June 2016 Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for USD 26.2 billion. It seems there was a tussle between Salesforce a USD 50 billion Gorilla and Microsoft a USD 400 Billion Gorilla and Microsoft prevailed. The interest of two leading stalwarts in their respective fields reflects perceived immense business value of LinkedIn business format.
LinkedIn started out as a professional networking platform. It gradually morphed into job and Talent management platform. And in the past few years it transcended into Education and a formidable Social Selling (Sales & Marketing) platform.) So what are the major platforms or tools for Social Selling including LinkedIn? I would recommend the following platforms and tools based on my experience and success in social Selling
- LinkedIn: 70% : This is the only platform where you will find more information on the employee then HR systems in his company. Hence it becomes an ideal platform to know the members and engage them in meaningful style. And listen to their needs and respond promptly.
- Twitter : 10% : Twitter timeline is clutter of tweets provided you segregate the meaningful tweets of your target audience. Hence the LIST feature of Twitter is a big help to segregate tweets. I create lists for my Customers, Prospects and Industry Gurus. And listen to them selectively, engage them and also curate their meaningful content.
- Hootsuite or Buffer: 5%: The said two platforms are meaningful tools to distribute content when your target audience is logged in. You can schedule content distribution for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other desired social networking platforms. The life of content is short on social network and timely distribution increases probability of your content being viewed by right audience.
- www.Paper.li: 5%: Content curation is an important exercise of Social Selling. Paper.li enables you to type in key words once and the systems automatically picks up relevant content across Internet and formats contents in a newsletter format ready to be distributed to your mailing list. Once you have set parameter the systems will periodically pick and format current content in newsletter format and push it to your distribution list.
- Google Alert: 3%: It helps you to set alert for relevant content and either share or educate yourself on the topic of your profession.
- Blogging: (WordPress/Tumblr/LinkedIn Pulse) Content Creation
- www.getBambu.com: 5%: bamboo for Employee advocacy. Social selling only works if your sales team knows what to talk about with prospective customers. Bambu by Sprout Social gives your employees a simple way to amplify your brand’s reach by sharing curated content across their social networks. Distribute curated sales materials through Bambu
- www.Quora.com : 2 % : You may use this platform to search or ask questions wherein you need expert opinion.