Social Media is a relatively new media format. Yes, that may surprise some of you, that social media is approximately only 18 years old. Social media started around the time that AOL got on the scene and became popular around 1997 when AOL started its instant messenger service. Now there hundreds of social media channels to connect with people for personal and business purposes. According to Pew research group as of 2014 74% of online adults use social networking sites.
- 71% of adults use Facebook
- 23% of adults use Twitter
- 26% of adults use Instagram
- 28% of adults use Pinterest
- 28% of adults use LinkedIn
Here is the full report of social media usage from 2012-2014. So, the data shows that more and more people are on social media connecting with each other. That means that more and more businesses are on social media too, and the possibilities to get leads are endless. Today I am going to focus on how to use LinkedIn to build more connections and get leads for your business.
LinkedIn – the largest B2B network
LinkedIn is the biggest of all business two business networks out there. Business people are connecting with business people. LinkedIn has grown beyond just a network for finding a job or finding employees. Linked in is a great resource to get professional services leads through social media. Finding groups that are in your industry and content that is being posted by professionals directed towards your (buyer persona) audience.
Tip: If you are posting articles, don’t talk about yourself all the time. It is not about you! It is about your customers and how to nurture and educate them about your products and services. Reasons why your customers might leave your website.
Use LinkedIn Publish and Pulse
One of the great tools that is relatively new to LinkedIn is the publish and pulse tools. When you publish a post on your LinkedIn account, you are sharing that to all of your networks. That is great, but it could potentially get picked up by LinkedIn’s content discovery tool called Pulse. This is their news aggregator that categorizes articles and allows people to read them on all types of devices. If that happens, you have a huge potential of being seen by hundreds of thousands of people beyond your normal network. The types of connections you can make from there are astounding, and some will turn into leads.
Add a connection to your network
Take the time each day to browse through your network and click on the “Connect” button. These are people that you may know that you can connect with to increase your network. Be careful, though, don’t try to connect with people that you do not know, pretending to know someone can harm you more than help you.
Look at current connections for leads
Take a look at your list of connections and see whom they are connected to that you want an introduction to. Start with people that have given you a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask people that you are doing business with to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Use those connections to get introduced to their business connections.
Join a LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn lets you connect with people who are in groups with you. Find some groups that are in your industry and join in and get connected with those professionals. Use these groups as a way to share your insights and expertise with others. This will help to position you are a thought leader and create more connections.
These are just some of the ways that you can use LinkedIn to get connected with business professionals online and be seen as a thought leader. As professionals, we have to earn the trust of our prospect before we can get their business. Focus on building your relationships inside of your networks.