should focus first and foremost on bonding with your audience.
One of the skill points of SSI exemplifies this perfectly, namely Building Strong Relationships.
Therefore, an empathetic and humanized approach, with your persona at the center of the process, will be your best strategy when practicing social selling. This also involves paying attention to the tone of voice used in interactions, a key factor when connecting with your buyer persona.
In summary, selling through social media is an effective strategy for companies that want to create and strengthen relationships with customers. To do so, it is necessary to follow a process until you achieve your main goal, while keeping an eye on important metrics.
Thinking about using LinkedIn for social selling on LinkedIn? Check out our tips to optimize your profile and attract more customers!