Sunday, February 12, 2012

Internet Marketing Tip: Over 7 Ways to be More Effective on LinkedIn



Many people use LinkedIn, but I have not seen a lot of people use LinkedIn very well.

LinkedIn is a great marketing resource that gets less respect than Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

I see quite a few people with lots of Connections, but they do not seem to do anything with them once they are connected.

Other people have LinkedIn profiles, but they do not have many Connections.

Even though LinkedIn has fewer people using it than either Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn can be an extremely effective for you to build an engaged network.

Here are over seven (7) ways to be more effective on LinkedIn.
  1. Review Your Connections - Check Their Connections
  2. Join Groups
  3. Respond to Messages - Don't Just Shout Your Message
  4. Share Cool Things You Find on the Web
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Answer Questions
  7. Send Personal Messages
  8. Endorse People Publicly
1. Review Your Connections - Check Their Connections

It is great to have YOUR Connections on LinkedIn, but are you really connected with all of the people that you want to be?

You might know more people but did not realize that they were on LinkedIn.  Maybe they weren't on LinkedIn the last time you looked, but they joined after you looked.

Review the Connections of your Connections.  Obviously, I am not suggesting that you stalk anyone, but you have already done the "work" in your offline life to meet these people.  You might as well find a way to start as far from "Zero" as you can.  You've MET these people, already.

Suggestion: Review the Connections of your Connections...and become connected to THEM.

2. Join Groups

You might know a lot of people, and you might not.  However, one idea of social media marketing (SMM) is to meet people that you have NOT met, yet.

Most people simply use LinkedIn to connect to people that they know, already.  This is okay, as it helps LinkedIn become a more accurate and useful database.

However, most of us are FAILING to use LinkedIn to meet people that we have NOT met, yet.

LinkedIn has all sorts of Groups.  LinkedIn suggests Groups, based on things you entered about yourself, and a lot of their suggestions are pretty good.

You can also search for Groups, just like you use Google.  Enter the topic area, and the Group Search Engine will return Groups that might match.

Take a look to see how many people are in the Group.  Also, notice whether there are discussions or just a stream of advertisements.

When you join a good Group, you will have a chance to meet a lot of people that you might really want to meet.

Suggestion: Join Groups that match your interest (or where you will find your customers).


3. Respond to Messages - Don't Just Shout Your Message

This is something that is really good about Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are people who simply make their own comments, but they really are not paying attention to what anyone else is "saying."  They are not responding in a way that other people will want to follow for themselves or refer to their friends and associates.

You will notice that MOST people do not really offer true responses.  They just talk without regard, and this is EXACTLY where you can separate yourself--in a POSITIVE way.

When you take time to react to someone's post with a sensitive comment of your own, you will make a positive impact.  In fact, many times, this person now wants to spend more time "with you."

I am not suggesting that you make thoughtful responses to people's posts just so they will be your "Connection," but it often seems to work that way.

Suggestion: Find posts and comments worth your time, and make thoughtful responses to them.  Make connections where "connections" are made; don't force them, though.

4. Share Cool Things You Find on the Web

We do not always have new information to create or time to create it, even if we really HAD that much new information to create.

However, there is ALWAYS some new material somewhere that is interesting.

SHARE IT!

Other people will appreciate it.  LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are all places where this is a good idea.

Kristi Hines on Twitter makes her social media marketing living off sharing really cool things with other people.  She also makes really good blog posts, but she is always sharing things from other top people.

People look to her as a person "in the know," and you can easily be that person, too.  The best part is that you do not have to spend as much time sharing cool material as you do creating new material.

Suggestion: Seek and share material that other people will find interesting or useful, but be sure to offer your own unique things, too.  Don't ONLY share.

5.  Ask Questions

What is the best way to start a conversation?

Ask someone a question.

Is there any reason that it would be different on LinkedIn (or any other social media platform)?

When you ask questions, it allows other people to show off their expertise.  They like this, and you and your followers benefit from their insight.  Plus, it attracts people who know things, which could possibly lead to a legitimate Connection from a worthwhile person.  They are usually willing to share, and it is usually a very good idea to connect yourself to these types of people.

Suggestion: Ask questions, learn from the answers, and learn who knows and explains things well.

6. Answer Questions

I see a lot of people bragging about themselves.  They really want people to know how good or smart they are.  They might be, but actions speak so much louder than words.

If you see a question that you can answer with unique insight, go for it.

When you answer a question, you are being helpful.  You are helping make your online community smarter.

You are also bragging--in one of the best ways possible.  When you provide a good answer that really helps people, you can really establish yourself as one of the more visible experts.

Suggestion: Answer questions in a way that really helps people.  Try to answer questions in areas where people will actually SEE them, though.


7. Send Personal Messages

This is the most valuable piece of information that I can provide.

Sending personal messages takes extra time, but so few people do it, you will DEFINITELY make a mark in that person's memory.

Obviously, I do not want to encourage anyone to stalk anyone online (or offline).  However, you might notice something the person said that is not quite right, you can gently inform the person in private--instead of running the risk of embarrassing them by pointing out their possible oversight in public.

You can also send a personal message to tell them what a great job they did, or you can offer to help them with a problem they seem to be having.

Suggestion:  Send a personal message to someone you are just meeting or inviting into LinkedIn.  It will help them see that you are not just like everyone else.

8. Endorse People Publicly

This is true for ANY form of social media.

When someone is really good at something, PUBLICLY congratulate or acknowledge them.

If you have done business or have a legitimate experience with them, make a Recommendation.

If the person makes an insightful comment or post, make sure to share this with everyone.

If you know that the person has a neat website or blog, share this with your other Connections and encourage them to visit or somehow otherwise observe this person's great work.

Suggestion: Find excuses to praise people publicly.  It makes your own network of people stronger, and your network's trust in you will be stronger.

Some of these suggestions are entirely based upon my personality, and they might not work for everyone, but I know that these things seem to work well for me.

What other suggestions do you have?

Like this post?  Other posts you might like are
To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

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7 comments:

  1. Excellent post, and you're so right! Most people don't do much with their LI connections, and most don't even *know* most of their connections!

    My job is to actually get people meeting face-to-face on LI by matching them up with their own LI connections, coordinating their schedules, and sending them off to network over lunch or coffee. It's a great way to find those great hidden networking partners, as well know identify the connections that have no interest in networking with you!

    I have shared your post with my group - thanks for the great tips!

    ~ Sara @ TPLP
    http://www.ThePowerLunchProject.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your comment, Sara.

    What is the biggest tip you suggest for people to "really connect" with a LinkedIn connection?

    ReplyDelete
  3. LinkedIn has now become a site for businesses to connect with their potential customers. Although I think that they still need to learn different methods to let the people not see their posts as spamming. I agree that pictures, videos and sharing related links are very helpful tools to catch their target market's eye.

    Emilia Loza

    ReplyDelete
  4. As usual, valuable insights, Chris. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you very much for stopping by here, Ms. Book Author Gabi. I appreciate you leaving such a nice comment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree that LinkedIn has become a medium for online marketing. I think that it is an effective way for companies to stay connected with customers and not focus much on selling. That way they would not be considered as spam.

    Lesli Dyson

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  7. Interaction with people is the main purpose of social media thus, businesses should make use of this medium for that reason. Businesses should make the most of it because it is probably the fastest and easiest way to reach people nowadays, because almost everyone is connected in a global village through the internet.

    Bryan Douglas

    ReplyDelete

Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at Chris@TheUltimateAnalyst.com.

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Chris