There’s a reason LinkedIn should be one of the most important components of your social media marketing platform. Unlike most social media channels, LinkedIn isn’t based in the realm of entertainment. Instead, LinkedIn stands alone as a true business oriented social media channel. This provides an instant built in audience for business to business users that platforms like Facebook and Twitter can’t deliver.
But maybe, like plenty of other marketers, you don’t believe that LinkedIn offers enough bang for your marketing buck. You might be surprised. According to my colleagues at Top Rank Marketing LinkedIn has a membership base 60 million strong. In addition a new member joins every 60 seconds and just about every CEO of every Fortune level corporation has a LinkedIn account. Considering these are all B2B accounts – that’s a lot of marketing juice.
But there’s a bigger reason than targeted volume why you should be marketing on LinkedIn. As every successful business person knows, the best leads are the ones that come from people you know and trust. I’m talking about referrals. Referral marketing has always been the lifeblood of small business sales and in a world of online business LinkedIn becomes a valuable resource for leveraging contacts and garnering referrals.
Here’s are some tips to leverage your LinkedIn account.
- Cast a wide net. Connect with anyone and everyone you’ve done business with in the past. Even if you’re afraid they won’t remember you – it never hurts to reach out, and who knows maybe they do remember you and will be excited to reconnect.
- Ask for recommendations. This is one of those features that is unique to LinkedIn and a powerful business tool. Ask your most loyal customers to add a recommendation on your profile, the more other people advocate for you – the better the message resonates.
- Join groups and offer your expertise for free. You don’t have to give away the farm, but it never hurts to let the customers sample an ice cold glass of milk. LinkedIn groups are tight-knit and you’ll find if you engage and contribute you’ll not only develop a number of new prospect relationships, you’ll probably connect with a few like minded individuals in your industry with whom you can build strategic partnerships.
This exact scenario happened to my wife on one of her LinkedIn groups. She began communicating with a direct competitor of ours in her group. Eventually a project came along that they didn’t have the infrastructure or skill set to handle, and her LinkedIn buddy called and offered it to our company – point blank! Her justification, through their interaction on LinkedIn she knew we’d do right by her customer.
There are a number of reasons LinkedIn should be an essential part of your social media marketing strategy. If you are a B2B marketer looking to strengthen your portfolio don’t write LinkedIn off. Instead dust off that url, hit that submit password reset button, and start connecting with the only social media audience built entirely around professional B2B relationships.