LinkedIn has become the de facto “go to” resource for researching companies and most especially people to learn more about them. And, if you’re very interested, you can usually find someone in your LinkedIn network to chat with and “get the scoop.”
LinkedIn doesn’t get covered as much in the media as its more glamorous cousins, Facebook and Twitter, but it has grown steadily as a powerhouse in the business environment and now stands at 100M+ members, adding 1 new member a second!
Unlike Facebook, people don’t hang out on LinkedIn for hours, they get in and get out – usually with a specific business purpose in mind. The information you get isn’t about a new restaurant or cute kid stories; people actually share information that’s useful to other business professionals on LinkedIn and use it as a research and networking tool.
Since LinkedIn members are there for business reasons, it’s become a highly receptive marketing channel for you to leverage for a variety of business purposes, including Business Development and Brand Management.
Business Development gets a boost when you leverage the capabilities of LinkedIn.Your sales team can get valuable background information by finding people to speak with who will give you insights you can’t learn from reading a company’s promotional material (former employees are a great way to do that). My favorite business development use of LinkedIn is to leverage your own network members to facilitate a warm introduction.
Once you get your foot in the door of the company you’ve targeted, guess what they’re likely to do? That’s right – check you out on LinkedIn! You can put your best foot forward by “tricking out” your LinkedIn profile with help from the following apps:
Behance is a multi-media application that enables you to add video to your profile. Both SlideShare and Google Presentations enable you to add presentations to your profile. You can control your message and present a picture of vitality to anyone who checks you out.
Brand Management has never been so easy and these tools greatly enhance your flexibility in how your brand is perceived. Yet it’s also helpful to know what people might be saying about you and LinkedIn has an app for that as well: Company Buzz. Company Buzz monitors what is being said about you across the Internet and arms you with actionable intelligence to help you manage your brand.
If you’d like to take a more proactive stance using LinkedIn, then seriously consider extending your branding reach through LinkedIn Ads. This tool enables you to target by company (how cool is that??!!), job title, group, gender and age. You have the option of using Pay Per Click or Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM) and can advertise with a budget as low as $10. There’s a lot more to this and I encourage you to check it out.
There are a number of additional apps and internal LinkedIn functionalities that are really terrific. The great part about a lot of them is how they make life easier for you through automation and how they can contribute to your business success.
Are you using LinkedIn to power your business? Have you found specific tools and techniques that have really made a difference?
Celeste Bishop is an Internet marketing guru whose firm, Bishop Market Resources, works with businesses to improve their results through more effective use of their website and Internet marketing channels. Ready for more information you can use about LinkedIn? Try: Easier Social Media Marketing with LinkedIn’s 100M.