Your enthusiastic sales team will tell you that social selling is more than having an impressive LinkedIn profile.
Our sales team at Leadfeeder has managed to master the art of B2B social selling with a creative approach to how we use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more.
But with the growing competition, it can be tough for any B2B company to join the social selling bandwagon.
Luckily, our Chief Revenue Officer, Jaakko Paalanen, is going to walk you through how to up your social selling game.
In this webinar, we'll cover:
How to get started with social selling
How to use social selling to build relationships
And, how to engage customers in social buying
Read what he had to say, ahead.
Jaakko Paalanen: (00:07)
Quickly. Yep, excellent. So I'll go back to it now. Alright, so welcome everybody. My name is Jaakko. I'm the chief sales officer at Leadfeeder, and leading our sales efforts over here, and globally responsible for sales and partnerships at the company. And a couple of things before we kick this off. So there's the questions part next to the chat icon. So if you have any questions during the webinar, feel free to shoot any questions you have, and I'll go through those at the end of the meeting.
And before the webinar, I took a look of the registrant list, and planned to do it so that you can know the basics of social selling, and then something a bit more advanced to it. But I'll try to keep it in the basics, overall. And let me do just a quick check because the chat is popping up. Yep, alright, good morning from Miami. That's great to hear. Good morning over there too.
Alright, so the agenda for the webinar is, let's do a recap of what social selling really is. That's good. Good ground layover there. And then, after that, we go through the steps of social selling, and those are always good to keep in mind when you are doing this no matter what the channel is that you are using or the tools you are using. Those are the important phases you have to go through, and as you nurture the relationship and go forward. Then we're gonna go through the main channels, so LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook. Is there something that you can do in Facebook related to social selling? So, what to do in those channels.
And then I wanted to bring here also social selling KPIs. There's a lot of talk about social selling, but I rarely see any KPIs or measurements people use to really show that it's working or not or how to even progress in it. So a couple of good tips coming up there, how you can also do that. And then, in the end, we're gonna go through how Leadfeeder can help you as a pipeline builder for social selling, and a couple of example email follow-ups from there, how to utilize the data with the social selling also in mind. And in the end, as mentioned, a short Q & A session.
So recapping what social selling is. This is one of the best quotes I've used, and I think it makes the point overall. So social selling is using social networks, first of all, to do research, to be relevant for the people you wanna get in touch with. What's your buyer profile overall. So being relevant for them so that you can build the relationship, and in the end to drive the revenue. And what I often see is that when people are talking about social selling, or they are thinking of doing social selling, especially the last part falls through the crack.
So they might do the research, they are somewhat relevant, they are sharing some content, some articles, maybe a couple of every now and then, then they are thinking that they are doing social selling. But they don't act on the data. So when you share a blog, maybe somebody likes it, somebody comments to it, go after them thank them for it and start the conversation from there because obviously selling is about conversations and that's what we wanna see after you have built the relationship.
So really what I want to leave after this webinar, one of the main points is that act on the things you have been doing. So if your research somebody, you interact with them, try to push that forward, and turn it into revenue in the end because we are still talking about selling, so let's keep that in mind. Then the steps I'm using are these five ones. And there's personal brand, sharing, listening, engaging, and helping.
And then the, one of the biggest misconceptions in social selling is that, do you wanna close... Or do you wanna try to close it in social channels? No, you shouldn't do that. So after you've done all these steps, move it into offline, to the email, to the phone call basically as soon as you think it makes sense, and you have gained their trust, basically. So talking about personal brand. Obviously, you can have a LinkedIn profile. Everybody can do that. And I don't see that being a big teaching point anymore.
But a couple of steps there that people easily forget is that first of all, do your keyword research, also in that. So if you think of your buyer persona, what are they searching for when they are in LinkedIn or in social channels, and does your profile match those keywords of the product or of the service that you are offering? So that's a good thing to keep in mind when you are building the personal brand because, as mentioned before, being as relevant as possible to the buyer persona or to the prospect you wanna reach out, the better. And that's what they are also looking for.
Second point is then sharing the insight you have. One of the things I also often see is people share things about their own company just spamming, spamming and spamming, more and more things about their own company. All the features, all the tools, all the nice things that they have coming up, but what they should do. Also, on top of that, I think like 80/20 rule is good in that so 20% you share about your company, 80% you can share educational material that is relevant for your buyer persona.
So you can do different articles about where you, for example, have tested something that is relevant for them. You can make comparisons between some sort of things that is relevant for their business or their problems. So, for example, in our case, I wouldn't talk about Leadfeeder's features, but I could talk about B2B website conversion overall, how to fix the website conversion. Leadfeeder is just one tool among those, but not the main point there. So there's all kinds of things that attract their interest. And after that, you can dive into the product or service you are offering.
Third point is listening. So, when you pick the prospect you wanna follow up with, you wanna build a relationship with, and you wanna sell in the end. So listening is important, so this is the part where you learn about their needs and their problems, about what type of person they are. That also gives you an idea of how do you approach them. So do you think they like to be directly approached, or do you think they need to be softened up a little bit? So things like that, and you can learn a lot about their values, values basically when you see their social profiles and see what they are posting, commenting, and overall how they are interacting over there.
Then, the fourth part is engage. It has been bolded a bit more again, because as mentioned before, what I often see is that you do all the things, you listen, you might share good articles, do all of those things, but then you don't do anything to act on that. So again, like, reach out to them, send them a connection request, InMail, if you're using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, things like that. So you utilize the information when you reach out to them, and I'm gonna show you later on in the webinar a couple of examples of how that flow could go through using the insight you have basically gained.
And fifth, is helping. So, what you always try, what you always are trying to do is to help your ideal buyer and fix their problems. And once you fix one person's problem, another one's problem, then all of their industry know that you are the problem fixer and everybody starts coming to you, and they start knowing that you are the main guy or main girl in the space. So providing value upfront and not asking anything before, that is kind of like the main rules you should keep in mind.
And when you do all of this when you send them a Twitter message or a LinkedIn message, you connect with them there. Don't try to close anything in there. Ask for their email, ask for their phone number, and if that would be a good, good way to reach out to them, and close the deal, close the meetings in there. That's more helpful. And that also shows you that you have gained their trust at this point. And measurement over there about those KPIs are a bit later on.
So the main social selling channels in 2018. Again, that's obviously LinkedIn, by far the biggest B2B network. That's the main channel overall. It's not disappearing anytime soon, so everybody should be really active there. Twitter, good to have next to LinkedIn. Doing more like personal touches, and for example, if the same person you're trying to reach is in both channels. What I usually do is I kinda get them to remember my name through Twitter, engaging with them over there. And once I sent them a LinkedIn connection request, they already know me, and it gets much more easier from that point forward. So in some cases, Twitter also a really great tool if your buyer persona is there.
Then, Facebook. Not "the" anymore. Basically, just Facebook. I believe there's a new era coming up in the social selling with Facebook. It has been there for, well, quite some time with the groups, so we're gonna talk about how those could be utilized, even in B2B. And I know many people feel that Facebook is the private one. But still, what I see is that even though people have their individual profiles there, everybody comes together in the groups and then there are not that many privacy concerns, because they can network there with the people that they want. Depending on your industry or buyer profile, obviously Instagram, Snapchat maybe even Pinterest can add something do your social selling mix, but I'm not gonna touch those in this webinar, but perhaps good to keep in mind if you think of where your buyer lives, basically.
So first of all, LinkedIn, that's your own main professional profile. I would use LinkedIn as the main part where you wanna drive all of your traffic. If you have Twitter, drive traffic to your LinkedIn, you have Facebook, drive traffic to your LinkedIn. LinkedIn is built for it. You can measure it really well, all of the numbers there, how many visits you have, who they are, things like that. A really concrete place to focus on and build your own channels to end up there.
So building professional profile with the content, obviously again, guided to your buyer and helping them, is the largest B2B database. You can. With a couple of searches, you can get straight to the point and get exactly your buyer profile that you are looking for and who you should sell to.
And another good point, in comparison, for example, to cold calling. Cold calling is not disappearing anywhere, it's still there, but a good thing to keep in mind in social selling, is that when you use LinkedIn for example, there's no gatekeeper that you have to face when you are doing things with the phone, so you call the handler or another person and they are not letting you through, whereas in social you can pretty much go straight to the person you are wanting to reach. LinkedIn a really good place to learn from their profession. Needs and profile, their professional profile, learn about what they are working for, what are their daily challenges that they are trying to fix? And then you can mirror that. And it basically helps you to build your own profile, which is tailored for helping them.
In the background, you can see there's the LinkedIn Social Selling Index, somewhat good measurement overall to basically see that how active you are in certain things, or connecting people, and building relationships and sharing content, and things like that. So if you go to LinkedIn and search for Social Selling Index, you should check your score. Doesn't tell you exactly that much, but maybe it's good to keep in mind and play around a little bit with that.
Always a good point to keep in mind when you connect with somebody in LinkedIn, is that have a good reason there. I get, well, not tons, I'm not that popular, but a lot of connection requests without any context why they are connecting with me. And I don't usually want to accept those because I don't get anything out of those. And if they can't even tell me how I could help them, then it doesn't make sense for me to have connections that might not be valuable in either way.
So, reach out via message or email, and with that, obviously, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a big help because you can send emails to anybody, not just your closest connections. And be systematic and track results and a bit more about that in the KPI part. As mentioned, Twitter, finding out more, and crossing the challenge, you can dig in a bit deeper, make your name stand out. And more, finding more about the person, not just the professional side, but maybe something I'd say in-between their personal life and their professional life.
So it's kinda like a mixed field of that so you can learn a bit more about them there, especially if they are active users. And here's a short screenshot example, basically, from where our partnership with Google pretty much originally originated. So it was through a Twitter chat, and I got their email from there, and then we moved forward from there, and now we have obviously a great relationship with Google that normally were really hard to reach. I think I sent them just emails that. I found their email address, sent them emails, but in the end, through the Twitter, basically, came to the win where I started connecting with them on a personal level.
And again, using Twitter as the source from where to push people to LinkedIn and reaching out to them in LinkedIn or directly to email and phone. But I think that's a bit more rarer case in Twitter that you could go straight to phone call from there, but it can definitely happen.
Then we go to the Facebook part. And as stupid as it might sound, it's true that people are basically waiting to be sold something in the B2B section today. And the main space where I see that happening is in the Facebook groups. And believe me, when I tell you that there are groups for everything, from every industry, there are groups, and if there are not, you should build one and start owning it, becomes a great inbound generator.
But here are a couple of examples. I'm hanging out in the SaaS groups. Every day I think somebody is asking questions about what kind of lead generation tools you are using, things like that. We can pop Leadfeeder there, we can ask our customers to tell about Leadfeeder there, and I think we get pretty much new signups from there every day. And as an example, on the left side, there's a, for example, professional construction peoples group. There's a 360 professionals group.
You can find like-minded people from all over the space. And I think what's great also in Facebook is that they are not there that much with their work profile, at least the majority is not, which helps you also to build more genuine relationships. And when you go from chatting with somebody in Facebook in some chain, for example, in the group, and from there to LinkedIn, it gets much more easier to connect with them and start building it up and getting a meeting and getting a sale from there.
So I think Facebook group, really much, pretty much a gold mine. I know there are some people that will try to find out a group that would fit them. Perhaps they're not. And I would say that maybe you should build one yourself and bring like-minded people there too about Facebook groups.
Then let's go into the social selling KPI world, which is, in my mind, really important because it makes it real and not a random act. You can basically have numbers to tell your boss or your colleagues or, of course, maybe yourself that this is working or this is not working. So, a couple of examples with LinkedIn that you can do, for example, measuring the relevant network growth. So what you can do is you can have your buyer persona filtered in the LinkedIn search. You might have different criteria there.
And then you pick also the first connection tab, and you can see how that is growing. So basically, how many new connections from your relevant network you are gaining every week or every month, and so forth. Because that's the one stage obviously of the social selling, seeing so how many new opportunities you can gain, for example, through your LinkedIn.
Then another pretty common one is how many new connections, how many phone calls, appointments from there. And basically, in this new connections part, I would use new relevant connections. So obviously you don't wanna sell to everybody you connect with LinkedIn. There are customers and colleagues and other people who are just interested in you. So you shouldn't just call to sell to everybody. But the new relevant connections, how many phone calls, appointments can you get from there.
When you share content, how many new connections can you get from there? As mentioned before, if somebody likes your post, somebody comments to it, go thank them, start a conversation from there, and then move that further along, then try to get to the meeting and try to get the sale if it's a fit—clients referrals, from there getting to appointments, getting introductions in LinkedIn. When you have common connections with somebody, use those and see how well those convert into appointment or into a sale in the end.
And then one key thing, which is a bit harder to track, but how many buyer profiles visits you have in your profile, say, in a month. You can have that at least based on the industry. You can't go into the exact buyer profiles, but you could say that how many visits you have from people in the marketing industry for a month, for example, as a bit more vague KPI. And all of this tracking basically enables you to create your own secret follow-up source. So you can see that if some parts are not working, then you need to change something. And when you do, that numbers, again, tell you that you did something wrong or right, and you can go forward basically from there.
Here's a quick screen capture of the how to do the relevant network growth measurement thing. So in the left side, there's a LinkedIn basic search and a sales navigator part in the other side. So you can tap, for example, keywords, and then the relationship, the first degree, and then other things that are required for your buyer profile. So use those filters and see what your number at the moment then and try progressing that into higher numbers.
Alright. Alright. Then after that, we get to how to use Leadfeeder as a part of this, do one example, work through with that. And just for recap, in Leadfeeder, you can identify a company that has visited your website, you research the visit history, and you basically then go to LinkedIn or use LinkedIn contact to find out who would be the likely candidate you wanna approach based on these visits, which person, which team could do this sort of visit behavior.
So again, here you can see that they have been going to our integration space, they have been to the pricing page, use cases, pretty good visit overall there. And I would then go through Leadfeeder contacts, for example. I use my sort filters there that the visit was from Sweden, so there's a country, Sweden. I'm looking for marketing people, seniority level I wanna have is director. There's a couple of feeding persons into that. And let's say I then pick Lotta from the list.
And then again, a couple of steps there. So choose the candidates to outside of research of the person, go through their social profiles, what can you learn from there, start building relationships upwards already. If you find them on Twitter, that's excellent, go there, like them, engage with their post, get your name out there. You can refer to that when you connect with them in LinkedIn. And overall, what I spoke about before, use these things before you just do a cold reach out to them. So correlate the data from Leadfeeder and from your research of the buyer profile, and use that to make up the pitch.
Yeah, here's an example of how not to personalize a message. So, you obviously can get all sorts of information from the prospect, from the channels, and I've seen people going way overboard with the message. So then. Well, this is not good. So, if you go through it like this, browsing through their Facebook profile and using it like this, it doesn't end well. On top of that, this message doesn't provide any value about anything. So probably they wouldn't connect with you, and another thing is that they might call the police. So don't do it like this. Maybe a better way is something like this.
There are folded parts that refer to something that we've discussed before. So I think I could, for example, say that "Hi, Lotta, I think you noticed me on Twitter after our short chat there. Love your comment on what's happening with lead generation this year. Did you see, by the way, this article acts about it? I think it fits well the business you're in, seeing your business model via your website. By the way, I know a couple of people are searching for a similar product you offer. I could put you in touch with somebody and see if they're interested in that."
So first of all, I use something I had from before. So, from Twitter, Lotta probably knows my name already or my face. I refer to her comment, and I also help her with an article that could help her learn a bit more. I studied their business a bit. That brings value to them. They now see me as somebody who did the work already to go a bit further and study the business, even though they didn't ask that. And then I add some additional value to them. So, for example, could I bring perhaps some new prospects to their site? And what I just ask is that would be like. It would be fun to connect here in LinkedIn, and how could that go further, and moving it from LinkedIn basically, to offline.
So, let's say, Lotta, connects and thanks me for the link that I sent her. And I can send her something like this. Again, going a bit deeper into their company and browsing something from their website and referring back to something that they mentioned before, and adding, again, additional value and how I could help with that. So, I. Before I ask, for example, the email, I make them understand that I really have studied what they are doing, I understand what her problems are, and that's why I could help them a bit more if I send her an email.
And when we are in the email world, I could send something like that. I can send her an attachment of the tips to how to increase website conversion in this example. And then I can tell that, actually, in the first place, I found her through Leadfeeder, and that's actually not her but her company visiting our site. So perhaps that could be helpful for them too, so could we have a chat at some point from there? So that's like an example, follow-up process. It can vary a bit, but there are a couple of examples of how you could work with the data.
Alright, hopefully, that gave you some ideas how to utilize the data. And if we now make a short conclusion. Again, so LinkedIn is the main source for the new leads in B2B especially, so own that platform, should be a basic thing by now. Get your name out there to Twitter, use that as a cross-platform with LinkedIn and with other social platforms.
Then the third, Facebook, is definitely a new gold mine for new leads in B2B. Be the first mover there. Join the groups. Be active there. If there's some rare case that there is not a good group for you, build your own group, invite people there, start owning that. It will be a great inbound lead generator for you if you are the admin of the group. Don't buy into the bus without measuring it with KPIs. So, a couple of example sites I showed there earlier, feel free to use those. Happy to hear any results you get from those, so let me know. And then the fifth part, Leadfeeder being one good source of leads that you can use, and start social selling activities from there.
Alright, let's go into the Q&A. Let me go back and see the questions from here.
Let's see here.
I hope everybody can still hear me. I'm trying to open the questions part. I think I'm getting there. Alright, now it's loading. Alright, so let's go to the questions. So John Day asked, "How has Twitter worked in the B2B arena? What posts work?" I think you can share the same post there as you do in LinkedIn, just a bit shorter text there. And what works really well is that you can easily tag people in Twitter, and it seems that people like to interact more with that than, for example, compared to LinkedIn. So definitely, when you share articles, ping couple of people who might be interested in those, and also if you see article from other people who might be relevant or somebody you know, definitely ping them there too, and that way connect people on and add value basically both ways. And.
Alright, there's a couple of other questions. And. Alright. Yes, I will share the presentation. There will be a recording of this. And basically, what Facebook groups I would recommend are depending on the industry you are in. So what I would do is, for example, in our case, we are selling to B2B marketers, B2B salespeople, I would find groups where those people hang out. There might be a B2B marketers group, but then also something more general, like B2B marketing group. So both kinds of groups. Other ones are more specific, and the other ones are more general places. But you can find basically leads from both of those sites.
Alright. Another question, okay. So the hospitality industry, if you're selling to hotels, I would check something like hospitality professionals group, things like that. I think you would find those. And also if you are in specific country, so the language is not in English, try to search for groups in the local language. I think there might be some good sub-groups also there.
Yes, Teresa asks for, actually in the chat, from other people too, you can answer her there, but, "Has anyone had much success with LinkedIn-sponsored email campaigns?" We haven't used those. I have received those. One thing actually I could say there is that there was a guy in the UK, can't exactly remember his name, but what they did is they did 100 cold calls and 100 cold InMails in LinkedIn basically and tried to get the result out of those. The Word was that they get 16 meetings out of the 100 cold calls, and zero meetings out of those cold InMails.
So LinkedIn InMail is just the part of the social selling process, but it's not the only thing. So you need to have more than that. And that's why you build the value upfront, your personal brand, everything like that. And because of that, it works better than just cold calling people. But calling and social selling, those should be together, those work really well together.
Yeah, there's Tom, who's a big influencer in the Finnish social selling industry, has a good insight of the InMail rate, that it's significantly higher than with traditional email marketing, often well over 50%. So yeah, definitely that the open rate is good. So if the messages is relevant, I could give it a go.
Okay, let's see if there's other questions. "Every day, I receive notification that companies have been in our site. How would I go about finding out which person within the company was on our website?" It's a good question. We get this question a lot. You don't have to find necessarily exactly the person, but when you know the company name, the visit location, what they have been doing in the site, you know from which country they are, from which location they are, based on the visit behavior that what type of person they are. Are they working in marketing, for example, or in sales, or things like that? So, you can narrow it down into a team pretty well, even in a bigger company, because of the location part.
So, in our case, if I see a lead coming to our site and they visit our integration page, pricing page, I know it's... In most cases, at least if they are reading some marketing-related articles, that it's a marketing person, I would search for people with a marketing background in the company. I will check, for example, in LinkedIn if they have Google Analytics in their keywords somewhere, and then I would know that they are somehow associated with that.
And when I reach out to them, I don't necessarily tell them that I saw somebody in our site. I could tell that "We've seen a lot of interest coming to our company, to our site, browsing our blogs and so on, and, that's why I decided to reach out to you and I thought you might be the right person as you work with the Google Analytics and B2B marketing in the company."
"What do you recommend in order to balance your own personal profile as your sales profile, as an employee that wants to help a company you work for?" I don't think you have to go full-on trying to build a sales profile that goes over your personal profile. I think both are important. And also, the buyer probably wants to see a human side of you so that you are not just a salesperson with everything related to sales that you also have a personal life behind all of that.
So, about the right balance. For example, my Facebook, I keep my Facebook as a pretty private one. I accept there as a friend some really, really important business contacts, and then I interact in the groups as myself. But I have it where I work in the Facebook profile, so people can see that part of me also in my personal life.
"If you'd ask the advantage of not being geographically limited in that, I imagine you can sell globally. Do you have any suggestions for companies who are more restricted to a single city region?" If you are talking about social selling overall, like one of the great things that I mentioned before are those Facebook groups. If they are not, for example, a group in the city or in the region, go build one yourself and invite like-minded people there, and soon it will grow, because it seems that it's pretty easy to grow a group in Facebook up to 1,000 people, people in the end, for example. So I would go with that, and then in the end, in LinkedIn, for example, it's pretty easy to filter with the city and region to do more highly targeted reach out to those people.
Alright. Lisa asks, "Do you have research on your recommendations showing results?" Do you mean? Yeah, so do these things work? Yeah, obviously, those can be backed up from multiple sources, and I'm happy to tell you more if you send me an email. So, happy to clarify that.
Alright, alright. I think those were all the questions. Thanks for everybody joining the call, let me know what would you want to hear next related to social selling. We can dive into some more targeted specific things. We don't have to talk about the overall thing, like social selling in Facebook groups, what kind of hacks and tactics we get there, or social selling tools that help us to maybe automate some parts of it or things like that.
But I hope this was beneficial for you. And connect with me in LinkedIn. Send that note to the connection, so I know you are from the webinar, and let's keep chatting over there. Thank you, everybody, for joining. Have a great day. Bye-bye.
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