The world of online sales is constantly changing, constantly evolving, and constantly becoming a more competitive and crowded market for sellers who are all trying to catch the attention of the same group of potential buyers.
A good social media plan should be a part of any online marketing campaign, but even with the usual suspects of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, the message can still come across as being a touch faceless.
Fortunately, there is one social media platform that is perfect for making personal connections with potential customers. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by sellers who may not understand the real value of spending time on their profile, networking, and content.
LinkedIn was designed specifically to connect professionals in a suitable, dedicated online environment, and top sellers know this. That is why they may spend up to six hours a week on LinkedIn. It’s part of their social media plan, and here are some tips to help make it part of yours too.
Look your best before your guests arrive
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nothing looks worse on business social media than an incomplete profile. Like any platform used in your social media plan, the single most important thing to make sure of on LinkedIn is that your profile is 100% complete.
A photograph is essential, as nobody will want to deal with a profile without one. Remember also that LinkedIn is a business site, and you picture should reflect that. Professional headshots work better than a picture of you waterskiing.
Add a summary with all of your previous work history, including volunteer work and internships, and anything else you think might make a potential customer want to work with you. LinkedIn will even tell you on the right hand side how close to being complete your profile is.
Once you’re sure you’re looking good, you can invite anyone you know to connect with you. LinkedIn allows you to import your entire email contact list, which saves you the time and effort otherwise spent looking for them.
On LinkedIn, content is still king
Just like any other platform that is used in a social media plan, uploading content is a surefire way of being noticed on LinkedIn. Video or relevant images work well, as does linking to articles that you think will be valuable to your potential customers. They could be useful pieces you’ve seen elsewhere on the web, or links to your own company or personal blog. Sharing your own content should of course be another part of your social media plan.
If you have something to say but nowhere else to say it, it’s possible also to publish long form articles straight onto LinkedIn and have them show up in a very large sphere of LinkedIn members. Doing so can help you get recognized as an authority figure on a certain topic, and at the very least be a way of getting more eyes on your profile.
Whether posting links, long form articles, or just short status updates, remember to always add media. Even a simple image will be more eye-catching than just text, and will be far more likely to be shared into circles that you might not yet be in.
Professional social network is social
Despite being designed for professionals to connect with each other, LinkedIn is still is a social network, and that means you should be using it to be social.
This doesn’t mean taking vital time away from everything else you have to do in the working day. As part of your overall social media plan, just seventeen minutes a day spent liking, commenting on, or sharing your prospects posts will make them notice you, and encourage them to return the favor with your content too.
This has two main benefits; you will remain at the forefront of your prospects’ mind, and your content will be seen by people outside of your own circle, with a personal recommendation by proxy from your potential client.
Another way of interacting with people in your community is to make sure you give as many recommendations as you truthfully can. Similar to liking and sharing content, people will return the favor, and more recommendations for you will mean more credibility, increasing the likelihood of prospects taking you seriously.
With other social networks, it can be difficult to add a personal touch to business profiles without losing the professional message. For salespeople, LinkedIn is the perfect way to promote yourself personally as a respectable businessperson, and should be included in any relevant social media plan. Just make sure you follow our tips to maximize your LinkedIn potential.