So you’ve heard about people doing B2B (and B2C) marketing on LinkedIn, but where do you start? Here’s a list of 7 good tips to get you started marketing on LinkedIn.
- Fill out your personal profile. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities. The easier you are to find the more connections you can make and the more chance you have of finding that key contact.
- Link to your personal profile. Include a link to your profile as part of an email signature; the benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials.
- Let your profile help with SEO. LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View”. Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name.
- Join industry groups. Search for and join industry-related LinkedIn groups , even if there is no activity within them. The icons for those groups will show up on your profile which tells people at a glance that you are involved in your industry and presumably knowledgeable about it. It also creates a connection between you and anyone else who is a member of that group. If the group is active, join in the conversation where appropriate. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
- Post news. Many groups allow you to post links to news articles intended to spark conversation. More often than not, conversations do not arise from these links but that doesn’t mean that no one pays attention to them. Like status updates, this function can be used to position yourself as knowledgeable in your field. But think before you go down this route. Before you post anything, ask yourself if what you’re about to share is truly valuable to the group.
- Pose questions on “LinkedIn Answers”. If you want to make connections with a specific type of person, you can use LinkedIn’s Answer feature to try and attract them by posing a question the LinkedIn audience. Think about the type of person you want to reach and then formulate a question for which you think that person would have an opinion about that they’d like to share. LinkedIn ‘Answers’ is a great way to engage the sorts of people you want to begin a dialogue with.
- Answer questions on “LinkedIn Answers”. Answer questions posed by others. This, again, is another aspect of LinkedIn that can be used to demonstrate your competence. Only answer the questions for which you know the answer intimately. If you are truly helpful to the person, they’ll consider assigning you as the best answer among the group. Your answer but also the fact that it was the best answer will be displayed on your profile. With this method you can both demonstrate your, and by extension your company’s, expertise but most importantly it provides you an opportunity to engage the question asker (someone clearly interested in the area you’ve just demonstrated your knowledge in) AND any and all people who read the question and your subsequent answer.LinkedIn Answers: http://www.linkedin.com/answers
LinkedIn Groups Directory: http://www.linkedin.com/groupsDirectory
If you have other great ideas, please share them in the comments below, or email them to us and we’ll post them here for the benefit of the community.