We’re all constantly being told how important it is to use Facebook and Twitter to market businesses online, but LinkedIn is often overlooked. Whilst it may be more obvious on other social media, LinkedIn definitely cannot be ignored.
LinkedIn is considered to be the largest community of affluent and influential people. There aren’t many top professionals who don’t have a LinkedIn account these days, as it is powerful as a networking tool. This is itself is valuable reason to get your business on there.
Recent statistics show that LinkedIn has over 300 million users around the world, in 200 countries. They also state that there are 2 new LinkedIn members per second.
According to recent statistics, the average LinkedIn member earns $109K per year. This shows that LinkedIn is not only valuable for a big outreach, but also connects affluent and hence influential people. What better way to get a direct audience with the people who make the decisions? It has been suggested that 50% LinkedIn member have decision making authority within the company where they are working.
LinkedIn is an ideal platform for passive marketing. By just creating a profile, you’re already starting. Create a business page for your company and this becomes even better. Keep your profile updated and keep making connections to stay up-to-date and on top. Like anything, the more time and effort spent on your profile, the better and more effective it’ll be.
LinkedIn has a search facility which allows members to search for products and services. This means that people can find you easily, and as often is the case, people like to buy from those who are similar to them.
Another benefit of LinkedIn is that contact can be made with people that you would never have contact with otherwise. Such is the business nature of LinkedIn; there’s no shame in connecting with people for the sake of business. This isn’t Facebook; you don’t have t be ‘friends’. The recommendations function means that people can, erm recommend you. Word-of-mouth is a great way to get new business.
There are also opportunities to market aggressively. This doesn’t mean spamming and being unpleasant, but going out and getting business instead of waiting for it to come to you.
You can join LinkedIn groups which inspire discussions amongst those with similar interests. By connecting with these people, appearing knowledgeable in your area and offering free help, you can build your profile and become the go-to person about something. This will build the reputation of your business and increase the likelihood of people using it.
LinkedIn do offer paid advertising which may work for you. They often do special offers so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled.
Status updates are a great way of getting out a short message. Talk about what you are currently working on or subjects that could be of interest to your target audience.
LinkedIn also has a publish function where you can release longer content. This can be shared and sent on, and people can also follow you, meaning that they’ll receive any new content that you release. If you have great content, LinkedIn might publish it on their homepage giving you an even better reach.
The search function means that people can find you, but also that you can find them. Connect with your target audience by searching for them and by making sure that you have a perfect profile when they look for you.
LinkedIn can be a very powerful marketing tool for any business, but especially those looking to target affluent or influential people. You have a direct connection to the most influential people in business and this cannot be ignored.
Head of Marketing
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image courtesy of LinkedIn on Twitter)