Episode 214: Unleash LinkedIn Polls for Social Selling
Tired of feeling too “salesy” while trying to engage your prospects? Join Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods in this episode of Making Sales Social Live as they reveal the hidden power of LinkedIn Polls for effective social selling.
Learn how to use polls strategically, creating curiosity and sparking meaningful conversations. Plus, discover how it can serve as a gateway to your prospects’ inboxes and how you can craft follow-up conversations around poll insights. Tune in for a lively discussion peppered with practical tips and strategies that will transform your social selling game.
Bob Woods 00:00
Welcome to B2B Sales and Marketing Fans, Admirers and Aficionados to Making Sales Social Live coming to you from the Social Sales Link Studios, Kind of like that. How that sounds?
Brynne Tillman 00:14
Studios now, We’re growing up like Medieval.
Bob Woods 00:20
We just never called them studios before so I think that we’re just gonna keep it at studios just because you know we can.
Brynne Tillman 00:29
I’ve got anything you want. Sure.
Bob Woods 00:31
Yeah. And I’m joined by a federal LinkedIn and Social Selling Professional, also known as the LinkedIn home whisperer, Brynne Tillman, How you doing, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:42
I’m good, Bob. How are you?
Bob Woods 00:43
I am doing great and feeling better every single second that the day goes along.
Bob Woods 00:31
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.
Brynne Tillman 01:13
So I’m excited about this topic. We talk about it all the time. We teach people how to use it, to start conversations up being salesy. And by the way, it has a great engagement. So talk about what we are talking about?
Bob Woods 01:29
So we are talking about polls. So what Brynne was kind of alluding to is that, in a lot of other podcasts episodes, we kind of touch on polls, because just as Brian said, they are a great way to start engagement and continue engagement and not be salesy while doing it. It’s just it’s been ever since the beginning of this podcast series, which were like 200, plus some episodes. And now that we haven’t, we haven’t talked about poles as their own topic since the very beginning.
So we decided that we’re just going to do that. So with all the recent talk about LinkedIn algorithm changes, there is one great way to get engagement and even start sales conversations has been overlooked. And of course, we’re talking about polls, because it still works. And it works really, really well. Before we get into kind of the thought behind polls and everything else, let’s just talk really, really, really quickly about what they are and some of the mechanics behind the brand.
Brynne Tillman 02:33
So a poll on LinkedIn, it’s a very interesting, easy to use feature that you can get to when you click on when you’re on LinkedIn, and you click on the share of the post area, there are options that come up when you go into share posts. If you click on the three dots, one of them is a poll, it’s just three little bars that show up. When you click on that you’re able to type a question up to 140 characters, including spaces. It’s not a lot of characters. So you want to make sure that you are very clear and decisive in your question.
That said, “You have room in your text when you go to share this.” So if you want to elaborate on that question, you can do that in the text that will be published above, you then get four options, each 30 characters, including spaces, also not a tonne of space. And we recommend your fourth one 100% of the time, other sharing comments, or you will upset your potential voters that their answer isn’t there, even if you think “Yes,” “No,” There’s no in between, they’ll find one.
So make sure that you always offer other sharing comments, and then you can choose the duration of your poll. It could be one, three days, one week, two weeks. If you’re going to use this for business development, I recommend two weeks and the key here is that we are using this to reach out to folks to get their perspective on a topic that can help us start trust based conversations without being salesy. So I’ll throw back to you Bob for more points. And then I can talk about strategy around this.
Bob Woods 04:25
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Because one of the things that I like about polls, especially for people who have either never never run a poll before or for people who like posting some content, and they’re like, I don’t know, do people really like what I’m doing? Do people really like what I’m saying, especially if you’re not getting the type of engagement that you want to intend in terms of likes and comments from other people?
You can start with a poll that essentially asks, “Hey, what do you want to hear from me?” word of that, in terms of structuring it and everything. But just the basic idea of just saying, “Hey, I’m here.” Why do you want to know? I think that, especially if you’re new to polling, that’s a great first poll to run.
Brynne Tillman 05:10
Yeah, and I’m gonna add to that make sure the text is, you know, here are the insights that I bring to the table. There are, I talked about X and Y, and Z and how to leverage a and b, and c. And I’m putting together this poll to ensure that the content that I’m sharing with my network is content that they care about. So as you know, as someone in my network of these topics, what would be most interesting to you?
Right, there’s a lot of different ways that we could spin this. And I think that’s a great, great idea. There are a few other ways that we can leverage polls. So at least from a strategic standpoint, we can use polls that are discovery-ish, right? So let’s say you sell CRM systems, and you can talk about what is the number one initiative your company is putting out to increase adoption of your CRM, CRM system, more training, an easier process guy, whatever it might be, Right?
And now, you can look at initiatives. Now, it’s a myth, that because you post a poll that they will vote, if they don’t, you get a few. So one of the things that we highly recommend is that you take inventory of your connections, do a search of your first degree connections that meet the persona of the person that would want to vote on this, and then send it there’s a little paper airplane at the bottom, you can send it up to 50 people blind copy that a time.
And you can put in a note, as a sales leader who relies on a CRM for many things, I’d love your one click vote, and of the 50, you’ll probably get, I don’t know 10-15, sometimes even 20 votes, why LinkedIn does something really, really well. They don’t let you see how other people have voted until you vote. So there’s a lot of FOMO Fear Of Missing Out and whatever my peers are saying. So basically you just want to just add to that.
Bob Woods 07:23
Yeah, So the sending it to two people’s LinkedIn messaging inboxes is important, because it seems like that there’s so much talk about polls and the algorithm and how the organic reach has come down a little bit before LinkedIn polls, I say that “Who cares?” because of the fact that you’re really you really should be using these polls to get into the messaging inboxes of people. So what’s going to happen though, is as people start to vote on things, you are going to see an increase in organic.
In organic results, it’s in other words, it’s going to start showing up in more people’s feeds, as more people start to engage. So it’s kind of a snowball effect. So I would almost recommend to not see it as something for the algorithm and to go viral and all that other stuff that people seem to care about, although they really shouldn’t as much to instead, get it in front of the people who you want to start sales conversations with without being salesy. And polls are just a fantastic way to do that.
Brynne Tillman 08:38
Yeah, I love that. And Hi, Judy Hayes, one of my favorite people, she didn’t know you can send 50 messages at a time. So LinkedIn has recently rolled out I’ve had it for about maybe two months, but I think it’s been rolling out where if you click the Send button, you can create a group from a post, any post, you create the send, you can create a group and they’d see each other, or you can choose up to 50 people and there’s a blue button.
I think that says “Send Individually” and then that’ll automatically send out 50 individual messages if you share it in a thread. So let’s say you have 10 people in a group that will count as 10 people so in the end they will all see it, because they’re in the same thread. But yeah, you can do up to 50 people at a time. It’s really cool.
Bob Woods 09:32
And that’s new too. I mean once upon a time we used to advocate against that because of the old way of doing things so if you’re scratching your head thinking oh that sounds different. That’s because it is different because LinkedIn has come up with something new now and not everybody has it. I actually don’t think I have that yet. But Brynne does so. I don’t think I have that yet. So you may or may not find it nice to use it.
Brynne Tillman 09:59
Yeah, I’m pretty sure. By the end of July, everyone was supposed to have it. But who knows? All right. Well, let’s see. Maybe check it out.
Bob Woods 10:09
Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely.
Brynne Tillman 10:13
Check it out and tell us if you got it. Yeah, exactly.
Bob Woods 10:15
Oh, that’d be very cool. So another reason why I like it, besides having that ability to message people, is that you can engage with your audience in the comments as well. Because remember that choice D? Or if you only have to make regular choices, if it’s like, “Yes, No, True, False, or Whatever.” And then, and then your see is another.
Sharing comments, you can engage with your audience in the comments, if they ask questions, if they have an insight, that’s a great way for you to further promote your thought leadership and your expertise in your industry by engaging with people who have chosen to engage with you. So they’ve taken the time to do it. Just like any other post, you should absolutely engage with your audience in the comments.
Brynne Tillman 11:03
Absolutely. So let’s talk about other things that we can do with the polls. Now. We get people to vote, we can actually even say when we’re asking them to vote, we may say to them, “I really appreciate your one-click vote. Once the vote closes, I’m happy to reach out and share the insights I gleaned and where you benchmark to your peers.” This is a big one, Right? So if we’re specifically reaching out to sales leaders who use CRMs, those sales leaders want to know what the other sales leaders are doing. We just do. It’s human nature.
It’s a curiosity. And now they’re expecting us to follow up. And that’s really powerful. So you want to collect the data, you want to identify insights that you found from the comments afterwards, we often will create an ebook or something based on what we find. And then when we reach out, we can say, “Hey, as promised, I’d love to share where you benchmark with your peers, essentially, which category did you fall into? And what are we seeing most often? And what are the trends that we’re hearing now that we put this poll out,” It’s a great way to take it from poll to real-life conversation.
Bob Woods 12:21
Absolutely. And then we always talk about using pieces of content to generate other pieces of content. And this is, and this is one of the great ways to do that. And you might be able to even spin out more than that either, with an e-book, and then maybe you discover a trend in your initial poll that you want to follow up on doing.
And then repeat just start that whole process again, because even though you are seeking out the information, you’re looking to tap into the minds of other people, you still are a thought leader because you’re genuinely curious. And in my opinion, just thought leaders should always be learning as well as adding value and helping people out as well.
Brynne Tillman 13:13
Awesome. And so we do these podcasts, we do ebooks, and Judy. Thank you. He loved Bob’s Crisp, Chat GPT. Ebook. Yeah, it’s brilliant. He, Bob. Bob is definitely embracing the Chat GPT prompt engineering for content.
Bob Woods 13:32
Thank you, Judy. Thank you, Judy. Yeah, thank you very much. Appreciate that.
Brynne Tillman 13:35
Thank you. Thank you very much. Sorry. No, yeah. So I mean, at the end of the day, I think polls, I think most business development, people should always have an active poll, every two weeks you do a poll, you should always have a poll that you can invite someone to vote on. And, and that’s why I like two weeks. Because, well, you can use it over and over again. But it might have 50 votes in the first couple of days, and then it lags off. But if you send it to someone they see 50 people voted on it.
So you don’t have to restart that all the time. And if 50 people voted on it, they want to see what 50 People said. So I would say one every two weeks make sure that you do five things in this text with the poll, Right? resonate with the who the voter, let’s say resonate, who like resonate with a voter create enough curiosity in the question that they want to see how other people answer. And then what you want to do in the text is almost teach them something new that gets them thinking differently about the way they’re doing things.
And that’s where it converts from just a poll to a social selling piece of content and creates that compelling moment, not just in the vote, but in the chat. So Even though you have no other comment below, in your text, you can even say, “What is your favorite CRM?” Right? Like, get them to share? What’s the favorite feature of your CRM and just get them into the conversation? And that will do what Bob is saying, will it now add to that algorithm and continue to get that out there.
Bob Woods 15:26
Yeah, yeah. So. So I guess, if there’s one takeaway that I’d like for you to have is that polls aren’t a one-and-done deal, you can get several touch points out of the poll. So starting with the initial poll from the algorithm, then with all the people who you’re going to put the poll into the LinkedIn messaging inbox, to everyone asking them for their one click poll, then engaging with people in the comments as they are commenting on the poll, and then putting together that ebook, and then with another because you’re going to issue that ebook in another post.
So you’re actually going to get a second post out of it, which is more engagement, algorithm-driven, in addition to getting that into people’s inboxes, to the inboxes of the people who participated. And then with the comments, you’re also participating in that as well. And all of these represent opportunities to start sales conversations. So this isn’t just pushing out a poll, and you’re done. You have a lot of different opportunities based on one poll to start sales conversations that aren’t salesy.
Brynne Tillman 16:38
Yeah. And you know, they’re trust-based, they’re around value-driven or value-driven conversations. They’re curious about what other people in their world are saying, and I think the idea when you say how you benchmark to your peers, who doesn’t want to know that, Right? And if this is if you’ve done a good job with resonating, creating curiosity, teaching them something new, that’s getting them thinking a little bit differently, Right?
So it might be teaching them something new might be, here’s what we’re hearing in the marketplace, right, that CRMs are actively moving into cadence-driven tools for salespeople. Yeah, Now, we’re teaching them something new because, “Oh, I didn’t know that my CRM isn’t doing that,” Right. And that’s the whole point. All of this needs to start to move them closer to being curious enough to have a conversation with you. And that’s what social selling is, at the end of the day. And polls are a fabulous way to get you there.
Bob Woods 17:44
And the one thing that I’ve discovered is as you push people to, or as you expose them, you’re pushing people, really you’re exposing them to a new idea. And they’re kind of being driven towards that place. They are then open to other new ideas as well that you find that their mind is open to other new ideas.
That’s when it’s probably the really best time to have that sales conversation with someone because they’re hungry, they’re receptive, they want to learn more about something that they didn’t know about before, and they didn’t even know that they didn’t know before.
Brynne Tillman 18:18
I love it. Alright, Let’s take this baby.
Bob Woods 18:21
We’re gonna bring this sucker in for a landing. So thanks again for joining us on making sales social live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions. Now, if you’re listening to us, the recorded version of this on our podcast and you haven’t subscribed already, go ahead and hit that subscribe or follow button to access all of our previous shows and be alerted when new ones drop.
And if you have that bell, go ahead and click on that bell too. If you’d like more info on our podcast, go to socialsaleslink.com/podcasts. We do this show every week. And we also do our Making Sales Social Interview Series. Where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business and many many more areas. So when you are out and about this week and every week in any way, be sure to make your sales social, and have a great day everybody. Bye bye.
Don’t miss an episode, visit socialsaleslink.com/podcast. Leave a review down below. Tell us what you think, what you learned, and what you want to hear from us next, register for free resources at LinkedInlibrary.com You can also listen to us on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.