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Digging In to LinkedIn


As professional adult marketers, who grew up in the days of word processors, fax machines, stat cameras, and mechanical boards, it's tempting to criticize or discount social media. But, we'd be ignoring something very powerful, something that isn't going away anytime soon. Nearly 2 billion people use Facebook — and many if not most of them are very engaged and emotionally vested. 

Social media is a great way to market, communicate, and build relationships. Especially these days when people are jaded and wary of advertising.

If you're marketing B2B, or if you're looking for new opportunities yourself, LinkedIn is an important social media foundation. Let's start with just the facts ...

• LinkedIn has 467 million users, 128 million in the United States. 

• 106 million users log-in at least once a month.

• 71% view LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of professional content.

• Using LinkedIn is 4 times more likely to result in a contact than using Facebook; 5 times more likely than using Twitter.

With business as your focus, you should create or post content on LinkedIn first, then adjust it or excerpt it and distribute to any other social media platforms.

On LinkedIn, your profile is all-important. create or refresh your profile using keywords that will help other professionals find you. For example, don't describe yourself as just your current title and company. That information is already built into your profile. Instead, think of how you can describe yourself as it relates to why someone might be looking for you. Your title may be account manager. But, that covers too many industries and possible roles. Add information that's missing. Like, "Experienced account manager for enterprise software clients | Proven customer retention and growth specialist | Sales leader for international and domestic client accounts." Imagine someone might want to do business with or hire you. What words would they use to search for you online?

Then, once you're happy with your profile, be sure to keep it up-to-date. Make posting to LinkedIn a regular activity, weekly if not daily. Be disciplined about it.

It's worth it.

Posting regularly helps you build your personal or company brand. Your posts can be original content or passed along from a third-party. People will appreciate the time you help them save as you curate valuable information for them. As you would for any marketing vehicle, give people a reason to respond or take action. Can you offer a free consultation? A white paper? A cost analysis? An audit of their current vendors or solutions?

Always, take an extra few minutes to make sure you've crossed your t's and dotted your i's. LinkedIn posts may be "free," but they can cost you your credibility, reputation, and even business. Proofread very carefully (we'll provide some proofreading tips in a future blog post). Make your posts as attractive as possible. Use images to get and keep people's attention. Observe the same rules you would in written or printed communication.

Finally, as with all social media, you'll want to maintain a friendly, but professional tone of voice. 

Unless of course, you're literally a sophomore in high school, in which case you ca be excused for sounding ... well ... sophomoric.

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