STOP Selling on LinkedIn
Thursday, December 8, 2022
by: Mara Dickson

Section: Newsletter Articles

Mara's Marketing MinuteThere are 875 million members (and counting) professionals in 200 countries and regions using LinkedIn in one or more of its 26 languages, and LinkedIn members use the platform to:

• make connections with others in their fields,
• grow a network,
• foster business relationships and partnerships,
• generate quality leads,
• apply for and recruit for job openings,
• improve brand awareness,
• create and share expertise through thought-leadership content,
• stay up to date on the latest news from the organizations that most impact their livelihoods, and
• drive traffic to their company’s website.

There is no better place to connect with other business professionals than on LinkedIn, so I am going to tell you something that may be unpopular and perhaps even surprising to many:

But Mara, you’ll say, the platform’s chief selling point for marketers is its ability to target an audience by their job title, company, industry, and seniority, not just their personal and social demographics. LinkedIn allows B2B marketers to specifically reach the people who make the buying decisions. If it isn’t meant to be used in this way, why would LinkedIn push this statistic? Why would they tell us all these salesy benefits of their platform? And besides, isn’t the main point of being in business to make money from sales? Isn’t every activity we engage in supposed to, ultimately, be selling? To be driving profit to the bottom line?

To that I say yes, AND…

Stop Selling Reason #1: The “BUY MY PRODUCT” message gets really old, really fast. If you only create and post one of these types of posts per week, that is 52 selling messages per year. Customers and potential customers will quickly grow tired of the repetition and tune you out. In social media sphere that means no engagement, no reshares, no new followers. All that effort… wasted!

Stop Selling Reason #2: In the same way that talking about yourself incessantly at a dinner party is tedious and makes you a social pariah, only talking about yourself and your single company on social media reveals you as self-interested and anti-social. You will lose your audience attention because they are smart and will see your intention as narcissistic. Your network will begin saying “I-know-I-know-I- know…” whenever they see your name, and your company and product will fall off their feed – and off their “radar”, so when you DO have something of interest to share with them, you will have already lost them!

Stop Selling Reason #3: Even your employee advocates and most fervent followers and brand enthusiasts will get tired of reading through, commenting on, and sharing the repeated “look at my stuff” message. Anyone who participates on LinkedIn for a sustained period of time knows that this messaging is not interesting for their network and they will therefore hesitate to engage IN ANY WAY with that sort of content. Eventually, all you can hope to get from that type of repeated push is a glance.

The key to success on any social media platform is understanding how its members use it! There ARE many GREAT reasons to get onto LinkedIn, and the possibility is that selling and buying will evolve as you are developing business relationships, but don’t let it look like that is the only reason you, your company, and employees are on the platform. Figure out why and how social media members use LinkedIn and you will gain insight into how to best incorporate it and other social media platforms into your marketing strategy and accomplish those important profit goals.

What SHOULD you do? How DO you get the message out about the wonderful things you are doing for customers? Well, you talk about THEM!

DO: Talk about how a customer’s processes were causing their quality control department to reject so much of their production until THEY implemented processes (which just so happen to use a product and service you provided) to fix that!

DO: Share how a customer was concerned about employee safety until THEY installed a certain safety solution (using one of your product offerings) that prevents workplace injury and ensures a hazard-free workspace for their team!

DO: Explain how a customer was worried about security of people and machines until THEY employed a safety audit (which, happily, your company performs) and followed the recommendations to ensure human and machine security.

YOU know what you are doing for your customers.

YOU know what you CAN do for POTENTIAL customers!

AND you CAN talk about it on social media.

But talk about it in a way that elevates your customers’ experiences, applauds their pro-active behaviour, celebrates their forward-thinking, value-driven problem solving and encourages the same for other companies. By highlighting what your customers are doing to make improvements to their processes and the experience of their workforce as well as their customers, you can demonstrate the part you play in helping to improve your customers’ businesses everyday.

And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that!?

As always, it is great to be sharing these Marketing Minutes during our AHTD meetings and in our newsletters, and I look forward to continuing these discussions in the time between now and our next in-person meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. Next month the Marketing Minute Blog will feature creating the BIG IDEA for your marketing plan. Lots of ideas heading your way. In the meantime, please remember to connect with us and your AHTD colleagues on LinkedIn to stay up to date on everyone dedicated to #doinghightechbetter, together!