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Did Social Selling Just Get Harder in 2018?

By Sander Biehn | Jan 24, 2018

With more sellers using social media than ever, is it possible that your prospects might be blocking your content in the near future? This is the topic of a recent post by Liz Ryan on Forbes.  Her article on the 10 reasons to block a connection starts with: “The connection is posting too much marketing and sales spam.”

While this may seem like a cautionary tale for social sellers, I think it is actually good news. It is cautionary in that it makes clear that your network is not going to tolerate you filling their news feed with garbage. In our social selling courses, we teach sellers to regularly post on LinkedIn and other social channels. We explain that buyers begin to feel intimacy by seeing your face and posts on a regular basis. However, now it appears that this might backfire? Could regular posting also win a salesperson a trip to the spam folder?

The answer is yes. But this is a huge advantage to a smart social seller. Too many salespeople take the easy route when posting on LinkedIn. They are posting pithy news articles that don’t speak to real business challenges. In fact, I have seen many more posts lately that are simply ‘personal news’—the type of post you more likely would see on Facebook. However, by following a few content guidelines you can cement your place in your prospect’s feed while your competition is being marked as spam.

The key is spending the time to create and find content that really matters to your network. By focusing on this one thing, you will almost never be blocked. So, what does this type of content look like?

1) Content must draw from 3rd party experts and reputable news sources in your industry. We suggest that 80% of your posts NOT be information about your company or products

2) Original posts need to add value. Delivering new pricing information is the definition of spam. If you have new pricing to talk about, explain the new pricing strategy and what it actually means for a business considering your services e.g. “now industrial companies can more readily participate in the efficiencies of digitization.”

3) Lay off the landing pages. Too much marketing automation on the click-through link from your posts will not win you any accolades from a hot prospect. The information offered to solely benefit the buyer is needed to win some initial credibility and trust. Don’t blow it.

Hopefully, the prospect of being blocked doesn’t worry you as we go into 2018. I am not bothered by it at all. Why? Because I see it as an opportunity to have my voice more readily heard by my network, and because I am willing to do the hard work to earn it online.

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