✨ Start Here
Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
Before You Begin
The Social Listening Comment Play uses LinkedIn’s search feature to find ongoing conversations. It will work very similarly to the Influencer Comment Play.
This play works best with the following types of accounts:
- Accounts who are actively posting content
- Accounts who are actively commenting
This play has 2 results:
- Direct engagement with account who is posting
- Direct engagement with ICP accounts who are commenting
Step 1. Find the Post
Use conversational phrases and words.
If people aren't posting the phrase "EMEA social selling" in their posts, searching for that term won't yield anything useful. But if people are using the phrase "LinkedIn in Croatia" in their posts, you'll find more useful things.
For example, we search for "can't book meetings" because a lot of sellers post content about not being able to book meetings. It's a casual use of the phrase. In contrast, people rarely post "phone disconnects" — even though they point to the same topic.
Alternate between Boolean Queries and inclusive queries.
Boolean queries or "hard searches" force the search to use the entire search keyword.
This is a Boolean query. It only searches for the exact match phrase of "social selling."
This search is not a Boolean query. It is an inclusive query. It will find posts who use either "social" or "selling" or "social selling" in their post. It is very broad and finds a lot of different key terms.
Use the boolean queries to find the conversations already happening by finding exact match of the casual phrases.
Sort by Latest and Filter by Author/Industry
If you select posts, you can Sort by "Top match" or "Latest."
- Top match. These are top match posts starting with people in your network based on LinkedIn's own algorithm for engagement and relevance.
- Latest. This is just the latest post from any account using the term searched. This allows you to step out of your immediate network and find new conversations.
You can also find posts matching this keyword from a specific author…
…from a specific company…
….or filter by industry.
Use any or all of these filters to your advantage!
- You could search for posts from a specific ICP profile who you know is active from your Sales Navigator searches, or broaden out your play.
- You could search for specific phrases inside an industry that you know will find good conversations.
- You can search for specific posts inside an account if you’re trying to route in multiple ways with active accounts.
Step 2. Formulate a Comment.
Comments come in a few different flavors. Here are our favorite frameworks:
Add your own point-of-view to the conversation. This means you use your insight to add value to the conversation.
In this example, Morgan is using his insight about marketing to add his point-of-view to the post.
Also, the comment is conversational and looks to extend a conversation into the replies.
You can either do a “Yes and...” to continue the conversation as Morgan does.
Or, you can do a “Yes and...” that disagrees with the original post to get the conversation going.
Ask a question. What’s something you’re genuinely curious about after reading the post?
(This is not that place for a “shadow pitch” either, don’t ask a leading question that allows you to pitch your service further down the line)
You want to spark genuine conversation and people love being able to offer their own insights.
Hot tip: make sure to tag the poster in your comment by naming them. Instead of just asking the question, you could lead into it with “Hey [@name], this is great. But, I was wondering….”
Here Nicholas is extending the conversation with a question reponse.
This is a little harder to nail, especially because humor can be lost in writing, but it’s a way to say “thanks for this post!” without actually saying it. Here, Morgan is simply affirming the content of the post (a list about ways content fails) with a little humor about a brand persona.
Proof in the pudding – this comment earned a reaction + a reply + a post edit to include the “try-hard tammy” in the original post all by the post author, and an inbound connection request from the post author.
The hope is that you’re not doing this alone! Or, you find trusted peers who are also using this strategy. This is not something to abuse because people don’t like being tagged all the time.
We recommended sticking with one or two accounts maximum on a tag inside the comment. The tag should be relevant (related to a recent conversation you’ve had) or provoking a question (you’re tagging in the person with a question). Definitely don’t abuse this. People’s notifications are precious.
Since you’re engaging directly from search, you should drop a comment specifically on the post.
Step 3. Extend the conversation on an ICP’s comment.
Scroll through the comments that already exist see if there are any ICP accounts who have commented. Use the above comment frameworks to again formulate comments to extend the conversations in the comments if it’s worthwhile.
- Bloated language. No one wants to read an essay or figure out what you’re actually trying to say. Keep it succinct, clear, and conversational.
- Linking in your company. Again, this is not the place to pitch your company. Keep the comment value-focused, not focused on how your company solves the problem they may be experiencing. You can pitch on a call, not in the comments.
- Simply saying “thanks!” That’s not a valuable addition to the conversation. The point of commenting is to drive interest in your profile and “thanks” will get lost in the noise.
Step 4. Repeat 5 times.
Chances are there are a few different searches that can be useful. Repeat this strategy 5 times (or more, if you want! 😄) to keep a variety of conversations moving.
Step 5. The Rule of 3.
When commenting, the goal is to eventually send a connection request. But what's the right time?
Send a connection request after three back-and-forth comments between you and the ICP profile.
This means 3 responses from them. It's not one comment from them, one comment from you, and a reply from them. It's 3 back-and-forth comments: a real conversation in the comments!
- Send the connection request without any personalization. Keep it blank. They know who you are.
- Keep the conversation in the comments going! You don't need to immediately transition to the DMs.
- Our tip is if the conversation is turning to proprietary information or more confidential things about the business, head to the DMs. Otherwise, keep the comments flowing!
Remember: Zoë Hartsfield always says "the conversations in private are earned by engagement in public." The DMs are great, but comments allow others to see your efforts as well. And if you're listening into the right conversations, your ICP will see those conversations.
If you don’t get to the Rule of 3 on one conversation, don’t send the connection request. Just keep on chatting. If they don’t respond, don’t push it. Just keep the conversations flowing, naturally.
🚨 No pitching! Vampire Sales only!
This play is successful when:
- You have meaningful conversations with ICP
- You earn an increase in profile visits
- You earn connection requests from ICP accounts
- Your connection requests to ICP accounts are successful
If you aren’t getting up to the Rule of 3, work on formulating more insightful comments or ask different questions. Throw in GIFs, add your perspective, tell jokes — make it fun! It’s social after all. We’re supposed to have fun!