Learn how LinkedIn can help you sell more heavy-duty parts.
Episode 155: The way parts are being sold has been rapidly changing over the last decade, especially over the last couple of years. Many companies are turning to social media to help them sell more parts in this digital world.
In this episode, we talk about LinkedIn, and the role it can play in achieving your revenue goals.
Would you like a free consulting session with Jamie Irvine? Visit HeavyDutyPartsReport.com/Consulting to learn more.
Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission.
Sponsors of this Episode:
- Having issues with your commercial equipment? You need ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC). Check out TMC at tmc.trucking.org
- Want to look up parts but don’t have a part number or the VIN? Download Diesel Parts for free on Desktop or on your Apple or Android device.
- Looking for high-quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications? Visit AMBACInternational.com/Aftermarket
Are you looking to purchase heavy-duty parts and get your commercial vehicle repaired? Get access to one of HDA Truck Pride’s 750 locations across the United States and Canada. Visit HeavyDutyPartsReport.com/BuyParts.
Transcript of Episode:
You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keep trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.
So what are we going to talk about today? Well, today we’re gonna about the social media channel that is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very powerful tool in your digital toolbox when you’re trying to sell heavy-duty parts in a digital world. I want to break down how to use LinkedIn, what to do, what not to do. I think that today this conversation is gonna be really good for a lot of people because when we approach social media, there are so many options. There’s so many different social media channels. When it comes to choosing social media, because there’s so many choices, I have a lot of my clients and they’ll say, Jamie, which social media channels should I be on? And I always answer it the same way. Who is your ideal customer and where do they spend time? Which social channels do they use, that’s where you need to be.
But sometimes that results in two or three social channels, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, for example. So which one do you choose? Do you try to be an expert on all three? That’s a mistake a lot of people make, they try to master multiple social media channels all at once. And they get frustrated, it’s difficult. And oftentimes then they really lose a step because of that. So my recommendation is we’re in the heavy-duty parts industry. There’s a lot of B2B relationships, whether it’s manufacturers to their distributors or distributors to the fleets, repair shops, you know, it’s, it’s a B2B environment and LinkedIn is the B2B social media channel. This is where I focused all my attention for almost two years, as I was building The Heavy-Duty Parts Report only recently have I started to diversify into other social channels.
You know, I spent all that time focused on LinkedIn because that’s where the people who I wanted to subscribe to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report were, that’s where the guests who I would interview on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report would be. And so I focused there first. Now, what are some of the reasons why it is the B2B social channel? Well, you know, LinkedIn, you gotta look at the origin of every social media channel to really understand where they came from. And at the beginning, LinkedIn was really a place to put your resume. It’s always been business oriented. It’s always been a professional network. That’s what the foundation of the platform was built on. Today in 2021, they have over 740 million users and 55 million companies are represented on LinkedIn. So this is the place where we wanna find potential customers. This is the place where we want to focus a lot of attention on social media, in our digital strategy, when we’re trying to sell heavy-duty parts.
Now, a couple interesting things. I found this one statistic really interesting. LinkedIn is the second most favorable content channel. Meaning LinkedIn is a place where you make content. It is for content marketers. Another interesting statistic is that 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn. So if you’ve got a website and you wanna drive traffic to it, one of the best places to do that is from LinkedIn to your website. Okay? So LinkedIn is really for content marketers. Something else that I wanted to kind of cover is just how much time people spend on the platform. Most users spend between zero and two hours on the platform each week, or about 24 minutes per day during the workday. And when we compare that to the 41 minutes, people spend on Facebook it seems like that’s a lot less, but think about the focused attention that you have in those 24 minutes a day that people are on LinkedIn.
I mean, this is when they’re thinking about work. It’s a completely different mindset when they’re just scrolling on Facebook, right? And so our strategy around how we develop content for this platform is very different from social media channel to another. And today we’re gonna focus on the LinkedIn strategy that works. So this is a place for education. This is a place for technical information and isn’t that perfect for people in heavy-duty, right? Whether you’re repairing vehicles and you’re trying to find customers or you’re selling parts to fleets, repair shops and owner operators or you’re manufacturer, I mean, selling to parts distribution. This is where you make technical content. This is where you provide content that is professional in nature. And so it’s perfect for the content marketing that every business needs to do. Now, let’s talk about the different kinds of content that you can put on LinkedIn.
Video is king. This is a place where you can upload longform video content up to 10 minutes long. This is a place that you can go live if you are approved for the live like I am right now. Now that’s something that doesn’t, you know, every user doesn’t automatically get, but I can tell you if you’re persistent and you apply several times, it’s possible to get on the live, but this is a place for video. And when you think about your business, how much of what you do should be made into videos and should be shared, and where should it be shared, right on your website, on your LinkedIn platform. Now, one little note, sometimes people cheat and they make a video, they put it in YouTube and then they share the link on LinkedIn, LinkedIn doesn’t like that. They want you to directly upload the video to the LinkedIn platform.
At any time you link away from a platform, the algorithm’s gonna penalize you for that because it’s all about time on platform for every social channel. So when you’re uploading videos, long form videos, like 30 minutes long, like my interviews that I do on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, those go on YouTube. And then what I do is I create clips from that interview and I share that on LinkedIn and those clips are directly uploaded. And then I can tell people where to go to watch the rest of the interview. So video is just king on LinkedIn, but also there’s opportunities for other long-form content. You can write articles and demonstrate your competency. You can also do images and long-form posts. And for me, I constantly see the advice to keep the posts short, but I seem to do really well with long-form posts that actually talk about something significant.
And as with any social channel, it’s all about engagement, right? It’s all about connecting with people and having a conversation. And so one thing I always tell people is when you do make a post, if anybody likes it, make sure you reach out to them and let them know how much you appreciate it. Especially at the beginning, when you are trying to build your, your network. When people comment, always comment back, this is very, very important. Also, it’s important to figure out what hashtags people are following. And the good thing about LinkedIn is it tells you kind of how many people are following that hashtag. So you don’t want to use hashtags that are, you know, the most competitive necessarily, but you also don’t want to use hashtags that no one’s following. So you do have to do a bit of research and figure out which hashtags, but make sure you include those in your post so that people, for example, following fleet maintenance or the trucking industry, are going to be able to see your posts.
We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Having issues with your commercial equipment? You need ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council also known as TMC. TMC develops recommended practices, addressing the most pressing technology and maintenance issues, affecting commercial vehicle fleets. You can join TMC for just pennies a day. And when you do, you’ll get access to thousands of pages of technical information, and you can attend events like the upcoming 2022 annual meeting and exhibition, March 7th through 10th in Orlando, Florida. For more information, check out TMCtrucking.org. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high-quality fuel injections for heavy-duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket.
Now LinkedIn allows you to set up a business page. Admittedly, it is easier to build up a following on a personal profile than on a business page. It doesn’t seem to happen quite as organically, but I wanted to explain something about your business page. Once you set up your business page, you have a hundred invites that you can send out every month to people that are connected to your personal profile. So every admin of your business page, they can use those a hundred credits to invite people to follow the business page. This is how I’ve scaled from zero just a few months ago to over 1300 followers on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report business page is I consistently every month are inviting my connections to follow that page. Now here’s something kind of neat when send out an invite and you use one of those hundred credits.
If the person accepts you, get that credit back, the only time you burn a credit is when someone does not accept. So you actually can invite 100, 200, 300 people. As long as everybody keeps accepting the invite. Then you get those credits back and you can reuse in that 30 day period. And when you’ve completely exhausted that you try to make some more connections and the next month you have another hundred credits to use. So that is a powerful way to build your business page. There’s opportunities to upgrade your profile as well. I’m a premium member. There is something called Sales Navigator, which gives you a lot of ability to reach very specific people. You know, decision makers at companies. The Sales Navigator is very, very powerful if you are in sales and the premium features really enable you to round out your profile, reach more people, have more insights into what’s going on, build your brand.
But you know, at the end of the day, it’s the quality of the content and the engagement that you create, that is the thing that’s gonna help you win on LinkedIn. So when I say quality of content, really what I’m talking about is, you know, if you just post buy from me messages all the time, right? Like this part’s on sale that part’s on sale, buy, buy, buy, it’s not gonna work. People are gonna tune that out pretty quick. But you sell those parts and there’s technical information connected to installing those parts. There’s common problems. There’s reasons why one part is higher quality than another. There is just an infinite number of opportunities to create little pieces of content that educate, that provides support to your customers and help them to achieve their goals. That’s the mindset you need when you’re creating content on LinkedIn, you wanna serve your audience, right?
And you wanna make sure that that content doesn’t become too repetitive, both in the design of it, the look of it, the feel of it, and also in the subject matter. And like I said, if you’re looking for different kinds of content to make, all you have to do is go talk to your salespeople, go talk to your parts people, go talk to your customer service people and just ask them, Hey, what objections do you get? What questions do you get? What problems do you encounter that you help your customers solve? This is where all of the great ideas for content for your business are gonna come from. So spend some time, make a shared document, have the players in your company who can contribute that information, all have access to that one document, have them just as things come up during the day, during the week, have them update that list, right?
All of a sudden you’re gonna have 50 or a hundred different pieces of content you can go make. And as you serve your audience, people are going to recognize the value of the content. They’re gonna start to want the next piece, the next piece, the next piece, because it’s relevant to them. It helps them with their business. Don’t underestimate the power of this. If you’re a sales professional, if you’re a marketing professional, if you’re a business leader, if you’re in any of those positions, if you’re in a technical position, if you’re even in on the, on the repair side, this is one of the best places to build your business. I have gone from virtually zero to where I am today with The Heavy-Duty Parts Report in only two years. And it has radically transformed, not only my career, my personal life, but also the launching of my consulting business, my podcast.
And it has just done absolutely amazing things for me can have that experience too. I work with companies who have leveraged platforms, especially LinkedIn, to build their business and create hyper-growth. You can reach just about anybody on LinkedIn, who is a decision-maker in this industry. You can have connections and conversations with people that otherwise you would just have no way of reaching them. LinkedIn is amazingly powerful, and it is something that should not be underestimated. Now, there is more to the strategy than what I can cover just in 15 minutes today. But those are the top-level things that you need to think about when using LinkedIn. And if you’d like some help with developing a more complete strategy around how you can use LinkedIn to achieve your business goals, then I am available to help you. That’s what my consulting company does. We are experts in how to leverage digital sales and marketing tools to achieve great business results. So you could reach out to me at my email, [email protected] or whatever social channel you’re watching this on right now, send us a direct message and me and my team will respond and we’ll get in touch with you, and we can talk through your situation and help you to succeed on LinkedIn.