Florian Bergeot is a Digital Transformation Account Executive for SAP, based in France. Relatively new to Social Selling, he has built an impressive following on LinkedIn. We spoke to him about the importance of authenticity and aligned values when it comes to championing your brand.
Emojis on Linkedin?
At first glance, Florian’s LinkedIn profile has a striking difference to most. He uses emojis to illustrate his opinions and the passion he has for the SAP products. Once very rare on the platform, they are becoming a more common sight, along with hashtags as LinkedIn evolves.
“I wanted to be unusual, be the first to do something different. Working for SAP means I am working in a B2B environment, this has been a tricky market in which to engage people. It needed a better brand image and I found using lots of personality broke down the barriers and helped me to build more relationships.”
Florian uses other non-conventional approaches in his Social Selling, one of which is including a call-to-action in his profile to encourage people to reach out to him. He explains that doing so is all part of building open relationships and being an approachable contact for his potential customers.
“I’m always willing to talk,”, says Florian, “we want to hear from customers about their challenges, so we can work together and build something amazing. Since I changed my profile framework on LinkedIn I have noticed an increase in views; I’m more visible. I’d always recommend completing your profile to the full to encourage people to engage with you as much as possible.”
Using KPIs to Measure Success
Florian has grown his network from around 600 contacts to over 2,000 in an impressively short timeframe. Though some have initially got in touch through shared passions and interests, Florian believes most are open to eventually doing business and sees this as the foundation of Social Selling.
“My main focus is always to build a quality network rather than a large one, necessarily. It’s about having the right people in your network and you can tell when this happens because you start to achieve your KPIs and are involved in the right conversations.”
Florian uses tools like Linkedin Insights to understand his score in different skills areas, such as ‘building relationships’. He recently reached the maximum LinkedIn SSI score of 25 for this and feels this is an indicator of success for engaging with the right people.
A True Brand Advocate
Social Selling brings two-way benefits as it allows individuals to build their personal brand while also being an advocate for the corporate brand they represent. For Florian, this has been an especially rewarding element of his role with SAP:
“I’ve always been interested in technology and how it will affect society so working for a business-like SAP is very aligned to my own interests. This has made it easy to create interesting content in terms of what we are bringing to the market. I also like the fact that SAP is very customer-centric: this aligns with my personal values too.
As I grow more experienced, I am finding that SAP is a good company for me as I really identify with their aims and goals. I love the fact that we are continually rolling out technology to make people’s lives easier – I’m very focused on – and impressed by – the products, which makes me a true advocate of the brand. It’s great that I can be natural and spontaneous online because that’s genuinely how I feel.”
Exploring the Use of Language
Florian often shares content in both French and English to maximise his reach through LinkedIn. He explains that LinkedIn has become such an integral part of his life that he uses both languages very naturally as he would in face to face interactions.
“I do prefer to communicate in English because so much of the content I see is in English” says Florian. “It’s a very international language, so in that way, I figure my content will reach more of my audience. I’ve investigated creating different versions of my LinkedIn profile for different nationalities, but I feel English is the international business language and I want to work with it to improve my speaking and understanding of it.”
Next Steps as a Budding Social Seller
As we parted ways, Florian was keen to express his goal of continuing to learn and improve his Social Selling activities. A trait which we believe will serve him well on his journey.
“I want to engage on an individual basis with people who visit my profile or like my posts. I would like to build deeper relationships using the digital selling tools on LinkedIn to engage with people for business.
I started by understanding how LinkedIn works and the importance of it in building a network; now I need to use the credibility and the network I have built to engage with people on their business challenges.”