How to Use LinkedIn to Drive your Follow-ups and Sales
LinkedIn was originally created to ‘connect the world’s professionals’. Since its launch in 2003 it has remained the ‘professional network’ amongst its colourful and social neighbours, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and others.
LinkedIn is older than the big social media channels and since its creation in 2003 it’s seen a lot of changes. It was initially a slow channel to grow. In the first month, LinkedIn gained just 4,500 members. However it now reins as one of the big three platforms.
LinkedIn has traditionally been a bit like an online CV, with your business acumen and successes added to it to give you a better chance of connecting with others and gaining interviews for jobs.
In 2004 the ability to upload your address book and then the introduction of groups added some much-needed growth to the platform and then in 2006 they added ‘Recommendations’, which allowed members to give kudos and testimonials to other members.
Since then, LinkedIn has grown to a huge user base of nearly 600 million. Since their Microsoft buyout in 2016, the platform has become more of a content creation platform than previously.
At the core though, LinkedIn is about connecting. When you add a CRM into the mix, we feel you have a powerful networking and connecting combination; one that you should be investigating more this year.
2019 is being hailed as the year of LinkedIn by many marketers and people like Gary Vaynerchuk are pushing more content out on the platform. As more people flock to the channel, and more create content, so LinkedIn is suddenly becoming a very interesting platform to those who previously didn’t use it.
The benefit to you? More chances to connect and do business.
LinkedIn will be a busy place this year and as more and more people move to it, you’d be advised to dust off your profile, update it, and use it more effectively as more people are showing up.
LinkedIn is now as much about content as it is connection
Firstly, make sure you’re posting content on the platform. The timeline on LinkedIn is much like other social media channels. Aside from the great search features on LinkedIn, adding content here will help you stay noticed when you connect with new people.
When users log in (40% of them daily) they’ll see their timeline first, and that’s where you have a chance to be seen.
The really interesting thing about LinkedIn right now is that only 3 million people share content weekly and fewer people do it daily – but 40% are turning up to scroll!
Want to get found on LinkedIn? Post content.
Here’s the types of content you could share…
Video is getting a lot of traction on LinkedIn and as most of them auto-play, there’s a really great chance for you to stand out in the stream of many updates.
A few things to remember about video:
- It doesn’t have to be a talking heads video (if you’re not keen on that).
- Captions are recommended if you do a talking heads video, as a high proportion of content is watched with no sound.
- Graphics and visuals attract attention from the scrollers.
- Short and sweet wins the day (most of the time).
Video is all over LinkedIn and it might seem a tough one to master, but more video content is watched than any other content, and even a few views of your videos are better than none.
Video allows your connections to see (and hear) you, and that’s a very powerful way to use a social media platform. It’s no different on LinkedIn, and video seems to be pushed more than most content by the platform itself so it’s well worth getting more video out there.
Long form posts
LinkedIn doesn’t allow HUGE posts, but it does allow you to add up to 1300 characters – and that gives you some space to create a decent post with some added value.
This year, LinkedIn is becoming more and more about adding value and advice than connecting up and sharing a CV. That’s an exciting option if you’re a person who loves to share stuff. If you’re not a person who loves to share stuff, you might want to become one!
Also, if you’re adding more and more people, those posts will get seen and picked up and commented on more often. The even more exciting news is that LinkedIn will share your content to people you’re NOT connected to – way more so than Facebook and Instagram do – so the chance to get seen is far greater on LinkedIn.
Adding articles is a really good idea if you’re going to connect and link-up with more people. Your articles are prominent on your profile. Adding some thought leadership or maybe some tips and advice to build trust is a great way to add some power to your profile.
Connect with new people and they’ll see this content at the first glance of your profile.
Nearby connection with the app
A really great way to connect with LinkedIn users is with the ‘Find Nearby’ option. The mobile app uses your Bluetooth connection to find users nearby who are also using the feature. This is a great way to seamlessly connect with people at an event or networking meeting.
You both have to have the app open on the same page, but it’s easier and quicker than searching LinkedIn for each other. Especially if one of you has a common or complicated surname!
Connect and engage after you meet
If you’re adding video, articles, long-form posts and searching on the platform for new connections, then it makes sense to connect with everyone you meet. Using the above tip with the ‘Find Nearby’ option is one way. Another is to manually search the attendance lists or companies on the attendance register at expos and networking events you go to.
The chances are you won’t be able to speak to everyone at the event, so connect and follow-up with them later.
Of course, if you’re posting regular content on LinkedIn, they’ll see this content and you get a great chance to add some reminders to their everyday scrolling as well as building trust from afar. It’s not the only thing you should be doing. Connecting and ‘inboxing’ is more direct, but it’s a great ‘en mass’ strategy to add to your marketing.
SalesRadar helps you find the connections
LinkedIn allows you to search for people and industries, and even on the free version you have a really great way to find our ideal customers, clients, joint venture partners, and more. Within SalesRadar we’ve built a link with LinkedIn so that when you add a prospect, we’ll help you find them easily on LinkedIn.
This is a great process to add to your follow-ups:
- Scan the business card.
- Check the details in SalesRadar.
- Click the social media links.
- Comment on something they’ve posted.
LinkedIn is a great platform for follow-ups and because your connections are listed in the chronological order that they were added, so you can systematically go through new connections and start conversations.
The key to it all is consistency, and joining up what you share on your website, what you talk about when out networking, what you share on LinkedIn, and then who you connect with.
Get a simple ‘post, connect, follow-up’ system in place and track the sales and enquiries in SalesRadar. You’ll have a great networking and outreach strategy in place that you can use to convert more business.