If you’ve been thinking about increasing your use of LinkedIn to boost visibility, find new leads, and snag more business, this post is for you. I’ve written about LinkedIn before, but it’s changed since then – LinkedIn Answers is gone and the layout now resembles Facebook in that you can like, comment on, or share updates from your network.
To get started, I decided to do some research on just who is using LinkedIn to make a strong case for why we all should embrace it. Hold on to your hats, because the stats I found at Quantcast are pretty awesome.
- LinkedIn users are affluent: 54% of LinkedIn users earn more than $60K per year and 36% earn more than $100K.
- LinkedIn users are educated: 46% have a college degree and 27% have a graduate degree.
- LinkedIn users love the site: Almost 25% use the site at least 30 times per month.
OK, so LinkedIn is definitely a good place to focus time and energy, especially if you have a robust network.
Here’s a 5-step LinkedIn marketing strategy to help you improve your visibility and get more leads as you grow your business:
1. Get in the habit of using LinkedIn on a regular basis.
LinkedIn will not work for you if you don’t take the time out of your schedule to nurture your LinkedIn presence. Whether you choose to spend time on it daily or weekly, get in the habit of sharing curated and original content and liking, commenting on, or sharing the content your network posts. Participate in groups (more on that below) and comb your network for leads (again, more on that below).
2. Expand your definition of who should be in your network.
I’m going to assume you already actively grow your network by sending personalized messages to the people you meet at events, conferences, etc., asking them to join your network. Don’t forget to send invites to friends and social acquaintances – they have networks too – along with clients, vendors, and partners.
3. Join active groups – and participate.
Instead of joining any group related to your industry or composed of your target audience, look for groups that are active with engaged members. Start joining the conversation, adding your viewpoint or expertise where appropriate. Don’t forget that you can also start your own conversations, but always keep in mind, you’re not there to sell your product or service, you are there to help others.
4. Consider advertising.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that LinkedIn is a better place to advertise than Facebook, because LinkedIn users are highly encouraged to complete their profiles. At Facebook, you’re not, so what users share in their profiles is all over the map.
With that said, you can highly target your ads to exactly who you want to reach – by industry, company, company size, location, title, etc. Once you start advertising, make it a habit to continually improve your ads to boost their effectiveness.
5. Look for leads and ask for introductions.
You’ve built a network for a reason, so use it! You can find leads within your network, in the newsfeed, on LinkedIn company pages, and in recommendations. Look for connections, and ask the people in your network for introductions. Immediately follow up with that person and let them know why you’d like to meet them and how working with you will benefit them.
Any other tips on using LinkedIn that I missed?
Image courtesy of simplyrest.comGoogle+