Social selling is not selling


11 December 2020

Generating networks and business on LinkedIn – it is now the way to bring in new customers and projects. Especially, in times like corona, the online platform is indispensable for one-person and small organizations. Thanks to social selling, these organizations or persons, maintain their loyal and often broad network. Moreover, they are able to achieve enough commitment to also step outside that network and thus attract new prospects . But how do you determine the next step? How do you convert a like into a real-life appointment? Time to dive into social selling statistics and turn your leads into real customers

Social selling is not selling

It all starts with consistently being present and paying attention to your network. “What you pay attention to, it grows,” said a wise man. Therefore, not only be visible ‘in the background’, but also regularly share knowledge and experiences on LinkedIn. If you only give out likes and comments, you actually participate for bacon and beans! It only starts when you actively participate in the conversation yourself. That means that you post unique messages and updates on a regular basis. Share information and events that could be of value to your network, but beware: social selling is not selling . This means that you shouldn’t make a sales pitch from your carefully constructed LinkedIn post. Social selling is all about creating a favorable factor .

By regularly posting content, you stay on top of mind  with your audience and they will think of you quicker when they are in need of a service like yours. You shouldn’t tell them they can use your help. They must want to be helped by you. So be creative, inspiring and above all, authentic.

Recognizable, honest and authentic

Have a look at the post below. Engagement is generated in two smart ways . Firstly, the subject (language errors) and the concluding question (“Which errors can you no longer see?”), invite to responses. In addition, a personal perspective is offered on a business and social theme. As a result, the post evokes recognition, so that readers identify with the content quicker.

Same is the case in the next post below. Hans Kazàn is a speaker, moderator and of course a magician – a position in an industry that is particularly difficult these days. He uses LinkedIn wisely to give his audience a glimpse into his life while remaining present for potential clients . He does not literally ask for a job, but you know what it is like for him to be on stage. By taking readers into your own experience in this way, they will increasingly appreciate your posts and presence.

Finally, the third post below is a good example of the boundary of “social selling is not selling”. Leahanne Hobson is founder of Alinea Partners , an organization that helps other companies increase their profits in various ways from a customer service perspective. Here, she unmistakably touts one of her programs, without literally selling it. Again, a feeling is evoked here in the reader that is recognizable, honest and authentic. As a result, there is a good chance that Leahanne will still receive new assignments from this post without ‘selling’ .

Start with yourself

Once you’ve shared a LinkedIn post yourself, make sure you keep showing your commitment . Especially, to those who have taken the trouble to post a comment. If you show interest in someone else and invest time in writing a sincere response, then you also like it when that is appreciated, don’t you? So start with yourself and take the time to respond to each comment posted. This is also beneficial for LinkedIn ‘s algorithm, because the more comments there are under your post, the higher the engagement is and the more your post will be pushed forward. Which also means that your post will be shown to more potential customers. Interesting!
Let’s take the first post again. The response below had a response with just ‘Thanks!’, which is sufficient. However, by asking another question to the interested party, you keep the conversation going. As you can see, this conversation ultimately led to a nice introductory meeting and a much appreciated connection!

Broaden your network

Once you have received quite a few likes and comments, it is time to take a critical look at this. Don’t worry if you haven’t received any new connection requests and private messages as a result of your post. You can also go after your prospects yourself.
First, check who has given you a like or a reaction to your post outside your network. Are there any second-degree connections with a profile that could be of value to you? These are the people you approach first in a private message. Remember again: no sales pitch ! Simply indicate that you appreciate their interest and whether you can have a cup of coffee to see if you can do something for each other. Also, do not hesitate to send out new connection requests to third-degree connections (or higher) that can strengthen your network. When you send a request, always combine it with a short personal message about why you would like to add him / her to your network. This way you already lay the foundation for later, valuable interactions.

Time to get statistical

After this, it is time to analyze the views of your post. Note: do not focus blindly on the number of views, likes and reactions. The value of those likes and comments  is much more important. Think about it: as a freelance business coach, it is better to receive 10 likes from team managers and business advisors than 100 likes from CEOs and brand owners. Success is, therefore, relative and mainly depends on your target group.
Below each LinkedIn post you will see the number of people who viewed your contribution. If you click on this number, a screen will appear with detailed statistics of your readers. Which organizations do the people who saw your post work for? What is their job title? What region in the Netherlands do they come from? These statistics give you a lot of information about your visibility. Do you attract interesting companies, or are you particularly visible in organizations you already work with? In the later case, your goal is to generate more engagement with your next post and go even further outside your own network. Do you mainly work in the east of the country, but is your audience located in the Randstad? Then, it is worth considering to use digital more for companies located in the west.

Social Selling Index score

One way to monitor the progress of your LinkedIn strategy is the Social Selling Index score . You can view your SSI score here. You can see this score as the report mark of your LinkedIn profile. Any number over 55 is in principle sufficient, but didn’t you also prefer getting a big 8 or 9 in the past? That’s what I thought! The SSI score is made up of four components, all of which have equal weight:

  1. Creating your professional brand.
  2. Finding the right people.
  3. Exchanging information.
  4. Building relationships.

All these points are important for achieving successful social selling. The more information you exchange (in other words, the more actively and consistently you share authentic messages), the higher your score. And the more valuable relationships you build (in other words, the better you follow up on your collected likes and comments), the more engagement you generate. Ergo, the more customers your social selling strategy will generate!

Hold on and be consistent

Social selling can bring you and your company a lot, if you do it the right way. Patience is a virtue, as it should be when you start sharing content on LinkedIn. In the beginning, your messages will not soar through the roof and you will mainly stand out within your own network. Keep track of your past posts to track growth in engagement, views and followers. Then, the trick is to persevere, set new goals and consistently work on your visibility. This way you can easily get your customers from LinkedIn in no time!
This article originally appeared on  and . 

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