Social Media Tips: Social Nurturing Using the Acquire Model

by Ken Krogue

social nurturing with Ken Krogue

InsideSales.com President Ken Krogue, recently recognized as the second most influential social seller in the world on Forbes, has interviewed some of social selling’s greatest influencers. He has compiled these interviews and combined them with his own winning strategies for this webinar.

Webinar Transcript

Ken Krogue: Hi, everybody. This is Ken Krogue, President, founder and Chief Strategy Officer of insidesales.com. I am excited to be here today on the Social Selling Summit. Thanks especially to Gabe De Amazar [SP] for the invitation on Hire Vue. It's wonderful to be with a lot of my colleagues in the industry. I've promised today 31 Social Selling Tips in 30 Minutes, so we got a lot to cover. Again, I do a little speaking in the world of social selling. Huffington Post and Forbes, I was ranked number two behind Koka. I think he's up here as well and Social Selling Influences, our company, was ranked number one overall for Social Currency in the space of social selling.

Now, I want to talk about why we focus on results. Salespeople have to get results and social media has a lot of buzz going on, social selling going on. I said before, I think social selling is a misnomer. There's not a lot of sales being closed with social media. It's more like social prospecting. And so we're going to talk about that. Probably the core curriculum of social media, I wrote it in an article for Forbes called 'How To Be A Social Media Missionary: For Business.' This is the six levels of social media. And the main things I'm going to hit today are the core to make sure you're up and running get started. The Core Skills of Social Media's on the next slide but these six, the Core is what you need to just get up and running. The Coach is learning how to help other people. Being a social media missionaries, converting others to the gospel of social media. A Curator, we're going to talk about that. That's to learn to use other people's content to accomplish your goals. A Creator is to use your own content. A Collaborator is to leverage to be able to become interdependent and leverage other creators in the world of social media. In fact, this summit today is an example of collaboration. And then the highest level is a Consultant, someone who can train and coach someone up to all six of these levels. So let's jump in.

We're going to go fast. Tip number one is focus on your Purpose. So the six Core Skills I've listed there, complete your profile, learn to bring online your content, focus on your community, connect with others, learn to comment in a way that starts conversation, and the big one, the reason we were ranked number one, is Call-to-Action.

Tip number one is focus on your purpose of completing your profile. So, there's the seven Ps right there of completing your profile. Number one, I believe, is your purpose followed by platform, build a plan, let your passion drive it, prioritize, then write your profile, and then persist working your plan. We're going to hit each one of these in turn.

So Simon Sinik said start with why. Why do you use social media? That should be your purpose. Here are some of the keys out there. They're from research. This was done by Eloqua. Consumers, 67% are using social media just to stay in touch with friends, then family, then find old friends, hobbies, and so on. But in business, 83% of social media purposes create awareness. Now, that's mostly a PR function. Awareness is usually publicity and PR. 56% broaden reach, 55% increase trust, 32%, now there's the one I like, demand generation, and 22% is market perception, which is, I think, another version of awareness, but anyway.

So let's talk about defining your business purpose. My favorite of all is leads. It's all about the leads, folks. If you've got a LinkedIn profile up with your resume, your purpose is job hunting. One of my favorite methodologies is this Trigger Points. We're going to talk about that. Your purpose might be qualification of leads, communication to a mass group, media bridging, we'll talk about that. Amplification - Twitter's really good at amplifying other forms of media. Awareness, again, that was the number one reason most businesses use it. I'm not really a fan of just awareness. I'm a fan of the last one, Call To Action, because calls to action cause leads. 

So let's talk about the companies that are really doing well. This research was done by Business To Community and Sylvia Montgomery. Great research study. Go check it out. They compare high growth companies versus average growth companies, and on the left there you see 62.5% of high growth companies use online leads, whereas only 12% of average growth use leads. But the high growth companies grew 15 times faster, folks. So this is where the gold is, online lead generation. 

So the number two tip for the same research study is pick the most powerful platform. And believe it or not, the most powerful platform of all is blogging. Now, why blogging? Well, think of a blog as a newspaper of magazine for your own company or for yourself. Forbes.com, that I write for, is a massive Wordpress blog. So think of your own magazine, or newsletter, newspaper. Well, the second tier was search engine which is Google and then LinkedIn. So that's the order where I focus, but your platform is keyed based on your purpose. 

Tip number three, build a plan. My favorite approach was one tip a day for 31 days. This comes from Inside View Social Selling University. If you have a fun idea, a game plan for Twitter, I wrote an article that's one of the top in world on Twitter. Here it is. Right here, this is my personal plan. I patterned it after this really great article, '31 Days to Build a Better Blog.' This was incredible, guys. This is what put me on the map from Problogger. I would recommend you find this one and do it yourself if you're serious about a blog. One tip a day for a month, and I did the same thing with Twitter, and that's the same thing we're doing in this presentation today. One tip a day for social media to really drive your social selling plan.

Tip number four is focus on your passion. Focus on what you love. My favorite book 'Good to Great' in this area of growing a great business says that three overlapping areas, the concentric circles there, what you love, what pays well, and what you're good at, and if you find all three of those, that red triangle in the center is what you're great at and you're going to win. But passion is what drives you. You got to love what you're doing. You got to have fun or social media's not going to be for you.

Tip number six, build a profile that is compelling based on your purpose. I'd recommend Koko Sexton's article 'The Epic List of LinkedIn Profile Tips.' He's gives you like 34 articles on how to build your profile. If you can't figure out there, it can't be figured out. 

But then lastly, tip number seven of the seven Ps of completing your profile is persist. Work your plan. Now this is probably my magic ingredient. People ask me all the time, "Ken, how do you do all these different things? And how do you juggle all these priorities?" And here's what I do, actually. Remember, I spent my early career days at Franklin and Covey. I got to be mentored a little bit by Harun Smith [SP] and Stephen Covey. And I wrote this article on the day, actually this wasn't the day Stephen Covey passed away. This one's a little bit before that. I wrote another one for him on the day he passed away. 

But this article is Level Five Time Management, and go ahead and read it and it gives you a plan where you can make recurring actions happens. So you can see, this is my own individual spreadsheet and I have each day of the month in September and what day of the week it is. And I've marked up my very first recurring task, is write for Forbes. You can see the days that I'm targeting to do that. My individual blog is next, the newsletter, the webinars that I'm working on. Then I try and spend a couple hours a day on these different social media outlets or medias. Time for days were marked on there. Then I work on the different projects that I'm spending time on each of these as a blog. And that's how I work my plan. So step number seven is persist in working your plan. How much time a day and how much time a week you're going to do it. 

Tip number eight is grab your own name and your picture and get them out there. You see on LinkedIn, just the other day, a friend of mine had not put his own name in his profile for LinkedIn. He had a big, long number, LinkedIn assigns a number by default. So, you've got to go in, edit your profile, and put your name there. 

Tip number nine, define your brand. You've got to decide who you're going to be. Even the look and feel of your photograph says a lot about who you're going to be in the world of social media. There's Gabe De Amazar [SP] with his Google glasses on and he's got that trademark hat on backwards. He's young and aggressive, and knows technology. His specialty is Twitter. You've got to know who you're going to be and you've got to be able to portray it visually in everything that you do.

Tip number 10, research your keywords and your hashtags. My favorite strategy is divert a river, don't dig a well. If you can find a river of traffic already tied to keywords and hashtags, you can tap into that instead of trying to create it from scratch. So two of my favorite tools: the Google Keyword Planner Tool that you go in, type in a keyword, and you can see how much traffic is on that keyword flowing through Google. Hashtracking.com does the same thing for hashtags through Twitter. So that's a goldmine, you guys. That is a goldmine.

All right. So next one, get your scores, tip number 12. Now by scores, what do I mean? Well, this is the SSI index from LinkedIn. I'm a 94 out of 100. I've got a lot of work to do. Things like Klout, and Kred, and WeFollow, and WebsiteGrader, and Sales Indicator, your SSI. Now, some of these aren't as useful as they used to be. They're still quite powerful to show you where you're at. We have a sales indicator score that lets you see how good you'd be in the world of selling. One of my favorite is WebsiteGrader to see how good your website is. There's lots, so get your scores and follow them pretty closely. If you're working with LinkedIn, you can ask them for your SSI Index. That one's really powerful. I'd recommend going to their annual conference. They usually offer that there as well. 

Tip number 13, publish your IDs. Get them in your own name, like we've talked about earlier. Get your blog , your email, your LinkedIn, Twitter. Again, I write for Forbes. Now, when you really go to town on Google Plus, you can get your name as a custom URL for Google Plus. This is where you start, you guys, if you're trying to build your brand.

Number 14, different content strategies. Now I'm going to share about five different content strategies throughout the rest of the slideshow. But remember, a curator, this woman here, she's a curator in a museum. She arranges other people's content to try and make it most enjoyable for visitors to the museum. So that's what a curator does. And so you don't have to be a good writer or good photographer or videographer to do great content. And I recommend you just start with your company content. Lot of our sales reps are generating their own leads by offering our own research studies and so on. Our famous lead response study with Dr. James Oldroyd [SP] of MIT, that thing is knocking on the door 400,000 companies that have downloaded it. It's getting bigger all the time.

Tip number 15 - I'm going fast, you guys - content tools. Content tools, so how in the world do you keep up with sending tweets out all day long? Well, you need at least one of these. Hootsuite's a little bit more comprehensive. It's very, very powerful but Bufferapp is probably my favorite. I can lock and load a whole week's worth of Twitter tweets four, five a day in about an hour of doing it the first of the week using Bufferapp. It lets you pre-schedule and buffer the different tweets you want to send. It can nab your Facebook messages and LinkedIn messages and so on. So that one's really powerful. It's free at the lower end. You can upgrade it by trying Buffer for Business but that's one of my favorites.

Tip number 16, social nurturing. Just like lead nurturing, you need to have a strategy whereby you can move people who don't know who you are to engaging with them. And this is the methodology that we use. We call it the ACQUIRE model of social nurturing. It's an acronym. A is awareness, C is curiosity, Q is qualify, U is understand, I is interest, R is relevancy, and E is engage. That's the processing for the funnel, moving them down the process. Awareness is sort of PR. So how do you do it? On the right column there, you can see awareness is just getting your name out there with cool things. My favorite is curiosity, in stage two there, with research. Research is probably the best way to get people curious about what you do. 

And then learn the ANUM model. ANUM is an acronym that stands for authority, need, urgency, and money. So your nurturing should start qualifying with your messaging by targeting the right people, helping build their need, setting up compelling events with urgency and trying to qualify for money. But, believe me, if you got need, out of them all, I care about authority and need. Talk to the right person, build the need, and urgency and money appear. 

Level four - educate. That's how you build understanding. So your content should teach people, just like the 'Challenge of Sale', one of my favor books, set the whole sales training industry on its ear by saying, "Guys, in a complex sales, it's no longer about qualifying with questions. It's about teaching, tailoring, and taking control, and getting them through the sales process by helping them understand." How can you ask questions of somebody who doesn't know they need you? That's the problem. 

Okay. Make it interesting. The I is make it cool. If it's cool, it'll be interesting. Relevancy is real key, though. It's do they need you? Is it relevant to them, specifically. And if those six ingredients' are in place, they will engage and move into the sales funnel through social nurturing. 

Now, I promised other kinds of sales content funnel, sales strategy, Here's tip number 17. We call it the seven content level funnel, the content funnel and this was brought to our company by Mike Plante, Vice President of Demand Generation. Actually, it wasn't quite in this current format. We expanded it a little bit. So think of a funnel. The top of the funnel is famous people, influencers. Then it moves to the industry you're trying to target, then your company information, and product information, then product proof, and sales specific information, like obstacles that they would face. And then lastly, client information. Do you see how this moves people down, the life of a lead to a client? This is a goldmine. 

So go back through your existing content and look at what levels the content is, and this will tell you in what order to move people down. Always offer someone the next level of content. So if somebody just responded to an industry-type of content, you would send them company and product content. If they've gotten to level four, product, you want to send product proof because they're probably wondering if your content is real and true and your case studies and so on. So always target the two levels of content below where they're at and that will move them down the sales funnel. 

So it's sort of like remember ET phone home, with those Reese's Pieces that the kids laid out on the ground to lead ET down the path? So you lead with content. And like that red head girl in Brave, you guide down the path. We said earlier to educate with content. That's my favorite. So this is an example of an article that we did oi Harvard Business Review with Kristina McElheran and Dr. James B. Oldroyd, one of our really famous research studies. And this thing went to town. Education based on research with content.

Tip number 18, this one's big, you guys, especially for enterprise organizations. You have to build a target account strategy, meaning you've got to start focusing on your ideal accounts by size, by geography and industry and so on. And you've got to get good at using the different social media for that. LinkedIn's probably my favorite because you can slice and dice the data based on size, and geo, and industry, and so on and title. Now again, this is accounts. So, this is your target companies. We'll talk a little bit later about your target context. But tip number 18 is learn to target accounts through social media.

Tip number 19, job postings. This one's fun. We pioneered this one over a decade ago before social media was really strong, just by using Monster and CareerBuilder. We go in and set up a job, as if I'm looking for a job. In fact, in the early days, it was hard to find lists of people using inside sales. So what I would do is I would go apply for a job in inside sales and ask Monster and CareerBuilder and some of the local classifieds to send me any ads of new companies that post a job for inside sales. Well, that's really what we're doing. We're looking for companies posting jobs. If they're posting jobs for inside sales reps, that means they're growing, they have money, they have need. So it's a perfect place to look for a great leads. And some of our best reps are using LinkedIn and searching the job postings in specific areas that highlight the needs for what we sell. For example, productivity solutions for inside sales. So that's a goldmine right there, you guys. 

Tip number 20, workflow. Now what do I mean? The system's a little bit more technical. Probably one of those powerful things you can do, there's a program called IFTTT.com. When Gabe De Amazar and I worked together, this one was a hot one. This is basically a workflow statement. If this, then that. And so I would highly recommend you learn how to do this one, guys. This is so powerful. I don't have time to go into it right now but there's lots of how to videos on Google about using this. Basically, when certain things happen in profiles in social media, you can trigger a notification back to you. And you can get dozens of leads coming your way every day by setting up these workflow. 

Tip number 21, target contacts. Just like earlier, we talked about target accounts, that was companies. Now, target contacts, that's people. Define really clearly the level and function of title that you're going after. For us, it's probably Vice President of Sales, particularly inside sales. One of our favorite functions is sales operations. If you're an organization that's bringing online a sales operations department, that's one of our best target contacts because they really know the value of infrastructure. Is your role defined? Target contacts can be former customers or they know a customer. They know an executive that works in an organization. These are great target contacts and these strategies are very powerful.

Tip number 22, start making list of your very, very best people to connect with on social media. This is exactly what I do. I've got dozens of lists, industry leaders, thought leaders. This is how we keep in touch and we keep setting the world records for the largest social summits out there. Our last one had 33,700 registrants with over 80 speakers. Well, we have lists that we put together of the top thought leaders in the space to invite them to speak at these events, lists of competitors, lists of prospects, lists of your target accounts, and partners, and customers, and clients. Now, what's the difference between a customer and a client, my last two bullet points there? A customer is somebody who's bought from you one time. A client is someone who's bought from me at least twice and is willing to refer you. So always, always, always aim for clients. That's the ultimate. If you aim for the stars, you'll at least hit the horizon. If you aim for the horizon, you might hit the mud. So aim for clients, not just customers, you guys.

Tip number 23, Use list and follower tools. Some of our most powerful list providers: Zoominfo and Data.com. I just got off a call with Social 123. They've changed to a really strong list company. InsightPool, this is a really powerful company that will help you find Twitter handles for lists you provide. Newsle, lets you target news. Crowdfire, ManageFlitter, TweetAdder these will help you add followers. Very, very powerful, you guys. Start looking into these if you really want to put your social media on steroids. 

Tip number 24, join target groups. I always brag about my friend Trish Bertuzzi and her group in LInkedIn called 'Inside Sales Experts.' It's well over 40,000 members now. In the early days when there were no lists of inside sales people, this was the best place to go. And it's still just going to town even today. Now, look back there. This is February of 2013. She had 22,000 members. She's got double that now and it's wonderful. 

But there's different kinds of industry groups for networking. Remember the old breakfast clubs or lunch clubs where we get together with those sales people and trade leads? Well, that's where you go now is online for these different groups. And this is a huge opportunity for generating lead, you guys. 

Number 25, connection strategies. How are you going to build your connections? Well, on LinkedIn, there's some very strong protocol. You don't just connect like crazy on LinkedIn or you'll get banned because people don't know you. So you have to first introduce yourself by sending maybe an email, or referrals, or voice mails. Whenever you meet at event, the first thing I do is I grab their business card. I call it business card bridge. I tell him, "Hey, I'm going to reach out to you and connect. Is that okay?" Back at my hotel room that night, I go through my full stack of business cards, reach out, send them an email saying how great it was to meet with them that day. The key here, guys, is you want five points of contacts. So, you had one at the show. You sent the email telling them you're going to bridge to LinkedIn. You send them a LinkedIn connection, and you change it, so it's customized. So you're already up to three different interactions. And then what I do is I send them something that might be valuable for them and helpful for them, like a download on an e-book or something. And then I follow up and bridge to a phone call. So, there's my five interactions and that's my favorite strategy to connect, through LinkedIn. 

Now why would I want a LinkedIn connection versus just email? Because LinkedIn is seven times more likely to get a response through a LinkedIn message than email. And In Mail, which comes with the paid version of LinkedIn, which I highly recommend-- if you haven't done that, you're crazy if you're in business, guys-- is 33 times more likely to get a response. Twitter, there's all kinds of ways to get people follow you on Twitter. There's the follow first. In fact, if you follow someone, 40% of them will follow you back. You can favorite them, about 10% will follow you back. Or you can give them an offer to follow you or you can just become famous and they'll follow you because people love celebrities. Anyway, those are some fun Twitter ideas. 

Tip number 26, connection tools. Guys, you are not even in the game if you're still just using LinkedIn Basic. It's time to step up to Premium or Sales Navigator. I love them both. They're very, very powerful. Our own C9 did a research study we'll be talking about soon that shows the Sales Navigator tool is dramatically more powerful than even LinkedIn Basic. We're going to share that here soon. Twitter has lots of great tools you can use. Twitter's been in the news lately, trying to monetize that sucker and get it really adding the value that we need. I love Twitter because I use it to amplify my other digital media, like Forbes. When I promote a Forbes article, I use Twitter to drive comments and shares and views and it really helps my digital [inaudible 00:26:19] go much further. 

Tip number 27, awareness campaigns. Just like we talked about, there's some really fun things you can do with social media. One is called Thunderclap. This one's really powerful. It lets you send out a message to a hundreds of different Twitter accounts all at the same time, and just like a massive thunderclap. It's pretty cool. We get all of our social media thought leaders around a big event, to all promote at the same time and things really go crazy. That's how we break the world's record, you guys.

Tip number 28, customer referral campaigns. Now this one is really big. This is probably the best way to generate business is referrals. But now, you can do it through social media. What we recommend is that you get into social media and let's say you're targeting a new prospect, and you're wanting to make sure they're connected with some of your customers. Well, see who they're already connected to, and mention, "Hey, by the way, did you know you're already connected with three of our customers." It's a lot easier than having to call your customer and get them to refer. So anyway, it's sort of a new idea. 

Number 29, referral campaigns. Trade in the currency of leads. So basically, one of the big reasons we do so much with massive events like this is we all pull together and we share and promote each other, and promote our databases and our leads. And this is just massive. This is a gigantic collaboration referral campaign that you can do through social media with other thought leaders.

Tip number 30 is one of my favorite. I call is showing some LUV, L-U-V. A lot like Southwest Airlines. They're really good at making you feel important when you fly. But what I believe is that the best way to meet people is to do something nice for him. Promote them and they'll promote you. And you can promote them by comments, by sharing, by favoriting, by re-tweeting, and so on. This is an article out on Forbes called 'The Currency of Digital Media'. I wrote it a long time ago where I reverse engineered the Forbes algorithm on how it ranks things at Most Popular. 

I realized that the best of all, you guys, is a comment. In fact, even better than a comment is what's called a conversation. It's a comment on an article that's powerful enough to go back and forth several times. In fact, I remember a comment was worth 470 views and a share was worth about 33 views. So, show some LUV to people who are doing a great job out there. 

I was just out there in Washington, DC with my friends, Matt Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Brent Adamson, the authors of the original 'Challenger Sale', and now they've written a new book called 'The Challenger Customer.' They invited me out there for a day to really get to know the research around this new book. They're launching next week, you guys. You got to get behind this book. It's powerful. And what it does is it focuses mostly on marketing and teaching sales people how to find what they call the mobilizer within each organization. This is really powerful, very neat research here. Watch for it. I think it's coming out in the 8th of September. That's why I'm trying to show a little LUV for my friends at Corporate Executive Board. Thanks, you guys. 

Tip number 31, one I want to end on, call out to Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto from Toronto. He was another one of the thought leaders out there, working with me at Corporate Executive Board. They wrote this awesome book about harnessing trigger events that turn prospects into customers. It's called 'Shift'. 

Basically, guys, what you do is you look for vice presidents or executives who changed jobs at target accounts. We have found that people make purchase decisions the first 90 days after they change jobs. So, this is a great way to go. It's one of my favorites. You can also use that new LinkedIn App on mobile to do the same thing. 

So let's connect. My blog is kenkrogue.com. I write it out on Forbes. Look for a newsletter on the Insider. You should go subscribe to the Insider blog on insidesales.com because we're now sending out about 10, 12 articles a month, our very best ones through this newsletter. Go become a part of it. My next Forbes article is scheduled for Thursday. I'm hoping I'll get it done. Thanks everybody. Wonderful time, and thanks Hire Vue, and everybody with the Social Selling Summit, and hope you enjoy it. Talk to you soon.