Episode 8: LinkedIn Listening Part 2
In this episode, the Social Sales Link Team continued their conversation about “Social Listening”, or LinkedIn Listening. In this episode, they will discuss how you can leverage LinkedIn as a social listening tool.
Hey, welcome to another episode of Making Sales Social Live! Today we’re continuing our conversation about “Social Listening”. And actually “LinkedIn listening”, right?
Bob Woods 0:11
Yeah, who knew that you could go to LinkedIn for more things than just reading,reading the news feed just to see what’s going on? Or just to take a 10 minutes break at work or whatever?
Brynne Tillman 0:22
This is really purposefully using LinkedIn to Socially Listen and understand what our prospects and our network care about.
Bill McCormick 0:32
And this is important, because what we want to do is we’ve always been told, know what you want to say, and what you want to say to people. And in this idea of what we want to do is listen, so we know that we’re saying the right thing. As we’re reaching out, as we’re creating content, as we’re making sure we resonate with people, we’re not talking about what we want to talk about, but we’re talking about what it is our prospects and our clients want to hear.
So you’re adding value.
Brynne Tillman 1:04
Absolutely. And so here, here’s the interesting thing, and I’m just gonna want to kind of reframe what you just said. As sales people or people in a business development role, we tend to want to talk about our products and services, the solutions we provide. And even if we think it’s educational, like in our mind, we think, well, I’m educating them, it’s typically only content that you care about, or potentially your competitors, the content that our buyers care about is very different. And there are all kinds of different ways to identify what it is that matters to them. And we’re going to talk about a few things that you can do on LinkedIn today, to better socially listen. And Hi, Sandee, welcome!. Hey, Phil. Great to have you here.
Bill McCormick 2:00
You know, what we say all the time is don’t lead with your solution. And that’s what we tend to do even in our content, like you said, Brynne. And what ends up happening, what I always say is that we end up sounding like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon, when we lead with our solution on Wah Wa Wa Wah, because everybody’s doing it’s just white noise. So what we want to do is we want to lead with value and one of the real insights in the way that we do that is find out what matters to our prospects, what matters to our clients. So let’s talk about some of the places and ways on LinkedIn where we can listen with our eyes, where we can socially listen, to find out what’s important to our prospects and our clients.
Brynne Tillman 2:42
So let’s start with the company page, the company page of our prospects. That’s a good place to start, right? There are a few things that I look at first. For me, I actually read the “about the company”, because this is how the company describes them and what they do for their clients. So getting the perspective of how they see themselves is a great way to start with, what matters to them. Another thing obviously, is what’s the content they’re sharing? What are the hashtags that they’re using to engage? What are some other things that you do that you look at?
Bill McCormick 3:24
Well, I’ll go to just the content for a moment. If you do a deep dive in that is, who’s engaging in that content? Are there people who are their end users that are engaging? or other companies? So that’s good, but also, what are the problems and solutions that they’re trying to solve with that content? So how are they trying to educate their end user, because that’s what they care about, so with that particular prospect for that particular company, we can find content that might resonate with the decision makers we deal with, if we find more content that answers those questions.
I love that. Bob, anything you want to add to company pages?
Bob Woods 4:06
As Bill was going through everything, I said, “Yeah!”, I was gonna say that. Definitely have that covered, at least from my viewpoint.
Brynne Tillman 4:14
Yeah. So then let’s just dive a little deeper into the hashtag piece, right? So if they’re using the company page, well, and a lot of companies are today, they’re using three hashtags. One of them may be their own hashtag. Often it is, ours is right? Our hashtag SSL insights. That’s what people use when they’re following our content. When you see those, if you look at the content that’s being shared on those hashtags, that’ll give you an idea of what, you know, at least top from a topic perspective, that they’re checking out and they’re engaging on because that’s the purpose of those hashtags for them to click through and engage on those hashtags. So I think that’s really big deal. The other thing is make sure that you’re doing your best to engage a little bit when it comes to the content. So you, you can listen, but you can also let them know that you’re there, get on their radar a little bit. I want to share just something around company page before we move on. We can use this content to start conversations with our prospects. Let’s say it’s a big company, most people in a larger company miss their own press, they miss their own content. So when you can find content about the company, maybe that the company actually shared on the page, this is a great opportunity to grab that content and share it in the inbox message someone directly that’s in the company, and I could say, “Hey, Bob, I just saw your company posted.They won an award on XYZ for XYZ”. Most people miss their own press, I thought I’d get it in front of you. And so you can use those insights. I know we’re talking about social listening, and I kind of went down a rabbit hole. But you can use those insights right to start conversations.
Bill McCormick 6:12
Right, and one of the things we are going to talk about you’ve already started the discussion is you know how we can use what we discover to start a conversation. So that’s a great, great way to do that. So let’s kind of go a little bit more granular here, we’re talking about a company. Let’s talk about a specific profile page, somebody specific profile page.How can we begin to socialists in there.
You want to start Bob?
Bob Woods 6:36
Yeah sure, with that, it’s kind of similar to what you do with a company page, you can start with their headline, and really see how they view them, not only view themselves, but how they want to come off to their own audience. The next would be the about section, just in terms of what they want others to know about them. And that’s normally going to be written in their voice. So you know, if they’re a little more formal, or a little more informal, and then just, you know, just really dig down and see what’s important to them, because it’s likely going to be in their about section. The other area you can go to is just to see what they’re posting, which you can do directly from the profile when you scroll down, and you click on View All activity, and then you click on posts on the next page. At that point, you really know what they’re talking about. Because they’re sharing whatever it is, they’re sharing, and it’s not the whatever it is part that’s important, but they are going to be sharing the things that are important to them. And again, you get a feel for what type of person they are, more or less in their shares as well. And you can base future content, you know, if you want to send them content, or if you want to start a conversation with them offer LinkedIn, all of that type of intelligence, for lack of a better word. I don’t like using that word. But that’s what it kind of is. The word intelligent. Yeah, it’s information, insights that’s stored.
Brynne Tillman 8:13
Yeah, but those insights help you to identify what matters to them. So you can start conversations around those topics, I love that. I want to throw in just really quickly, there’s a relatively newer feature called cover story. And so there are a lot of people that may have included a video in their headshot. And so you can see if they did you’re going to get some information about kind of ultimately, what do they want their visitors to know. Those are good insights. And creator mode, it gives you an opportunity when you turn that on, in your dashboard, to choose five hashtags on the things that describe you. So you’re choosing hashtags on the topics that you talk about. So if those things are popping up, I think those are great opportunities.
Bob Woods 9:08
Yeah, the hashtag was really important to me, hashtags are so important. And I think that sometimes people think that they’re just Twitter and you know, people don’t really do a lot with them on LinkedIn. That’s not right. People do a lot with hashtags on LinkedIn. So if you’re on the hashtag, train, on Twitter, but not on LinkedIn, definitely get your boarding pass to get on that train as well. Because a lot of people are using hashtags on LinkedIn.
Bill McCormick 9:37
So this information is so important that you need to hear it twice. Yeah, we apologize for that. Here’s the thing. If you’re socially listening to someone on their profile, it’s also going to put you on their radar, right, because you’re going to look at their profile, they’re going to get a notification that you looked at their profile. It’s also a great way especially if it’s one of your prospects to begin to engage with them, so that it warms that up. So you’re not saying you know, the great Lincoln pickup line “Hi, Bob, I see we have some connections in common”. That doesn’t work.You’re able to look and see information that you can then use in a connection request to say, “Hey, Bob, I really appreciate that post you did on the hashtag track, train wagon”. See, I can’t say it was so that you can really relate to the project. Remember, you know, the great quote from Bob Berg from endless referrals is at the end of all things being equal. People do business with people they know, like and trust. How on link do we get to know “like and trust”, attract, teach and engage? This is one of the areas where we’re engaging with them, so that they can begin to get to know us and we can begin to get to know them. See, I can say.
Brynne Tillman 10:47
It’s so good. A few other things I want to point out, right. So they have probably taken the time to list their skills. These are actual words and phrases that they have decided they want to be known for. This is great opportunity for listening, right? Especially if you want to reach out to someone, you know, maybe they have… They’re great at Excel. Right? Okay, good. So now I reach out and say, “Hey, Bob, I see you’re great at Excel, I’m wondering if you had any thoughts around X, Y, and Z.” Right, I’m just putting it out there, they have determined this is their expertise. Our social listening allows us to leverage the way they see themselves. The other one is recommendations, both the ones they’ve received, and the ones they’ve given. So the ones they’ve given are really great, you get to see kind of how they work in the world, how they communicate out there. And what they value from people, the ones they’ve received, allow you to see who are their clients? How have they helped, what is the solution that they bring really powerful insights, that can really help us understand our prospect better.
Bob Woods 12:08
There’s another one too, that we don’t talk about as quite as much. And I tend to call them softer talking points. But you could use things like colleges and universities that they’ve gone to like, for example, and it just happened to me this this morning, I was talking with a gentleman who went to Michigan State University, I’m a big Ohio State fan, if you’re into sports, or even if you’re not in the sports as more conferences, you know, where we ended up talking about big 10 stuff for for a couple minutes. It’s definitely not business related. But when it comes to the know, like, and trust mantra, if you can make those real personal connections, that’s, that’s just icing on the cake, basically. And you can also get those from, like volunteering and things like that, too, if you share similar interests in that, like, I’m a member of a fraternal organization, that’s nationwide, but at my church, if I see that somewhere else, I’ll talk about that. In fact, I’ve had people bring that up with me as well. So I’m just a, just a wealth of information that you can socially listen to, to really get that trust going more.
Bill McCormick 13:21
Yeah!. And it could go to past companies that they work for. And this really opens up, you know, layers, really, if you look at that, it opens up layers where you can then reach out and go deeper. And really what we’re looking to do is we’re looking to find a point of context with them. That will allow us to start a conversation, to connect with them to start a conversation that may lead down to a sales conversation when the time is right. But we have to start somewhere. And we can start with “Hey, Brynne, we help companies just like yours.”Because it starts it and finishes it all in one shot.
Brynne Tillman 14:04
Exactly! So we have a question from Bruce. I know this may be a loaded question. When you meet someone at a conference. Do you connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram? I connect on LinkedIn only. Facebook for me is friends and Instagram is only there because I’ve connected it to the clubhouse. So really, it’s what, where do you communicate and where do they communicate? So the question, really, it means a great one, but it’s really important.
Bob Woods 14:35
The big goal. It depends essentially, but it does help you really determine what vehicle of communication that they like to use. Sometimes it may be text, sometimes it may be just the phone or sometimes it’s like you know, I only email, I only imagine.
Brynne Tillman 14:54
That’s great indication but I think, for I believe LinkedIn from a business perspective is the best way to connect. Here’s what you learn. And we know this. LinkedIn has taught us that there is a 20% turnover year over year, that means one out of five of everyone you’re talking to, is leaving where you’re talking to them, right? So you’re on LinkedIn it’s self-updated, they get a new job, you now know where they are. So I think for me, LinkedIn is the answer.
Bill McCormick 15:24
And now great with the great resignation, you know, that 20%, maybe higher? Now? I’m not sure I just heard that term, like a couple of weeks ago. But I’ll say this,what is that person to you, when you meet them at that conference? Are they a prospect? Are they a networking partner? Are they just someone that you’ve met, and you like them, and you want to connect with them further, to explore possibilities? So it starts there, and then determine, okay, then what’s the best way that they want to communicate with be communicated with because if my best way is LinkedIn, but they don’t have a LinkedIn account, and but then again, in our situation, if they don’t have a LinkedIn account, they’re probably not my ideal prospect, right? So it’s kind of that level. And so I agree with you Brynne, you have to determine that and then figure out what’s going to work best for you and your situation. But you also have to take into consideration where are they going to connect and communicate with you at what point?
Brynne Tillman 16:25
Yes, let’s get back to the social listening piece. We’re going to recap social listening, right? Make sure you are looking at the company pages of your prospects, read how they talk about themselves, read the posts, look at who’s engaging, look at their hashtags, look at your prospects profiles. And by the way, most, there are typically way more than one person that’s your lead inside of an account. You know, the Challenger’s customer tells us there are 6.8 decision makers on any complex sale, enterprise sale. I’d hate to be the .8 but you know, it’s not just one person, look at all the people, you can also look at the activity of other people inside the organization that will be impacted by your solutions. So there’s so many things that we do but look at their profile, read their headline, read their about section, go look at their featured section for the content they’re sharing, go to their activity and see what they’re posting and engage. Look at their title, how they describe their job description, their. recommendations and their skills. Did I recap everything?
Bill McCormick 17:48
I think you’ve got it all.
So this was fun, guys.
Yeah, this is great.
And so catch us on our next episode of Making Sales Social Live! We’ll see you then.