Guest blog by Nicki Escudero
Social Media and Content Strategist for CX
With LinkedIn growing at the rapid rate of 10-15 million users per quarter, if your company doesn’t already have a presence on the social network for professionals, it needs to now. There are many ways small-to-medium-sized businesses can use LinkedIn to draw new customers to their products, but, like all social networks, success on LinkedIn starts with sincerity and building up real relationships. Here are five ways to increase leads from LinkedIn – leave your tips in the comments.
Optimize your company page. Think of your LinkedIn company profile as an extension of your brand, which will show up in search results both on LinkedIn and on search engines such as Google. Your LinkedIn page provides an opportunity to optimize for those keywords you want people to use to find you, so make sure your page is rich with those words. Your company LinkedIn page is also a way to start discussions with people on LinkedIn on topics related to your industry, as well as get recommendations on products, show off your staff and post job listings. Encourage your staff to optimize their personal pages, as well, by creating completed profiles with work duties and a photo, as well as asking for recommendations and skill endorsements to make your staff appear credible to others in the industry on LinkedIn.
Connect with journalists and influential people. LinkedIn contains many members of local and national press – connect with them on your network, and you’ve taken the first step to getting a story written about you. Scan your homepage feed to see who people in your network are connecting with and sharing content from, and grow your network organically by asking your contacts to offer up e-mail introductions. You can also visit other company sites where your target consumers work and find influential people through those networks.
Become an authority in Groups. LinkedIn has a Groups section, where members may join groups related to topics they’re interested in both personally and professionally. Those groups have discussions related to the topics, where you may “Like” and comment on discussions. Think about groups your targeted consumers might be a part of, and participate in discussions with them. Then, as you start to build those genuine relationships within the groups, connect with people on a personal level and let them know about your business.
Share product updates on your personal page. LinkedIn members may share personal updates on their individual pages, and since the community is work-focused, sharing what’s new with your company is totally appropriate. Use LinkedIn personal updates to share company developments, and add a personal twist – you can share updates directly from your company page, which will help to drive traffic back there, as well. Remember to try to get a discussion going with your followers by asking questions related to the content you’re sharing, not just posting marketing messages.
Create partnerships with like-minded professionals. Once you’ve begun those relationships with others on LinkedIn, treat them as you would any other friendship. Regularly check in with your contacts, and when you identify ways to help each other, go from there. Once you’ve worked together, be sure to ask for product recommendations and personal endorsements, and be willing to return the favor honestly. Share content with your brand partners, and build up those LinkedIn referrals.
Nicki Escudero is the social media and content strategist for CX, which provides cloud storage solutions to businesses and individuals, with a focus on collaboration with features such as groups, chat and social network sharing. To try out CX for Business for free for 30 days, no credit card required, go here and to connect with CX on LinkedIn, go here.