LinkedIn defines itself as a service provider for professionals, and points out that the raison d’être behind the social network is to make communication easier among professionals. Due to its popularity, professionals signed up to use the social network everyday, and along with them, companies did, too. The interest of companies increased as they turned to LinkedIn for marketing activities. So, beyond making communication easier among the professionals, can LinkedIn be used as a marketing tool?
The answer is rather obvious. Any venue with human activity can become a bed of marketing activity. Thus, the real question is: “How can I use LinkedIn to empower my company’s online marketing strategy?”
First, optimize your company’s LinkedIn profile. Clearly defining your company’s business field and target market might help potential customers find you with ease when they search based on products/services. Also, short-term plans of your company can be added this section to provide information for future. These plans should not consist of revenue goals, but should give sufficient information on topics like the potential growth of your company’s business field or the willingness of your company to conduct business in other industries. This is a good way to attract the attention of potential investors or partners.
Don’t forget that your LinkedIn profile represents your brand. Therefore, you should have a professional attitude. As any other social networks, the sine qua non of LindedIn is to keep your page active and to share relevant information. Furthermore, asking your former customers to recommend your products/services might give a chance to your future customers to reach your brand by reference.
Determine your success opportunities by LinkedIn groups and answers. Marketing—both online and offline—is the art of reaching audience and convincing them to purchase your product/service. As a social media marketing tool, LinkedIn allows your brand to do just this. People talk about which products/services they are willing to purchase in Groups, and discuss products/services via Answers. This process gives brands an opportunity to realize sales through LinkedIn. All you have to do is to find the right consumers on LinkedIn groups and act.
Using LinkedIn’s detailed profile search to build a network affects marketing activities positively, but don’t forget that a network built through search results will help your brand in long-term goals. Don’t expect instant results. Building a network is useful when the connections are relevant to your business field, and when you can engage the audience through contacting them regularly. Do not overdo this! At the end of the day, LinkedIn is a professional social network, not personal one like Twitter and Facebook; and excessive messaging might create the feeling that you are employing your network solely for an exaggerated marketing scheme.
If your company is doing B2B business, LinkedIn is precisely the right place for your brand to have an online presence. Gathering information about where your contacts work and in which capacity will be the key factor for your business in generating leads by contacting the right person when it’s time to establish dialogue between companies. LinkedIn ads are invaluable for this. Through them, you will be able to raise interest of both international and domestic brands.
In conclusion, be patient, and forget the LinkedIn myths of unprecedented success told by executives around you. Since a success story of a B2B company will not result same for a B2C company, every brand should create its own strategy based on industry.