Tapping into the Power of LinkedIn

TItle_LinkedinArticle

 

If the social media space were equivalent to a large networking party, then LinkedIn would be the black tie event.

It’s a network filled with the most affluent and influential users. According to Quantcast, one-third of LinkedIn users earn over $100k annually, 48% are college graduates, and 48% are key decision makers for their respective companies.

This is absolutely a crowd you want to make an impression on. See how you and your business can start to reap real benefits, today.

Be your own brand

You are an extension of your company’s brand. At the end of the day, a person is only going to choose to do business with your company if they choose you.

A 2012 study by McKinsey & Company found that personal interactions with sales reps remain the most influential factor, across all touch points, for B2B customers.

LinkedIn is a fantastic place to begin building your brand, creating connections and developing relationships.

Similar to face-to-face meetings, online users form an opinion of you within seconds. There are ways to leave a favorable impression beyond simply choosing a professional photo (although that is very important). Profiles with pictures are seven times more likely to be viewed.

Make your profile pop by including information on current responsibilities, notable accomplishments, and metrics from any successful projects you’ve participated in.

Adding multimedia such as videos, work samples, documents, images and PowerPoint presentations can really make you stand apart. A presentation you’ve recently delivered on an industry topic is much more engaging than a block of text. It’s also a great way to prove the value you can bring to potential prospects. 

Join industry groups and start networking

LinkedIn is full of industry-specific groups and conversations. It’s important to join not only groups within your own industry, but also groups where your customers may frequent, such as specific vertical markets.

Keeping an eye on conversations taking place is a tremendous way to gather data on how your customers feel about certain issues and topics, as well as challenges they are struggling with.

Establish yourself as a helpful resource by actively participating in discussions, answering questions, offering insights, and openly sharing valuable information. You will be viewed as an expert in your field and a trusted resource that people will reach out to when needing assistance. This is a fantastic way to network and build a rapport with prospects.

Groups also offer other ancillary benefits, such as the ability to view profiles and exchange messages with other members, even if you aren’t connected with them.

A smarter way of prospecting

Put down the phone and put an end to cold calling. Gone are the days of leaving voice messages for key executives after getting turned away by their gatekeepers. LinkedIn offers a smarter way of prospecting.

With advanced search options, it’s simple to execute comprehensive searches for prospects by searching for key terms, companies, job titles and more. It’s even possible to filter those results to see if you have any first, second or group connections that can help introduce you to that hard-to-reach prospect.

Another effective tool (available only with a premium account) is LinkedIn’s InMail, which allows you to send messages to any user, regardless of whether they are in your network or not.

LinkedIn states that InMails are 30% more effective than regular email communications in generating a response, largely because the recipient can easily learn more about you by viewing your profile (another reason why it’s important to spend time enhancing your presence).

Remember, LinkedIn is a very powerful B2B gathering in the social networking space. If properly leveraged, you can leave quite an impression on those in attendance. 

Looking for more information on LinkedIn? Familiarize yourself with the basics in our ‘Getting Started on LinkedIn’ presentation. Looking to uncover even more hints and tips? In an upcoming MakeReady presentation, we will provide an overview of many LinkedIn best practices and little-known features.

TIPS FOR HOW TO EFFECTIVELY USE LINKEDIN
  • Spend time enhancing your LinkedIn profile. Optimize your presence by including key words into your headline and summary that users may be searching for.
  • Join a handful of industry specific groups, both in your own industry and your customers’. Pay close attention to the conversations and chime in with your own insights.
  • Whenever you meet someone of interest at a workshop or event, make it a habit to follow-up by email, making mention that you will be connecting with him or her through LinkedIn.
  • When you do connect, ALWAYS replace the generic note with something personal. Reference the place you met, reminding the individual of your shared experience and showing them your willingness to go the extra mile.
  • When connecting with someone you haven’t personally met, always do your homework. Personalize the note by incorporating something you found interesting on their profile.                                 
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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by John Prothero (Precision Services Group) on 6.2.14 at 7:26 pm

    I use LinkedIn daily as a powerful tool for prospect research and information, as well as keeping my clients and connections informed. I post content that is relevant and educational, as a means of creating a perception of me being an authoritative person. I maintain industry-related relationship, share my blog posts, and use InMail as a means to reach out to potential clients.

  2. Posted by Joe Schember (Mohawk) on 6.2.14 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, John. We love hearing examples of how others are using Linkedin as a business tool. Are you finding your efforts to be time well spent to attract new and grow existing business?

  3. Posted by Katherine on 6.3.14 at 12:40 am

    LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B. I think the second best place would probably be Twitter followed by G+. I like the suggestion of participating in groups outside of our industry. I’m active in several groups, and I’d love some suggestions.

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