LinkedIn was all the rage when it first was released in 2002 but after a while, like all new things, the buzz simmered down. Then when the stocks took a plunge last February, costing the company $11 billion in value, it simmered down even more. Also, when LinkedIn changed some of its base features the site lost even more interest. They made it so you could no longer send endless amounts of messages to people. You were now limited to 15 messages per month.
This obviously made some marketing strategies ineffective, causing many businesses to leave the LinkedIn social platform and head in a new direction to get their content in front of more users. When you look at the numbers, Facebook has 1.71 billion active users and Twitter only 313 million. This leaves LinkedIn’s 106 million looking mighty pitiful. Wait. L’ren, you’re supposed to be writing an article convincing me that LinkedIn isn’t dead, right? Well, dear reader, that’s exactly what I’m doing here.
You know the phrase quality over quantity? That is precisely the point here. With such a small pool, you may not feel comfortable diving head first into, right? What if I guaranteed that same small pool was filled with willing, business-minded, hungry fish? That changes your outlook a little doesn’t it? LinkedIn is a social site where people go to do business, expand their networks, learn about new ideas, make new connections, find new jobs, post new jobs, etc. While many other social sites have the masses, finding the right niche is rather difficult, especially when surrounded by pictures of family vacations and cat videos.
LinkedIn may be a smaller pond but it’s filled with more professional fish— fish in suits, if you will, and fish that want to bite what you’re tossing out there. So how do you make the most out of LinkedIn? There are four major powerful offerings that LinkedIn has for a user like you.
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Top Social Site for Lead Generation
80% of social media leads came from LinkedIn in 2014. While this number may have changed a bit over the past two years, this sentiment still rings true. LinkedIn still balls hard when it comes to being the top lead generator for businesses.
One of the ways to utilize LinkedIn is to develop a drip campaign. Much like the approach you would use on your Facebook, you want to post consistently with high quality content. You want to post articles that may intrigue your fellow business connections, post your most read content from your blog, or simply asking a question. You want to put yourself out there on a regular basis to develop genuine relationships with your LinkedIn connections.
LinkedIn groups are all the rage on LinkedIn. More than 2 million exist but this shouldn’t deter you from creating your own LinkedIn group. Your percentages of landing an unexpected sales lead grow greatly just by joining a LinkedIn group.
By creating a LinkedIn group, this allows you to focus on developing and sharing high quality content to your prospects and you can gear your information to target certain prospects. To build you group’s membership, you can invite ideal prospects to join, as well pose thoughtful questions and high quality industry related content for your prospects to take part in. One great benefit of starting your own group is that once it starts to grow organically, you will soon be recognized by members of the group as an expert in your industry. They will come to you with questions, helpful advice, and perhaps even lead you to more leads.
Advanced People Search capabilities
LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search allows you to target people. Whether you target them by title, company size, industry, or location, you can build a net as big or small as you want to catch your professional fish in. This helps you narrow down your prospects and find the exact right person to contact and build a relationship with.
You start by filling out a prospect profile and getting down to the specific details about your ideal prospect. Are looking for a certain industry this prospect works in? Is there perhaps a certain geographic location? Or do they hold a position of power that you need to make a sales decision? Whatever it may be, you can narrow it down in your Advanced People’s Search.
Easy Content Publishing and Distribution
LinkedIn is fantastic for the mere fact that you publish your own work out there for the world to see. Not only for the world to see, but to read, recognize, and appreciate. Whether it’s for your blog, like this post, or just something personal you wrote and you want people to read, you can get it out there for the world to see. This is especially beneficial when building connections on LinkedIn. If they can see and read content that you’ve written about your industry, they will consider you on a higher level and have a greater respect for you.
Being able to publish content that you’ve written allows you to show your knowledge and experience. If your blog post is especially well done, it may even be featured in LinkedIn’s Pulse channel, which will help you get a ton of views and followers. With 45% of Pulse readers holding a higher position in this industry, you can put your name in front of more decision makers. YES!
You can also review LinkedIn’s editorial calendar. Here you can post thoughtful advice on its monthly topics. Most are broad enough to fit any industry – just makes sure your content is useful and thought provoking. It’s crucial so you can better target you audience.
Just because you can find prospects on Facebook and Twitter, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be really open to learning about you or your business. People that go to those sites are there to be social and enjoy their time on there, not really to conduct business. Instead, you should find yourself on LinkedIn more often than naught so you can fish where the fish are biting.
– Lauren Knorr, SEO Coordinator