by Willis Turner
Wow, almost every time I log into my LinkedIn account, it seems something about the site has changed! It is encouraging that the engineers behind the scenes are constantly working to enhance and upgrade their program, but it also means that it takes a few minutes to check and see if I am truly optimizing and customizing the site to suit my business strategy.
There are many ways we can use LinkedIn for our business. In a recent LinkedIn study, 50 percent of current company followers stated they are more likely to purchase products and services from a business they engage with on LinkedIn.
Below, we’ll focus on three ways we can use LinkedIn to the benefit of our companies, specifically in assisting with the sales process.
- Build and Optimize Your Company Page: If you don’t have a company page, creating one would be a good place to start. All of your company sales representatives should link to it in their personal LinkedIn employment profile. Once a company page is established, it is easy to start typing the name in the company name field in a personal profile, and the system should easily locate your company page.
Next, update your company stream with posts on a regular basis. Keep your customers in mind when you post so your content is as relevant as possible. Use the free LinkedIn analytics tool provided on company pages to measure your progress.
- Working In LinkedIn Groups: You should spend some time browsing and posting in groups where your target market is engaging. LinkedIn changed its site navigation to include Groups under the subheading “Interests.” You’ll want to find out what interests your audience there. Which “manager’s choice” article is getting the most attention this week? What discussions are getting the most likes and comments? All of these discussions will help you discover topics and ideas to post in your company stream.Furthermore, you can search for specific topics in groups to quickly see what type of questions and issues are drawing the most engagement. Go into a group where your target market is active, and click on the Search tab. Be a contributor by posting relevant, non-promotional content. Become a reliable and trustworthy source of good information in the group.
One example of a group is SMEI’s main LinkedIn Group, which now boasts over 6,800 participants (formerly called “members” by LinkedIn).
- Define your Personal Profile Skills and Expertise: One of the relatively new enhancements to LinkedIn personal profile pages is the Skills and Expertise feature. Be sure to take time to identify your key skills by editing your profile. This will help to focus the viewer’s attention on the areas you have identified, rather than skills and expertise that are randomly assigned. When your customers and prospects check your profile, they will be looking for keywords that resonate with the solutions they are seeking.
*This post originally appeared at SMEI.org.
Willis Turner, CAE CME CSE, has gained international recognition for spearheading global membership engagement and professional certification growth as the President & CEO of U.S.-based Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI). Willis is also founder and CEO of Old Clayburn Marketing & Management Services Inc., a full-service association management firm. As a writer and speaker on professional certification, business ethics and leading edge sales and marketing topics, Willis leverages his worldwide business travel experiences to convey an informative and motivating message to his audiences. Willis serves on the National Advisory Board for DECA Inc. He has taught Sales Management at the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business. He resides near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his wife of 30 years. Follow Willis on Twitter: @willisturner.