Updated: Sep 16, 2018
LinkedIn is a social channel that allows you to actively drive business. It offers you the right tools to contact prospects, stay in touch with customers and increase sales performance. Statistics show that the response rate on LinkedIn can be 7 times better than the response rate you get via e-mail. In 2015, more than 8 in 10 B2B marketers used LinkedIn for product launches, making this social network No. 1 social media site used for product launches among B2B marketers worldwide. In the US alone, approximately 40% of B2B marketers chose LinkedIn as the social network that has generated revenues for their company.
How does LinkedIn help your business?
First of all, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 364M+ members. That means you have an incredible base from which you can look for customers or prospects.
Once you have found them, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to contact them successfully by easily tracking common connections and making recommendations or positive feedback about you visible. These features build trust, which is vital in business.
Moreover, you can reach your prospects with the right context.
LinkedIn shortens your sale cycle, keeps you up-to-date about your contacts and helps you build relationships in the professional community, thus expanding your sales network.
Create your LinkedIn profile
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your window shop, so create one that sells. You need to have a complete profile that speaks about your expertise and knowledge, making it easier to expand your professional network. You should have a short public profile URL with your company name, a professional profile photo, a descriptive headline of what you do and a summary of milestones in your activity (awards, important clients, successful product releases, etc.). Make your company page SEO friendly by using powerful, keyword-rich sentences. Make your most important content visible by pinning an update to the top of your Company Page’s recent updates section.
Where to look for contacts on LinkedIn
To begin building out your network, start with the people that are closest to you: your employees, customers with whom you have a good relationship, fellow alumni, business contacts and colleagues. They are connections that have other connections that might be valuable in your activity. Moreover, they can help you with introductions, recommendations, and referrals when looking to connect with prospects. After adding them to your network, make sure you follow their companies because it shows you care about them and because you can see who else does business with them. Another way of finding prospects on LinkedIn is by simply searching the network using some filters like: size of the company, industry, and title.
Join LinkedIn groups that are popular within your industry, that are popular among your clients or professional groups that are important in your geographic area. LinkedIn allows you to join 50 such groups.
Join events that are promoted on LinkedIn. See who else is attending, contact them.
Whenever you receive a business card or an e-mail, don’t lose the opportunity to ask to connect on LinkedIn. Make sure that when you send the invitation you add a few words reminding who you are and what you have in common with the connection. LinkedIn penalizes you if you try to connect to too many people who reject you because they don’t know who you are.
Create content for your followers on LinkedIn
In order to get as much as possible from your LinkedIn account you need to limit your promotional messages and focus on useful, engaging content. This way you don’t just sell, but build relationships.
Share content that may answer questions or solve problems that the audience has to deal with. Offer valuable content to your connections including training materials, quality books, best practices, tips, tricks. Be known for your expertise by sharing articles, news, and videos relevant to your industry and customers through status updates. You would also want to post inspirational quotes and of course updates about your company. Share short posts about company achievements, company’s culture. Announce job openings. Ask questions about a hot topic, so you engage your audience. Encourage comments and feedback, but make sure you answer them promptly. Not all topics are relevant for your audience, so be selective. When you post something use tags to communicate just to a specific category in your audience.
For better results in your communication use a a call-to-action at the bottom of every message, include a link for better engagement, post YouTube videos. Make sure your text is accompanied by an eye-cathing picture or a chart, graphic, video, as visuals are proved to generate 98% more comments. Choose your visuals to complete the message you are trying to send through your post. Post youtube videos and encourage sharing. Offer information that is easy to read and understand and of interest to your audience. Post with a certain frequency (maybe at least once per weekday, because it brings engagement and builds familiarity) usually in the morning, but be flexible and post also when there are special events, popular topics.
Sponsor your best updates in order to get better reach, beyond your followers.
Approach your prospects on LinkedIn
On LinkedIn you know the moment a prospect posts an update, so use this opportunity to send your message increasing the likelihood of getting an answer. Use your connections to get to that prospect. Ask for an introduction or a recommendation from someone in your list that is familiar to that prospect. Check the prospects LinkedIn profile to find out as much as possible about that prospect: common points, size, needs, decision makers. This way, once introduced you can have a productive communication.