I tell everyone if they could only use one social media tool to generate new business, I’d use LinkedIn. While my blog is important (long term), and Twitter is very useful once you get your followers, LinkedIn offers you a way to be more proactive. Before you start utilizing it, you first have to make sure that your page is updated and as near to the 100% mark as you can get it. Once that’s done, dig in and have some fun.
Here are 5 ways I utilize LinkedIn:
- Ongoing program to increase your contacts – After going through your contact list, continue to add contacts each week by setting a goal of say 4-5 new contacts. It’s easy to do. When you’re at social or business events and meet people, when you get back to the office, see if they’re on LinkedIn and get connected. Every time you go to your LinkedIn page, it prompts you in the upper right hand corner to invite people that might be primary contacts of someone you know or a group you belong to. This should be good for 2-3 new contacts each week.
- Search company profiles – for niches/markets you’re trying to target. Get in and get involved!
- Search for groups – this allows you to search associations, buying groups or other folks who share common interests. I normally, once a week, take a recent post and put it on all the groups that I belong to. This is a good way to not only build credibility, but also drive more people to your blog.
- Search individual profiles – there’s a whole bunch of info on individuals that you target. Take some time to review their profile and see what kind of connection and groups they belong to. If you do your homework, you’ll know a lot about a new potential friend, and when you ask him to join your network, you can talk about some common interests in your first contact. This is a great way to get a conversation going quickly.
- Search by market terms – determine what questions or answers can be searched that will bring up like-minded people. By reviewing your findings, “experts ” in the field will be easily identified.
Once you have a system in place, then you need to start listening and contributing. These are the ways I utilize LinkedIn. I ‘d like to hear how others out there are doing using social as a new business tool.