Are you in Sales and wondering how you’re going to meet your next production goal? Or, are you not in sales, but still want to contribute to your company's growth? Whatever your role in an organization, finding new customers is a fundamental challenge for every business. If you’re looking to attract new business or service new clients, here are five ways to cultivate prospects through business focused social network.
In recent years, social media has been increasingly used by small businesses looking to spread awareness about their products and services. And that makes perfect sense: much of the content distributed is completely free, and even the paid solutions like Facebook's Newsfeed ads don't break your budget. But much of the activity by small businesses revolves around Facebook and Twitter, while one important network for developing leads is sometimes neglected -- LinkedIn.
Known as the most "professional" of all social networks because its audience consists mainly of working professionals, it has gained notoriety for its capabilities as a networking and job searching tool. But the network can do much more, and its many features can help you increase interest when looking to promote both yourself and your small business.
- Cultivate Your Connections. As is the case with any social media network, the most important part of this network is your audience. Connect with current and past coworkers, college alumni, friends, as well as other professional connections within your industry. Then, offer them relevant and frequent content about your company and your industry that gets them to pay attention and keep them in mind.
- Court Second Degree Connections. Another important part of this network are second-degree connections. Think about them as the "friends of your friends," the people who you're indirectly associated with via a common connection. Second-degree connections allow you to grow your professional network beyond those who you already know, and thus offer the perfect opportunity for you to grow awareness about your company and brand.
- Educate & Motivate Your Organization. Next, it's important that you, your coworkers, and your organization have a professional presence as well. The natural next step for consumers researching your business is not only to gain a sense that your organization is a knowledgeable and capable leader in its respective industry, but to also feel confident in the credibility of the individuals behind the company. This initial feeling of credibility can only be accomplished "at first glance" by having a great personal profile.
- Establish Thought Leadership. Speaking of credibility, research has repeatedly shown that consumers tend to trust businesses who they deem as experts in their fields more than their competitors. LinkedIn gives you a great opportunity to position yourself as said expert, allowing you to publish anything from status updates to long-form opinion pieces on industry-related topics. Whenever you post, your company's name will be neatly attached to your own, further increasing brand visibility.
- Be Active in Groups. On a related note, it pays to be active in industry groups within the network. According to LI's own research, users who are active in groups receive 4 times more profile views than those who are not. Why do you want those profile views? Because, as we mentioned above, it increases your brand visibility. Being active also means you'll be able to connect with potential business contacts that could come in handy in the future.
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways in which you can use this network to improve the visibility of your business. We haven't even touched on the native advertising opportunities yet. For more insight on this topic, visit the LinkedIn section of the Staffing Plus Blog.
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