While LinkedIn is traditionally used as a professional social media tool, where users can network with other like-minded peers and utilize each other as resources for job prospects, companies are beginning to realize its enormous marketing capabilities. With 161 million members, according to Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn is a potential gold mine for small businesses looking for new leads and a wider consumer base. Here are three tips on how to leverage LinkedIn as one of the top marketing strategies for small businesses.
Connect, connect, connect
As with any social media network, the most important thing to do is simply to connect as much as you can. While your first-degree connections are important, Social Media Examiner believes that the true marketing potential lies with second-degree connections. Once you have warmed up sufficiently to users in your immediate network, be proactive and immediately start working on an expanded network. Introducing yourself and your company through emails or phone calls and mentioning the connection is a nice, trustworthy way to ease in new customers.
When in doubt, ask!
Small business owners often do a lot of learning by trial and error, a great educational experience but ultimately an inefficient method. LinkedIn recommends getting answers to tough business questions, especially as a nascent startup, by tapping into LinkedIn Answers and Groups. With hundreds of questions on a whole host of topics, including many specific to small business owners, this section of the social media tool enables you to leverage your immediate network to do the work for you. Additionally, sharing with like-minded personalities presents a good opportunity to share your products and find potentially interested buyers.
Get your advanced hunt on
The Advanced Search function on the website is as close to a cold-calling feature as there is among social media tools. Users can search for anyone, on a wide variety of very specific criteria, even if they don’t know who they’re looking for. By figuring out your ideal targets within a company – namely who the buyers and decision-makers are – you can track them down, introduce yourself and make your pitch without seeming obnoxious.