Social Round-Up: Conquering LinkedIn
SOCIAL ROUND-UP: CONQUERING Linked
by Chad Jones
If you'd rather, we can read this to you.
This is the first post in our series, “Social Round-Up”. We will be discussing the “next steps” after someone becomes a follower of you or your page. Many of the steps will share similar principles across social media but be modified to take advantage of the different functionality offered by each platform.
Today, we tackle LinkedIn
So you’ve created a company page and invited a bunch of your connections to follow that page. Many say yes right off the bat because, unlike other platforms, they don’t have to worry about a barrage of content coming at them. But follower count is just a number. The real question is how do you take those new followers and convert them to clients?
The answer, incrementally.
Social Media, in general, is playing the long game. The reason it can be so successful at bringing quality leads is because it allows prospects to come to you when they are ready.
But again, that doesn’t happen overnight so it’s important to set the right expectations. To do that, begin by focusing less on converting them into paying customers and more on converting them to engaged followers.
HOW DO YOU DO THIS?
First, remember social media, especially LinkedIn, is just networking. Think about how you would interact with a prospect you meet at a conference. You’re basically trying to achieve the same thing digitally. You engage them, and you want to show value.
Here are a few practical things you can be doing to make this process easier.
Please and thank you still go a long way to making someone feel valued. Send them a LinkedIn message thanking them for following your business. You can create a template to work off of, but take the time to make it personal. Tell them briefly what your business does and then, whenever possible, end with a question. Again, personalize it. Have you met this person? What did y'all talk about? What were their hobbies? Bring it around to them in the end and ask them something.
Right now you’re really just talking to them, but by ending with a question you’re asking them to engage with you. Engagement is the first step to developing a digital two-way relationship.
As your follower count grows it can be difficult to keep everything straight. Utilize the “how we met” feature in LinkedIn to remind you how you know your connections.
Use the notes field to remind yourself of key details that might be relevant. Personal details that will help you make a deeper connection can go in this field as well as business informations such as their needs, and pain-points if available.
Create a ranking system using tags. Eventually you are going to get more followers than you can handle. Developing a system that helps you classify high-quality prospects versus old school-mates you want to keep in touch with will help you prioritize the time you spend nurturing specific connections.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, group connections by common interests, needs or pain-points. Again, you can use the tag feature. Don’t worry, these tags are only visible to you. Tags are helpful because they allow you to filter connections using search. If you have a product or service that speaks directly to a common pain-point among your connections, it’s an easy way to quickly figure out to whom you need to talk.
It’s important to respect everyone’s time. You don’t want to be interruptive but you do want to keep up with your followers. It’s not really feasible to touch base with every single follower on a semi regular basis. This is where the tags you’ve created to rank prospects comes in handy.
Follow any prospects that fit into your “high-quality” category. By doing this you’ll be able to keep in-tune with what’s going on in their professional life. Take opportunities to congratulate them on accomplishments or even wish them luck on upcoming events.
Use the reminders feature. Set a time-frame in which you want to touch-base with your followers. Set a reminder with-in LinkedIn so you don’t forget to reach out
TAILOR YOUR MESSAGE
It’s crucial to understand that quality content is required to make this work. Chatting is fine and good but talking about the weather doesn’t convert prospects. They’ve got to see value in what you do before they are willing to take that leap. The best way to do that is tailoring your content to fit their needs.
Use the the groups you’ve created with the tag feature to guide you. You know a group of your followers all have a common need that your business can fulfill. That is a great jumping off point for custom tailoring some content. It’s a lot easier to create content such a blog posts, videos or even share others content such as books, or articles if you know who exactly you’re creating it for and what questions need to be answered.
Use LinkedIn “showcase” pages to highlight specific products or services.
Your general business page is great for those who just want to keep up-to-date with what your company is doing, but showcase pages allow you to highlight specific offerings. Again, a great way to speak directly to a group’s needs.
All these tools are available in LinkedIn for anyone to use but you’d be surprised at how many people do not take advantage. Just by utilizing them and consistently following through with follower engagement you are going to start standing out. You can take it up a notch by thinking about your followers steps to engagement.
Make it easy for them to follow a path. For example, if they are following one of your showcase pages, instead of linking to the home page of your website, create a landing page specifically for those followers. When they click that link they’ll immediately be taken to a page full of relevant content with a clear CTA (call to action) so they can take those next steps easily.
It's All About Routine
All this can seem daunting but the key is making it a routine. Create a standard operating procedure with specific steps on what to do when someone follows your page and take time to go through it once a week or even once a day. You’ll find that once you get it down, you can knock it out pretty quick. If you can do it successfully and consistently then you will have conquered LinkedIn and won the internet!
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