Let's take a look that statistics. LinkedIn has over 85 million users, over 31 million of those reside in the United States. The median age of the LinkedIn user is 35 to 49 years of age, and they take home an average salary of $110,000 per yeas. There is not one Fortune 500 company that does not utilize LinkedIn in some way. There are over 12 million employees that work at small business's that use LinkedIn, and 1.2 million of those own there own small business. There are more than 150 industries represented. The question is, is Linked In Marketing a valuable tool for you. Absolutely. But as with most things in life, things take time and effort. If you are willing and able to provide the time and effort, this is what Linked In Marketing can provide to you:
Networking. You can find and introduce yourself to people working in the specific areas that you area looking for. Using LinkedIn to contact someone gives you a thirty percent increase in the likelhood that you will get response back compared to sending an email or making a phone call. You can also do your homework on a prospective contact by checking their profile. You can see what they are intersted in, where they went to school, what they are working on at the moment, and see their recommendations.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Completing a profile will also bolster your ranks when it comes to SEO. You are able to post up to 3 URLs in your profile that are searchable by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. You can also make your own custom LinkedIn that can be found in a web search. For more information on how to improve your profile, check the list we added at below.
Looking for jobs, employees, and checking references. You can use LinkedIn to find qualified employees. After finding a potention employee, you can cross check their references by contacting LinkedIn memebrs who worked with your potential employee at the same time to verify. If you are looking for a job you can check out your potential coworkers, or better yet your potential boss.
Bussiness Insight. There is a question and answer area called LinkedIn Answers, where people can ask questions about a wide array of subjects. It's a great opportunity to have your questions answered by very knowledgeable people. Conversley, if you are promoting you or your company as an authority on a subject, you can come here and answer the questions that have been asked by memebers. You are able to use URLs and backlinks to validate your answer, which in turn helps bring more traffic to your website and bebefits your SEO. There is also a section where you are able to join a discussion groups. These are groups that are created about a certain business subject. When engaged in these discussions, you can either share articles that you have written with backlinks to your site or share articles that others have written that you think are applicable. Either is a great opportunity to increase you and your companies exposure.
Clearly, LinkedIn Marketing is very valuable tool. It's a tool that no one should be without. LinkedIn has different membership levels. From absolutley free to five hundred bucks a year. So, takes a look and see what works for you.
1. Join and Complete Info.
- Make sure you complete ALL information.
- Include all of your emails (personal and professional). This is how memebers will find you.
- Fill out the employment and education sections. Make sure these sections are not incomplete and that they are truthful. This is how college mates, colleagues, and friends will find you. These sections will also be looked over and evaluated by potential employers and/or business partners.
- Complete a profile summary. This is where you show what your company does and scope of work that you perform. If you have a website, we recommend putting your URL towards the top of the profile.
- Choose your industry and add your specialties. *SEO hint- Choose your specialties as if they were keyword phrases.
- Add your website(s). *SEO hint- Go to the “OTHER” setting and add your link.
- Make your Public Profile URL. Use your companies name as your public URL that you set for your profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/YOURCOMPANYNAME
- Set your Public Profile. It is suggested that your set your profile to complete view. A must for SEO.
- Synch your email contacts. LinkedIn does a great job of syncing your email contacts and matching them with other LinkedIn members that currently have profiles. This can be done manually as well.
- Ask to connect via LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides an program for you to invite your synced contacts to accept a LinkedIn "connection". We recommend using a personal message. This does take more effort but should pay off in the long run.
- Look for members who you used to work with and reconnect with them.
- Get three recommendations from your “network”. After you start to gain your contacts, ask for a recommendation. You have to have 3 to have a completed profile. It would be good to have multiple from your current company and one from each of your previous.
- Give back. Make sure that if you get a recommendation from someone that you give it back. And it's okay to give one to some of your contacts even before they request one.
- Check the LinkedIn Answer section to if there are questions you are qualified to answer. Doing so will promote yourself as an authority in that area. But make sure you are always honestly answering the question. No just promoting yourself. Try to use a backlink to your website as mush as possible (if applicable).
- Use the section to answer questions that you have yourself. It's a great barometer to see if you are on the right track and it's expert advice for free.
- Find networking groups with similar interests to connect. Take a look in the LinkedIn directory and see if any of the group fit you. There might be some networking groups you belong to already there. You can also look at your connections profiles, see the groups they are in and decide if you would like to join.
- Be active in your groups. Start topics, speak up in other discussions, and make sure to share your articles.
- Create periodic reminders to go and "maintain" your LinkedIn. Get in the habit of doing this regularly. We recommend giving some attention to it everyday but if it's every week, that's okay. Make sure you log on, make some new contacts, check in with your groups, and answer a question or two.
- Keep everything in profile up to date. Use your status to let everyone know what you've been working on.
- Utilize the LinkedIn Productivity Tools. You can use the productivity tools too connected even when your not logged on. You can use the Outlook Toolbar to build a network from your contacts and then manage it using Outlook. It will even show you who to connect with based on how frequently you have correspondence with them.
- You can use LinkedIn Direct Ads pinpoint potential customers by filtering geographically, by job function and seniority, industry and size of company, and gender and age.This might be a better method than Google or Facebook advertising because it put's you front and center amongst the active professionals making the decisions.
KEEP IN MIND
Make sure you are constantly adding new connections along your way. If you just met a potential customer, when you get back to your office, take a peek and see if they're on LinkedIn. You just heard a great speaker at a conference, check them out, maybe even ask to them to connect. It will make all your efforts spent building valuable business effortless and your Linked In Marketing seamless.