While most businesses are actively using social media, some platforms get more attention than others. Although Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have a crucial place in the social media marketing mix, LinkedIn is often dismissed as little more than an online recruitment tool.
The reality is that LinkedIn has spent recent years transforming itself into one of the most targeted online spaces to market a business. Marketers who overlook the site risk missing out on business leads and being left behind by the competition.
LinkedIn for Lead Generation
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers a paid upgrade for personal profiles. According to HBR, about 25% of active users who are in sales are estimated to use that premium access. That's a significant proportion of sales professionals who see such value in the connections that they're willing to pay for that networking.
What sets LinkedIn apart from others is that it has always been a place for professionals. While other sites focus on entertainment, with a little bit of business on the side, LinkedIn is primarily about building business connections.
The importance of this can't be overstated and clears the noise before you even begin. If you're not competing with someone's spouse or friends for attention, you stand a much better chance of making a valuable connection the first time around.
Prove Your Professionalism
You want to be known as an expert in your industry, and LinkedIn offers many ways to do so. Its groups, for example, are a hotbed of practical industry insight and helpful professionals answering questions. Do your research to find the most valuable groups, then join and offer your expertise.
You can also use your personal profile and company page to showcase successful projects that prove your professional ability, display presentations that add value for potential customers, and build a base of recommendations and endorsements of your skill set.
This adds up to an important research tool for other professionals in need of your expertise, giving them the knowledge and confidence to hire you when the time is right.