Episode 18: Leveraging LinkedIn Polls to Start Conversations
Bill McCormick 0:00
Hello, everybody, welcome to another episode of Making Sales Social Live. And today we’re going to talk all about polls and how to leverage LinkedIn polls for social selling. So Brynne, why don’t you kick it off and tell everyone, just a little bit about polls, and give us kind of a background, how we can start doing this.
Brynne Tillman 0:19
I absolutely love LinkedIn polls. And if you are on LinkedIn at all, and you get to your newsfeed, one out of five of those posts seem to be polls right now. And so a lot of people have been asking, like, Why are so many people using polls? And there are lots of reasons. So the first one is, it is a phenomenal way to engage. When you ask someone else for their point of view, they’re honored that you care about their opinion. And so by posting polls, and asking specific people to vote on those polls, if we ask the right questions, and we’ll talk about what they might be, and we create engagement, we’re going to start to get insights into our buyers, and what matters to them. This can feed into all kinds of things from not just kind of the data that we can learn from them and the content that they want to consume. But it helps us to start more conversations based on what matters to them. So I’m really excited to talk about polling.
Bill McCormick 1:30
So good point of what one of the things you said was what matters to them. So the poll shouldn’t be around. Do you like chocolate, ice cream, or vanilla unless you sell ice cream? Because just recently on another platform, I saw some people talking about LinkedIn. And they said that one of the things they dislike about it is are all the polls that they’re seeing. So I think it’s important that what we do is, you know, with any content that we create, it’s educational. It’s a value, it’s engaging people, and polls have such a great way to do that. And I love the fact of asking people’s opinions when it’s something that matters to them. Again, we come back to what we talked about a few episodes back on social listening, is to figure out what is it that your clients want to hear? What are they consuming? And then crafting polls around that, wouldn’t you agree?
Brynne Tillman 2:25
Absolutely. And polls do help in social listening, ending the content engagement. So I think that’s awesome. There are a few things that are just kind of technically around polls that I want to talk about. One of them is you have very limited characters for both the question and the answers, and you only get four options for answers. So you want to be very concise. But you also want to make sure that when you ask the question because they can only vote on one, that you’re asking it from a “What is your number one priority? What is your top x?” Right, what is the one thing you could do? Because a lot of times people ask polls, and I want to answer more than one, one answer and you can’t.
Bill McCormick 3:17
Yeah, and I just want to go back to, just the pragmatism of this and the practicality because I know, when I’m posting something, especially I’m using my phone, I do it really fast. And then I post it and then I go back and I proofread it and then I go in and edit it. But you’re not able to do that with a poll. So you have to be very careful that you craft the question the right way and you spellcheck it, and especially crafting your answers and spellcheck only 30 characters with spaces for your options of the answers. So what we recommend is do it in a Google Doc, do it in a Word doc, type it all out, make sure you check things, then do the copy and paste. So I just wanted to point that out. So very, very important.
Brynne Tillman 3:58
The other thing is when you’re posting, so you post the poll, you now have the opportunity to put in text, right, so just like a normal post. So you want to make sure that the text is also attracting and engaging the right people. There are lots of things that you can do, to do that you can start off with a statistic that you found, with a heated question or the reason you’re asking this poll, right, what inspired this poll? Really important. You can also use hashtags and mentioned people you know that you have permission to mention to start the poll going. There’s another way to get engagement not just to post and pray. But there’s another way to get people to vote for specific people. Yeah, specific people that you want to get voted for. So Bob, talk a little bit about that.
Bob Woods 4:53
So what this involves is what we call putting the message into their inbox. So when we say the inbox, we mean their LinkedIn messaging so that it appears like to them. So what you do is you identify these specific people who you want to answer the poll with, and then what you would do is there is a button that says send at the bottom, and then you would select the first-degree people, and you can only do this with first-degree people, you would click that, and then you would type in something at the top of the message that says, you know, Brynne you probably have really great text for that. But it can be really simple, you know, just something as simple as you know, “Hey, I just published a poll, I would love to hear your thoughts on it, please give it a quick vote”. And what’s cool about it is that when you share like that, the actual poll shows up in that message too. So they don’t even need to go searching for it, they could just click on it, and then they’re done, obviously, if they feel motivated, and they want to leave a comment on the poll, which is huge because that’s where you want engagement from, they’ll leave a comment as well.
Brynne Tillman 6:08
Absolutely. And so polls, I think, are a phenomenal way to get that engagement. One of the things you know, Bob, you mentioned is taking inventory of your first-degree connections, there are lots of ways to do this, you can export your connections into an Excel spreadsheet, and identify the key people that you want to engage. The other thing you can do is search your first-degree connection. So let’s say I’m going to give an example we do a poll that says what is the number one thing you look at on somebody’s profile before you accept their connection request. Is it your headline, is it their pictures, is it they’re about section, is it their content, or you know, whatever that is, right? So we put that out there. So now, when you know, we get that content, we might say so who do we want to get this in front of. And now I want to get this in front of people in a sales role. So I will do a search on my first-degree connections, and identify the 30, 40, 50 people. Now it’s manual. And although you can send links specifically up to 50 people in one message, we recommend you only do one at a time. Right. Right. So you do exactly what Bob said, you click send you type in somebody’s name, and you do a quick little message. My message is: “Hey, Bob, as you know, someone in a business development role, I’d love your one-click vote on what you look for before accepting a connection request on LinkedIn”. Very simple and very powerful. We believe that polls are a phenomenal way to get engagement from your targeted buyers, your targeted audience, and ultimately leverage that data to start a conversation. So let’s kind of hop into that piece real quick. The starting conversation. So now we’ve got this data, we know what they voted on. I have some ideas, you know, let me know if you have some ideas. But you know, based on, so let’s say you vote on the headline. And now I look at your headline and go: “Okay, well, you could use some help with that headline”, you’re looking at that line. Not you particularly. But you can start a conversation, Bob, thanks so much for voting on my poll. You mentioned the headline was really important. I have some insights I’d love to share with you. If you’re interested in how to make your headline stand out even, yep, right, yep, you could create an ebook that kind of captures all of those insights. Yeah. But starting the conversation based on what they vote can really have an impact —
Bob Woods 8:51
and then adding value to it as well. One thing that I wanted to bring up really quick is what I call and this goes back to the construction of the pole itself is the power of other. So you get up to four options to give people you can also do if you’d like just three well-defined options that hopefully people won’t go, ”Well what if it’s a or b”, but then with the other. You can just have one of the options be other and it could read other talk in comments or —
Brynne Tillman 9:22
Bob Woods 9:23
Yeah, sharing comments, that’s a great way to get engagement started because they’re going to vote on that and then they’re going to say “well I can see both A and B and blah blah blah” and then you have an opportunity to come back and start a conversation within the post with them and then that could very well lead to messaging and then you sharing content and then a phone call so other is can be a very good way to start engagement.
Bill McCormick 9:50
Did you talk when I was off-camera about the ability to message people see now they did so yes. For me is huge and thinking about that kind of like, so I reverse engineer my polls, and I think about okay, you know, I want to have conversations with people who are marketing leaders. So I create the poll around that. And then my messaging is, “hey, Bob, as a leader in marketing would love and appreciate your opinion on this”. And then that allows me to come back to Bob and say, I really appreciated your vote, and then see if there’s an opportunity for another conversation.
Bob Woods 10:24
Reverse Engineering is a really good way to put it. And Brynne, I basically discussed that button, but without the reverse engineering part. So I think that that’s a great way to encapsulate what we talked about is just, you know, reverse engineer, start at the end and go.
Bill McCormick 10:38
Exactly, because it, you know, you can have a great topic, but if it doesn’t resonate with anyone, and you haven’t figured out what you want to do with the information you’re gathering, I think that’s where a lot of the poll burnouts coming from is people are just putting stuff out there. And you know, with no end in mind. Well, I did one recently, and I only had 100 votes on it. But those 100 votes were important to me. And they were with the people I wanted to have conversations with. So that’s really, really important.
Bob Woods 11:06
Now, Jennifer just says, I’ve seen comments that there are too many polls on LinkedIn. Now, is that a minority viewpoint?
Brynne Tillman 11:13
There are definitely people that are complaining about some polls. But here’s the thing, the magic for the poll, is when you get it into the inbox of your ideal buyer, I would not worry about it, you know, the poll on your newsfeed as much as. Who do you want to engage with and this is such a phenomenal way to do that. People love to share their point of view, you know, whether we’re interviewing subject matter experts, or we’re asking specific people for their thoughts on a comment when I mentioned, for example, if an author puts out some kind of question or becomes kind of thought, and I mentioned in comments and asked for my opinion, I 100% of the time to engage. But the idea is that when someone asks my opinion, all of a sudden, I’m honored. Right now they’re looking for me to engage so that I can bring in my audience, right. And that’s how they expand. So I understand why they’re doing it. But I’m still excited that they thought of me. And so when we do this, and we’re asking the point of view and polls, it’s just one way to do that we are really deeply engaging with people and making their opinion matter. But it also helps us in what we learn, we talk a lot about how to use polls, what I’m going to say is go out there, try a poll, get it into our inbox, right, we are very happy to engage on a poll, and we’d love to see how that’s working for you. Because for our clients. You know, a lot of our membership clients are we have, you know, the monthly membership at $29 a month and they come on to the group coaching. Some of them have really converted business now, simply by using polls, and starting a real conversation. So we would love to see how that’s working for you.
Bill McCormick 13:14
And the way they’ve done that is really by getting it into the inbox. That’s what they mean. The most out of everything.
Bob Woods 13:23
Just make sure that when you do a poll that you have a plan you know who you want to reach out to, and start with the end in mind for sure great.
Brynne Tillman 13:34
This was another fun week of Making Sales Social Live.
Bob Woods 13:38
Very much so.
Bill McCormick 13:39
We’ll see you next time.