For B2B social networking, LinkedIn is where the move is! LinkedIn is the most professional of the major social networking websites, used by over 450 million business professionals around the world. It plays an important role for more than 80% of a business’s social media leads! And, since it is largely concentrated on B2B connections, LinkedIn should be an immense part of your social media marketing strategy.
At its entry-level, LinkedIn allows you to set up a personal profile and connect with other professionals you know or want to know. You will receive status updates daily as your connections update their profiles. In addition, you can create a LinkedIn profile for your company to allow others to follow your company’s updates.
One of the fine features of LinkedIn is the “six degree of separation” approach that permits you to easily see how you are connected to someone via others. You may be amazed to see how closely you connect to your customers – and how connected they are to others, including your competition.
Follow the below steps to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool
1. Boost up your LinkedIn profile
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a connected resume on steroids. In addition to listing information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to improve your profile with interactive potentials that market your experience.
Status Updates: One of the good ways to keep your connections up to date about your happenings is by posting status updates, short statements you feel your connections will find helpful. It includes images and links to related content on your website or third-party websites. Seemed to be active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates daily.
Articles: LinkedIn helps you to easily publish articles to your profile. This is a good way to exhibit yourself as a thought leader and get exposure to your LinkedIn community. Videos and Presentations: If you post presentations and other content to SlideShare or videos to YouTube, you can show these valuable content items in your LinkedIn profile. Suggestions: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request suggestions from your connections. A collection of vibrant suggestions that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly boost your profile.
Projects: If you have successful projects you want to show up, post your projects including a description, link, and the team members you worked with. Skills and Expertise: List your skills and expertise on your profile to help others understand your strengths and enhance your ability to be found. Connections will be able to validate your skills by providing their seal of approval.
Publications: Market any publications you have written or publications that have highlight your work.
2. Create a company profile
Create a company page to mention your company’s story, market your products and services, share updates with followers and recruit new employees. Your company page can feature:
Banner Image: The banner image is the first thing people will see when they enter your company page. Design one that reveals your company’s brand and the image you want to present.
Products and Services: Feature your products and services including great descriptions, images, feature lists, YouTube videos, and links.
Status Updates: Status updates on your company page can point to content from your website with links back to the detail. For a fee, you can also enhance your updates throughout the LinkedIn community through sponsored updates. The key is to post updates daily.
Career Opportunities: For a fee, you can post openings to recruit new employees.
3. Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Community Features
In addition to your profile and company page, LinkedIn provides a lot of community features that help you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:
Groups: LinkedIn Groups allow you to stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that point to your area of interest or expertise. Elaborate your circle of influence by participating in conversations in various LinkedIn groups.
Influencers: LinkedIn Influencers allow you to connect with well-respected thought leaders in many walks of life. Influencers like Tony Robbins, Guy Kawasaki, and Richard Branson, as well as many lesser-known experts, provide original content in the form of blog posts. You can comment on their posts and share them as status updates on your private LinkedIn profile.
4. Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Community Features
LinkedIn is a useful tool that can help you grow your B2B business and blast your career. The following tips will help you to get better results:
Brand Your LinkedIn Address: When you create a LinkedIn profile, it will create a LinkedIn Web address that will look like a collection of odd letters. You can customize this address to make a branded LinkedIn address with your name.
Become an Expert: Post educational status updates and actively participate in LinkedIn group discussions to expose yourself as an expert and thought leader.
Warm Call Sales Prospects: If you’re in sales, you can utilize LinkedIn as a warm calling tool. If there is a chance you want to reach, find them on LinkedIn and see how close you are connected to them. If you have an active list of LinkedIn connections, you are most likely only two or three connections away from the chance. Use LinkedIn’s introduction qualities to ask one of your connections for an introduction.
Find Rock Star Employees: Successful business people are always looking to find beneficial employees that will promise their future success. LinkedIn’s recruiting tool can be much more effective than traditional recruiting websites since you can target candidates based on experience and skill.
Keep Your Connections Current: Whenever you reach someone, connect with them on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to elaborate your influence and keep connections up to speed on your achievements. For good results, be sure to personalize your introduction message.