There are 3 types of business people:
All of them can benefit from LinkedIn, including the un-enterprising!
The often overlooked social media channel is LinkedIn! Facebook and Twitter get most of the media attention, but it is LinkedIn that leads with results.
Hubspot research shows LinkedIn being the leading equal Customer Acquisition Channel together with Company Blogs and the definitive leader in the B2B segment.
The first 2 points provide a major difference between LinkedIn and Facebook and hence give business people an amazing opportunity not available in any other media channel:
1. LinkedIn provides a meeting place where people expect to “do business.”
2. LinkedIn leverages relationships by making connections visible.
3. LinkedIn helps maintain personal relationships and build new ones.
4. LinkedIn provides a platform for the most effective form of Marketing – Word of Mouth
5. It can link all your Online Marketing Assets and essential Social Media Tools, e.g: Website, Blog, Slideshare (now incorporating Video), Twitter and Facebook.
With all of the new developments in LinkedIn, today it can assist you to:
*Promote your personal brand.
*Check References and Backgrounds.
*Look for a Job, Seek and Hire Candidates and be better prepared for interviews
*Generate Leads and Accelerate Sales
*Ask for Advice from your own network as well as “Crowdsource”
*Find Experts and Partners
*Improve your Personal Productivity with all of the different LinkedIn tools, Widgets, and Apps.
*Research trends and industries, gather opinions by running polls, as well as track company news.
Finally and most importantly, LinkedIn can provide you with the perfect and simple platform for a Referral System! Referrals are critical to success in business.
– 98% of Businesses rely on referrals to gain new business*
– 3% of businesses have a strategy for referrals*
*BNI – Business Network International
Benefits of a Referral System:
Lower Marketing Costs
Prospects convert to Customers
Better customer ‘behaviour’
You can concentrate on your business
Please note that there is a large and important difference between Word of Mouth Advertising and a Referral System. Word of Mouth or ‘going viral’, usually happens by chance. We, as marketers, try but do not have control over a video or a game going viral, and more fail than succeed!
A Referral System, on the other hand is:
LinkedIn can assist you in most of the critical steps of a typical Referral Process:
- Identify Referrers / Influencers in your Network by listening and studying where opinions are being shared.
- Provide them with a WOW experience (LinkedIn won’t help you there – you need to be great at what you do or deliver exceptional value through your products and services!)
- Stay Top of Mind.
- Help them Help You – you need to educate your network how to refer to you.
- You need to ask for Referrals and Introductions.
- And you need to Recognize and Reward those that place their trust in you and refer to you!
You need to give people a reason to talk about your products and services, and make it easier for that conversation to take place. You’ll need to be creative and wow prospects and not just with your message. Remember the old adage, “Great advertising kills bad products faster.”
As with all social media or marketing activities in general, the more you put into them the more you will get back in return. The more you care and share the more likely you are to benefit.
Get LinkedIn or be Locked Out!
Another way to improve top-of-mind awareness is by incorporating a focused message on hold program. On hold messaging is an important part of your branding strategy. Keeping your messages on hold up to date can accelerate sales and help to convert prospects into customers. On hold marketing is also a great way to advertise your seasonal promotions during the holidays.