With a growth rate double that of Facebook, LinkedIn has more than solidified it’s dominance as the leading Social Media Platform for Lead Generation and B2B Customer Acquisition. While it may seem like just another distraction to the flow of you daily work routine, to savvy users it can be an amazing tool for connecting with potential clients. Let’s review a couple of LinkedIn Tips to help you maximize your exposure and help you to make using LinkedIn a habit of your day rather than a hindrance.
1. Complete your Profile and Company Page
LinkedIn is one of the highest ranking websites in the SERP’s (search engine results pages,) and complete profiles are moved to the top of the list! Google your name or someone else’s and you’ll most likely see LinkedIn results at or near the top of the page often times even above Facebook results. I don’t have to explain why this is a huge advantage for your professional image, but let’s just say that when a potential client or employer “Googles” you, ideally you’d want your LinkedIn profile to appear before your Facebook profile that shows your drunken pics of you doing a keg-stand in Cancun.
When you log into your LinkedIn profile, if it is not complete you’ll see a status bar in the upper right hand side that informs you of how complete your profile is. Follow LinkedIn’s prompts to complete your profile until you’re at 100%. If you don’t see this status bar, congrats! You’re already complete. Check out more tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
We’re beginning to see the search engines display LinkedIn Company pages more regularly as well. If you’re the admin of your company’s LinkedIn profile, you can read more detailed info about LinkedIn tips for company pages here. If you’re a direct to consumer business such as a brick and mortar retail store you may be thinking you don’t need a presence on LinkedIn… think again! Vendors, contractors, financial institutions and other businesses you may interact with are likely searching for you online. Try to make the best first impression!
2. Make Connecting with People a Habit
As a B2B professional you’re skilled at making connections and hunting down the decision makers of a company. Chances are those people are already on LinkedIn. If by chance they are not, you’ll make an even more professional impression by showing them that you are! We live in the information age and it’s about working smarter not harder; so try to make a habit of connecting with people as part of your daily work routine.
TIP: Create a LinkedIn folder in your email Inbox. Provided you have your notification email set up properly, you’ll receive an email notifying you that you’ve made a new connection. If you’re diligent with growing your network, these emails can be an annoying distraction throughout the day. By creating a folder you can easily move them out of the way until you have time to address them. For those of you more advanced, you can even create a “rule” with your email provider to automatically send the emails to that specific folder and avoid your inbox altogether. Click here to review your LinkedIn Email Notifications.
Once a day or maybe once a week, commit to sending each of your new connections a personal response. There is no automation to “thanking” people for a connection on LinkedIn. Even a copy and pasted response that is personalized with their name will be well received.
TIP: This is a golden opportunity to ask people to follow your company page! Just include it in the URL of your response to them. Example: “Hi John – Thanks for connecting with me! I’d love for you to follow our new Company Page as well http://www.linkedin.com/company/onlinemarketingdetails to stay on top of all the exciting things going on at XYZ.”
Spending a little bit of time understanding and optimizing your LinkedIn presence can not only increase your online professional image, but may also become a valuable tool for generating new business. In our world of Global eCommerce and Business, you can never have too many connections!