Social selling isn’t about Facebook ads, neither is it about sending a direct message to a LinkedIn connection regarding a discount on your latest service offering. Social selling is about human contact and using a structured method for getting to know people. Moreover, if you are on LinkedIn for lead generation, you are on one of the most effective platforms for B2B social selling. So here are five social selling tips you can use to get the most out of your LinkedIn lead generation efforts.
Social Selling Tip #1: Focus on Quality over Quantity
Social selling is about the human-to-human connection. It is hard to drive engagement and nurture a mutually beneficial relationship when you are trying to communicate with thousands of people at a time.
You may have 3,000 first-degree connections on LinkedIn, but if you focus on 50-100 of those connections at a time to develop a relationship with them, you will be able to see a positive effect from your social selling strategy.
The best way to determine how to drill down your list of first-degree connections to begin engaging, you will want to create a micro-niche of your target prospect. Micro niching is when you become very specific about your audience.
If you serve small to medium businesses in the technology industry who are located in the state of Georgia, this is a niche audience for your service. If your service is designed for women-owned small businesses of no more than 25 employees who are in the tech industry and specialize in creating enterprise security for public school systems in DeKalb County, then this is a micro niche audience.
When you focus on a micro niche for your lead generation strategies, you can build your company brand and position your personal brand.
Social Selling Tip #2: Finding Your Voice and Showing Who You are
Creating a brand is about showing your audience what your company is about, your mission statement. Your mission statement is more than just that you have a superior product and offer outstanding customer service.
When you think of brands like Mercedes, Nike, Zappos more than just cars, shoes are a great pair of sneakers come to mind. That is because these companies have spent years developing a brand message that became synonymous with the products they sell.
Social selling offers you an opportunity to find your brand voice and show prospects who you are, the people behind the brand. If you are a new company and you are still trying to flesh out your brand messaging, your LinkedIn lead generation campaign is an excellent place to do some A/B testing to determine what resonates with your audience.
As you begin to discover what your prospects respond to, you can incorporate that language in your LinkedIn profile and Company page. You will also want to develop a familiar tone in your direct messages, news updates, and LinkedIn articles. This way, no matter where your target audience discovers you on LinkedIn, they will recognize your brand message.
Social Selling Tip #3: Keep Your Messages Fresh and Current
Your brand voice should carry through the direct messages that you write for your first-degree connections. If LinkedIn is part of your lead generation strategy, then there will be specific topics you want to cover, and you will want to make sure you are consistent when you communicate with your prospects.
A template for each of the messages you will send to your connections will help you stay on point. However, you don’t want to rely too heavily on templates. Resist the urge to copy and paste a template into a message. Force yourself to add personal touches to each response you generate. If you are working with a small group of first-degree connections at a time, then you will have your developing relationship to draw inspiration from to make your message feel more natural.
You will also want to review your lead generation scripts on occasion to see how you can update them. How has your company grown since the time you wrote your message scripts? How has your market changed in the last few months? Changing the text will keep you from sounding canned or automated.
Social Selling Tip #4: Be an Engager Not an Observer
A series of LinkedIn lead generation messages will help you position yourself and your company in the minds of qualified prospects. A pure social selling strategy has to include unscripted engagement. You don’t want to just appear to be engaging while you are following a set playbook of LinkedIn activities. You want to engage with your first-degree connections whenever you find the opportunity:
- Find a post shared by one of your contacts that moves you and comment on it
- Share your connections’ content as much as you would like them to share yours
- Be generous with your time on LinkedIn, even if you don’t have much time to give
- Network with your connections before you try to promote yourself
From the moment you accept a connection request or a prospect receives your connection request, you need to find ways to communicate with them. Going dark for weeks or months at a time and then sending a message will not help you build a solid foundation with prospects
Social Selling Tip #5 Give, Give, Give BEFORE You Ask
When you are creating LinkedIn lead generation messages and engaging with prospects, make sure that you are giving before you ask for anything:
- Give them free advice
- Refer them to a person in your network who can help them with a specific problem
- Provide them with links to useful resources (third party and company-generated)
- Include a lead magnet as an attachment instead of sending them to a landing page
- Create short videos that have helpful tips and send them to your connections
There are many ways to be generous, and as you spend time engaging with people on LinkedIn, especially a small specific group of qualified prospects, you will find new ways to help. Give until it hurts. If you feel like you are giving away the store, then you need to take a deep breath, count to ten and give anyway.
Many sales professionals and business owners find social selling difficult because they feel like it takes to long and you have to give too much before you receive, or in this case, convert a prospect into a sale. However, the advantages of social selling outweigh the disadvantages, and these strategies will help you to see a return on your LinkedIn investment and consistent revenue growth.
If you want to learn more about social selling and how to integrate it into B2B lead generation, click here to access our online guide: How to Generate B2B Leads in a Social World.