If your business is using or considering using LinkedIn as part of your businesses’ social media marketing (SMM) campaign, then you are definitely headed in the right direction! However, the main thing to consider is how you would utilise this valuable resource to its fullest potential. Just like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and a number of other SMM venues, LinkedIn is free and is relatively easy to use. But, even so, there are strategic options that will make all the difference when it comes to the degree of effectiveness that you’ll get from employing it as part of your marketing strategy. This means that you’ll have to keep your eye on the long term advantages that are associated with this marketing and promotion tool.
How to view LinkedIn as a high-power marketing tool
LinkedIn will offer you many different marketing and promotional advantages. The most important of these are:
- Unlike personal relationships (family, friends, etc.) LinkedIn can separate your business networking contacts and can provide a means to locate industry-compatible resources (vendors, industry experts, potential partners, etc.).
- There are cases in which deals and opportunities can be obtained through a relationship with your LinkedIn contacts.
- It can be a perfect research vehicle that can even sort out, in some cases, obscure information that would only be obtained from an experienced industry ‘insider’ – Just by asking your contacts questions.
- You can also use your LinkedIn contacts in situations where you could use an inside contact in order to close a business deal or discover unpublished opportunities.
What are the things that you’ll need for success with LinkedIn?
Needless to say, you and all of your key people will need to have a comprehensive LinkedIn profile. But it’s also important to understand that you’ll need to set up your profile in a manner that highlights your primary focus along with anything that helps you to appear ‘different’ and/or ‘special’.
You will also want to illustrate to any contacts you’re attempting to add:
- A profile of your customer base.
- The benefits that you provide. Make sure those are related in understandable terms.
- Not only do your understand their needs and objectives, but also how you can assist them in achieving what they’re looking for.
- The things that make you stand out in these areas.
You will also want to use standard SMM considerations such as keyword usage and personality touches such as a photo and some interesting background information. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the importance of keeping your profile updated. And, above all, remember that this is not a platform for product sales – it’s a platform for developing relationships. Once you have your relationships in place, then you’ll be set to use your LinkedIn networking advantages.