How Understanding Personality Types Can Help Your B2B Social Selling
Have you analyzed the personalities of your customers? They’re a quirky bunch, aren’t they?
Some are gregarious. Others are quiet. Some are overly conscientious of their deadlines. Others couldn’t remember their deadlines even if the dates were tattooed on their bodies.
Over the years, you’ve learned to adjust your communication style to fit your buyer’s needs. Now, it’s time to take your knowledge and apply it to social media. In this post, we’ll look at different personality types that you might find on LinkedIn. You’ll find tips on tailoring your messages appropriately and curating the right content for different personalities.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?
The MBTI provides information on people’s personality preferences. Using four different dichotomies (e.g. introverts vs. extraverts), the test checks to see how you prefer to act in the world.
Granted, introverts can be extraverts in some situations, but the test seeks to understand an individual’s preferred way of dealing with life.
If you’d like to see the test in action, you can take a modified form the test here.
How can the MBTI help with social selling?
On LinkedIn, you have two primary modes of dealing with people:
- Sending updates to all of your connections
- Tailoring personalized messages to individual buyers and connections
When you’re sending messages to mass groups of people, understanding which personality types are more prevalent can be helpful. Using a chart (like the at the top of this post), you can hypothesize about the types of people who might see your post, and you can guess what types of content they’d like to read. (We’ll go over some examples below.)
The second mode requires you to abandon generalizations and think about your individual buyer. How does this specific person move through the world? And how can you tailor your messages and content to speak to one person’s personality? Thinking about Myers-Briggs types can help.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at two of the test’s four dichotomies.
Sensing or Intuition
This image summarizes the difference best:
The intuitive types like to look at the big picture. They see connections and relationships between topics and concepts. They tend to favor abstract concepts.
The sensing types, on the other hand, tend to be more practical and literal. They tend to start at the beginning and then take a step-by-step approach to problems and situations.
Which type is more prevalent on LinkedIn?
According to the CPP’s research, it’s the intuitive type.
What does this mean for your content strategy and social selling?
When broadcasting status updates to your connections, you may want to focus on content that will resonate with intuitive people. You’ll want big picture topics (e.g. What is social selling?) or posts that draw unexpected connections between topics (e.g. How Social Selling Is Like Dating).
But what about sensing people?
Of course, you’ll find sensing types on LinkedIn, as well. When you come across a sensing type, you’ll want to have detailed content to share with them. For instance, make sure you have a few “how-to” articles at your fingertips. These kinds of posts will resonate well with the sensing type’s love of processes.
Thinking or Feeling
The thinking types tend to make decisions based on impersonal, objective logic. I’m sure that you’ve met these people before. They make lists of pros and cons for all their decisions.
Feelers, on the other hand, make decisions from their heart. This often leads them to make decisions based on what’s best for the people involved because they strive to create harmony.
Which type dominates LinkedIn?
The thinking types are more prevalent on LinkedIn, but they have only a slight edge. According to the CPP’s study, 38% of thinkers reported using LinkedIn regularly – only eight percentage points higher than the feelers.
What types of content will resonate with thinkers and feelers?
For the thinkers, you want facts and clear argumentation. For example, a slide deck that logically explain why social selling is necessary for your organization.
For the feelers, you’ll want a good story – one that tugs at the heart strings. All the better if that story can help your feelers create harmony in their organization. After all, harmony is what feelers strive for. For example, a post on sales and marketing alignment would be great for an audience of feelers.
To Sum Things Up…
You’ll encounter different types of buyers, with different personalities, on social media. When you interact with your buyers, it’s helpful to think about each person’s individual personality and needs. Try to match the type of content with the individual buyer’s personality.
The chart below is a starting point:
If you’ve found thinking about personality types to be helpful, share your success story in the comments section below!
Want more tips on social selling?
We’ve got plenty: