Much more than an online resume, Linkedin is a powerful networking tool that can supercharge your marketing. The key is selecting specific, repeatable strategies that connect your brand to the right people. Below are five Linkedin hacks to transform your marketing:
Research Target Audience
Understanding your audience is crucial for any marketing plan. While you should supplement with your own research, Linkedin provides a surprising amount of useful data for free. Using the search function, you can narrow down results based on location, industry, and connection. This is especially useful for increasing your Linkedin network. You can also follow industry influencers, observing what they post and how they interact with their audience. Even your own homepage provides insights about your connections. A great paid tool is the Sales Navigator. The Sales Navigator provides in-depth demographic information with features to obtain and track leads. However, you can produce similar results for free with the following steps.
Download Your Contacts
List building is a critical part of developing your marketing plan. Mass, “catch-all” promotional strategies no longer work, and lists provide that direct access your need. In addition to the ability to direct message connections on Linkedin, you can download your network’s contact information for free. This allows you to effectively segment and target individuals who could benefit from your services and products. It is much easier to disregard a relevant, yet impersonal ad that a personalized email or phone call. To do this, go to “My Network” and then the connections section on the left. Click on the Manage synced and imported contacts link and scroll to the bottom to Export Contacts. From there, you can choose what information to download and will receive an email once it is complete. Make sure to contact them directly rather than place them in an email client such as Constant Contact. One, it complies with anti-spam laws and two, most importantly, it helps build a one-on-one relationship. Creating relationships secures your brand’s ability to thrive and makes all those marketing efforts worth it.
Use The Groups Feature
Another hack is to find groups that relate to your target audience. If you are a landscaper, joining a service group is great to discover new information and potentially form partnerships. However, they are not the people who purchase your services. Reflect on your target market, particularly their fears and motivations. Use this information to find groups that address these issues. You can also create your own group that relates to your desired audience. The upside to creating your own group is that is positions you as an expert while providing a non-salesy (totally a word) excuse to connect. This is particularly useful when reaching out to people who are not in your current network. The downside is that it is on you to manage and maintain, though this can be as easy as presenting conversation topics and sharing useful articles with the group.
Introduce, Invite, Follow-up, Repeat
The real power of Linkedin is that it connects you with the decision-makers of organizations. However, do not just start by asking them to buy something from you. You need to build a relationship. The best way to do this is with a simple three-step process: introduce, invite, and follow-up. Start with a brief introduction, including one sentence about why you are connecting. Here’s an example:
Thanks for connecting. Just wanted to introduce myself. I am the director of Really Cool Nonprofit and noticed you are an active member of several charities. I love meeting fellow philanthropists. Look forward to discussing more and potentially partnering on future projects.
Director of Really Cool Nonprofit
Once you have made your introduction, send another email with a very specific offer. Inviting them to a group, particularly one you have created, is a great way to engage your contact without being pushy. If they are local, you could invite them to a networking event. Whatever your proposition, make sure it is specific and personal. You can jump right in with a sales offer, but typically it is best to connect using shared interests or provide helpful resources. Then, follow-up, whether they accepted your offer or not. The follow-up is KEY to success. Repeat with other Linkedin contact and build those crucial relationships.
These are just a few Linkedin hacks that can transform your marketing. The site has a variety of features to help professionals create connections. However, to be successful, you need to focus development meaningful connections. No one wants to feel like another name on a contact list. Promotional products are an excellent way to personalize these interactions. Contact us at 478-741-8888 or firstname.lastname@example.org to take your networking to the next level.