LinkedIn is truly a unique and upcoming social media platform. LinkedIn is a source for professionals to marketing themselves or their company to make connections with others. LinkedIn should be viewed as a great tool for marketers to connect with other professionals or companies in a meaningful way, not a platform for shouting your marketing message at unsuspecting people.
For example, you wouldn’t approach a table full of professionals at a networking event that you don’t know and open up with “Buy my B2B marketing automation software! It’ll save you time and money”. Talk about an open mouth and insert foot awkward moment! Any interaction like that would likely squash any chance of having meaningful interactions with your new customers.
It’s easy for us to forget best practices for interacting on social platforms. Ashley Zeckman, column writer for Top Rank Online Marketing Blog, serves us with a refresher course for Internet marketers looking to improve engagement on LinkedIn.
1. Form Relationships
There’s nothing more frustrating for people then to answer a phone call to a pre-recorded message. However, LinkedIn is a connection of real human interaction. It’s your job to make them interested in your business and establish a good relationship.
Apply your general marketing best practices and remember that you’re in the business of getting to know people, and determine how they prefer to interact. These relationships take time and effort to establish. You want to create a dialogue that is tailored to a certain individual, not broadcast a single marketing message.
2. Reach Out to Customers
Connecting with customers’ individual profiles and following their company updates on LinkedIn (as well as other social networks) is a great opportunity to stay up-to-date on any changes within the organization, and learn more about the people you work with on a daily basis.
3. Identify Common Contacts
LinkedIn’s privacy settings may make it difficult to connect with people within companies that you haven’t worked with previously, or met in person. Before sending out a blind connect request, see whom you may know in common. You could either ask that person if they wouldn’t mind introducing you, or mention in your invite that you happen to know someone in common.
When making a first contact with someone who may not know you, try to identify a hook. Find a way to relate to your audience and your chances of a successful connection are much greater.
4. Use Groups to Interact
LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers contain a wealth of insight for people and businesses. Based on your profile preferences and connections, LinkedIn has a list of “Groups You May Like” that can be accessed directly from the “Groups” tab within LinkedIn.
If you’re an Internet marketer it would make sense to join groups such as “Strategies and Tips on Social Media Marketing” or “Online Marketing Professionals Group”, the options are nearly limitless.
5. Recommendations are a Gold Mine
Think of LinkedIn Recommendations as a place to share references with potential customers and contacts. What do you have to show for all of your hard work?
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they would mind sharing a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Another great way to begin getting more recommendations for your business is to write great recommendations for other professionals that you’ve worked with in the past. Chances are they will return the favor.
6. LinkedIn Endorsements, Only a Click Away
LinkedIn’s new Endorsements feature allows users to recognize connections for a particular skill or set of area of expertise. It’s as simple as clicking a button, or inserting a short phrase. If you’re looking for a simple way to shine a light on the professionals in your network, endorse them via this new LinkedIn feature.
So what do all of these tips teach us? Whatever your goals for professional networking may be, you have to give in order to receive. We’ve also learned that connecting with customers can provide a great deal of insight. If you’re going to invest in the time in using LinkedIn marketing, do it right.
If your business would like assistance in Internet marketing or social media marketing, let’s talk! We’re here to help you.
Read the full article by Ashley Zeckman.