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How most Social Media experts are wrong about LinkedIn

I’ve read from many social media experts (including Jay Baer) that you should take a scattershot approach to LinkedIn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I usually love Jay’s blog content on ConvinceandConvert.com.

But…. on his blog, in LinkedIn group discussions, on LinkedIn Pulse and even in his presentations (including the one at Social Fresh), Jay mentioned that shotguns trump rifles in social media. Like many other social media experts, he believes that social media should be a volume play and that you should be focused on broadcasting the same content to the widest possible audience, regardless of the different needs, wants, and expectations of their followers or connections.

In a recent article in Content Marketing Institute’s magazine, Jonathan Crossfield compares this method to a realtor’s flyer marketing efforts. He talks about how once a week, his mailbox contains at least one real estate flyer mentioning that they recently sold a house in his area and if he has considered selling his home. Now, Jonathan is renting, so I’m sure his landlord would have something to say about it. You see, it’s a wrong message to the wrong audience. The same thing happens when you do not take a rifle approach and focus on targeted audiences.

A shotgun approach may be better when you have a lower cost product or solution when you need as many leads and subscribers as possible to get a return on your social media investment. But, when your programs require a minimum investment of thousands of dollars and can go to hundreds of thousands of dollars – then you better be sure you’re focusing on specific audiences and that you are relevant.

More Reasons Why I Disagree With Most Social Media Expert’s Shotgun Approach When You Have a High Priced Solution

Social media experts who are going for reach on LinkedIn and other social media platforms are taking the “social” out of “social media,” and those sales and marketing executives that follow his approach are just seeing social media as another advertising medium to gain more brand awareness.

Those that have been following me know that I’m against using social media platforms like LinkedIn for brand awareness, as I have combated recent reports coming from Forrester. By taking a prospect-centric, rifle approach that is laser focused on very specific, targeted audiences, our clients (including professional service firms, technology companies, and other B2B organizations that have solutions starting at a minimum of $10,000) are generating leads and building real relationships. One of our clients, a data integration technology company, is opening the closed doors of sales and marketing leaders at Dell, Cisco, HP, Staples, Wells Fargo, and many Fortune 1000 B2B organizations. By providing very specific, relevant content, our client is getting these leaders to join their exclusive LinkedIn community. And, because of the group discussions, these leaders are raising their hands mentioning that they want to talk to sales.

Do You Think Our Client Would be Able to Get these Leaders’ Attentions if:      

  • Their LinkedIn profiles did not speak to their prospects needs– or communicate their value.
  • The discussions we were starting in the LinkedIn groups and the content that we were putting on LinkedIn Pulse was of general nature, and did not speak directly to their very targeted audiences.
  • We were focused on just getting reach, instead of building relationships using relevant content and staying engaged with them on a 1-to-1 basis.

You see, B2B sales and marketing leaders that follow the scattershot approach that many social media experts are preaching  (and are not focused on very specific, targeted audiences) will really lose out on all the relationship building benefits that social media– especially LinkedIn– can bring. These sales and marketing executives are losing focus and are taking their eyes off the prize (relationships that turn to closed deals and ROI) as they are focusing solely on reach.

I’m sorry, but social media reach without engagement that leads to revenue means nothing. Engagement means everything – especially when you have a high priced solution, or program with a complex sale. Before they invest heavily in your solutions, B2B buyers want to ensure that you understand their specific challenges. They want to be able to recognize and understand your specific value.

Watch this on-demand webinar to see what other lead generation and engagement mistakes social media experts and sales and marketing leaders are making on LinkedIn.

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Discussion

  1. Avatar JoAnne Funch

    I couldn’t agree more with Kristina referring to those who are “taking the social out of social media.” Building trust is key to driving sales and that comes with time and relationships. In other words, putting in the time to connect personally and be social is more effective than pitching content and praying someone reads or likes it. Good article.

  2. Avatar Rummy

    LinkedIn has also become like facebook these days. LinkedIn was good a couple of years back. Social Media engagement is important.

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