How AI, Strategic Social Selling and Employee Ambassadorship are Fueling LinkedIn’s Impact for Companies
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform, continues to emerge and evolve as a strategic tactic to support sales and brand growth in the corporate world. Both individuals and businesses are increasingly recognizing its value in building a brand and converting opportunities. In fact, what was once merely a social platform targeted for businesspeople to connect has evolved into a strategic, integrated, secret weapon that now supports real corporate impact and growth.
In this article, we’ll talk about the few key trends that have surfaced and the momentum in each that is further defining this platform’s future. We’ll specifically look at Social Selling, the anticipated impact of artificial intelligence, and the emergence of official employee ambassador tactics – all for the purpose of supporting corporate growth.
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Social Selling – Real Skill with Growing Conversions
Gone are the days of aggressive cold calling – that is, for most industries. That’s in part because LinkedIn has helped transform the sales landscape with social selling by providing a global platform for professionals to connect and collaborate. This shift has expanded sales professionals’ horizons, allowing them to reach potential clients, not only across the country, but worldwide. The days of traditional, localized sales approaches are giving way to globalized, LinkedIn-driven strategies.
As the platform matures, further evolves, and leverages technology, here are four ways sales professionals can use LinkedIn’s platform to get closer to their prospect:
- LinkedIn and its various platform levels offers direct to your prospects, allowing professionals to connect with and provide valuable content and solutions that nurtures a relationship, and supports contacting prospects directly via InMail messages.
- The platform’s search and filtering features enable salespeople to identify prospects with existing connections or pathways to potential buyers. This social proximity is invaluable in building trust and relationships with potential clients.
- Sales professionals who grow their prospect have created a forum to deliver authentic, valuable engagement to establish influence, build trust and earn appointments.
- Sales professionals can invest in and leverage platforms like Sales Navigator that have been specifically developed to support social selling with powerful search capabilities, extended networks, and other features to help sales teams reach the right decisionmakers.
LinkedIn and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
To stay competitive in the market, LinkedIn, like other Software as a Service (SaaS) products, is embracing AI. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator has already introduced two pilot programs – AI-assisted search, which enhances search by using casual, conversational language search prompts, and Account IQ, which uses generative AI to collect key information across different sources producing a summary of the account . And in early November, LinkedIn crossed the one billion user mark, celebrating the milestone by rolling out an AI chatbot that provides tools like automated recruiter messages, job descriptions, and AI-powered profile writing suggestions. AI is here to stay and they are certain to be a limitless number of iterative and rapidly growing integrations.
The Emergence of Employee Ambassadorship
The world has become increasingly interconnected, and its network knows no geographical boundaries. Furthermore, LinkedIn empowers individuals to showcase their individual skills and expertise, bolstering their professional reputation and attracting new opportunities. This, in turn, reflects positively on the company’s brand and credibility. If you have an employee who showcases strong expertise in the discipline they are using at your firm, experts says it is a win- win in that supports both the individual and their reflection on the company they represent.
However, in order to make a real impact on the company whose handle you leverage as being an employee, merely having a presence on LinkedIn is insufficient. Companies who move the needle most on the platform – specifically increased sales and brand elevation – do best when they strategically equip their sales and marketing teams, and employees for that matter, with the tools and training needed to fully harness the platform’s potential. This includes providing playbooks, campaigns, and training to ensure employees grasp how to leverage LinkedIn effectively.
To ensure employees actively engage with the company’s LinkedIn content, businesses can employ various strategies, including gamification, awards, and contests to incentivize content sharing. Regular emails or notifications can also remind employees to reshare specific content. By making brand amplification a part of the company’s culture and tying it to key performance indicators, companies can cultivate a sense of ownership and pride among employees. Earlier this year, Cisco began to offer training to all 83,000 of its employees to act as talent influencers, and other companies like United Airlines, reportedly have a team of 50 in-house influencers.
Harnessing employees as brand ambassadors on LinkedIn is a powerful strategy for businesses seeking to drive sales and enhance their brand. By fostering a culture of brand amplification, providing training, and offering support and incentives, businesses can unlock the full potential of LinkedIn’s vast network. In doing so, they can gain an edge over the competition, stimulate corporate growth, and ultimately boost their bottom line. LinkedIn, when combined with AI technology, represents the future of sales, and businesses that embrace this vision will enjoy significant benefits.
We’ve explored the key trends shaping LinkedIn’s impact, from the rise of social selling that has revolutionized sales strategies to the integration of Artificial Intelligence, making prospecting more efficient than ever. Additionally, the emergence of employee ambassadorship has created a unique opportunity for individuals and companies to mutually benefit from showcasing expertise and strengthening brand credibility.
LinkedIn, coupled with AI technology, represents the future of sales and brand growth. Those companies that embrace this vision and actively engage with the platform will gain a competitive edge. In the dynamic landscape of modern business, LinkedIn stands as a powerful ally for companies and professionals alike, supporting new opportunities and expanding new business sources.