LinkedIn is proving itself to be an adept student of social media lessons. Developers and management listen to users, monitor other platforms to see what features people find useful or lacking and implement their findings across their own network.
LinkedIn has steadily been adding useful features, helping to transforming it into a valuable peer-to-peer marketing tool. Of the popular social networks, it is the best for producing referral business. Leads from LinkedIn conversations or connections are highly targeted and industry specific. They often come from relationships you have created within your areas of practice and as such are more likely to convert.
LinkedIn members have the highest average household income when compared to users of other popular social networks, with roughly half earning over $100,000 per year. LinkedIn users are also more likely to be decision makers with actual authority to create new business.
However, even with all the potential, some people do only the bare minimum when setting up their LinkedIn profiles. Or, they accept solicitations for connections without regard to the potential value in the connection. LinkedIn provides several useful features that can help you market your firm. Use them to take full advantage of the network.
Optimize your profile. LinkedIn provides a step-by-step progress tool through which you can enhance your profile with relevant experience, skills and personal information. By default, your professional headline – the text directly below your name that appears in search engines – is your most recent or current position. However, that can be modified. When on your homepage, click on edit profile. Then, choose the edit link to the right of your name and enter your optimized headline in the Basic Information section. Paying attention to the details of your profile can help drive targeted traffic to your page.
Give as good as you get (recommendations, that is). One key to successful social media engagement – like offline networking – is reciprocity. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to give and request recommendations. When requesting recommendations, do not just follow the prompts. Reach out with a personalized message. Conversely, nurture relationships by offering unsolicited recommendations to those you know are deserving.
Use company pages. Your firm can set up a company page and promote it with direct links from your website. Company pages allow you to advertise your services and build followers. You can also link from your company page to targeted landing pages for specific services, giving you leads that are more likely to convert.
Answers questions. LinkedIn Answers allows anyone to post a question, solicit answers or answer a question themselves. You cannot market yourself directly with Answers, but you can take the opportunity to ask helpful questions and answer the questions of others. You can also reach out privately to those who ask questions or provide answers to questions you’ve posed. Engaging with answers helps make you a resource and show you can help others tackle their challenges.
Join the right group and group discussion. Research professional groups and join those that are relevant to your niche. Group discussions are an excellent way to showcase your expertise and give others a reason to trust your firm and services. Providing useful comments in group discussions can help push others to recommend your services or hire you directly.
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