Villing & Company

Eleven Ways To Love LinkedIn

Like many of you I’m sure, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love what some of the channels provide in the way of helping build a sense of community and staying connected with people personally and professionally. I hate the vast amount of irrelevant and self-indulgent information that is shared. And, as a marketing practitioner, I cringe at the number of business people who believe social media is a free and quick fix to all their marketing needs.

There is, however, one social media service about which I am unequivocally positive, especially for B2B marketing. I’m talking about LinkedIn. For several years I have been telling clients that I have come to believe LI is the most under-utilized tool in the marketing communications toolbox. Need proof? Consider these facts provided by Adobe’s CMO e-magazine via my good friend and fellow Intermarket Agency Network member, Tom Flynn of Lessing-Flynn in Iowa:

  • LinkedIn participation is up 38 percent in the past year and now is used by 259 million people.
  • Of all visits to corporate websites from social media channels, 64 percent come through LinkedIn (vs. 17 percent from Facebook and 14 percent from Twitter).

Here are just a few reasons why LI is the one social media channel to love:

  1. Credibility – I don’t have any statistics to support this but my experience in using LI to make direct contacts has resulted in an amazingly high rate of response. For whatever reason, a well-written message communicated through LI seems to have a level of credibility that other outreach approaches simply do not.
  2. Group participation – Social media is all about creating communities. As of the beginning of this year, there were nearly two million interest groups on LI. Chances are you’ll find several relevant to your marketing needs. If not, you can start your own.
  3. Look at who’s looking at you – Check out the See Who’s Watching You feature and you may see a potential customer lead that you wouldn't have known about otherwise.
  4. Dynamic nature of LI company pages – There’s a great deal of information and functionality available on LI’s company pages, but it is exceptionally well organized for impact and scannability.
  5. Affinity opportunities – People like to do business with people who share a common connection such as graduating from the same college. While other networks reference these types of connections, it is much easier to leverage these connections on LI.
  6. Pushing content – Again, other social media networks allow for promoting content, none do so in the same professional context as LI. This can, in turn, enhance one’s leverage and ability to build thought leadership credentials more effectively.
  7. Recommendations and endorsements – I must confess for the longest time I didn't quite know what to make of the endorsements function. Still not completely sure, but when you see that scores of people who took the time to endorse your professional capabilities, it makes a profound statement. Recommendations, of course, raise your reputation to an even higher level.
  8. Follow the leaders and the leads – The “follow” functionality brings the latest news and developments right to your own LI page.
  9. Your posts can do double-duty. When you share a post on LI, you have the option of being published on Twitter with a single click (assuming, of course, it doesn’t exceed 140 characters).
  10. Talent is where you find it unless it finds you – College students know how to use LI for internships or entry-level positions. If you can benefit from additional talent, use LI to let them know.
  11. Leverage LinkedIn for SEO – LI lets you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles merit high page ranks in Google, your search marketing gets an extra boost.

Filed Under: social media

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