Choose the right strategy to connect on LinkedIn

By Peter Roesler

Most business owners have heard of LinkedIn, which markets itself as the world’s largest professional network. Many are also aware that some business owners have managed to make money from LinkedIn either through content marketing or lead generation strategies.

Using LinkedIn for marketing is simpler than some may think, and those who successfully do can get a serious advantage on the competition. However, knowing that there are clients to be found on LinkedIn doesn’t tell business owners and marketers how to reach them.

Here are three strategies that business owners can use to market their business on LinkedIn.

LION Brand Awareness
Since LinkedIn is a social network, business owners can employ the same kind of broad marketing strategy they use on their social media platforms. Marketers can use their LinkedIn profile to spread information through press releases, posting links to content on the business’s website, and creating status updates that advertise the business, its products and its services.

What makes LinkedIn interesting is that the main reason people use the platform is that they are seeking to make connections and to link to other professionals, including ones outside of their immediate industry or circle of influence.

In particular, businesses can take advantage of the so called LIONs of LinkedIn. LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networkers.

These are users who have networks of hundreds of people and accept just about any invitation that they receive. For businesses whose products appeal to wide ranges of audiences, using this kind of strategy will ensure that the business has a large network for disseminating information to the public in the future.

There are disadvantages to this strategy. For example, LIONs expect the people they follow to follow them in return, so business owners must be willing to accept the random friend request and the irrelevant posts from others that will sometimes show in their news feeds.

Additionally, there is an argument to be made that the quantity of fans matters less than the lead-generation potential of the fans. LIONs invariably have huge networks, but the members of the network aren’t especially primed to buy from the company. Rather, the strategy depends on the content getting so much reach that the target audience is eventually bound to see the post in the news feeds of their friends and connections.

Precise Networking and Lead Generation
The shotgun approach employed by LION marketers isn’t for all businesses. Depending on how specialized an industry is, it may be a waste of effort for marketers to use a drag net when it produces so few leads.
LinkedIn has an extremely robust search feature that can be used to find members of target audiences, to join the groups where they congregate, and to form connections with other businesses who may serve the same populations or have complementary services (e.g. A brand owner could connect to potential retailers, and product distributors could connect to their suppliers, etc.). The LinkedIn platform is a powerful tool for this kind of precise marketing and lead generation strategy.

One issue that arises from using LinkedIn in this way is that some LinkedIn users are extremely private. These are the users who only accept requests from people they already know. This makes it hard to reach them, even with the Advanced People Finder Tool on LinkedIn.

For business owners facing this scenario, the solution is to build the company’s LinkedIn profile and reputation until these hard to reach people come to the company. As was mentioned before, people are on LinkedIn specifically to make connections, even the extremely private users. If they see the value in following a particular LinkedIn profile or group, they will do so.

Advanced Market Research
All social networks can be used for market research but LinkedIn’s focus on professionalism means there is a lot more information for business owners to use for their research endeavors. It’s all a matter of asking the right questions about the target audience or industry and then finding the relevant data by doing searches on LinkedIn.

For product research, business owners can use LinkedIn to see what their competitors are offering, the price of the products at other companies, and how well these products have been received by the public.

When researching a competitor, a savvy business owner can use the company’s page to see how large it is, how many employees it devotes to certain departments, and which target audiences are most engaged with the company. Looking at the skills and recommendations on the individual profiles of the competition’s employees, business owners can even learn what their competitors are looking for when they’re recruiting new employees.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for marketing, advertising, and research that all small-business owners should use. Business owners can employ many different strategies though, so it’s important to consider the goals and objectives of any social media marketing campaign before embarking on any particular strategy.

In a recent survey, more than three out five marketers said they gained a customer through LinkedIn. Small-business owners can become one of the successes if they find the right strategy.

Peter_Roesler-1-2Peter Roesler, president of Web Marketing Pros, has an extensive background in all things marketing, social media, and search engine optimization. His impressive work history includes VP of Development at AppSoft Development, Director of Multimedia at Advantage Services, and Creative Director at Mammoth Technology. He is continually drawing upon his own talent and skill to help small-to-large corporations all over the nation improve their overall Internet standing and appearance. Among his experience, Peter thoroughly enjoys the continual challenge that SEO work brings. To keep up with the ever-changing dynamic of optimization, Peter studies and researches current methods and standards of the process. When he is ahead of the game your company is, too.

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