German-native Oliver S. Bauer started working in finance at an early age, and in a way it was a logical step as both of his parents worked in banking. Although he never went to university, Oliver’s passion for financial marketing and investment funds led him to become an expert in his field: “I’m convinced that marketing should come from your heart. If you don’t have marketing inside you, you will never be a good marketer, no matter how many courses you take,” he says.

And Oliver clearly puts his heart into what he does. Having formerly worked at Deutsche Bank and Union Investment, today Oliver is senior digital marketing manager and social selling program manager at Allianz Global Investors, a global leader in active asset management. 

Funny enough, Oliver landed his current role by good fortune, too. In 2015, Oliver’s department head asked him if he’d like to run a pilot program on social selling. Although he wasn’t an expert on social media at the time (and hadn’t even heard of the term “social selling”), Oliver’s boss saw he wasn’t just an expert in sales and marketing within the asset management industry, but also had a more extroverted personality and understood what it meant to build strong relationships with people and provide them with real value, which is the core of social selling. The rest he could learn, and he did.

“The core of social selling is building relationships with human beings—even if they’re behind a screen—and providing them with real value.”

Six years later, Oliver now serves a triple-digit number of “Social Sellers” and empowers them to use social media and build relationships the right way, based on the latest trends but also within the given legal framework. He’s so passionate about his profession that the first thing and last thing he does every day is check LinkedIn to stay up to speed—something he doesn’t necessarily recommend we all do, if only to maintain marital bliss.

Don’t miss today’s interview as Oliver sits down with Kyler Canastra to let us know the ins and outs of social selling and enabling sales teams with today’s top tools. Oliver also gives us very practical advice on how to get the most out of LinkedIn. Pro tip: Add valuable comments on other people’s posts and share fun, personal things—not just about business. A good formula would be to publish 50% business-related content and 50% content that comes from your heart, created by you. 

In fact, Oliver shares some music (often ‘80s stuff) combined with storytelling every Friday afternoon on LinkedIn, and calls it the #FridayNightListener series.” Why not try something similar? 

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, and listen to the podcast on Apple or Spotify.

Rapid-fire recs  

  • Best advice:
    • Treat yourself to a digital detox. “My best advice is don’t behave as I do. Because I’m a bit addicted to LinkedIn and it’s really a bad habit. Social never sleeps, it’s 24/7 online, everything. And it’s not real life—it’s a bubble. Some people think they miss something when they aren’t online every day and it’s quite hard to take a step back. So treat yourself to digital detox. LinkedIn will be there next week, and so will all the other social media channels.”
  • Recommended tools: 
    • LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Oliver says that for almost everyone in sales, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is a must-have tool. “If you aren’t looking for new clients—because you just cover a handful of existing clients, the buying center is very stable and you always talk to the same people—then it’s not as necessary. But in all other cases, it’s worth checking it out, no doubt.”
    • Hearsay systems: “The second tool we use for our social selling program is Hearsay systems, which is a content library where people can select content, adjust it and then share it relatively easily. At the same time, it’s also a compliance monitoring tool, which is super important to avoid any issues for the brand or any issues for the single employee as well.”
    • LinkedIn SSI: “The social selling index is available for everyone. You can access it via It rates you on four pillars and tells you how you can improve your profile, network and activity. The most important thing is how active you are on the platform—the longer you stay on LinkedIn and the more you engage with content, the higher your SSI, which again influences the algorithm when it comes to your own content’s reach.”
  • Source of inspiration: 
    • Alfred Herrhausen, former chairman of Deutsche Bank. “When I was a banker, my great hero was Alfred Herrhausen, who was the speaker of Deutsche Bank board at that time. One of my favorite quotes is from him: ‘Most time is lost by not thinking things to an end.” And I have to say it looks a bit old-fashioned in our agile world. But from my experience, you do have to think things through. You don’t have to think 100%, but 90% or at least 80%. If you don’t, you waste so much time and money.” 
    • When it comes to role models, Oliver says that there isn’t just one person he wants to single out. Thanks to his “career” on LinkedIn, his valued network includes so many great people who inspire him on a daily basis. 
  • Favorite app:
    • LinkedIn. Hands down.
  • Learning resources:
    • LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning. “The best source for learning about social selling is LinkedIn itself, both the platform and the company. You’ll find a lot of great information about social selling on LinkedIn Learning.” 
    • Your own experience. “The best way to learn is from your own experience. See what kind of content works and what doesn’t, how to behave, how to comment, what’s the best time to post. Is it on a Sunday morning? Or a Friday afternoon?” Crucial note: Before you start, please check your employer’s policies and guidelines, otherwise you can get into trouble. 

Connect with Oliver and Kyler on LinkedIn.

For more insights into social selling: 

To read the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.