TIP TUESDAY: Linkedin Offers Unique Marketing Tools

{excerpted from an article by Jim Kendall from his blog and which originally appeared in the Daily Herald newspaper}

LinkedIn launched, officially, in May 2003. A month later, the network had 4,500 members.

Third quarter last year (2016, if your calendar is slow), LI had 467 million members worldwide; in the United States, LinkedIn membership approximated 135 million. Overall, about 106 million members visit the site each month “ a great many potential contacts looking these days nearly as often for products and services as jobs.

For Michael Yublosky, a LinkedIn specialist in Buffalo Grove, the promise for many small businesses is in LinkedIn’s marketing and sales potential. LI remains a key source of talent and jobs, Yublosky says, but although LI is still a job search network, I am very optimistic that, for people who understand marketing and business, who understand the tools and how to leverage connections, LinkedIn’s immense resources offer a great opportunity for small businesses.

Yublosky is one of those advisors who recognizes that marketing basics haven’t changed much. It’s a step-by-step process,  he says. Who do you target market? What makes you (your product or service) unique? 

And, perhaps most importantly, How will prospects find you on LinkedIn? 

The last point is the clincher, because LI has some unique marketing tools:

* Your LinkedIn profile is key. Members search most often by individual names or by key words. Either way, they’ll find your profile, the LinkedIn home page material that includes your summary of skills, pertinent experience and education.

Figure out the key words people use in their search,  Yublosky says, adding, for example, that people searching for the type of LI assistance he provides generally will type LinkedIn tutor  into their search requests, although website forensics  is a popular Yublosky-finding phrase, too.

Logically, then, if blue widgets are what your business produces and sells, blue widgets should appear in your LI profile.

* Write and post articles on LinkedIn. Depending a bit on what you’re selling, your articles might be about your vision of the industry’s future, industry service trends, or effective B2b or B2c activities.

* Join LinkedIn groups. The ones you run, not just the ones you belong to, are better options,  Yublosky says. The value of group membership is access to people with like interests.

* Filter your LinkedIn searches. Yublosky points out that filters allow you to narrow your search function by industry and location, much as they do, he says, in the Yelp process.

© 2017 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com. Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at www.kendallcom.com/podcast.