Most online marketers are already familiar with LinkedIn, an online community of professionals. A powerful tool for networking and maintaining business relationships, LinkedIn operates under a simple philosophy: “Relationships Matter.” Professionals from many diverse fields use LinkedIn’s social networking interface to connect with colleagues and partners for mutually beneficial exchanges of social capital.
In addition to its many virtues as a social media tool, LinkedIn is equally beneficial for lead generation, the practice of generating customer interest in the products and services you provide. By following these four simple steps, you can take advantage of the lead-gen opportunities inherent in this social networking community.
1. Create a Group That Is Specific To Your Industry
LinkedIn offers its members opportunities to create new groups centered on themes or common interests. Create a group and invite key contacts in your field to join. Your group can be linked and featured on your business website. Your LinkedIn group can include interactive components, such as a blog with a comments section and a members’ forum.
2. Use DirectAds To Target Contacts
LinkedIn features DirectAds, targeted text advertising, which allows members to direct advertisements to a very specific demographic. By utilizing DirectAds, you will be able to expand your contact list in your group beyond your personal and professional contacts to others with similar interests in your industry.
3. Ask and Answer Questions in the LinkedIn “Answers” Section
LinkedIn has an “Answers” section, which allows colleagues in related fields to ask and answer industry-specific questions. The LinkedIn network tracks your activity in this interactive forum and regularly updates your contacts about your behavior in the Network Updates feed. If your answers are chosen as “expert” advice, you will earn expertise points, which will recommend you to your LinkedIn contacts as an industry leader.
4. Make The Most Of Your LinkedIn Connections
Keep in regular contact with your LinkedIn group members and notify them of upcoming events. Use your communications with LinkedIn contacts to regularly remind them of your products and services. Periodically remind members of new content on your site or your blog. Provide links to relevant information.
Take every opportunity to expand your LinkedIn network. When you interact with other industry professionals at trade shows or other events, invite others to join your network.
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