Let’s face it. Using LinkedIn for marketing can be puzzling.
How often should you post?
How do you connect with key prospects?
What is the best strategy to get my company noticed on LinkedIn?
All good questions, and ones that I come across on a regular basis when I speak, conduct workshops and consult one-on-one on how to use LinkedIn.
To help clarify this some, here are 3 quick ways to center your LinkedIn marketing:
1. Be foundational. Start by making sure your company page and the profiles of your key employees are solid. Do they tell your brand story? Are the Headline, Summary, job experience reflective of what your/your company does?
By having consistent messaging in these two key areas, you are letting your customers and prospects know that you mean business. You understand their market and have a clear definition of how your products and services can help them succeed.
2. Be relational. LinkedIn, like any social media platform is about building relationships and contributing to the community. You need to engage in a personal way to be effective.
As a LinkedIn speaker and consultant, the complaint I hear the most is the issue of “sales spam.” Companies and individuals who connect and then immediately pitch their business.
Take the time to build a relationship with your audience – current and prospective customers – and understand their businesses. If there is a sale to be had, deal to be brokered, then it will come when they trust and feel confident in you.
3. Be intentional. Don’t treat LinkedIn like another place to post occasionally, send out a generic invitation to someone you met at a conference, or ignore entirely.
Send out custom invitations with information as to why you want to connect. Like, share, and comment on customer and prospect posts. Answer messages and invitation requests in a timely manner.
Maybe most important is responsiveness. If someone sends you a message or accepts your invitation, then engage with them, don’t just read the message or accept the invitation. Respond with a quick note, a simple thank you, or a request for a 15-minute call to learn more about them.
Bottom line, while LinkedIn can be puzzling, and often overwhelming, it is just like any social network where you get out of it what you put into it.
With one exception – it’s a business network where business is conducted. Treat it like a business and marketing channel.
About the Author: Chuck Hester, main contributor to the Linked Essentials channel on commpro.biz, is a keynote speaker and LinkedIn power connector with more than 17,000 direct connections. Managing Partner of The Hester Group, he helps clients get their stories told through influencer relations, good old fashion PR strategies and hard work. Through www.chuckhester.com he also offers LinkedIn Corporate Boot Camps that help businesses maximize their use of LinkedIn, find and retain customers and enhance their social media footprints. You can find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/chuckhester