LinkedIn can be a useful source for social media marketing. It is easy to use and free, with over 60 million members. This is a market where people expect to network, get to know different companies, and expand their own business circles. No matter what service or product a LinkedIn page represents, it puts a personal, yet professional face on any company. Below are the top five ways LinkedIn can be used to grab attention from this audience, and generate quality leads.
1. Ask for Recommendations
As the business owner, once a personal profile has been set up and some friends and employees have been established in the network, it’s important to ask around from these connections for recommendations. Ask satisfied customers to put up a few kind words, or ask a responsible employee to do the same. Repeat these actions as often as possible, in order to get the best reviews for your business and for your professional activities. This is a vital part of the interaction that is necessary on LinkedIn – people look for feedback on their products and services – be willing to receive feedback (especially if it’s positive).
2. Reciprocate with Recommendations
Since social media is founded in the interaction between people, it’s also just as important to give out reviews and recommendations to colleagues and to clients. Be generous and genuine. If a recommendation is sincere, it will show. Demonstrate how appreciated employees are, and recommend in a relevant way. Again, this is part of the interaction that is necessary in social media marketing in order to generate leads built on trust and rapport.
3. Create a Brand Group
A personal network is great, and is important on LinkedIn for showing the authenticity of the company, but it won’t reach beyond that network. Rather than spamming and sending requests randomly, which is highly ineffective (and too many spam flags can get an account banned on LinkedIn, by the way) for quality lead generation; create a brand group and keep the option checked to “display this group in the Groups Directory” in order to reach a much wider network. Remember, LinkedIn has over 60 million members. There are many people who would be interested in joining groups for any number of topics; everything from SEO marketing, to creative writing. Therefore, create a group that includes appealing keywords in the title, or a good description to let people know what kind of group it is. Once the group is up and running, keep it updated with relevant topics and allow for open discussion. Participate, never forgetting that the interaction is the important part to social media marketing.
4. Use Regular Profile Updates
Regular and consistent updates of a profile will keep it in the news feed, and can grab interest from connections. Of course, one doesn’t want to make profile updates that are meaningless – that will only serve to irritate connections if they have to constantly see it in their news feeds. Therefore, make sure that they are proper updates, and maintain professionalism.
5. Use an Image to Create an Image
It’s a good idea to have as many personal touches as possible on both the LinkedIn profile page, as well as in the brand’s group page. Remember the 5 P’s – upload a pleasant, professional personal profile picture – it adds a human touch and encourages connections to interact and be attracted to one’s profile. The other place an image is important is on the brand’s group page. Use the company’s logo and put the business’s best foot forward.
First and foremost, social media marketing, no matter what site, is about the interaction between company and leads – between people – so make the most of it by interacting! A professional demeanor is always important, but even more so for the LinkedIn culture. Reach out to current customers, get recommended to their friends, and tap into the greater market through a brand group. This is a great way to get started on LinkedIn – it’s easy and doable, and takes a minimum amount of time on the part of the marketer.