Social Media Strategy: LinkedIn
By this point most businesses realize that they need a Social Media Strategy. But where do you start? What media outlet is best? I’m sure many of you wish you could return to the days where the decision was how much of the marketing budget should be spent on radio, tv and print media. Now you have to decide what resources to dedicate to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, microsites, trade organization communities, and the insane number of smaller social networking sites.
While Facebook, the current media darling, is the obvious choice for dedicating social media resources, some of you may find LinkedIn to be the goose that lays the golden eggs. It takes a specific type of business and sales person to properly leverage LinkedIn, but done correctly it can provide rich rewards.
Should you be on LinkedIn?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions then you should make LinkedIn a big part of your social media strategy:
- Is your business B2B?
- Does your business provide solutions to problems that business people experience?
- Do you have knowledge to share about your solution?
- Can your sales staff communicate conversationally about your solutions?
Getting golden eggs
It takes time and persistence to leverage LinkedIn as a part of your social media strategy. Research and join a few select groups where you can participate in the community. Keep in mind that you should join groups that your prospective customer would visit. The tendency for most people is to join many of their own industry groups, but those will be populated by your competitors and colleagues. Look for geographically specific groups if your business is bound by location.
Once you’ve joined a few groups, look for opportunities to comment. The LinkedIn community, while being focused on business contacts, can be intolerant of constant sales pitches. Instead try to educate and answer questions. You don’t even need to include your contact information on the post most of the time, because it’s easy for someone to find out that information through your profile. Position yourself as an expert in a specific area of your industry. A few months of consistent posting and you will earn that position. Then keep up the momentum.
Your efforts on LinkedIn should pay off with an ongoing supply of golden eggs (new customers) that will help you grow your business. Is this process simple and straightforward? Yes. Is it easy to keep up with every day? No. But the rewards in combination with a complete social media strategy will set you and you business apart from your competitors.