The verdict on social selling through Linkedin can be summarized in 4 words – It Works and it's powerful!
Now that you have the single most critical digital marketing factor working for you it's time for your join the growing Linkedin digital marketing boom!
If you haven’t joined the 300 million plus people who are on Linkedin just yet, then you need to connect your business to LinkedIn ASAP.
Start by familiarizing yourself with what other smart entrepreneurs have known for a couple of years now:
It’s no secret that huge numbers of the hottest B2B social selling connections are happening right now on Linkedin as you read this!
Savvy social salespeople and digital marketers are increasingly using LinkedIn as a major source of new leads and tangible revenue, - and so should you!
So, how can you use this social media platform to your business’ advantage? How do you actually generate leads and make sales like the digital marketing pros?
Well, the following are the top 10 tested and proven strategies for social selling through LinkedIn: -
1. Identify your Target Prospects
The first step in any effective digital marketing campaign is to: identify your target market or your ideal customers.
It's a waist of time to embark on a social selling campaign without having a clear grasp of who your target audience is.
Mapping your target prospects will involve determining the common professional titles and keywords that your ideal customers are use to best describe themselves.
Once you identify these titles and keywords, you can use two separate methods to find them, i.e. through the LinkedIn Advanced Search and LinkedIn Groups.
2. Send a Connection Request
Once you identify your target prospects, you can proceed and make first contact by sending connection requests.
When sending connection requests, be sure to send a personalized message explaining two things: One, how you know or heard about them and two, why they should connect with you.
3. Always Send a Thank You Message
There are's a powerful pairs of words that when used usually indicate that a person is highly courteous and approachable “Thank You”. These words shouldn't be used sparingly, especially if one expects to get new prospects, as well as maintain existing customers.
Once a targeted prospect accepts your connection request, sending a “Thank You” message will certainly add some weight on your side of the courtesy scale.
Make sure to describe the top 1-3 reasons that your thankful for the connection. For example, describe what you love most about your new connection's value proposition. Let them know what you've learned or gained from the content they've shared.
4.Send Relationship Building Messages
If you thought that it all ends at the point you send a “Thank You” message, then there's still lots to learn about social selling on Linkedin.
You'll also need to reach out to your new connections even if you aren't sure they'll be of any value to your business.
There is something known as a “Relationship Building” message, which starts with you providing something of value to your connections without any ulterior motives.
This could sharing an insight that solves a real business problem or pain point. It could also be a tip or strategy that is likely to translate into direct benefit for your new contact.
5. Engage with On-Shared Linkedin Groups
If you haven’t had the privilege of being a part of any LinkedIn groups, it would be wise to find out which groups your prospects are connected in and join them there.
Not every prospect will be active on Linkedin groups but once you find those who are, don’t hesitate to become part of their groups as an active value-adding contributor.
And quality over quantity is the rule here, both in terms of the number of groups you join and the kinds of contributions you make.
For example, never billboard your preexisting content cut and paste style. Engage in real time. Solve real problems, answer real questions. Treat your linkedin group members as your best paying customers or clients and what's they'll be more likely to become!
6. Connect and Engage on Your Other Social Media Platforms
Social selling stretches far beyond LinkedIn. The more you expand your fan base, the higher your chances of gaining more customers. Social platforms such as Twitter and GooglePlus should be your “stepping stones” to accomplishing serious digital network growth and brand reach.
Be sure to add your Linkedin prospects to your other social media sites if they are already using those platforms. If not invite them to join.
Also, build on and strengthen existing connection and engagement levels by sharing your LinkedIn connections' content and by having real time solution for business-focused conversations that others will see and want to become part of.
7. Move Your Strongest Relationships Offline
There will come a time when you will need to make the transition from online to offline interaction. That's where the real business connections materialize.
Before a transaction takes place, your relationship with the customer may have to go beyond online chatting, engaging, friend-requesting and following.
Your prospects should be open to the idea of interacting with you offline after you demonstrate a high level of expertise and credibility. It may be time to make a sale!
8. Concentrate more on Building Relationships Instead of Adding Connections
LinkedIn is not like Twitter and Facebook. As much as having an inflated number of prospects sounds good, it won’t be profitable for your business if those prospects don’t add any real value to it.
The basis of a strong relationship ROI is to create a long-term bond between your business and your prospective new customers. The stronger, more authentic and value-based your relationship with your customers, the more value they will add to your business in return.
9. Tag Your Connections in Posts
It’s highly advisable for you to update your customers about the current trends in your profession or industry. You can do this by writing fresh engaging blog posts from time to time, and then tagging them on LinkedIn.
This will ensure that your prospects will see your latest posts even if they haven't logged in to LinkedIn for a while. The result? They'll get short emails indicating they've been tagged.
10. Add Rich Visual Content to Your Linkedin Profile
Too much text and no infographics or videos can make your profile disengaging. Make us of the Professional Portfolio feature to add deep-engagement infographics, videos, photos, screenshots and SlideShare presentations to your profile.
You can use Linkedin as your secret weapon against your competition. This social selling tool has been proven to be highly efficient in turning businesses into a pacesetters in their specific niches.
What are you waiting for? Get yourself linked-in and have the last word in the title “social selling tycoon wannabe” dropped off for good!
Check out the incredible infographic that inspired this blog post. It's from arguably the world's leading LinkedIn social selling experts at TopDogSocialMedia.com:
Top image courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LinkedIn_logo_initials.pn