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A Do’s and Don’ts List For Sales Pros Writing LinkedIn Posts

A Do’s and Don’ts List For Sales Pros Writing LinkedIn Posts

If you're on LinkedIn daily — and many business professionals are — you've likely seen a growing list of notifications that nearly outnumber requests to be connected to new and former coworkers. These notifications usually say something like this:

If you’re on LinkedIn daily — and many business professionals are — you’ve likely seen a growing list of notifications that nearly outnumber requests to be connected to new and former coworkers. These notifications usually say something like this:

John Smith has published a new post: “The top sales trends of 2016 (so far).”

Ever since LinkedIn started offering its own tools for publishing blog-style content, the social media service almost immediately morphed from a recruiting and job-seeker’s tool to a content marketing powerhouse. Many of the biggest early contributors to LinkedIn Pulse (its service for sharing posts with each user’s community of connections and even the network as a whole) were the obvious candidates: marketers, researchers and high-profile executives. That’s changed.

With hundreds of thousands now writing (and reading) LinkedIn posts every day, it’s become a social selling channel with extremely high potential. There are a couple of reasons to consider it as a component, if not the foundation, of a social selling strategy:

  • The personal touch: Posts are published by individual LinkedIn users, rather than on behalf of an entire company. That means sales pros can apply the same relationship-building skills they use in offices or over the phone in to a network of people who already know them.
  • The scale: Unlike many SMB blogs that may have limited reach, LinkedIn comes with a built-in audience that spans not only the service’s home page but countless groups, company pages and profiles.
  • The ease: LinkedIn’s publishing tools are deliberately simple — probably a lot more similar to using word processing programs than the often complicated content management systems of many blogs. Even adding photos is a basic drag-and-drop exercise. It’s also easy to see how many people have viewed your posts, the industries they’ve come from and even geographic details.

With these benefits in mind, it’s important to recognize that LinkedIn’s popularity means there are a growing number of posts, which makes it important those using them for social selling do what’s necessary to get noticed in the right way.

Do: Talk About Yourself — If It’s A Story That Offers Thought Leadership

Think of LinkedIn Pulse as one of the world’s biggest collection of op-eds or opinion pieces. The best sales pros know how powerful it can be to offer personal stories and anecdotes that show how customers and prospects can solve problems. Use some of those stories as the basis for your LinkedIn posts. But in this case, go even further and link to research or articles that build on those stories with hard facts that prove your point.

Don’t: Talk Exclusively About Your Company, Its Products and Services

As with any social media platform, LinkedIn is no the place to publish the equivalent of a brochure or piece of marketing collateral. There’s nothing wrong with creating content that helps build awareness of the market conditions or needs your firm addresses, but ensure you focus on putting forward original ideas. If your only call to action is “contact us for more details!” you may be better using a different channel. LinkedIn is a platform to show how well you understand your target market and that you have content that will resonate and reflect their priorities.

Do: Champion Your Customer’s Successes

LinkedIn may seem inherently self-promotional, but it doesn’t have to be. If one of your customers is demonstrating leadership in a recent project, product launch or other initiative, discuss with them the possibility of sharing that story as a LinkedIn post on their behalf. Who wouldn’t want to buy from a sales pro who’s willing to amplify their story and extend their reach?

Don’t: Try To Replace Your Company’s PR Team

Sometimes companies will deal with faulty products, delayed orders or other issues that create negative chatter online. LinkedIn is about your relationship with your network, not a place to talk about company policies or other things best left to other channels.

Do: Share Where it Makes Sense

Many professionals start with a blog post on their own company’s site, then repurpose on LinkedIn. Others start on LinkedIn and then post on their own blog later. There’s no official rule. Just think about where you’re able to make the most impact, ensure links go back to LinkedIn and your company blog, and use channels such as Twitter, Facebook or even email to bring your posts to an even wider potential audience.

Don’t: Write A Book

LinkedIn posts, much like blog posts, have no set length requirement. Sometimes shorter pieces that inspire can be as effective as more in-depth discussions about a particular topic.

Do: Manage LinkedIn Post Performance As A Lead Gen Tool

Once you hit “publish,” keep a close eye on what happens. If a customer or prospect shares your post with their own network, thank them and see if they want to engage via InMail or regular e-mail. Respond to comments and make connection requests with new contacts who show interest in your content. Always keep the buyer journey of your target audience in mind and consider what they might want next once they finish reading — more education, information about products and services, or ideas on how to support their needs post-purchase. Be ready to offer those answers. In fact, those answers might be come the subject of your next post.

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