Warmly's success in social selling has played a crucial role in propelling our brand's growth and lead generation strategy. Focused mainly on LinkedIn, our social selling endeavors have proven highly effective, contributing significantly to both lead acquisition and scheduled meetings. Take a look at the lead volume that we bring in from LinkedIn alone:
We’re not alone in our social selling success. The strategy:
- Gives sales professionals 45% more sales opportunities
- Makes sales professionals 51% more likely to hit their sales quotas
- Helps sales professionals outsell 78% of their peers
In today’s social media centric world, social selling isn't merely an option; it's a smart and increasingly necessary way for sales teams and marketing professionals to connect with customers via the platforms they use the most. Consider — over 5 billion people are using social media today, and that number is steadily rising.
So, how do you begin social selling and do it well? And how can it bolster your traditional inbound marketing strategies?
We are here to help you embrace the power of social selling for enhanced results in the digital era. We’re covering:
- What Is Social Selling?
- Best Practices, Social Selling Tips, and Tricks
- What Is Social Selling the Inbound Way?
Let’s dive in.
What is Social Selling?
Diverging from traditional sales methods, social selling places a premium on dynamic and personalized interactions across social media profiles. This approach goes beyond transactional sales, which might feel pushy and forced. Instead, social selling strategy concentrates on meaningful relationships and understanding audience needs and preferences. The goal is to establish a robust online presence, foster trust, and cultivate genuine connections to enhance sales opportunities.
Key elements of social selling
While social selling tactics differ, they share fundamental commonalities:
Engage with prospects through real-time conversations on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Tailor content and interactions to cater to the specific preferences and interests of your audience.
Utilize social media insights to comprehend the needs and behaviors of your target audience.
Establish credibility by sharing valuable insights, industry knowledge, and addressing customer queries.
Actively connect with potential customers, industry influencers, and peers to expand your network.
The Growing Popularity of Social Selling
Social selling is already a linchpin strategy for top sales reps:
- Leveraging social selling streamlines the process of obtaining referrals within LinkedIn networks, a strategy employed by 74% of sales professionals for prospecting and acquiring new leads.
- The effectiveness of individuals in establishing a professional brand on LinkedIn is measured by the Social Selling Index (SSI). High-performing salespeople who leverage the SSI consistently outperform their peers who are less inclined to embrace social media in their sales strategies.
- Social media plays a pivotal role in the sales landscape, with high-performing salespeople being 12% more likely to incorporate these platforms into their strategies, showcasing the integral role of social selling in enhancing overall sales performance.
- Approximately 56% of sales professionals actively integrate social media platforms into their sales efforts, underscoring the crucial function of social media in identifying and engaging potential prospects.
- In 2022, a significant 31% of sellers successfully closed deals surpassing half a million dollars without relying on face-to-face meetings. Deals influenced by LinkedIn's Sales Navigator were notably 209% larger compared to those not impacted by this influential social selling tool.
- According to LinkedIn research, a remarkable 90% of top sales professionals actively embrace social selling tools, illustrating the widespread recognition and adoption of social selling practices among successful sales experts.
The intersection with marketing
It’s not just sales professionals leaning into social selling. There is also a notable upward trend in marketers embracing social platforms. In the US alone a whopping $72.3 billion was spent advertising on social media networks in 2023. As of January 2023, Facebook was the most utilized platform among marketers (ranked first amongst 89 percent of global marketers). Instagram and LinkedIn followed closely, while TikTok was utilized by one-quarter of marketers for advertising. 86 percent of industry professionals noted increased exposure as the primary benefit of leveraging social media in marketing, with 76 percent emphasizing the significance of enhanced traffic.
Best Practices, Social Selling Tips, and Tricks
Top-performing salespeople are social sellers, prioritizing cultivating quality connections over a high quantity of unknown leads. 76% of these high achievers consistently research their prospects before initiating contact, emphasizing the importance of a personalized and informed approach. So how do you emulate these kinds of tactics within your own sales team?
LinkedIn stands as a powerful platform for effective social selling strategies. Therefore, Understanding the intricacies of the LinkedIn algorithm and employing best practices that align with its dynamics is essential for successful social selling. The algorithm rewards content that sparks engagement and keeps users on the platform, making it crucial to create compelling and shareable posts:
Here are some of our favorite best practices, tips, and tricks for working with the algorithm to optimize your LinkedIn activity for social selling:
Improve your SSI
Enter the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI). The SSI measures one's effectiveness in utilizing LinkedIn for social selling, assessing key factors such as establishing a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building strong relationships. A high SSI indicates a robust social selling presence, emphasizing the importance of crafting a compelling profile, connecting with relevant prospects, sharing valuable content, and actively engaging with the LinkedIn community.
- Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete, highlighting your skills, experiences, and a professional photo as your profile picture. Craft a compelling headline and summary that showcase your expertise.
- Connect Strategically: Expand your network with relevant connections. Connect with colleagues, clients, and industry professionals to enhance your visibility and reach on the platform.
- Share Valuable Original Content: Regularly post and share content that aligns with your industry and interests. Providing insights, articles, and updates showcases your expertise and engages your network.
- Engage Actively: Comment on, like, and share posts from your network. Engaging with others' content demonstrates your interest and involvement in industry discussions.
- Request Recommendations: Seek recommendations from colleagues and clients to build credibility. Positive testimonials enhance your professional reputation and contribute to a higher SSI.
Be strategic with your posting habits
Strategic posting on LinkedIn involves choosing the right time and creating a memorable personal brand. To optimize your posting habits, identify peak times when your audience is active. Aim for mornings or early afternoons when professionals often browse LinkedIn.
- Timing is everything: Leverage analytics tools to identify when your LinkedIn connections are most. Then, time your LinkedIn post to correspond with heavy online traffic.
- Consistency is key: Ensure consistent use of your chosen moniker across your LinkedIn profile, posts, and interactions.
- Be #strategic: Implement a tactical use of relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your posts within specific professional communities or trending topics.
- Lean into your network: Actively engage with your network by participating in discussions, responding to comments, and sharing insights. This builds rapport and strengthens your professional connections.
Craft quality content that resonates with the audience
Crafting quality content is pivotal for effective social selling. Focus on delivering what your audience wants, whether it's humor, valuable insights, or revealing personal anecdotes. Incorporate storytelling techniques to make your content relatable and engaging, as people naturally connect with stories.
Establish a regular posting schedule to maintain a strong online presence. Plan your content in advance, utilize scheduling tools, and stay attuned to trending topics to keep your posts relevant and compelling.
- Industry Insights: Share your perspective on current trends, challenges, or emerging technologies within your industry.
- Expert Advice: Offer valuable tips, tricks, or insights related to your expertise. Position yourself as an authority in your field.
- Behind-the-Scenes: Provide a glimpse into your work life or company culture. Humanize your brand by sharing behind-the-scenes content.
- Interactive Content: Pose questions, conduct polls, or host quizzes to encourage audience interaction and gather feedback.
- Educational Content: Create informative content that educates your audience on relevant topics or addresses common industry misconceptions.
- Event Highlights: Share highlights from industry events, conferences, or webinars you've attended. This establishes you as an active participant in your field.
- Thought-Provoking Questions: Pose thought-provoking questions to stimulate discussions and engage your audience in meaningful, relevant conversations.
Crafting a memorable moniker adds a distinctive touch to your personal brand. Create a title that reflects your personality or professional strengths. Memorable monikers, such as "Click Through King" or "Sales Khaleesi," create a unique and intriguing identity that lingers in the audience's memory.
This initial interest often leads to increased profile visits. Not only does this provide an opportunity to showcase expertise, build brand recognition, and establish connections within the professional community, but it also creates opportunities for profile visitors to become inbound leads by clicking through to your website (more on this later).
Lightning strike posts
Lightning strike posts are impactful and attention-grabbing announcements or content shared on social platforms, particularly LinkedIn, with the goal of quickly generating widespread engagement.
These posts have the potential to go viral, increasing visibility and driving profile visits. By leveraging the heightened exposure gained from such posts, individuals can channel the increased traffic towards their profiles, subsequently encouraging visits to their websites.
Take a look at a lightning strike post from our CEO Maximus Greenwald about a Warmly milestone:
To create effective lightning strike posts, individuals can consider:
- Series A funding announcements
- Major product launches
- Groundbreaking industry insights
- Recognition or awards received
- Top achievements or milestones
- Participation in influential events or collaborations
- Exclusive behind-the-scenes content
- Trending or controversial topics within the industry
Engage with influencers
Engaging with influencers can significantly amplify your social selling efforts. Influencers hold sway over a substantial audience, and their endorsement can enhance your visibility and credibility. To foster engagement with influencers:
- Identify key influencers: Research and identify influencers in your industry who align with your brand.
- Post Thoughtful Comments: Instead of generic comments, provide thoughtful and insightful contributions to the influencers' posts.
- Engage in personalized outreach: Send personalized messages expressing appreciation for their content and highlighting specific aspects you find valuable.
- Audience-Centric Content: Tailor your content to address the interests and pain points of the influencer's audience.
- Collaborative Content: Propose collaboration ideas, such as co-authored articles, joint webinars, or interviews, to create content together.
- Tag Influencers: When relevant, tag influencers in your posts to increase the chances of them noticing and engaging with your content.
- Regular Engagement: Consistently engage with influencers' content by sharing, commenting, and reacting to their updates.
- Social Listening: Monitor their conversations, respond to their queries, and actively participate in discussions related to your industry.
Pro-tip: Comment early on viral posts
Engaging with influencer posts early on by commenting strategically positions your input at the top of the comment section, garnering increased visibility. When influencers' posts gain traction, your comment becomes more likely to be seen by a broader audience, contributing to heightened profile views. This visibility boost is crucial as users perusing popular posts are more inclined to explore your profile, thereby driving potential connections, increasing network reach, and enhancing overall profile visibility on LinkedIn.
What Is Social Selling the Inbound Way?
Social selling isn’t the only highly effective approach to the modern customer profile. In contrast to traditional sales methods, inbound selling is a customer-centric and less intrusive strategy. Inbound selling focuses on attracting and engaging potential customers through content and interactions that align with their interests and needs.
The similarities between the two strategies make them symbiotic, and there’s a natural path from social selling into inbound lead status.
Tactically, the transition from engagement via social selling into an inbound lead can look like this:
- Engagement on Social Media Profiles: Social sellers initiate personalized engagement on platforms like LinkedIn, responding to comments, messages, and participating in industry discussions.
- Compelling Content: By sharing valuable and tailored content, social sellers capture the lead's interest. This content addresses the lead's needs and concerns, making them more likely to explore further.
- Curiosity Sparked: The engaging interactions and compelling content pique the lead's curiosity, prompting them to seek more information about the brand and its offerings.
- Visit to LinkedIn Profiles: Intrigued by the social media engagement, the lead navigates to the LinkedIn profiles of the individuals involved, seeking insights into the people behind the brand.
- LinkedIn to Website Transition: Social sellers strategically guide the lead from LinkedIn profiles to the company's website, where they can find detailed information, product/service offerings, and additional resources.
- Conversion Opportunities: Once on the website, there is an opportunity for that person’s information to be captured, therefore converting them into an inbound lead.
Social selling the inbound way with Warmly
Warmly provides a comprehensive set of features to help companies capture inbound leads driven to their website through social selling efforts. Here's how Warmly can contribute to this process:
Access The Best Data
Utilize native integrations or add your API key to de-anonymize and enrich visitor data.
Automatically reveal the stage of a visitor's buyer journey when they explore your website.
Connect your CRM to automatically gather and understand relevant context around the prospect. Enhance personalized conversations with inbound website visitors through automated context assimilation.
Warmly's AI initiates personalized sales conversations on your rep's behalf with site visitors meeting segment filter conditions. Engage in real-time with potential leads, providing immediate assistance and information.
Automatic Follow Up
Automatically enroll high-intent inbound visitors into personalized follow-up sequences using popular platforms like Outreach, SalesLoft, or LinkedIn. Nuture leads on auto-pilot, ensuring consistent engagement with your brand.
Sync Data To CRM
Break down data siloes by centralizing data in your CRM. Automatically create or update CRM records with enriched information, engagement insights, and buyer intent data.
By integrating Warmly into your social selling strategy, companies can convert more qualified accounts visiting their site. The platform enables proactive engagement, efficient qualification, and seamless conversion of warm inbound leads. This streamlined process not only captures leads effectively but also enhances the overall efficiency of turning website visitors into meaningful connections.
In today's digital world, where more than 5 billion people use social media, the importance of social selling is clear. Whether you're in sales or marketing, adding social selling to your strategy isn't just a choice; it's a practical and necessary step.
As you start engaging in social sales, we encourage you to share your experiences, challenges, and successes. Social selling is a changing field that requires continuous learning. Join discussions, share your thoughts, and help shape the evolving world of social selling. Your input is crucial for collaborative exploration in the digital age of sales and marketing.
Cheers to building meaningful connections and unlocking business potential through the strategic use of social selling!