This is a guest post courtesy of Alicia Lawrence. She is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and enjoys helping clients like Havahart with online PR. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Inspiration Feed.
LinkedIn is the most ideal social network for making career connections, especially with built-in features like recommendations, endorsements and job searches. It’s not difficult to connect with other users on LinkedIn, but that accessibility can impact quality control. For example, many LinkedIn users blindly ask for endorsements from other users despite never working with them, assuming they can trade praise for a mutual benefit.
These types of endorsements and connections have little to no impact on a business, primarily because they do not contribute to building leads. Making valuable connections on LinkedIn that can potentially serve as leads requires a strategy based on the five elements below.
Manage Inbox Inquiries
The LinkedIn inbox is your control center of sorts. It’s where you receive requests to connect, notifications about mentions or requested endorsements, and can view any invitations to groups or events. Apart from self-promotional spam, be sure to stay on top of your inbox, responding promptly and elaborately to any requests or inquiries. Using your inbox to send messages to potential leads, in addition to replying to them, is one of the most important methods of building leads on LinkedIn.
Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great resource to discover and connect with leads. In addition to creating your own brand’s group page, it’s recommended that you join similar groups within your niche. Each group has a Top Contributors section, so checking out the profiles of these users can be helpful in clarifying the types of leads you’re targeting. Participate in these groups without self-promoting your own brand. Once you’re respected enough in a group, that’s the time to mention your brand.
Create a Company Page
Further helping with leads, a company page with an attractive banner image and showcase pages can benefit both you and other users. Your brand can spread its message and share content and updates via a company page, as opposed to a single LinkedIn profile. Paying for Sponsored Updates can improve your company page’s visibility by targeting content based on location, job title, schools attended and more. This versatility provides a great way to target leads.
Study Who Viewed Your Updates
A useful LinkedIn feature is the “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” widget on the right sidebar of your welcome page. In addition to seeing the types of users your LinkedIn marketing campaign is attracting, this widget provides the ability to view how many likes and comments each of your updates receives. Studying this data will increase the chances of targeting content effectively to those who view your profile most, who are precisely the types of users that can turn into leads.
Publish Call-to-Action Updates
Similarly to productive businesses on Facebook, it’s important to share updates on LinkedIn that call users to action, whether it’s a pest-control business recommending tips for killing field mice or a PR firm asking followers’ thoughts on a recent news item. Connecting with users via these updates can be a great way to build valuable leads, since one-on-one communication is the only entry one needs to start establishing this type of relationship.
While some effective LinkedIn strategies are similar to endeavors on Facebook or Twitter, the prominent amount of unique features – such as company pages, groups and analytical data – makes it easy to see why LinkedIn is the preferred option for career networking. It inspires unique tips like those above, which brands should implement to bring in more leads.