How to Use LinkedIn to Network Better In Your Industry, Part 1.

Do you consider yourself on top of your marketing game?

Do your social media campaigns deliver double digit ROI results? While those are impressive results, they can be better. You may have your social media marketing dialled and use Facebook ads, Instagram, and Pinterest marketing to attract more prospects.

But what about LinkedIn?

Yes, LinkedIn; the ‘uncool’ cousin has become cool again. Casting a wide net on Facebook will get you a tonne of clicks but how engaged are these prospects? LinkedIn’s highly targeted professional audience represents the best bang for your buck. Targeting these people offers you an engaged, informed audience who’ll gladly help spread the word about your business.

This former ‘job seekers preserve’ is now home to over 300 million professionals; with a twist. Like many of us, the users on LinkedIn have multiple social media accounts. But in recent years, LinkedIn has become their hub for ‘serious stuff’. More professionals are relying on LinkedIn for professionally relevant content. Since LinkedIn doesn’t produce that volume of content, it’s up to users to fill in the blanks.

This is possible thanks to the LinkedIn Publisher platform.

This allows individuals to assume thought-leader positions and create content to share. Pleasing such a savvy crowd is tough as they won’t engage with just any old article. Plus, if you try to get pushy, you’ll end up with a LinkedIn SWAM i.e. Site Wide Auto Moderation; and that’s a distasteful position to be in. So on one hand, you have this awesome chance to reach engaged, like-minded professionals but you also have to be very careful to avoid getting penalised; what do you do?

You start with detailed research; this isn’t Facebook or Twitter, where you can wing it and hope for the best. Remember the users of LinkedIn have as much, (or more) information on the subject matter as you. Since the point is connecting with like-minded folks, how you approach them is very important.

  • Find interested people by joining LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups, so take your time and join as many relevant ones as you can. Now use the in-built search filters to further segment your leads. Go through the list of members and cherry-pick your ideal prospects, based on location, company type, recognisable brands, and more.

Compile these names to create the basis for an ongoing LinkedIn campaign of prospects, influencers and customers.

  • With these targeted contacts, you must avoid the spray-and-pray approach. Take the time to personalise each invitation to connect. Yes, it may take an extra minute to find common ground with each person, but it will exponentially increase their chances of listening to you.

Instead of the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network” invite, start with a personal sentence. Use something from their bio to break the ice BEFORE you go on to why you want to connect. Hold their interest by telling them how you found them and what they stand to gain by connecting with you.

At this point, it’s up to them to choose to accept your invite, but you have set the stage nicely in your favour.

  • To attract even more leads, focus on stellar content creation, Remember the LinkedIn crowd are a savvy bunch; any attempt at selling will be met by a SWAM. Some Group moderators are even known to ban any content that promotes another site. By posting and sharing valuable content on a particular product or service, you demonstrate your expertise. This expertise can be parleyed into a soft-sell later.

Stumped on the kind of content to create? Try starting posts with open-ended question to gain valuable feedback from your audience.

These steps represent the first step towards getting leads on LinkedIn.

But what next? How do you soft-sell your business awhile avoiding a SWAM? Should you spend money on ads? How do you use a Showcase Page?

Join us for answers to these, and more, next week! Stick with Search & More and we’ll show you how to become the go-to business n your industry. Search & More offers marketing services spanning social media to content creation. Contact us today for a custom LinkedIn marketing plan for your business.

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