If you have a business, odds are good that you need to interact with other businesses, either as clients or as providers of services and/or goods. Other social media platforms are great for reaching consumers directly (such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram), but LinkedIn is especially toward that B2B connection. And yet, with millions of members, how do find those worthwhile B2B connections that can actually benefit your business? Here are a few tips.
#1: Cast a wide net. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t restrict how many people you can connect with at once. Take advantage of that and connect with as many as possible. Helpful hint: LinkedIn will make suggestions based on previous connections. If you want to connect with a specific type of person, search for that job title, and connect with a few of those people. Once you’ve done that, the LinkedIn algorithm (for the most part) will continue to suggest similar people.
#2: Post about your business. Write engaging articles with good visuals about your business. Use hashtags that relate to your line of work, and tag some people you know who could get a decent conversation started in the comment box. @rickross, what do you think about this? The more you post and engage, the more likely you are to show up in other people’s feeds and attract their attention.
#3: Read other people’s posts. Granted, the LinkedIn feed is a nearly endless stream of words, most of which are garbage, but there are sure to be some gems in the rough. See what people are saying, and find those people whose words stand out, or who have specifically posted that they’re looking for something your business offers.
#4: Send authentic messages. Don’t waste your time writing a long, drawn-out generic message to send to everyone, because it will most likely get deleted 10,000 times. Instead, message new connections by remarking on something in their profile to get a conversation started. Use the message feature to build relationships, instead of trying to get a sale directly over the instant messaging feature.
#5: Become a LinkedIn Pro. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to turn their website into a direct sales channel with LinkedIn profinder. You’ll need a few recommendations from past clients and an optimized profile to get started, but once you have that, you can start connecting with clients directly on LinkedIn who are looking for services in a number of fields…everything from Home Improvement to Accounting.