If you are involved at all in social media, you will have heard of social selling. It has become a super-popular social media marketing strategy lately, but what exactly is it? Here is a good definition from SuperOffice:
“Each time you log in to a social media network to identify new prospects, connect with them and provide value by answering questions and sharing relevant content, you are social selling.”
This means that social selling is in fact not about sales in the traditional sense, despite having “selling” as part of the term; it is more an exercise in thought leadership.
By providing valuable knowledge and expertise, you establish yourself as a trusted thought leader or source of knowledge in your chosen industry. This will make other people, specifically potential business prospects, more interested in what you have to say and “sell”.
Now that we are clear about the definition, this blog post will provide three tips for social selling on LinkedIn.
1. Optimise your LinkedIn profile
A good place to start is the profile picture. A good profile picture has to look professional, high-quality and most importantly, the face has to be visible. If you have an official company portrait, or can get one made, that would help a lot.
Next, is the profile description. You want the profile description to be a quick story about yourself as a professional. Remember is to make it personal and take it as an opportunity to share some key points about yourself with your LinkedIn connections (and potential business prospects).
Then, we have the banner image. Do you have the standard LinkedIn one (blue-ish with a connect-the-dots graphic)? If so, you might want to change it to something else. You could change it to something that has to do with your job, or a motivational quote, or an image that inspires you.
2. Stick to professional topics (but that does not mean company-only content!)
LinkedIn is a professional platform, and what you want from a social selling project is business prospects, so it is important to stick to professional topics when you look at your content.
Bear in mind, with professional, I do not mean company-only content. It is of course fine to post about the company you work at, however, if that is all the content you have got, it might be a little boring for your connections, because you are “that person” who only posts about their job.
With professional content, I mean industry-related content, because this is where you can shine and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
By posting news and content about your industry and adding your thoughts and opinions on it, prospective clients will see that you are someone who knows what they are talking about.
3. Strike the right balance with post frequency
When it comes to post frequency, it is easy to think that to establish a social media presence you need to post three times a day, seven days a week. Whilst I am not saying you should not do that, I would highly discourage it. You do not want to oversaturate your connections’ feeds because they might get annoyed and unfollow you, which would result in you losing that potential client.
What I would recommend is posting two to three times a week or once a day max. When it comes to the frequency of the different types of content, I would recommend the following:
- 50% external posts: Any industry/professional content that you did not write, i.e. articles and blog posts written by other people.
- 25% personal posts: Something you wrote yourself, or even just a quick picture of you at a conference or another work-related thing.
- 25% company posts: Anything that has to do with the company you work for.
I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction to social selling! For more in-depth information, read my free, full-length guide here. The guide covers:
- what social selling is
- how to get started with social selling
- how to optimise your LinkedIn profile
- what content to post and when to post it
- how to engage with other people’s content
- how to grow your network effectively