Get Linked: Ways to Use LinkedIn for Profit

In the post, “How to Adjust your Social-Media Strategy to your Niche” we discussed ways you can capitalize on the social-media boom to market your business and profit.  Now we are going to look closely at the social-media website for professionals, LinkedIn.  To many people this site is merely a resume posting tool in order to obtain a job.  However, when leveraged properly, LinkedIn can give a business a tremendous leg up in marketing.

While it is true that LinkedIn is becoming the go to site for business networking, resume posting, and job hunting, there are aspects to the site that provide the marketing professional with valuable intelligence about potential clients.  Published statistics about the site show that it is much more than Aunt Sally talking about how to make fruitcake; in fact, Aunt Sally is probably not even there.  Who is there are some of the top wage earners in the country.  Author Brian Carter discusses these statistics in his book, LinkedIn for Business.

Some of the interesting statistics cited by Carter:

  • LinkedIn users earn higher salaries: 54% earn more than $60K per year and 36% top $100K
  • They are active users with 51 percent visiting the site at least monthly
  • LinkedIn has more 6 figure earners than the average website
  • Users are more educated and affluent than users of the average website

As you can see from just a few of Carter’s statistics, LinkedIn is a great place to look for customers with disposable income.  Like other social media outlets, there are key ingredients to making social media work for your business.  If you plan a LinkedIn strategy and follow it consistently you will likely see an increase in your sales.  Here are some ways to leverage the capabilities of LinkedIn to your advantage:

Set Up a Routine

Consistency is key in any marketing campaign.  The more your message is in front of people, the more they will remember it and act on it.  There are several things you can do in LinkedIn to consistently get your message out to people:

  • Post to LinkedIn groups
  • Network: accept invitation requests and send out your own requests to network and connect
  • Be an expert: look for questions posted by people that you can answer

Finding New Customers

The newsfeed on LinkedIn is a useful tool for finding new potential clients when properly filtered.  You can filter the newsfeed to look for new connections, when one of your contacts makes a new connection then you can see if you would like to connect with that person.  You can also filter it for recommendations.  When someone posts a review or recommendation you can see that and then leverage it to your marketing benefit.

Lead Generation

LinkedIn groups are great places to generate leads.  These are the places where people discuss issues that are important to them and ask questions that matter.  Active participation in the groups increases your chances of spotting something you can answer and finding interesting people to connect with.  Don’t forget that, in the groups, you can also post your message and have it seen by the group’s subscribers.

Remain visible and be valuable to the group.  The groups are there for communication and networking.  Don’t overlook networking tips when joining a group on LinkedIn.  If you want your networking to be successful, you have to become an asset to the group.  One way to do this is to show your expertise and willingness to help.

Creative Advertising

LinkedIn is part of the ever changing world of the Internet and advertising here is just as important as on other websites.  While many opt to hire an internet advertising company, it is definitely something you can handle in house.  The key is to constantly test and analyze your ads and accurately judge their effectiveness.  Here is a strategy to follow when working on your advertising.

  • Target your audience by knowing whom your products or services can help and focus on them.
  • Use variation in images.  Create your ads with your target audience in mind but create several of the same ads with different images.  Give your audience something new to look at.
  • Dig into the data and analyze it.  Once you have run the ads and received some results and feedback you need to analyze that data and learn what worked and what did not.  Improve on what worked and trash what did not work.
  • Keep doing this week after week and month after month.

Online marketing and leveraging social media is no great mystery.  In fact, it is those two facets of the Internet that are probably the biggest improvements for business in many years.  Taking the time to learn how to use the different social media platforms, getting involved, and becoming known are all tricks of the online marketing world that you need to employ in your business.  Once you have done this, use it to capitalize on the next big thing to hit the Internet.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com.  She specializes on editing local news in over 30 U.S. markets.