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4 top social selling companies and what you can learn from their success

8 min read By July 11, 2022 No Comments

It’s summer, your partners and prospects are away enjoying margaritas on the beach. As a result, your pipeline has just belly-flopped into the kiddy pool and it ain’t going nowhere.

Time to switch tactics. This series explores social selling, and how it will help you grow your business together with your partners. It’s time to grow that pipeline poolside. 

Before we dive into your social selling strategy, let’s first look at what makes brands successful on LinkedIn. We’ll reverse engineer their strategy and make it work for your business.

We’ve dissected some of the top social selling companies on LinkedIn. Let’s find out what makes them successful.

Brands that are winning the LinkedIn game – and what you can learn from their success
image shows the header of Gong's LinkedIn page

Gong

What makes Gong’s own LinkedIn page successful? 

  • Multiple posts a day
  • Text posts that resonate with their intended audience by using killer opening lines and witty, human-centric messaging
  • Thought leadership that strengthens the brand

What sets Gong apart from other brands on LinkedIn?

Among their employees are some well-known LinkedIn influencers, subject matter experts within their own field. Take Devin Reed (57.4K) who is a master in content marketing, Eddie Schleyner (74.9K) who is a force within the copywriting industry, and Sarah Brazier (49K) who offers killer advice to salespeople.

image shows 3 screenshots of posts from Gong's LinkedIn posts
How do they show their connection to the brand? They either mention the company in their posts, or have the company in their headline.

Key takeaway from Gong

If you don’t have much influence on your corporate page, remember that you do have full authorship on your own! From a social selling perspective, it’s paramount to know who your end-user is and create content that talks to them specifically.

Speak their language, incorporate shared frustrations, and be relateable. Missing a funny bone? Look to peers and competitors and share memes and stories that will resonate with your end-users. Golden rule of LinkedIn: Always credit your source!

image shows the header from Drift's LinkedIn pageDrift

What makes Drift’s own LinkedIn company page successful? 

  • education, education, education
  • co-marketing through co-branded thought leadership (e-books, webinars, in-person events)

What sets Drift apart from its competitors?

Scrolling through their page, you’ll notice that Drift really strives to educate its ICP. The company does this through webinars, podcasts, and in-person events. This ensures that the key SMEs within the company are constantly in the public eye.

For instance, Drift invites speakers from different (affiliated) companies to speak on their Conversation Starters podcast and shares short snippets with key learnings.
 

How does Drift approach social selling with its partners? 

Again, through education and thought leadership. Going through the various Drift partners we see lots of mentions. People tagging Drift at events, sharing webinars, and updates. It’s a great way for them to build more brand recognition and ultimately become top of mind.  

Two LinkedIn posts screenshotted from two of Drift's partners, to show that they repost content by their vendor.

In short, alliance or co-marketing campaigns. This form of channel marketing sees multiple brands, vendors and partners, or multiple partners team up to launch initiatives.

For Drift this takes the form of events and webinars. This can also be when hardware and software vendors team up (Intel inside a Lenovo laptop). A service partner installing hardware at an office is also seen as a strategic alliance. As is the ongoing service offered by partners when it comes to comprehensive, company-wide software integrations or cloud storage.

Screenshots from LinkedIn posts. One post shows an event posted by an employee of Drift, the other shows an event being shared by one of Drift's partners. Key takeaway from Drift’s strategy

You probably host in-person partner events and webinars. Do you have alliance partners who could host an event like this? Together you’ll be able to invite more channel partners and end-users.

Inform your partners ahead of time. Make sure you have assets ready that are easy to share. Post about it on your personal page before and after the event. Take pictures. Tag your partners.

If you or a coworker in channel is invited on a podcast or to speak at an event, be sure to add your company logo to any creative and have your company tagged in any post.

Image shows the Crossbeam header from their LinkedIn business page
Crossbeam

What makes Crossbeam’s own LinkedIn business page successful?

  • Amplifying its employees
  • Education on the LinkedIn platform
  • Webinars, events, announcement posts   

How does Crossbeam’s strategy differ from competitors?

Crossbeam is in itself a partner-focused company so promoting partnerships and ecosystems is their MO. They regularly post content that strongly resonates with their audience as the interaction on their posts shows. They keep a lot of their information within the LinkedIn platform, but also have links to blog articles.

Two screenshots from Crossbeam's LinkedIn page. The posts show that they are in touch with their audience and amplify the voice of their employees.

What’s interesting about Crossbeam is that they amplify posts by their employees – whereas at most companies the opposite is true.

How does Crossbeam amplify its reach on LinkedIn?

A quick search shows posts about Crossbeam all over LinkedIn. By important channel influencers such as Allan Adler (6K), co-speakers from events they are present at or host, and reposts of blog articles that people have found useful.

Two screenshots of Crossbeam followers that have reposted the brand's articles on their personal LinkedIn pages

Crossbeam partners also post regularly about the company. This ensures the brand is well-represented on multiple levels. It gets in front of their ICP, their partners, and end-users.

Which part of Crossbeam’s LinkedIn strategy can you replicate?

With Crossbeam, industry influencers play a big role in getting their message amplified. That means connecting with peers and what greater pool to fish in than LinkedIn?!

When starting out, the most important part of your LinkedIn presence comes from interacting with others.

Create a list of peer influencers in your specific market and channel in general. Hit the notification bell to get notified when they post. Then try to leave meaningful comments. Remain consistent and this kind of interaction will get you noticed.

When it comes to your own posts. Try to post a few times a week. Don’t know what to talk about? Look to your company page and try to give your perspective on posts, speaking from your role.

Having industry influencers talk about your company is a great way to get in front of partners, which will eventually help you recruit and grow new partnerships.

Image shows the LinkedIn header of Logitech
Logitech

What makes Logitech’s company page stand out?

  • high-end, product-focused video content
  • co-marketing posts with big-name brands

How does Logitech approach social selling together with partners?

When Logitech creates a campaign that they want to promote via their partners it used to be a long and pretty tedious process. It involved sending emails, calling partners, and helping them find their way around assets in the partner portal.

When partners did have time and resources to participate, campaigns were still somewhat of a shot in the dark. No feedback during campaigns, no means to iterate. No data feedback after.

Now the brand uses a partner hub with built-in campaign automation. It allows Logitech to push campaigns straight to their end-users. Partners sign-up to the partner hub and agree to a one-time opt-in. This allows Logitech to keep content up to date with all their participating partners. Whether managed on long-tail, everyone enjoys the same, high-quality campaigns and messaging.

The best thing? Campaign data is automatically shared through system integrations. Allowing Logitech to see which partners participated. This allows them to identify strong partnerships to pull up to the next level.

Want the whole case, watch the video here

Roundup

The main goal of working with channel partners is to generate new opportunities.

Although you may not directly influence what is posted on your corporate LinkedIn page, amplifying your company presence through your personal page and your partners will help influence your pipeline – through credibility and trust.

We’ve also seen how influencers are linked to brands more and more, so it works both ways.

Here are the key takeaways we saw at successful social selling brands such as Gong, Drift, Crossbeam, and Logitech.

For your personal brand this means:

  • know your audience and talk like they speak.
  • interact with peers in your field and industry, and channel people in general
  • you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, post about company-related events, share channel news, engage with your channel peers

For your partners this means:

  • inform them of upcoming events, webinars, and podcasts they might find interesting, ask them to share this with their peers
  • co-host events and webinars together with your partners
  • have shareable assets ready to go that will speak to your partner’s end-users

Good luck!

 

In the next article we’ll be looking at Demand Generation and how social selling is the best way to implement it for your business.

Cassandra Pizzey

Cassandra Pizzey

A Channexteer since 2021, Cassandra has been copywriting for the past 10-years, broadening her horizon as content marketer since entering the B2B SaaS industry. Connect with Cassandra on LinkedIn for more.

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