There are many useful marketing opportunities online. But for small businesses looking to make an impact, there’s no better marketing platform than LinkedIn. At this time there are over 467 million LinkedIn users. They can provide useful insights into many aspects of business, but LinkedIn can help you to make connections for more effective marketing. Here are some strategies for increasing your impact.
There are a number of professional groups that you could join and interact with. Try searching on the business-related topics you’re interested in. You can find groups on sales, efficiency, inbound marketing, SEO, or industry-specific groups like sports, medicine, or metal products. Being an active member in these groups can bring you new leads every day. Grow your recognition and confidence in your brand by leaving thoughtful comments and insights, not just likes. This will increase the respectability of your brand. At some point, you may want to create your own group in one or more keyword subjects to increase your recognition and authority. For example, the company NuSkin uses LinkedIn to announce events that people interested in skin care would find interesting.
Another way to grow your following and your credibility is to answer questions. Especially in your own group, you’ll grow in reputation if you’re the one solving problems. When an important question is asked, even if you don’t have a complete answer, take a little time to research both the question and the person/organization asking it. If you can provide an actionable solution or direction in a personalized, friendly way, you’ve just cemented a good relationship. As a way to streamline this, IBM has earned about 500,000 LinkedIn followers by providing a great introduction video that answers many questions upfront.
As your knowledge and experience grow, others will appreciate the fact that you’re willing to share it. To reach the highest possible number of people at once, stage your own LinkedIn event. Your event could be a live seminar, webinar, podcast, or Q&A session. Create the event from your LinkedIn profile and start inviting people who would be interested in your subject. If someone RSVPs your invitation, it will show up on the home pages of their followers. This is a great way to grow your recognition with a large number of new people. If you manage to pull off a great presentation, your circle of followers will increase quickly.
Add search capability to your information. Hewlett Packard earned over 350,000 followers with a searchable product page inviting users to make recommendations. LinkedIn already provides advanced searches that let you discover exactly the things you’re looking for. You can access the advanced search function from the upper right corner near the search box. It will take you to a page where you can input multiple terms to refine searches on products and services, locations, brands, industries, or job roles. This way you’ll be able to generate a list of ideal contacts for your current needs.
Once you come up with these leads, you’ll want to compose the right messages to initiate contact with each one. The best way to forge new relationships is to connect on as many personal and emotional issues as you can. By examining the profiles of these professionals, you’ll be able to see who they worked for, where they went to school, which groups they’ve joined, and most likely personal information such as family or hobbies. Send a message referring to the person by name, and ask about any interests or connections you may share. Invite them to join your group or set aside a time to chat in the near future.
If you take these tips and apply them to your LinkedIn activities, you’ll find yourself connecting with just the right audience, whether you’re looking for support from influencers or trying to hire the best talent for your team. It gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and your company with the people who matter.