There is a simple three-step mantra to generating more leads on LinkedIn (or any social media for that matter).
Building an intentional digital presence is about meeting your buyers where they are and delivering value. Most B2B buyers happen to be on LinkedIn, so that’s where we’ll focus today. However, these strategies will work on any social platform.
Let’s dive in to see why traditional social selling may not be working for you and how this three-step mantra can help you.
The Social Selling Problem
Unless you’ve been selling under a rock, you’ve heard the stats about the benefits of social selling countless times.
Salespeople who use social media are 51% more likely to achieve quota. They attract 45% more opportunities and outsell non-social sellers by 78% (LinkedIn).
I personally don’t like the term social-selling, though. I think it’s killing the modern LinkedIn strategy. Traditionally it focuses too much on selling and not enough on giving value to buyers.
But as long as your intention on social media is to connect with potential businesses through meaningful dialogue and great content, then we’re on the same page in terms of social selling.
The strategies I’ll discuss in this article were developed for LinkedIn lead generation, but if your buyers are on Twitter or Facebook, these strategies will still apply.
ADD Buyers to Your Network
Building the right audience on LinkedIn is a crucial step that’s all too frequently skipped. Many people get their LinkedIn lead gen strategy wrong by creating and posting a bunch of great content but failing to get the right people to see it.
If you’re not actively adding buyers to your network, chances are most of your connections are current or ex-coworkers, college friends, and family.
The first thing you need to do is get LinkedIn Sales Navigator (if you don’t already have it).
Then create a list in Sales Navigator based on your ICP and buyer personas.
Send 50-100 daily connection requests. This will take you about 10 minutes a day.
If you do the math, just 50 connections a day, five days a week, means about 130,000 potential connections (buyers) a year that you’re adding to your network.
That’s 130,000 potential viewers of your content that are within your ICP.
Think of this as creating the opportunity for buyers to find you organically, while also intentionally creating the opportunity for you to reach out to them on a one-on-one basis.
POST Content Regularly
Adding the right buyers to your network is like showing up to an in-person networking event. Posting engaging content is how you start talking.
If you’ve never posted before on LinkedIn — or have never posted anything other than your company’s content — this step can feel a little intimidating. But the truth of the matter is that only 1% of LinkedIn users post regularly, and B2B buyers are craving more content. 91% of B2B buyers rank LinkedIn as their #1 go-to-site for professional and relevant content.
Why does content matter when we’re talking about lead generation on LinkedIn?
Over half of buyers list LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process. That means by regularly posting content and positioning yourself and your company as experts in the space, you can influence the decisions of over half of your buyers.
To get started, follow these three rules:
Post 2-3 times a week (to start). Set aside time in the morning or at the end of the day. If finding time to post is a huge hurdle for you, try writing your posts two to three weeks at a time, and then use a free social scheduling tool.
This could actually save you even more time if you struggle to come up with posts on the fly.
Optimize your content by avoiding dumb mistakes that kill your reach. In other words, post what LinkedIn ranks.
Create content that’s easy to read and scan. Use a strong headline. Diversify your content. Use hashtags (but only up to three, and it’s better to add them at the end). Don’t post links in the body copy (drop them in the comments). Don’t be overly promotional or pitchy. And lastly, don’t just share your company posts.
Give value more than you sell. The bulk of your content should be about teaching your audience something, taking a stance on a topic, posting about something you’ve learned, or asking your network for their opinion.
You can still occasionally promote an upcoming virtual event or webinar. And you can still call out features of your company’s product. Just make sure you’re focusing on the value you’re giving to your audience.
If what you’re talking about is a fit for a potential buyer’s company, they’ll reach out to you directly. But in most cases, you’ll have to have a two-way conversation before you can start selling. That leads us to step three.
ENGAGE with Your Buyers
Adding the right audience to your network and frequently putting out high-quality content is a great start, but LinkedIn isn’t broadcast media, it’s social media.
Publishing great content attracts buyers and gets them on the hook. But to turn them into leads, you need to pull them up and engage.
Talk with your audience, not to them. Building rapport and a little bit of relationship capital through conversation (even through comments) will produce more and higher quality leads than just posting.
Take 10 minutes per day to engage with your audience’s posts. Engagement can be a like, a reaction, or a comment. But comments are best, especially if you have something valuable to add.
There’s only 1 rule. Never pitch in post comments.
Reply to people in your own post comments. If your audience of potential buyers has taken the time to comment on your post, comment back.
If a potential lead emailed you a question about your product, would you ignore it? No. So, respond and add value to your network wherever you can.
As salespeople, this should be the most natural step in modernizing your LinkedIn lead generation strategy. We like talking to people.
Commenting on a post can be something light and short, or it can be an in-depth reply that generates an opportunity to message them. Either way, as a salesperson, this should be your wheelhouse.
Now It’s Your Turn to ADD, POST, and ENGAGE
The #1 objection I hear from other sales professionals when I give them this strategy is the perceived time commitment. There’s no templated message that they can add to their sequence. They worry it will take time away from their prospecting.
If you’re in this camp and struggling to find time to engage with buyers on LinkedIn, you need to change your mindset.
Talking to buyers on social media IS prospecting, and it should be a part of your overall strategy.
If you’re just doing the minimum of ADD, POST, ENGAGE, that’s only 10 minutes a day for connections and 10 minutes for engaging. That’s only 20 minutes of your morning. Then, add another 20 minutes or so every other day for a post, and that’s it.
That time is minimal compared to the impact this strategy will have on your pipeline in just a few weeks.
All you have to do is start cranking on Monday and see the results for yourself.