Many have come to use LinkedIn as a way to connect to like-minded people through social media. LinkedIn is more straightforward and business focused than other social media. It is a great respite from pictures of meals and pets. It is a terrific resource for reaching out for information you may need and to be of service to others. LinkedIn can also serve as a business to business marketing Rolodex.
Here are 5 ways to use LinkedIn for b2b networking:
- LinkedIn can sort and filter much better than a Rolodex. In a blog for LinkedIn, Alexa Hisaka writes that part of the power of using the platform as a Rolodex is its ability to sort beyond first or last name. You can sort geographically, by company, title or by tag. This allows you to better zero in on your targets based on your marketing campaign.
- You can stay better connected through LinkedIn. In another LinkedIn blog, Joyce Feustel writes how LinkedIn, and a little effort, can keep you much better connected. She points out how a few “likes” a day and occasional recommendation can work wonders in building relations. She reminds us to make connections at times other than when we want something.
- Polish up your Summary. Your Summary is your first impression on LinkedIn. Make sure it differentiates you from others in your business. SocialMediaB2B.com’s Mark Cohen reminds you to use appropriate keywords in your summary. The right keywords can improve LinkedIn as your b2b digital marketing platform.
- Use LinkedIn to research your prospects before contacting them. In the “old” days, salespeople were taught to quickly look around a prospects office to learn about them. Family photos, sports memorabilia, awards, and other personal items in an office could serve as “tells” for what was important to the prospect. Today, it is all laid out for you on LinkedIn and other social media. Thanks to Alexander Montville for this reminder in his BackBoneMedia.com blog.
- Use proper etiquette. Treat LinkedIn as if you were in a business setting. Don’t always sell and push your way into conversations. In an article for Smarklabs Inbound Communications, Stacy Jansen reminds her readers “Don’t ask people you don’t know to endorse you.” That’s solid advice. Instead, nurture relationships as you would in real life.
Social media can be overwhelming at times. It can be helpful to compare it to office tools we are more familiar with. By viewing LinkedIn for b2b sales as a virtual Rolodex, you can better make use of its power to connect. Use it to stay in touch, share content, and build relationships and it will organically grow into an important component of your online marketing efforts. Take the above advice and use caution in forcing relationships or being too aggressive. You don’t want to be “that guy” in the room.
Digital marketing doesn't have to be impersonal. Contact 21 Handshake to find out how we can keep you connected.