Episode 184: Five Steps to Get Engagement from Your LinkedIn
Did you know 90-99% of social media users are lurkers? In this episode, our resident hosts, the LinkedIn Sherpa Bob Woods and LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman, discuss why having lurkers who remain as lurkers is a problem for salespeople and also provide tips on how to transform them into engagers.
Lurkers are those people who don’t engage and prefer to consume content passively – only watching their feeds instead of posting their own content or publicly engaging with other LinkedIn users. For salespeople, having a silent audience can be difficult because they don’t know who they are and hence cannot start a conversation with them. You don’t want to skip listening to this conversation if you’re a professional who uses content daily to attract prospects to your brand.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings fellow humans and Welcome to Making Sales Social Live brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, the LinkedIn Sherpa and I’m joined by fellow LinkedIn and social selling professionals, aka the LinkedIn Whisperer, Brynne Tillman. Whispers something intelligent to us, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:19
Oh! Wait, Bob.
Bob Woods 00:20
That’s perfect. Absolutely perfect. It’s tough to whisper when you’re not supposed to whisper.
Brynne Tillman 00:28
I’ve always been a loud whisper anyway.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live as we share LinkedIn, and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me Bob Woods every week, Making Sales Social Live! This is the recorded version of our weekly Making Sales Social Live show.
Bob Woods 00:56
As social sellers, we publish content on LinkedIn. Our goal is to start conversations based on that content. Yet many of us get what are called lurkers or people who are absorbing our content, but not feeling it for lack of a better phrase when it comes to liking or commenting on your content. Today, Brynne and I are going to talk about ways we can move those lurkers into engagers. So before we get to our list, we’re going to talk about why we want them to engage with brands.
Brynne Tillman 01:29
Well, we want them to engage, because, you know, as you mentioned, if they’re lurkers, we don’t know who they are. And if our goal in social selling is to start more conversations with our targeted audience, then we need to know they’re there.
If we create content that creates curiosity, resonates with them, and starts to teach them something new that gets them thinking differently. We’re going to create engagement, we’re going to talk about other ways to do that today as well. But when we move them from Lurker to Engager, we know who they are, and we can start a conversation.
And you know, I can’t tell you how many people will say, “Hey, I’ve been following your content for years, engaged,” I didn’t even know it, so I have to like, practice what I teach, Right? And I do it, you’re never gonna get them all.
There are some people that are just, hey, “I’m a lurker and proud of it.” But if you do this, well, you get to identify who it is that’s enjoying and consuming your content and that will help you to start conversations.
Bob Woods 02:37
100%! Could not have said that any better myself. If you don’t know who they are, then how the heck are you going to talk to them? And like Brynne said, sometimes they’re just never just going to sometimes group and sometimes people are just shy, I mean, you know, sometimes it just comes down because it is social. And it is a little bit of a different platform.
Because when people do raise their hands on social unless they’re gonna reach out to you directly, it is in a little bit more of a public forum. So always keep that in mind, too. Which is why it’s always better to have them engage with you personally, because especially on LinkedIn, they can reach out and message you if they have their first degree and there are other ways to do that, too.
Brynne Tillman 03:15
So I was gonna be really quick, I’m just gonna say something, but I’m not going to get a good answer. Because I was gonna say, hey, for all of you that are listening in here watching live, if you’re an engager, say, I’m an engager in posts if you’re a lurker or don’t do anything.
Bob Woods 03:31
Yes. I need those sound effects. So number one and this is important, because we don’t want to be broadcasters and because broadcasters broadcast to everyone, in our case, you want to identify the audience, the members of that audience that you want to read your content, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 03:56
Yeah, Absolutely. Okay. So how do we identify who we want to engage with? I’m going to tell a quick story, Bob, and I tell the story all the time. You may have heard it on our podcast before. But we had a client who was a financial professional, who was sharing content. He started working with us sharing content, there was tons of engagement, but when we looked, it was other financial advisors.
He wasn’t attracting his target audience. So we have to first identify who our target audience is, Right? Who is it that we want to start conversations with and start looking at the content they’re engaging? Ignore that for a moment.
But when we can identify who it is that we want to have conversations with, it’s so much easier to get kind of work your way through the noise, right through the tons of people, once you’re doing this well that are engaging and really position it so that your content is attracting the right people and getting them to want to start a conversation online and be willing to take it offline. The key is you have to be really clear and who your ICP is your ideal client profile.
Bob Woods 05:20
Yeah, and whether that comes from an ICP or whether you have buyer personas built because some companies do that. Back when I was broadcasting, we didn’t even broadcast. We call them target demographics, it’s all the same type of thing, you really have to know who you’re trying to attract.
So that when they do leave comments, and hopefully they’ll leave comments because you are targeting your content to them. These are the types of people who you’re going to want to start conversations with. So number two, Brynne mentioned this really quickly, read it, dive into it deeper and now share the type of content that the audience that you have identified, wants to consume.
Brynne Tillman 06:03
So this is so important, as business development sales people, we have so much we want to tell the world, we want to tell them about how great we are and how we solve problems, and how our industry is revolutionary, or whatever it is, we have this intent, Right? And our intent is to convince them to work with us.
And we’ve got to detach from that. We have to detach from what the prospect is worth to us, and attach to what we are worth to them. So, when we are attached to what we want to get from them, we tend to pitch even in our content, but when we can detach from what they’re worth to us, and we really want to bring them value, often value does not start with your solution.
Often, real value will lead to your solution, not with it. So you’ve got to do social listening, you’ve got to go out in the world and see what content they are engaging with? What hashtags have they used? What content is on their company page or their website? Who are they talking to? Right?
Who are their clients? And what industry are they in? And what trends are their clients going through because for me, I know a ton about social selling, but if I’m looking to do a program for managed service providers, if you send me content on my customer, my ICP or you know, or banking or whatever that is, I’m interested because that is a high value piece to me.
So social listening first. As soon as you have identified your target audience, identify what it is they care about. Bob back to you.
Bob Woods 07:52
Yeah, absolutely. So, it comes down to one of my all time favorite phrases coming from someone else. I still don’t know who it comes from, because I’d love to give them credit. But it’s all about stopping talking about I owe you and just did. No.
Brynne Tillman 08:11
Bob Woods 08:12
Um, what else didn’t you?
Brynne Tillman 08:13
Yeah, nope. And I’ve changed it. No, I did it. That’s mine.
Bob Woods 08:17
Okay. So the phrase that pays, as they say, is to stop talking about helping people and just help people.
Brynne Tillman 08:24
Yeah. And I’ve actually in my last couple of training, Bob moved it rather than instead of stop, because I like it better. So I’ve improved it. Yeah. Rather than telling people how you help them, simply help them.
Bob Woods 08:39
Okay, well, then I may claim to stop as my own then I don’t know we shall.
Brynne Tillman 08:45
It’s not even mine. It’s yours.
Bob Woods 08:46
That’s true. We are a community here we share and share alike. So speaking of sharing, we’re getting into number three now. So, encourage your audience members to share and by share, we mean comment, we mean like and potentially even sharing your content. So it’s not about their shares. It’s about them engaging with your shares.
Brynne Tillman 09:08
Yeah. And there’s so many ways to do this. Right? We have one friend Joe Applebaum who will say, “If you agree, point yes and comment,” Right? Like that’s one way he gets engagement. If you’d like me to email, you put your email in comments right there.
So, we can ask for comments. One of the things I love to do is I’d love to hear your perspective on this in comments, you know, really get people to share, but I will tell you, the best way to get people to engage is to click on the little paper airplane and send a message and I’ll say, “Hey, Bob, as a CMO and a social media genius, I’d love your thoughts on this post” and get it into the inbox.
We spend so much time on the news feed that we forget about who we’re connected to, and who we want to engage. So, one of the things I highly recommend, totally off topic is either search your first degree connections or export your connections, and start taking inventory. Who are the people I would love to engage with? And start by asking them for their perspective or vote if you do a poll?
Bob Woods 10:22
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Voting is a great way for engagement, because they have to engage with the poll to find out how other people are voting. There’s no vote without voting option that you see in other places at times.
Brynne Tillman 10:38
So yeah, I think that’s one of the things that LinkedIn did beautifully.
Bob Woods 10:42
Brynne Tillman 10:42
Really? Yeah. You look at that, and there’s like, I want to know the answer. But you have to vote to get that answer. So exactly what Bob is saying, this is a wonderful feature, that creates a lot of FOMO. Right? So if you get this in the inbox of your ICP, they want to know what their peers are saying. I love that.
Bob Woods 11:03
Yeah, absolutely. So number four, got to this just a little bit before, but we’re gonna expand on it now providing a strong call to action, or CTA, you should do this in every single post that you have.
Brynne Tillman 11:17
Yeah, and I don’t, which is funny. A lot of people have a standard CTA message Call to Action message. So they’ve read this, and then you know, they have the lines and they say, you know, download an ebook, or whatever that might be and if you’re really in sales, lead gen, this is not a bad idea. But a strong call to action needs to align with the content you’ve just shared.
So maybe you’ve shared, you know, three tips from a 10 tip ebook that you have, Right? So just to download all the tips, click here. And then what you’re doing is, and I highly recommend, if you’re going to do this, and people may push back on this, but I highly recommend you gate it at least send them an email, you gave them three for free, they can pay for the 10. And the reason is, we need to grow that email list.
I know that Bob and I teach LinkedIn all the time. But a significant portion of the business that comes in the door are people that started on social sign up for our free library at LinkedInlibrary.com, or socialsaleslink.com/library. Right? So now they’re in our email list. And you can treat email as a newsletter on LinkedIn, it needs to be so personal people are okay with the mass email, not the mass outreach on LinkedIn. So, we really believe in building that list.
Bob Woods 12:50
And number five, and this is a particular pet peeve of mine, when people don’t do this, and everybody should be doing this engaging with their content or with their comments. So when someone comments on a share of yours 100% Engage with them brand.
Brynne Tillman 13:13
So if 10 people engage, there should be exactly 20 comments.
Bob Woods 12:50
Brynne Tillman 13:15
Yeah. Or more, if they comment on your comment, For the algorithm purposes common first, then react, LinkedIn gives both you and the author more algorithm points. That’s my own made up thing. But we know that if you come in first and then react, it’s better for both of you, which I love.
And the other thing is that I saw you make a fake comment, you comment back, and they’re your ICP, they’re that perfect person you want to start a conversation with? Here’s what I would do. I would there’s a couple of things. First is whatever your content is, say, “Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed these tips. And it could be a connection request or a message if they’re already a first degree connection. I’ve got additional insights I’d love to share with you around X, Y, and Z. If you’re interested, let’s connect and let me know.” Right?
So we’re starting a conversation about more insights. The second thing we can do is if they engage with you, likely they’ve engaged with other content over the last 30-60 days. So go take a look at the other content. They’re sharing. And let’s say “Hey, they shared a wonderful post from Stephanie Sides.”
So I’m going to now go find a podcast, Stephanie was on or another post, and I’m going to leverage that knowledge that she that she’s got and say, “Hey, I see you’ve engaged on Stephanie’s content stuff” I’m saying Stephanie, but she’s really to me, she’s steph.
That she’s engaging in stuff’s content, and I can reach out to her and say, you know, hey, I know not to add stuff to the process back and say… “Hey, I noticed you’re also a big fan of Steph sides. I’m curious if you heard her on this podcast. If you’re interested, let me know. I’ll send you a link and we can start an E, let’s connect and I’ll send you a link,”
We can start a conversation that has nothing to do with us. It has to do with their interest. Are we going to get to us? Yes. But it’s just like a networking meeting in person. If you’re in person, you don’t start with your pitch, you wait till they ask, Right? You have a nice conversation and you offer value and resources. So big,big,big deal. And we got a nice little thank you from stuff.
Bob Woods 15:41
So, Thanks for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. We’re gonna get into what we just talked about. If you’re live with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions. And of course, if you’re listening to us on our podcast.
Go ahead and follow us or you know, follow us or subscribe, whatever it’s called on your platform. So we do these two shows weekly. We do this one and are making a sales social interview series, where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business, and many many more areas.
Brynne Tillman 16:18
So an episode a long time ago with Steph Sides.
Bob Woods 16:21
Oh, you did? Yeah. I’m gonna have to find that one. You’re gonna have to go find that. Yeah, Excel will probably have to connect to at some point. So it sounds good. And when you’re out and about this week, Make your Sales.
Brynne Tillman 16:35
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