Often times, LinkedIn takes a backseat to Facebook and Twitter in social media marketing. However, being the largest professional network comprised of more than 100 million users worldwide, this platform has been established as a very powerful site. Whether B2B or B2C, LinkedIn provides a number of opportunities to connect with target consumers, and is a social site that should be reconsidered in every social media strategy.
One specific firm has recently reported that 60% of their business comes directly from LinkedIn. These results range not only from sales and referrals, but speaking engagements, direct communication with a wider audience, media opportunities and more – showing a wider range of opportunities for brands and businesses. So how can LinkedIn help you tap into these benefits?
First and foremost, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete with information relevant to your brand or business. Many times, this is overlooked. Providing users with this extensive information gives them a way to learn more about your business, what you can do for them, and how they can contact you for more information. Everything including a name and title, phone number, website, and description should be completed.
Take advantage of LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn allows for users to be a member of 50 groups – so go ahead and join 50! Find those relevant to your industry or location, and make those connections. These groups are where your target consumers are, so isn’t that where you want to be?
Asking questions and answering questions within LinkedIn can help prove your expertise. Users ask these questions for a professional perspective or recommendation, so now is your time to shine. Showing your connections just how well you understand a topic in your industry will make you that much more credible.
Arguably one of the most important actions to take within the professional networking site is replying to requests or messages. Many times, users within LinkedIn are utilizing the site to extend awareness of a specific product or service they have to offer; these requests may not always be something you are interested in, but it is not something you want to ignore. Consider the comment, “Act the way you would at a cocktail party” when you receive these messages. Even if it is something you find no interest in, provide a friendly “no thank you”. Remember, ignoring users in social media is one of the best ways to lose a connection.
Lastly, use testimonials and applications. Ask mutual connections to write up recommendations about your products or services to show the credibility and quality of your work. Additionally, integrate other social components to build your LinkedIn profile even more – add your tweets or blog to provide further information about your brand or business.
It may not always be in the forefront of our minds when developing a social media strategy, but it is time to reconsider what LinkedIn has to offer. When it comes time to re-evaluate these strategies, present the value an investment in the largest professional network on the Internet could have on your brand or business.