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How to use social selling on LinkedIn

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Written by Stefan Kostarelis

In two previous posts, we looked at the rise of social selling and some techniques that you can use on Facebook and Instagram.

In this post, we’ll be examining how to use social selling on LinkedIn.

According to SocialMediaNews statistics from December 2016, LinkedIn has around 3,600,000 daily active users in Australia, making it one of the top social networks in the country.

However, what separates LinkedIn from social networks such as Facebook and Instagram is that it is built specifically as a place where professionals can connect and communicate with each other.

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For this reason, LinkedIn may hold greater potential for the benefits of social selling.

According to a LinkedIn case study, U.S commercial real estate company Reis was one example of a social selling success story.

Reis used Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s proprietary social selling tool, to give its salespeople greater access to LinkedIn’s network.

Within the first three months, one sales rep had closed a deal that covered 100% of Reis’ monthly quota and the entire sales team reported sales that were either attributed to or enhanced by LinkedIn.

However, it isn’t necessary to invest in Sales Navigator to get results by social selling on LinkedIn. Let’s take a look at some techniques that will cost you nothing but time and a little effort.

The first thing you’ll need to do is optimize your profile according to this guide.

After that, you’ll need to start being active on LinkedIn daily. This will involve posting, replying to posts and prospecting.

Generally speaking, around fifteen minutes a day should be enough to maintain a presence. If you are particularly time-poor, you can use tools such as Linkedomata or Linked Helper to automate some processes.

In addition, applications such as HootSuite or Buffer can help you to schedule and post your updates. Being consistent is one of the most important components of social selling and this goes for both the timing and content of your posts. Aim for around 2-5 posts a day on topics relevant to your industry.

If you have more time at your disposal, you can do it all yourself. Post content, check responses and follow up when someone mentions your brand. You should also spend some of this time reaching out to prospects.

Before reaching out directly, visit the prospect’s LinkedIn or other social profiles and find out more about them. By looking for mutual interests or connections, you may be able to find a way to create a warm introduction, thus eliminating the dreaded cold call.

We’ve already discussed in the Facebook and Instagram guide how you should avoid being “salesy” when you are social selling.

Any salesperson worth their salt has seen Glengarry Glen Ross or at least heard of its famous the sales mantra “ABC”(Always Be Closing).

However, as a social seller, you’ll have to forget that. By being active on social media the idea is that you will build relationships by offering value. This will lead to you becoming a trusted advisor, and the sales will naturally follow.

You aren’t running around trying to close everyone, you are establishing yourself as someone who is connected, up to date with current affairs and interested in clients.

For example, if you notice a discussion on LinkedIn that’s relevant to your industry, share your advice with any pitch or explicit mention of your brand or service. Your participation alone is enough to establish who you are and what you do, and prospects will take note.

Along with the question of how often you should post, the question of what to post often arises, too.

We’ve already looked at some post ideas for Facebook and Instagram and some of these will crossover into LinkedIn. However, since LinkedIn is a professional network, you are better off focusing on sharing content that it is educational.

The internet is full of sources for educational materials so finding content should be no problem.

For example, by going to Paper.li and plugging in some keywords you can have relevant content sent to your inbox daily. Another source is to follow key influencers in the industry and repost their articles or ideas.

If you are a competent writer, you can also self-publish on LinkedIn, which is a great way to establish yourself as someone with a deep understanding of your industry.

Today, prospects have access to more information than ever and when it comes to the largest purchase they’ll ever make – real estate – it is a given that they will do their homework.

Increasingly, people are turning to social networks as a place to find information and that’s where social selling comes in.

In order to become a trusted advisor, you need to best position yourself as someone who can guide them through the buying process.

To unlock the full potential of social selling on LinkedIn, you might want to consider a free one-month trial of Sales Navigator