With its publishing platform and career-centric approach to social networking, LinkedIn has become a vital space for B2B brands to connect with clients and prospects in niche markets. Consider the statistics:
Now that anyone can publish articles on this professional networking site, companies can easily target brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers all in one spot. This puts LinkedIn right at the heart of any solid marketing strategy.
Although visibility is important, direct engagement with your network is really the secret sauce of LinkedIn—being the largest professional social network online today with over 400 million members, it is virtually where your prospects are.
Here are some tips to help you tap this inbound marketing opportunity.
First things first, make sure you have an account
And if you have an account, make sure you’re active. As simple as it sounds, to appreciate LinkedIn, you have to use it. Log in often, connect with your colleagues, customers, qualified prospects and industry thought leaders. Don’t forget to regularly post updates as well. And when you’re not posting, sharing and commenting on posts in your industry are powerful ways to engage in meaning conversations.
Consider upgrading your account
With LinkedIn’s new updates, you may really want to consider upgrading to a paid account. The extra features go a long way. Get upgraded features like InMail which allows you to send messages directly to anyone with a LinkedIn account, regardless if they’re on your network or not.
Make sure to complete your profile
40% of your networking success lies in presenting a complete profile. Being thorough with your profile will improve your chances of being visible on search.
Research your prospects
The great thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a tool to search for people currently at a company, people that were formerly at a corporation, and people with certain job titles. You can also use it to search prospect companies and weigh them based on some factors. Sales, more importantly, can use LinkedIn to find a decision-maker in the enterprise they are targeting.
Join groups where your customers hang out
Focus on a small number of groups that fit your target customer’s industry and just hang out! You can start by checking out what others post and adding thoughtful comments of your own.
Utilize your network and their groups. More often than not, people are willing to make a referral for you in the groups that they are part of, which is a reason to be active on LinkedIn. A new survey released by Blanc & Otus reveals peer advice through word of mouth is the primary driver of sales for B2B tech companies. Staying active on LinkedIn with at least a weekly post will keep you top of mind with your network. Such passive awareness becomes useful when reaching out for an introduction or when someone from your network needs your expertise.
Develop a Presence
Social networks are about people. So, market yourself as an individual, a representative of your company. Become a trusted leader in your industry by posting status updates, sharing useful content, and participating in groups.
Regularly check who viewed your profile to determine who had an interest in your brand. Yes, it’s part vanity and another part strategy. A target customer sniffing around your profile is an opportunity for you to reach out to them to know what they need.
Share useful anecdotes from conversations you’ve had with the people who matter in the industry. Also, reference a milestone achievement of theirs to drive home a point in your article. This will instantly compel people you’ve mentioned to share the post with their networks, which will, in turn, expand your content’s reach.
It is important to value reader comments, as it is an opportunity to create a human-to-human connection with your audience. A simple thank you will suffice for some comments while others merit a thoughtful reply. Taking the time to talk to readers in the comments section makes it more likely that they’ll become brand advocates, and share your content with their networks—putting your content in front of more potential leads.
Interested in capitalizing on the opportunities presented by marketing on LinkedIn, or simply want to improve your online marketing strategy – contact us.