Last year I gave a presentation at Dreamforce, which is the annual conference arranged by Salesforce. Wow, what a conference it was - I learned a ton, made a lot of good friends and also had a lot of fun.
But I didn't just attend; I also presented. And today I want to share that presentation with you. Perhaps you can learn a few things from it. The topic? Social Selling Strategies to Improve Sales Performance and Increase Revenue.
Enjoy. For any questions, feel free to reach out to me via Twitter at @gabevillamizar
Gabe Villamizar Video Transcript
Gabe: . . . a tool that uses video technology to analyze body language, how many words per minute you use, and what you sound like, your motivation, your energy. And we grab that data to train your inside sales reps and to hire new people with that data and to help your new employees ramp faster. So in a nutshell, that's what we do at HireVue. But honestly, I'm here because of Ken Krogue. I remember that not long ago, I wanted to test a lot of these strategies. I wanted to learn how to conquer social selling. This was about two years ago. I've heard about it, what people were doing. And it was a big buzz two years ago or three years ago. But I had never had the chance to test all these strategies and all these thoughts that I had in my mind, so I went to Ken. I'm like, "Ken, I think I can crack the code, and I think we can increase revenue if only you let me test some of these tactics and strategies with our inside sales reps at InsideSales.com." And lo and behold, Ken said, "You know what? I love testing. I love leads. So let's go at it."
So with a lot of testing and perfection and making mistakes and getting a lot of wins and successes, I made this road map or this equation not just to get likes and not just to get engagement and reach, because that stuff is fun, but that's just the fluff. At the end of the day, you're either increasing revenue or decreasing cost. If social media is not helping you do those two things, then you might as well fire the person who's running your social media, because the likes really don't really matter that much. It might help you increase the judgment and your thought leadership, but it's all about leads, and it's all about decreasing cost or increasing revenue, okay?
Ah, where's the clicker here?
Male: I think it's . . .
Gabe: So, I'm not going to show you what to do. I'm going to show you how to do it. So take your notes. I'm going to share a lot of secret sauce. That's another thing Ken taught me, "Don't just tell people what to do. Just straight up give them the secret sauce." And I'm like, "Ken, how am I going to give away my secrets. That's something I've built for this whole time." He's like, "Dude, that's just how it is. The more you give, the more you receive." So I'm a firm believer in that.
So real quick, the agenda, we're going to be covering what we do at HireVue currently and how, over the past six months, I've increased followerships, block subscribers, and fans ten thousand times more. We're going to cover also LinkedIn's best practices, so how can you utilize LinkedIn, specifically in your own personal brand, and how to increase lead count, how to increase followers, as well as thought leadership. Twitter's best practices. And then the very end, my top four social selling tools that are killing it in the market right now.
So, real quick, there's so many social media networks out there. So where do you put your emphasis in? Well, we'd sell to B2B customers. We're a B2B SaaS company. Right now, our current LinkedIn strategy is the following. It's a B2B. We do social listening. We track who's talking about what. And we use it for branding to show people who we are, that we're a real company. There's humans behind the logo. And we us it for lead gen as well. Then we have Twitter, pretty similar as LinkedIn.
We use Google+ strictly for social SEO. If you give Google love, they're going to love you back. Because what do you use when you're lost? Google Maps. What do use to watch video? YouTube. What do you use when you want to search for something? Google. So at the end of the day, Google has all of the data. If you play Google's game, which is Google+ on social, they will rank you very, very high. And it's free. All of us use Gmail. Who in this room doesn't have a Gmail? Raise your hand. Exactly. So they own your data. There's no such thing as privacy anymore. We all care about privacy and this and that. Realistically, Google owns everything. So if you give them the data that they want, and you play their game on Google+, even though it's a big wasteland. . . All of us have a Google+ account, but none of us really do anything, because we're forced to be on there. But if you specifically start posting certain keywords and certain hashtags, it's going to work magic.
YouTube, it's good to have, again, a social media presence, good for social SEO. Facebook, we show our company culture, that we're cool, we're chill, we're a bunch of millennials, and we're young and hip, etc., and use it for branding, as well as Instagram, believe it or not, and company culture as well.
So again, I want to focus on the two most B2B revenue-driven channels. And that's LinkedIn and Twitter. And I'm going to share a few tips on those.
By the way, if you want to tweet questions, it's @gabevillamizar. It's not "villa-my-zer," just throwing it out there. That's funny. Okay, here we go.
Tip number one, complete your profile. It is super simple to do this. But for some reason, we're just lazy. And we just think that just because you opened up a LinkedIn account, that's all I had to do. Well, you're wrong, or most of us are wrong. This is one of my pet peeves. When somebody opens a LinkedIn account, the next thing you know, there's no profile picture. The next thing you know, they haven't customized they're LinkedIn URL. By default, LinkedIn gives you this random URL. This can be customizable through LinkedIn. This guy has no keywords in here. He just opened it probably because he was forced to or he knew he had to be there, and he abandoned it. Don't do this. And I'm going to show you how to not do this.
Step number one, my name is Gabriel Villamizar. Nobody calls me Gabriel. So, you want to name yourself or go by the name that everybody knows you as, if it's adequate and if it's professional. So a good friend of mine would always go by Mike, and his LinkedIn was Michael. But then I'm like, "Well, so when recruiters or prospects or anybody looks for you, do they type Michael or do they type Mike?"
"They know me as Mike."
"Well, then you should probably name yourself Mike, because that's what people know you as. That's what people are going to type on Google and LinkedIn." So after that, I changed my name to Gabe. And I'm Gabe in every single platform that I have online.
Number two, optimize your social title, meaning your LinkedIn title. Don't optimize for a recruiter, optimize for your prospect. What is your prospect thinking about? What are their pain points? What are the words that they use on a daily basis to search on Google when they want a solution? So in this case, number two, I want to rank for social media. I want to rank for social media marketing manager. I want to rank for when people type "social audience development." And I also want to rank when people type "social selling" and, obviously, "HireVue" because I work at HireVue. And we're spending thousands of dollars on paid ads on HireVue and also pushing a lot of organic and social SEO. So the more people that have the word HireVue in all of our employees LinkedIn, social SEO is going to give all of us, so we all help each other, and we all work together.
So number one, optimize your name. Number two, optimize your title, not just for your recruiters, because LinkedIn, like Jill Rowley says, is not just for recruiters. And not just to be found, but optimize it for your buyer. Number three, believe it or not, if you click on contact info, this expands right here where it says "Edit Contact Info." Fill out as much as you can. This is just like your billboard, your billboard on LinkedIn. Number three, put the address, because believe it or not, again, Google Maps knows where your company's located. If you communicate to Google Maps through your LinkedIn profile saying, "I work at this company, and this company works with this company," therefore, you connected the dots. And you're doing Google a favor to identify Gabe Villamizar works at HireVue. Therefore, HireVue on Google Maps has this address. If you're getting a lot of spam, it’s probably because sometimes you have your personal email or your login here, and that's the one you're displaying. Make sure that it's your work email. Change that to your work email as well.
And number four, make sure you put your Twitter profile. You have your Twitter profile, and you have your LinkedIn profile. How do you communicate them with each other? Well, through backlinks and through hyperlinks. So therefore, I'm telling LinkedIn, "LinkedIn, this is my Twitter account. And it's going to link to this landing page, which is my Twitter account." On my Twitter account, in my bio, I'm going to link Twitter, as if I was talking to Twitter, "Here is my LinkedIn account." And I have a link that redirects back to LinkedIn. Again, they're communicating with each other. It's just backlinking strategy works wonders. Therefore, you're going to rank higher than anybody who also's trying to rank the same name as you. So if you're a Mike Jones, there's a bajillion Mike Jones. But if you communicate all these platforms that you have, then you're going to rank higher for your specific name . . . and your websites.
As a rule of thumb, I do three things on websites. Number one, do your company website here where it says website. Number two, put your company blog. If your content people are doing it right, they're doing lots of keyword research, a lot of social SEO, and a lot of strategy to rank for certain keywords. Well, optimize and put your company blog. And number three, if you have a personal website or Google+ account, that's what I put right there.
Number five is your summary, optimize your summary. Even though mine is a pretty short paragraph, believe it or not, it took me about an hour and half to construct this paragraph. If you feel to do the same, copy and paste my paragraph and just fill in the blanks with information that is related to you. That's what I teach our inside sales reps. So for example, if you're Mike Jones, say, "Mike Jones has blank years of related work experience in blank blank blank." That's going to make your life easier, or just come up with your own paragraph. My point is, again, optimize to your buyer. So if your buyer is looking for marketing automation, well, what are you going to put in your paragraph right here? Something that has to do with marketing automation. Now, you don't want to do that all of your LinkedIn profile, because then you become a keyword stuffer, and then Google doesn't like that. But put it strategically in places that Google is going to crawl from your page and say, "Okay, well Gabe Villamizar has marketing automation a few times. They have a backlink to this page. Therefore, Gabe and marketing automation rank high." In a sense, that's how it works.
Moving on. Again, make sure that you put your title. This happened when I first joined HireVue. A guy named Seth Weinert, his position was Marketing Coordinator Specialist. And I'm like, "Seth, are you an inbound or outbound?"
He's like, "I'm inbound."
And I'm like, "So you're setting appointments for the closers so they can close the deal, right?"
He's like, "Yeah."
"So you're a customer-facing or prospect-facing role."
He's like, "Yes I am."
And I'm like, "Why does your title look so weak?" It's, again, Marketing Coordinating Specialist. I'm like, "So when a prospect comes to your LinkedIn profile, and they look at that, they might look down upon that title."
So have your employees have titles that stand out and have them have titles that, really, when people come to their LinkedIn profiles, in half a second, they're going to make a judgment, "Oh, this person's legit." But if they have an associate or a low-title level, they're going to be like, "I just got off the phone with some kid that just told me to just set an appointment of half an hour to an hour of my time." So make sure you optimize your work title, again, for what you want to rank for and so that people perceive you as a legit person. I'm not saying go up and make up titles. That's not the point. But put a title in there that makes sense for your business, that's going to increase the chances of people that are going to do appointments held in your company.
Number two, make sure you put the right company. If your company doesn't have a LinkedIn company account, their doing it wrong. Make sure that if you do put the right company, your company logo should appear right here. Again, a resume is freaking boring. It's just text. Well, LinkedIn has enabled us to do media types, so you can upload YouTube videos, Vimeos, Slideshares, and they look all fancy like this.
And last but not the least, make sure you get some recommendations. They display nicely here. So the CEO of InsideSales.com, Dave Elkington, recommended me. So when people scroll down my LinkedIn account, they're like "Whoa, Gabe must be legit. The CEO of InsideSales.com just said he's a baller," in other words. You know what I mean. Make sure you recommend others to get recommended. It's just the same way as you make friends. You have to step outside your bubble, and then what happens is then you start making friends. You can't just wait the whole time for people to come to you because nobody is going to recommend you unless you're amazing and you're always doing good stuff for others, then no one's going to endorse you, unless you step out of your bubble and then start recommending other people.
Once you do these optimization tips, when you type your name, it took me six months to own every single category on Gabe Villamizar on the front page of Google. Before, there's this one magician in Colombia, so I'm from Venezuela, there's one magician named Gabe Villamizar, or Gabriel. And this magician would always rank higher than me whenever he would a magic show. So then one time, when I was trying to figure this out about two years ago, right before when I was finding a job at InsideSales.com and also applying at different places, this one recruiter is like, "What do you like to do for fun?"
And I'm like, "Well, I like to dance. I like to play ping-pong and racquetball."
He's like, "Do you by any chance do magic shows on the side?"
"No, dude, what are you talking about?"
"Because I Googled you, and it says that you did a magic show over the weekend."
And I'm like, "Dude, I'm going to kill that Gabe Villamizar. He's screwing my freaking chances of getting a job."
So after that, I was freaking mad. I'm like, "I'm going to pwn this Gabriel Villamizar in Colombia. And I'm going to show him that I'm the real Gabe. So after that, as you can tell, there's pictures of Gabe that's not me, but these are all me right here. But after you do that, you should see in as little as three to six months . . . Again, I'm not going to guarantee it's going to work if your name is Mike Jones. There's a bajillion Mike Jones trying to do the same thing, maybe not trying to do the same thing, but a few people are savvy enough to do these type of tricks. But if your name is unique or somewhat unique, such as Gabe Villamizar, it's not that hard at all. If you have a very common name, try putting your middle name and try to rank for those three names, first name, middle name, and last name, because the chances of people having the same three names as you are very low, much lower than having the first and last name.
Again, another thing I recommend, follow companies on LinkedIn. Follow influencers on LinkedIn. And follow news. It all somehow connects the dots, and it gives you a higher social selling index. That's how LinkedIn measures how good of a social seller you are. Again, another trick I did is I started endorsing other people. Next thing you know, I have 99+ endorsements on certain skills. I'm not going to go too much into detail on how this happened, but just endorse two to three people per day, generally. And the next thing you know, people are going to start endorsing you. Because what happens when you endorse people, your face is going to come up more in these quadrants. And people by nature, because they're lazy or because they want to do it, they say, "Endorse All." So your face is going to come up more in these boxes, and that's what I figured out, that's how it works. But they change their algorithm all the time.
Your profile picture, I'm just going to cruise through this. Don't do this, have a croppy or blurry picture. People don't recognize you. Squeeze proportions, make sure you don't do that. Who the heck is that? The guy with some beer cans, okay, dude, for real, it's like we know you like to party, but maybe that's what Facebook's for. You can't see the person's face. He loves his guitar, but don't do that. You know I like ping-pong, what if I'm just there swinging my racket? Okay, I'm passionate about it, but maybe not very professional. And this is another one of pet peeves, when it's super small. Take the time to get a professional photo. Take it with your iPhone or something or ask somebody to take it with you. And make sure it fits the whole frame, such as Richard Branson, a very good example what he does. And these are some of the specs of how you should do it.
Tip number three, inviting people to connect. Jill Rowley's huge on this. You can optimize the message when you invite people to connect with you. And by default, it says, "I'd like to add you to my professional network." But there's research that's shown far more likely people to accept your LinkedIn request if you personalize the message, if you do your homework beforehand. So for example, "Tyler, I've heard the great things about Jolt. I'm trying to expand my LinkedIn network and would like to have professionals with your expertise in my network." Stand out from the crowd, be that purple cow, like Seth Godin says. Stand out, be different. Therefore, what going to happen is people will remember you, and you're going to stand out.
Okay, let's talk a little bit about Twitter. I only have a few minutes left. The art of tweeting, this is freaking awesome. I'm super passionate about Twitter, because not a lot of people have cracked the code of social selling, and there's tons and tons of room and potential for this. 3-1-1 strategy, you actually should take a picture of this or screenshot it if you're online. This is my secret sauce, specifically here what I share. I share five tweets per day. Tweet number one is the third party content. It's not about us. We talk about our Hire Vue partners to strengthen that relationship. We can talk about industry news in this industry. We talk about blogs, a blog that's related to the industry. And then we talk about out website. So that's going to be your tweet number one. And we do the same for tweet number two, and we do the same for tweet number three.
Then we start talking about ourselves. What happens with social media, people think it's a billboard and it's a sales channel, 100%. They think that, but it's not. Social is strictly social. It's for interactions. Its for relationships. It's for networking. Its not just to sell your product 24/7. If you're here because you think that's what your going to accomplish, you're wrong. You have to nurture a relationship. You have to step out there and do things different. And this is what I found best strategy. And then you promote content either an eBook, so you can capture their information, a webinar, a research case study, gated content.
And then you want to share a little bit about yourself. Take a selfie. Take a picture of your family. Take a picture of DreamForce. Take it out where I'm at, etc. It seems to be working pretty good. By doing this, you're going to get more followers. You're not going to sound like you're just a sales machine. You're a real human being because you're showing your personality and you're talking about your company, but you're talking about other people. It's all about featuring other people so that people then love you back. You have to apply what Ken Krogue says, the give to get strategy. And not just text tweets, but you should also do images, do videos, do SlideShares and characters. Text is the type of media or the type of tweet that's least effective that you could probably do out there. Make sure you mix it up and spice up with a few of these type of tweets.
So I grabbed this online. As you can see here, tweets without images have a lower click-through rate, have a lower retweet ratio and a lower favorite ratio. And it makes sense. When you see a tweet in the Twitter feed, they take up so much freaking space. And we are visual people. Nobody likes to read. When was the last time you probably read an article from top to bottom? You probably skimmed through the article, looked for the bold stuff and tried to get something and go to the next. We're this ADD society, where with so much content being created, so much data being created every single day that we just want the bits and pieces of information. So a picture, as they say, worth a thousand words, etc.
Another thing I recommend is tweet three to five times per day. And on weekends, believe it or not, there's a higher interactivity or the higher engagement ratio than throughout the week. If you think about it, during the weekend, you're just chilling. You're with your family and friends, and you want to see what your friends or your coworkers are doing throughout the week, that you meet with throughout the week. So there's a lot higher engagement throughout the weekend.
Same thing here.
Another secret sauce is how to tweet. Article title plus article URL, and I recommend one or two hashtags, no more. Don't be like those people who say #salesaccelerationtechnology. And for you to decipher that code, it takes you 20 seconds. You want people to just digest that information within less than a second or less. For example, this would look like this, "Are you turning away good candidates? What to look for when hiring sales reps." Then you put there the link, hashtag number one, hashtag number two. And I'll get into hashtags in a second, but that's one example. That's the good example. Now, the even better example again is with a picture, because it takes up a lot of space. You see that? This looks boring. This looks pretty epic. Boring. Epic. Article title, article URL, hashtag number one and/or the author of the article, because the author's going to get notified. And what's cool about Twitter notifications is that their get notified to their email. They're going to get notified probably on their smartphone and any other device that they have. It's almost to the point better than email, if you think about it. I won't get into that, but . . .
Pretty cool example, I'll get to it real quick. I went to Cold Stone, I stood in line for 30 minutes, yeah, to get a ice cream. I'm like, "Screw this. I'm going to tweet at them, 'Had to stand in line for 30 minutes to get a scoop of ice cream. #suckstone #complainttweet.'" Next thing you know, what happened is they gave me six vouchers for the Love It, the Love It size. I loved it. I really did. My point is that people do listen, and companies do listen. So make sure your company replies and is actually engaged on Twitter as well.
Now, if you start your tweet with an @ sign, only people who follow you and follow Cold Stone will see that tweet. This is the number one mistake everybody on Twitter does. If you want every single one of your followers to see your message, don't start your tweet with the @ sign. I'm going to repeat that one more time. Don't start your tweet with the @ sign or the handle if you want to display it to the whole world, because this, right now, only my followers who follow Cold Stone and Cold Stone is going to see this, not everybody. So if I want my 11,000 followers on Twitter to see that I'm mad at Cold Stone, I want do it somewhere in here, just don't start it on the first word.
Last but not least, some hashtags. Isn't cool how the pound sign for some reason got involved, and now, it's a hashtag. And it's acceptable that way. When did that become acceptable? Who says "pound sign" these days? If you use pound sign, you're a laggard. That's what it is. It's a hashtag so . . . Use the right hashtags to gain followers. If you're not using the #df14 throughout this conference, you're doing it wrong. It helps you improve your reputation because a lot of people will see what you're talking about, and you can get information that way. So we just had a conference and the hashtag was VueSummit. You should be able to see everything here. And this is another cool trick about Twitter. Right now, it's only displaying Top. I toggled it to All. Therefore, I'm going to see every single person that's been tweeting VueSummit. Well, Twitter by default just shows you the top tweets about VueSummit or the hashtag that you're searching for. Make sure you toggle it to All so you can see everybody that's talking about that.
Some hashtags stats . . . Effect of the hashtags . . . But I want to get to this real quick. I only have a minute. Take a picture of this too if you want. These are groundbreaking tools that, if you really want to be serious about social selling, I recommend you get all four or at least get two or one. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a must for every social-selling individual out there. It's a plug-in, a new feature, whatever you want to call it, plug-in, by LinkedInm and it helps you sell. It organizes the data on LinkedIn into this one tab that is separate from LinkedIn. So it clears out the noise. Insightpool is the best for Twitter drip campaign automation. You can find who to tweet. And then you say, "I want to tweet at least 100 people this message," personalize it, and it does it for you. It works awesome. We just barely got that. KiteDesk, awesome for social selling as well. You can see who can introduce me to who in this organization. And SalesLoft, it's also great for finding emails and things like.
But again, these two top social selling tools, these guys, SalesLoft, is just right here. Actually, if you walk out, KiteDesk, talk to Sean Burke. He's the CEO and founder of KiteDesk. Again, highly recommended tool. InsightPool, Adam, founder, right there. Talk to him after this. And LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Koka Sexton, he's the face and the social selling godfather in LinkedIn. He's here today as well at the LinkedIn booth and here and there. But again, I highly recommend all of these.
So that's it guys. So that's all I had to cover. Thanks.
Male 2: Thanks Gabe.
[inaudible 00:27:11], so if you want to stay, great. Otherwise, we'll give you your drone, and away you go.