While most of us have profiles on LinkedIn, have you ever wondering if you're using this social media tool to its fullest? Many of us continue to build 'Contacts' on LinkedIn but rarely utilize them for referrals, introductions, conversations and other ways to expand our businesses.
Here are a few ways you can utilize LinkedIn as a sales, marketing and business development tool:
1. Complete your profile
Has LinkedIn rated your profile 100% complete? If not, take the opportunity to get your message across by filling in all aspects of your profile. Give people a reason to want to connect with you. Include the keywords and terms that your potential prospects would use when searching to find your services or products.
2. Join Groups
Groups are a good way to find and communicate with qualified prospects. Join groups that have the same professional, affiliations, goals or interests as you. Try creating a new group if you can't find one that suits your needs.
Are you looking for a specific person to connect with? Maybe you're looking for prospects in a certain industry or others with a specific title? Check out LinkedIn's Search field in the upper right hand corner. Clicked on the "Advanced" button and check out all the options you have to search the LinkedIn member database! Search by title, zip code, industry, etc. to find prospects.
LinkedIn will show you any "shared connections" you have with these prospects to possibly facilitate an introduction. Leverage your current connections to add more.
Post any kind of event on LinkedIn to increase visibility. Click on 'Events' under the 'More' tab on the LinkedIn home page to create your event. Include as many details as possible and a link to where people can register. Use the 'Share This Event' tool to post your event on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The best news is you can go beyond simply posting info in your newsfeed hoping people will see it. Now you can send your event info to your Groups, or any individuals you're connected with in a personalized message.
If you personally engage with your network on LinkedIn, you'll find the value in the individual and company information it holds for your business.