5 tips to effectively use LinkedIn as a Social Marketing Tool

linkedin-logo-vector-200x200For many people, LinkedIn is a business social network. It is the best place to search for jobs and connect with potential employers. Furthermore, LinkedIn is becoming a remarkable tool for online marketing that is not yet fully utilized in leveraging the social network and generating new business. With 200 million users in 2013, LinkedIn is a great opportunity to showcase  your business also generating traffic and qualified leads by connecting like a pro. Here are five LinkedIn tips to get you started:

1. Create a Solid Profile

It is important to complete your LinkedIn profile and ensure that it reflects your experience and skills before you start connecting. To start filling your profile information, log in to your account and  click “Edit”. Write only what is relevant to your target market and your connections. Some of the information that you would like to highlight is your past professional experience, accomplishments, awards, recommendations, etc.. You should portray yourself as a leader in your industry. Note that if you search for a specific name on Google the LinkedIn profile comes in the top search results.

2. Join and Participate in Relevant Groups

Once you complete your LinkedIn profile and started adding connections, join appropriate groups in your industry. Groups are a great place to interact with other business professionals in the same field and build your reputation as an expert through active thoughtful participation. Joining the right groups may be tricky. You dont want to participate in group with 100,000 members, as your chances of being noticed are minimal. However, you also do not want to join a small group of 150 as it will limit your prospects. The key is to find a group that has the right number of members and is relatively active. Generally, a group with 5,000-20,000 members and that has frequent activity is a good choice.

3. Set up your Company Page

To establish your brand/business in LinkedIn, you will need to create a company page. While a personal page will make it easy for you to connect with prospects on a personal level, a company page allows you to promote your products and services. The LinkedIn company page has a special space where you can provide detailed information about your offerings and provide links to your website for more information. You can also seek products or service recommendations and embed videos and images to enhance your credibility.

4. Targeted Keyword Searches

Carefully choose your connections and ensure they are meaningful. Start connecting with ex-colleagues, business suppliers you dealt with, or your classmates from college. After you establish this base, start expanding to other connections that can be prospective business leads. To be able to find the right connections, use targeted keyword searches. You should have a reason for connecting; are you looking for information about the company or do you wish to provide a helpful comment? Do not try to sell your business or product, instead try to provide something helpful in return or adding value to the prospect that you are making a connection with.

5. Track your Viewers

Keep track of who is looking at your profile and your company’s page. This data is very useful in findind leads who might be looking for your services, partnership opportunities and other business ventures. Learn more about these companies/people, identify their key influential employees and make contact with them. Are you in a position to offer them what they need? If so, send them your portfolio and ensure to follow up the following day with an e-mail or a phone call.

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