From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to YouTube, there's a social media site for everyone. But whether it's lack of time or lack of understanding, there are still many organisations and individuals who feel apprehensive about engaging with their audiences using social media.
We understand that it can be daunting to enter the online community; but when used correctly it can be a powerful tool to help you develop new business partnerships, find potential clients, and obtain information to help build your business. If you’re not already a member of LinkedIn, or are a member and don’t know how to make the best of it, read on....
Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn is focused on business networking and has a higher than average user age of 44 years. And with a new member joining approximately every second, LinkedIn currently boasts 85m members in over 200 countries. Of these, 11m users are based in Europe and a further 4m users in UK.
Proof of concept
We recently ran a test campaign for a renewable energy client using LinkedIn. Our client was reluctant to invest its marketing budget in the UK until it could see that the market opportunity existed. We wrote a series of press releases and posted them in relevant groups on LinkedIn. Within two weeks, the campaign had increased traffic to our client's website by 400% and secured two orders. Getting your message across quickly and effectively to the right audiences can produce fast results.
Harnessing the power of LinkedIn
The following simple steps will help you get started:
Complete your profile: Once you join LinkedIn, you'll be asked to complete your profile. This contains details of your skills, qualifications and work experience. To increase your visibility within LinkedIn, it's important that your profile is complete and full of keywords.
Add some applications: Try adding some applications to your profile - such as your blog, a poll or business presentation - to help new contacts understand what you do and what your business does.
Get connected: Once your profile is complete you can start adding people to your network. You can either allow LinkedIn to search for contacts stored in your address book, or use the search functionality.
Get recommended: By asking your contacts for a recommendation, it will help to build your credibility and make you a more attractive prospect to potential clients.
Join some groups: Perhaps the most appealing feature of LinkedIn is the ‘Groups’ section. Whatever your interest, LinkedIn probably has a group for you. This will help you to start meeting like-minded people and potential clients.
Enter the discussion: You should get involved with the discussion boards within each group. By answering questions that other users have posted, you can position yourself as an expert. And it also gives you the opportunity to ask for advice or gather people's opinions on your business issues.
Join up your media: You can easily connect the social media that you’re using. For example, if you’re using Twitter you can have your posts update your LinkedIn status. You should also add links to your LinkedIn profile from your email signature.
Need some help?
Social media isn't something to feel nervous about and it doesn't have to take over your life. By spending a few minutes to contribute to the group discussions you can get connected and see how it can work for you. If you have any questions, or want to know more about how to use social media alongside your other marketing activities, why not contact us?