Is LinkedIn Your Best Sales Weapon?
Whilst there’s likely to be some attrition following LinkedIn’s recent makeover, it’s hard to see another social media tool taking its crown just yet, despite the best efforts of its competitors.
LinkedIn has neglected two big opportunities Facebook is now capitalizing on: helping lower-skilled workers and helping people who aren’t actively looking for a job. In February 2017 businesses in the US and Canada were able to start posting job openings, and their future employees were able to find those posts on their personal Facebook page.
beBee is another professional networking tool hoping to capitalize on the professional networking market. Orientated towards promoting your personal brand – its look and feel is far less corporate than LinkedIn and is likely to appeal to creative industries and younger audiences. XING is another player in the field.
Here’s the lowdown on some of the recent changes to LinkedIn:
The changes on the desktop now match the mobile app. This change was made as a result of more people using the app than the desktop and mirrors the behavior of the modern working world i.e. working on the move and being constantly connected.
Ease of connecting with people
When you have messages waiting for you in your inbox there is now a blue messaging box at the bottom of your screen (on mobile) that alerts you – this makes chat and conversation possible – and is all inspired by Facebook.
There are now suggested responses to InMail requests. If someone contacts you, you can instantly respond to them indicating whether you’re interested or not. This makes getting back to people much quicker and simpler.
You can also introduce people into a conversation and decide how much of the conversation thread they see.
New profile page design
The new look of the profile page is meant to be easier to navigate and there’s an emphasis on making pages more attractive. If you don’t already have one, add a cover photo and make sure it looks great across on both desktop and mobile.
The new-look profile pages also highlight recent posts and activity more prominently. So by spending some time each week liking and sharing content, you can keep your profile fresh and updated.
You can go one step further and post your own content. You might even get lucky and have it picked up and published by LinkedIn’s Pulse editors.
Content is king on the internet and LinkedIn is no exception. Aim to write 1,000 words, make sure your visuals complement your content and always include a call to action.
Once you’ve written your post (thought leadership pieces always do well) you need to share it. The ninja trick is to share multiple times – once a day is acceptable.
In terms of posting new content, once a week is ideal, but if time is tight then once a month should be your minimum. Keep your content evergreen and use a scheduling tool like Buffer to take the stress out of posting regularly.
Sales Navigator is a subscription-only service that lets sales people tap LinkedIn for customer leads for “social selling”. It’s never been LinkedIn’s biggest revenue generator but it does have lots of potential.
Back in March 2017 LinkedIn announced a series of new features and products:
- Enterprise Edition – a new tier to the product range to sell the product to much larger groups of users
- PointDrive integration – a tool to help sales people share information with clients through storytelling. Instead of attaching documents to emails, PointDrive packages up your materials and presents them engagingly to your client.
- CRM sync functionality – as you take notes, send InMails or even place calls from the Sales Navigator mobile app for iOS and Android, you can now write them as activities to your CRM with a simple mouse click
So will LinkedIn continue to be your best sales weapon? Yes – you just have to make sure you use the right tactics and messaging.
While LinkedIn (and most other social network platforms) is becoming increasingly difficult to use as a way of gaining visibility, it still works as a great lead generation channel.