Hiya. Today’s post will be brief. Lots of stuff going on. And you won’t read too much detail here, as my depth of understanding pales in comparison to your other excellent options! Start with folks like Michael Gass and then get specific. (Do those “how to use LinkedIn” searches on The Google.)
So, how are you using LinkedIn for your new business efforts? An informal granny poll of my client friends suggest this is a far more effective way to reach them through social media (they’re too busy for Twitter, and Facebook is for friends).
And how are you treating this channel differently than other social media channels?
You read this last question because… I suggest you will be most successful when you leverage the differences. Two examples:
One example of differences yours truly has noticed is the “shared connections” bit. While other channels have similar features, I pay more attention to it on LinkedIN. Because maybe like you, the people I’m already connected with on LinkedIN are truly folks I know.
This is terribly important when it comes to qualifying someone. Relationships count. How many people does this person know that you know? What are your impression of these common people? Are these people schmucks? Trustworthy? Smart? Nice? And, what are these peoples’ percepctions about you? These not only help you qualify this opportunity, but impact your ability to close.
This is not to say I don’t connect with strangers. I do, but there’s a reason for it. We exchanged thoughts in a discussion group… or they know A LOT of people I do. Or maybe they’ve been active fans of the RSS feed, even! Lately I’ve received a few invitations from people I don’t know. Folks who have nothing to do with our industry. And yep, you guessed it, the invitations aren’t accepted.
Another example: participating in the discussion groups. Are you the guy that tries to sell too much? Are you posting your latest blog entry, hoping it will draw traffic to your site? If you are, by all means, feel free to continue. But realize that you’re hurting yourself. And adding to the noise. Ya gotta earn it.
Yours truly is in a handful of groups. And what I’ve noticed is that the groups that ask and answer questions (without too much of a sales pitch) are the ones that really are the most successful at building a community. And as you’ve no doubt read in many other places, that’s an important part of social media plans. I’m not saying you shouldn’t sell. You should. But there’s a time and place for it.
Anywho, I gotta hop. Big goings-on at Thunderclap HQ! There are a ton of other differences between LinkedIN and other social media channels. The above should get you started.
Should you wish to discuss anything you see hastily written above, or discuss how you can bring effective innovation to your new business efforts… gimme a shout. And thanks!