Recently I gave a presentation on the five things you may not have realised you can do with LinkedIn. In my experience, lots of people have ‘joined LinkedIn’, made a few connections, and given a quick attempt at ‘pimping out their profile’ and that’s about where their LinkedIn experience has ended. But it’s time to get stuck in.
Two million out of the five million professionals in Australia are now on LinkedIn and growing. After all, it is the social network for professionals and for anyone struggling to understand where the tangible business benefits can be found within social media, LinkedIn is a good place to start. So here’s my tips on five things you can do with Linkedin, which you may not have previously realised you could do:
1. How to find the RIGHT people to do business with in no time at all, anywhere in the world
Linkedin is a veritable global rolodex. Unlike Google searches, on LinkedIn, you can find just about anyone AS WELL AS a veritable resume about him or her. I have no idea why more companies don’t use LinkedIn as their main sales tool. Recently I met a radio station team who told me they were still Googling and using yellow pages to prospect for new advertising clients. LinkedIn would be far easier for them by using the simple search functions available.
HOW TO DO IT: In it’s simplest form, once logged into your LinkedIn Profile you can go to the top right, and simply make sure the drop down is stated to search ‘people’ and then search for a specific person.
However the true power of search lies in clicking the hyperlink next to the search field, which says ‘Advanced’. Once inside here you can search for people based on postcode (or miles from stated postcode) if you’re searching for prospects in a set geographic location, industry if you’re searching for prospects from a specific industry or simply type the keywords which may appear in the target markets profile within the ‘keywords’ field at the top.
EXAMPLE: Earlier this year we ran a Web Wednesday event on ‘Buying and Selling Online Businesses’ (want to read a blog post about the topic? See this post). For the event, I was hopeful of securing some domain traders i.e. people who buy and sell web addresses for a living.
Knowing there are only handful in Australia, and not knowing any by name or location, I turned to LinkedIn’s handy advanced search feature. By simply typing in ‘domain trader’ to the keyword field I was able to identify a list of approximately 10-12 potential panellists and then message them with the proposition to feature at the event. Easy!
2. How LinkedIn can be used as a highly effective and targeted direct marketing method
Research shows people are 2-3 times more likely to open a LinkedIn direct message than they are an email, and for good reason. Every day we receive emails from a variety of random people who have acquired our email addresses using unscrupulous means. In LinkedIn however you can claim back the power, only letting people become your connections if you can see an obvious or potential business synergy (at least, that’s my connection philosophy. For more on who to connect to and who not to on social media, see my blog post on this as well as handy templates to copy and paste and manage requests to connect).
If you are quite strict with who you let into your LinkedIn midst (which I’d recommend), it is likely you will soon have a great list of quality connections, and from there it’s simply a case of communicating with them. And the most effective communications, are highly targeted and direct.
The best thing about emarketing people via LinkedIn is that unlike a dedicated emarketing system where it is up to you to segment your lists in order to conduct various campaigns, in LinkedIn, segmenting your list is quick and easy and can be achieved via one of a few main methods:
1) To geo-target (i.e. to market people in a set location) – Once logged into your LinkedIn Profile, click on ‘Connections’ which will take you to your list of connections. From here pull up your connections according to location for a geo-targeted campaign. NOTE – This will only work if you have more than a few contacts for a given area if the area is outside of a major metropolitan. For instance originally I had no regional Queensland areas in my list, but now I have Mackay and Townsville automatically in my list of locations having made a number of quality connections in both these regions.
2) To target by industry – Once logged into your LinkedIn Profile, click on ‘Connections’ that will take you to your list of connections. From here pull up your connections according to industry for an industry-targeted campaign. The industry that it will pull in is based on what the person has specified on their profile.
3) A combination of the above – Want to target a list of people in a set location AND in a set industry? That’s easy too. Simply apply the above two points in combination.
4) Create your own lists using tags – A little known function on LinkedIn is also the use of tags. You’ll find these if you go to Contacts/Connections/ and then expanding the ‘tags’ list. Whilst you’ll have a list of default tags, you can also create your own customised list of tags.
Tags are basically a way of creating your own categories on LinkedIn. For instance I market some international business awards called the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, so I add all my female business contacts on LinkedIn to this tag. As you can only send out a message via LinkedIn to a maximum of 50 contacts, it’s a good idea to create multiple tag lists for the one category i.e. Stevie Women 1-50, Stevie Women 51-100 etc. This does take a bit of setting up (great job for a VA with a little direction!) but once done means you can send out a very targeted campaign that will really cut through in a matter of just a few messages.
All this being said however, don’t abuse it. Send out a direct message via LinkedIn every few days with no value to the end user, and they’ll soon remove you as a connection or think poorly towards you. Don’t don’t it!
3. Cool Apps available via LinkedIn
The app phenomenon has absolutely exploded on smart phones and for Mac and Android users, but did you know you could also use apps as part of your LinkedIn activities.
Once logged into your profile, you’ll find apps under the ‘More’ tab. Initially you won’t have any, but simply go through the list and install those who look relevant to you depending on what you do.
To be honest the launch of apps on LinkedIn was quite an exciting moment but hasn’t really grown at the rate one might have hoped. Here’s hoping it does in time to come.
4. Why LinkedIn is the best source of testimonials available online…
We all know testimonials are good for business, and what better place to solicit and display them than your LinkedIn Profile.
LinkedIn is a great place to solicit testimonials because it automatically follows up people once you have requested one from them, saving you the embarrassment of harassing them!
To ask for a testimonial (known as Recommendation on LinkedIn), go to Connections/Recommendations. Search for the person’s name that you are seeking a recommendation from, and then send a personalized request for them to write you a recommendation.
By doing this, your LinkedIn Profile will be full of raving fans in no time, thus improving the credibility of your LinkedIn profile and increasing the propensity of people to do business with you.
5. Why LinkedIn is worth a look if your next advertising campaign is B2B
You’ve all probably heard of the option to promote your products/services via Google’s Ad words or Facebook’s Advertising solutions. Whilst thee are great options when it comes to what is commonly known as pay per click advertising, if your target market is B2B that is, business to business, your best bet is LinkedIn. Choose from a range of solutions including image based and text based. Similar to Facebook you can target people in a certain location, as well as a certain industry.
Whilst the cost per click may be a little higher than Facebook, given the business world tends to have a higher disposable income, the investment may just be worth it.
Want to learn more about LinkedIn?
The Creative Collective has a range of upcoming training opportunities on the topic of LinkedIn. Join us for:
• GOLD COAST – Friday 14 September – Terri Cooper Business Breakfast – $45 – More here.
• SUNSHINE COAST – 20 September – Full day BYO Laptop training – $197 – More here.
• GOLD COAST – 24 September – Full day BYO Laptop training – $197 – More here.
Not located in one of these places? Want us to come to your area? Suggest it here.
We hope to see you there!
Do you use LinkedIn? Did you learn something you didn’t already know from this blog post? Which item and what are you going to do about it? Are you using some of the strategies shared in this blog post? If so, how are things working for you? Any top tips to add to the list? We’d love to hear form you in the comments section below.