Due to the rise of content marketing, LinkedIn is no longer limited to the B2B world. Last year, LinkedIn reported a 20 percent increase in B2C marketers. With 259 billion members — over 3 million of which are businesses — the social media platform has become a goldmine for companies looking to expand their customer reach. (Don’t forget that this global professional network is rife with Fortune 500 companies). It’s time. Link up, link in. Don’t know how? 2Checkout is here with 7 ways to acquire customers via LinkedIn with some tips to utilize the website’s perhaps less obvious features.
1. Create a Customer-Friendly Profile
Include business contact information in the summary section: email, phone number, and any link to give customers more information. Definitely tout professional expertise throughout the specific profile sections — we’re talking awards, skills, and new projects — anything relevant to increase customer engagement. Want more tips? Take them from this infographic by Top Dog Social Media.
2. Expand Connections
Allow LinkedIn temporary access to all email contacts. From your profile, go to the network tab and choose ‘Add Connections’ from the drop-down menu. Follow the prompts. Once members have accepted the invite, warm them up (LinkedIn speak for saying hello) by sending a message or liking a link on their page.
3. Get to Know the First-degree
First-degree connections are the jumping off point to expand a business. Check out individual profiles and search for commonalities to see who is connected to whom where there are prospective customers. Join LinkedIn groups and share business updates with these first-degree connections. Go a step further and connect with this immediate network through Facebook and Twitter.
4. Invite in the Second-degree
Herein lies the beauty of LinkedIn: there is no cold calling. First-degree connections give the immediate tie to second-degree connections (think of it as first-degree once removed), so ask first-degree folk for an introduction, or use LinkedIn’s InMail feature to reach out to second-degree connections. To increase a response by 50 percent, LinkedIn suggests referencing something in their profile and keeping it to 100 words.
5. Maintain a Warm Newsfeed
Most business owners don’t scroll through the LinkedIn newsfeed. Big mistake. A well-filtered feed is key to staying connected to immediate networks — who has new jobs, new titles, new connections. Maintain a competitive edge and scope prospective customers by going to home and choosing connections from the all updates menu.
6. Hunt for Prospects
Define the quality lead: industry, age, job title, interests, education. Then hop over to the Advanced Search section and pepper it with prospect client criteria. This may be one of the most helpful features on LinkedIn, but know that it make more than one or two searches to get it right. Use save searches to allow tinkering over time.
7. Communicate Well
Communicate often and speak up. Post daily status updates that share company information, ask questions, or give members a reason to engage. Be sure to like, share and comment on status updates from first and second-degree connections and groups and soon experience this in return.