LinkedIn is a powerhouse for B2B communications, and yet surprisingly enough you might not be using it. Here are five reasons why you should:

1) It’s a great way to build relationships with high-level decision makers. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to easily connect and share content with influencers in your field. You can find potential clients by doing research on their industry or company first through LinkedIn Groups, Company Pages, and Prospecting – then connecting with them through Connections or InMail messages.
2) You can get really sophisticated data about your prospects in the form of detailed analytics that will help you determine whether they are worth pursuing. These analytics can tell you about the type of people who engage with your content, when they are most interested in buying your product/service and when they are most likely to buy. You can get a lot of data like this by creating segments based on specific criteria.
3) You can use LinkedIn Direct Messages (DM) to reach out to small business owners in their time of need. It’s an especially good strategy when you’re sending professional development or sales-related messages to new prospects and clients. Since most companies have a Sales Manager or Director on LinkedIn, it’s easy for them to find the information they need about you and reach out.
4) You can build up your personal brand and improve your company’s or product’s. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase what you do and who you are. Your company or product can appear very professional with well-written biographies, profile photos, and posted content that supports its products and services. All of this will help you expand your network and raise awareness about your expertise in the industry.
5) LinkedIn is a great platform for creating shareable content. Since it’s mostly text-based with images, videos, or links here and there, it lends itself well to quotes from influencers or other interesting bits of information that will be worth sharing on FB, Twitter, Pinterest or even Google+.

The takeaway. LinkedIn, in my opinion, is so underutilized by businesses. Let’s role play for a minute. Say you are a plumber that handles commercial properties or a salon that offers bridal packages. The plumber can easily find buildings, property management companies, etc. You can open the lines of communications and submit proposals, specials, etc. to these individuals. As for the salon, you can contact wedding venues, and other vendors to create marketing strategies and build referral sources. These relationships most likely will not happen overnight but if you are consistent and provide a value proposition you might be able to enjoy a lucrative relationship.

 

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