Marketing on LinkedIn may not be as heavily hyped up as in the case of other social networks, but LinkedIn definitely offers a number of attractive advantages to marketers and sales professionals.
Knowing how to leverage this social network's strengths lets people expand their networks, get to know new prospects, research on sales opportunities, and communicate with gatekeepers and decision makers.
This holds especially true if you are targeting B2B audiencesand even more so if you are trying to reach C-Level prospects. LinkedIn is great for marketing to businesses and professionals within almost any online space.
Here are some tips on how you can effectively market on LinkedIn.
- Complete your profile. An incomplete profile does not encourage people to trust you, especially when you reach out and initiate conversations with them. Compose your profile so that it communicates your story and people reading it can easily learn who you are.
- Make a list of keywords your target segments may be using in their profiles. Include their positions and roles, company, industry, interests, and associations. Then use the Advanced People Search page and search for these keywords using advanced search strings.
- Connect with as many people as possible. If you intend to market products and services on LinkedIn it makes sense to have a large prospect base to work with. But you need to grow your network strategically. Establish contact with people from that industry to which you want to sell. Also target contacts from adjacent industries as they could have contacts in your target industry.
- Ask your connections to introduce you to their contacts. Marketing on LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to also strengthen your relationship with your contacts while they help you expand your network.
- When you are on the road, you can search to look for LinkedIn contacts in nearby areas. Plan a LinkedIn meet-up and invite your LinkedIn contacts for dinner. You can also search LinkedIn Groups to see if there is an active local group that can promote the dinner.
- Become a thought leader, a subject matter expert, or a connector. Ask questions that may be of interest to your target audience. Asking questions is a great way to stimulate conversation and it attracts the attention of those who have a stake in the subject matter. Also answer questions relevant to your target audiences. Share your expertise and position yourself as a valuable resource.
- Join groups where your target audiences and their contacts are, and participate in discussions. Browse through profiles of group members and look for contacts to add to your network. Be clear and concise when you send messages to other group members. Let them know why you want to connect and what you have in mind.
- Get LinkedIn network updates delivered to you via RSS. Respond to your contacts when they have news; congratulate them for successes and accomplishments, ask them about changes that affect them, and comment on opinions they express. Marketing on LinkedIn offers an excellent opportunity to reconnect, nurture relationships, and further sustain conversations.
- Consider LinkedIn ads, which let you target specific categories of LinkedIn users. Marketing on LinkedIn may cost more than on other social networks or even compared to traditional advertising, but the LinkedIn ads display in front of the demographic you specify from a total user base that earns above average income and consists of high level professionals and decision-makers.
Finding the right people to connect with on LinkedIn is extremely important so make sure you do your research. I personally use Isis Toolbox to find potential connections.
They offer social media marketing tools that allow me to search using specific keywords and I can preview the profile information before connecting with anyone.