How Can Social Media Marketers Tap into LinkedIn’s Potential?

What about LinkedIn

This is a question I have been asking myself ….I have to admit I spend much of my time in larger social networking communities- namely Facebook and Twitter; – but LinkedIn; is one of those social networking communities where it feels like there is more potential to build a business brand than we know.

It does not have the mass following and hype of Facebook or Twitter…but there is a very active audience in this community that is ready to listen and engage in your conversation.  There are numerous features in LinkedIn that make it simple for marketers to conduct targeted searches and engage in meaningful (and sometimes lucrative) conversations.

How do we harness the potential of LinkedIn?  What can we do to bring value to prospective leads and the community as a whole?

I recommend checking out Lewis Howes article posted this week to find answers to these questions…… Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business With LinkedIn.  He literally wrote the book on tapping into the LinkedIn market when he co-authored ‘LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website’- so he may know a thing or two about LinkedIn.

Here is a summary of his 5 best practices tips…..Be sure to read his full article.  I look forward to putting all of these into practice and will let you know the results!

LinkedIn Tips From Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business With LinkedIn

1: Use LinkedIn Groups Receive Tons of New Leads Daily
Make sure you create a group that fills a need for the audience you’re targeting in your business field. This will ensure that every person who joins the group is a qualified lead……Here’s how to maximize your LinkedIn group:

1. Add keywords in the description of your group to increase your search rankings on LinkedIn’s search section.
2. Add keywords in the title of the group to be found on Google.
3. Add your company website or blog to the group to drive traffic to your site.
4. Add your blog RSS feed to the group so every new article is automatically posted to the home page of every group member.
5. Send a weekly message that adds value for group members and drives traffic back to your site.
6. Connect people in the group by making introductions to those who could potentially do business with one another.

#2: Ask (And Answer) Questions: Build Your Credibility with LinkedIn Answers

Here are some tips for answering questions….First, set up the “Answers Application” on the bottom right-hand side of your home page for the subjects you know best.

1. Research the person who asked the question, and find a way to tie in a personal response with something from their LinkedIn profile.
2. Be as helpful and resourceful as possible when answering the question.  Give tips, website links with additional information, or even recommend someone who is the best expert on that topic.
3. Leave the answer with an open invitation for more communication by asking them to contact you privately if they need any extra help.

All of these tips will help you gain the most out of answering questions, and will help you build powerful relationships that will grow your business.

#3: Create Powerful Events

Hosting an event is a great way to build your business (see events under the ‘More…’ news in the LinkedIn navigation bar).  LinkedIn has an events platform that allows you to target thousands of professionals for free.

Due to the viral nature of LinkedIn, once someone RSVPs to your event, it shows up on the home profile of everyone that person is connected to, spreading the message for you.

Creating an event on LinkedIn is simple.  Answer a few questions and start promoting your event.  Send an invitation to the people who would be interested in the event based on region or niche. You will notice a wealth of opportunities from hosting your own event.

#4: Run an Advanced Search in Your Target Market

The advanced search function helps you get in touch with the exact people you’re going after. Simply click on “advanced” on the top right side of your home page next to the search box.  This will take you to a clean page where you can input anything you need to find the exact lead you are seeking.  You can search by industry, keywords, company and title, to mention a few.

#5:  Send Personal Messages

Once you find leads, you want to send them personalized messages.  The best way to drop any walls—and give yourself the best chance of making a sale—is to connect with someone on as many personal levels as possible. Look at their profile, find out which companies they’ve worked for in the past, which school they attended, what groups they’re in, listed hobbies and who your mutual connections are.

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