Posted 14 June 2015
How to use LinkedIn as a free marketing tool
LinkedIn – it’s the business arm on the social media beast and it’s proving more and more robust and vital for operating in business today.
Many people have LinkedIn profiles, some more energised than others, but LinkedIn isn’t just a roll-call of every person with a job. While one of its primary functions is networking, savvy members can use it as neat marketing tool in today’s business climate and era of personalization.
Jeff Bullas states, ‘Nowadays people are buying into people first, your company and then your product. You could have the best product but if they don’t like you they will not enter into that new business relationship, buy your product or try your service. It’s as simple as that.’
Keeping this in mind, make sure your profile is fresh and informative, and that your connections are current. Show that you are active and engaged in the community – share articles, pose questions, respond to queries, recommend trusted colleagues you’re happy to be associated with. This kind of participation can position you as a thought leader. Use your profile like a mini-blog – running a course? Giving a presentation? Had something published? Share it on your profile.
Target active users
Conversely, if you want to connect with someone and they’ve got a half-hearted profile that seems to have laid dormant for months, chances are this person isn’t engaged with the platform so this connection is not going to amount to much.
Seek out competition and collaboration
Browse company pages within your industry to check out how your competition is operating – or see if there could be an interesting collaboration to forge. You can also filter down categories to help you target your ideal clients and reach out to them. Be specific, don’t take a scattergun approach or you’ll look flaky, unfocussed and unprofessional. Every connection should be relevant to your business aims.
Bottom line – interacting on LinkedIn should not be treated any differently to interacting face-to-face when it comes to business. Yes, it’s a form of social media, but your reputation, business and income can be on the line here, so keep smart, targeted, professional.
Originally published 10 February 2015