Let’s say you’re at a networking event full of professionals (prospects). Would you approach a table of people you don’t know and throw your business card at them without properly introducing yourself and what your company does? Hopefully not! LinkedIn can be seen as one big networking event and can be a very powerful business tool. However, the way you interact on LinkedIn can be beneficial or detrimental to your business’ reputation. LinkedIn should be viewed as a tool for businesses to connect with other professionals or companies in a meaningful way, not a platform for shouting out your marketing message at the general public. It is highly unlikely that they will show any signs of interest anyway, since you’ll come across as a spammer.
First impressions matter
Don’t ruin your chance of making new connections and potential business partnerships. It’s easy to be unaware of how to properly treat your business’ interactions on LinkedIn; this article will serve as a mini refresher to improve your interaction on this social media platform.
Make actual connections
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Have you ever received a phone call during supper thinking it was something important and it turned out being a telemarketer or even worse, an automated message? Regardless of what you say/curse, the recording will never respond. Very frustrating, I know.
Don’t be like the automated message; listen, interact and get to know people. Learn what they’re interested in and what’s important to them. Establishing these connections takes time and effort on your part, so set aside a little time each day for LinkedIn and online networking.
Reach out to people
Connecting with your customers’ and following their company updates on LinkedIn is a great way to stay up-to-date on any personal or organizational changes. Look for relevant ways to reach out.
For example, say you’re browsing your LinkedIn feed while drinking your evening cup of tea and read that Krystal from Uptown Marketing (your favorite client) wrote “The heat went out in our building this afternoon, it’s going to be a cold one tomorrow!”
This gives you a reason to reach out to Krystal and express your concern about the situation and see how she’s doing. This conversation starter can stream off into endless possibilities for you and your business! Worst case scenario, you enhance your reputation as someone who cares about their clients. Usually, the small stuff can make all the difference.
Use groups to connect with others
LinkedIn groups also offer meaningful insight for businesses. Based on your profile preferences and connections, LinkedIn has a list of “Groups You May Like” that can be accessed directly from the “Groups” tab within LinkedIn.
Look for groups tailored to your business. For example, if you work for a Social Media Marketing firm, it would be in your best interest to look up groups about Social Media Marketing so you can learn from others and share your expertise. New groups are always being created, so be vigilant, even consider creating your own group.
The important thing is, don’t just join these groups for the sake of joining; engage with other group members. That’s what everyone in the group is there to do. Ask questions, answer other peoples’ questions, monitor and participate in other people’s conversations (keeping in mind not to be spammy). LinkedIn groups are great portals to showcase your company’s blog posts. But remember, only post to relevant groups or you may risk losing readers/followers. If people comment on your article, acknowledge them and respond accordingly.
Think of LinkedIn Recommendations as a place to share references with potential customers and contacts. Don’t worry, it is OK to show off your business a little!
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to write a recommendation or endorse you on LinkedIn. Nothing is more validating than a good testimonial. The more you can get, the better credibility you will have over other companies in your industry. Initiate the process by writing recommendations for other professionals that you have had the privilege of working with; chances are, they will likely return the favour!
LinkedIn is a social media platform with growing opportunities to market your business. It is a great tool for sharing and generating ideas to professionals and other related businesses to target clients and prospects. It ultimately enables you to effectively communicate and build lasting relationships with your customers.
Remember, LinkedIn is a two-way street. If you are going to invest time in using this platform, do it right. Shouting marketing messages at everyone and anyone will likely ruin any potential connection with them in the future.
So now I ask…
What have you done on LinkedIn to engage with potential prospects?