One of the culprits of slower-than-they-could be sales is ignoring the many opportunities of social media. Every day, there’s an audience of millions consuming thoughts and ideas that help them choose products or get their jobs done more effectively.
This is an audience you can and should tap into. I’m going to focus on two simple steps you can take to leverage your sales reps’ LinkedIn connection. We’ve found that sales reps have an average of 500 Linkedin connections. So, if you have 10 reps, you have an audience of 5,000.
If you have any doubt that this is a huge opportunity, here are eye-opening statistics about Linkedin:
- LinkedIn has over 500 million users
- Over half of LinkedIn users are logging in each month
- 40% of monthly active owners use LinkedIn daily
- 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries: managers, VPs, CEOs, etc
This large and valuable audience is a huge opportunity for you to be heard.
While it’s fun to talk about how huge the audience on LinkedIn is; it’s even more important to reach the right audience. Your LinkedIn network is most likely local. Using LinkedIn to share your content (blogs, whitepapers, etc.) and thoughts allows you to touch that local network consistently with information that will be valuable to them.
If you’re like most dealerships, this is an opportunity you’re not taking advantage of. If you’re lucky, a quarter of your sales team likely leverages their network on their own. Why not more of them? Here are 4 typical excuses:
- They may not be bought into LinkedIn as a strategy that will enable them to be more successful in their role
- They don’t have time
- They don’t have content to share
- They may just not know how to
If your strategy is to let your reps do this on their own, then they may not be putting out the right message. So, here is a two-step process to leverage your team’s huge network of people:
- Step 1- Publish your message
- Step 2- Share your message
Publish Your Message
If your company has an active blog and social presence, you can skip down to Step #2!
The blog on your website is your vehicle for communicating your message and answering questions that your clients have. If you skim any company blog and just look at the topics, you should learn a good bit about who the company is, what they do, what problems they solve, and what benefits the provide to their clients.
Our blog is written for you so, go ahead, check it out and see if we hit the mark!
Having an active social presence aligned with your message (and blog) is a great way to compliment your blogging strategy. Keeping an active blog and social presence allows you to control the message and makes it easy for your reps to execute on their own social strategy.
Share Your Message
One excuse for not executing on a blogging strategy is the thought that people aren’t going to navigate to your company’s blog to read it on their own. This is not too far from the truth, as most of the traffic to your blog will not come directly from your website -- especially when you first start blogging.
While we believe in inbound marketing and that creating content will draw an audience to you like ants to a picnic, you also need to not fixate on the word “inbound.” You also need to push your content out via email alerts, newsletters, and, of course, social media posts like LinkedIn.
If all of your sales reps share your company’s message regularly, their network starts to connect their name and your brand with who you are and how you can help them.
One way to think of it as a billboard with a rotating message on a road that about 50% of your audience uses to get to work every day placed right where there is a daily traffic jam.
The excuses why a rep wouldn’t leverage LinkedIn as a strategy are dwindling:
- They may not have bought into LinkedIn as a strategy that will enable them to be more successful in their role- Hard to argue that putting the right content in front of their audience will not make them more successful.
- They don’t have content to share- If your company executes on a blogging and social strategy, no need for your reps to all hunt down content on their own.
- They don’t have time- Executing on a LinkedIn strategy should actually save time. You can reach a lot more people in less time if you replace a little of your traditional outreach (phone, email, networking groups) with a social strategy.
- They may just not know how to
So let’s look at the last item, they may not know how. Sharing on LinkedIn is a lot easier than people think. Here is a short 3-step how-to article from our friend Larry Levine that shows just how easy it is.
There are also lots of tools and tricks to help make executing on a social media strategy even easier!
Two questions in closing:
- How many people is your team connected to? -Go ahead, count!
- What is your plan to get your message out to them?