SAP’s Philippe Nemery, Presales Manager - Platform Solutions Group, has been using LinkedIn since it first launched. In fact, when he first built his profile, he was more focused on his personal brand, as the distinct business angle of LinkedIn hadn’t fully emerged yet.
Over the years, LinkedIn has, of course, become a fantastic professional networking platform and Philippe has embraced this evolution, moving to focus growing his network, as well as his own teams, using the platform’s tools as they have evolved over the years.
Become The Expert
Digital selling is now inextricably linked with social networking and Philippe is among the best at sharing knowledge, enriching the information feeds of his contacts and passing on his expertise to his wider team, both on and off screen.
“Social selling is all about being seen as an expert in your field” explains Philippe. “My favourite way to use it is to link it with my activities. If I’m at an event or a conference, I will obviously gain new connections but it’s important to me that I am proactive and share, for example, my presentation from the conference for them to download when we are connected.”
Philippe likes to work with wide and varied content, in order to make his online offering as rich and diverse as possible. He puts this ethos in a nutshell for us: “You have to give in order to take on social media.”
He keeps a regular check on his SSI score on LinkedIn too, using it as his own ‘health check’ for his social activity. “If I can see that I need to improve on an element, I know I can therefore improve the experience of my connections”, he explains; “and LinkedIn tools, such as the SSI score and Sales Navigator, are excellent for getting a better view of what sort of content people are viewing and liking.”
Philippe speaks five languages and his working life so far has seen him operate in multiple countries. Although he firmly believes that LinkedIn is best used with the “international business language” of English, he still keeps his WeChat account up and running to stay in touch with the home and business community he built whilst living in China.
“WeChat is so important in China”, says Philippe. “Although I’ve got a Chinese LinkedIn profile, WeChat is definitely a major part of his social selling arsenal. It’s more important than LinkedIn in China” shares Philippe, “even though I only have basic written Chinese, it’s important for me to maintain this network too.”
He’s firmly aware that you need to be where your customers are talking, to be able to join in any of the conversations going on, and this may not always been the traditional online venues, such as LinkedIn.
Leading from the Front
As part of his role at SAP, Philippe looks after a team and provides support for them in developing their social selling skills. Leading the charge on their social media training and activity.
“I know there is so much personal reward for being recognised as an expert in your field” says Philippe, “and I am always teaching my team, social selling and networking is as beneficial to them in terms of their personal professional brand, as it is for the major corporate brand.”
For example, to support his team Philippe works with them, within SAPs social selling training platform and, to get them to record a video themselves for social purposes. “People always shy away from it saying they don’t like to see themselves on camera” laughs Philippe, “but it’s really important to create truly personal content. Once people realise how much their audience loves this sort of thing, they are sold on the idea.”
But Philippe isn’t just a leader who’s doing best Social Business practice, he’s actively supporting those around him to get involved.
Home Grown Content
Of his own use of the SAP advocacy program, Philippe states “I’m careful about what I take from any content generator. People have linked with me because of my expertise so I would only share things that enhance and reinforce that. I try not to use anything generic, which might dilute my professional brand.”
It’s precisely because of this clarity of thinking and team focus that Philippe proves to be such a good mentor for his team, and others. When one of his team members suggested an idea for a more personalised video series, he supported and pushed them through the creation process within SAP. Believing ideas created from real life situations will connect better with the target audience.
To the team members delight, and his own, the videos were picked up by SAP Global team and translated into other languages to be used globally. Philippe believes, and has proven, inspirational, home-grown content is the holy grail for corporate advocacy programs.