25 Jan 2019

LinkedIn as a Social Media Tool for Networking and Business Development

Wendi Hill
Networking

The game known as The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon popularized the idea that the path between you and notoriety is shorter than you might think. LinkedIn has spent the last 15 years since its inception popularizing a similar idea. LinkedIn allows you to network with 450 million business professionals worldwide, viewing your connections’ connections, and find the shortest path between you and new business prospects. Since 2003, LinkedIn has distinguished itself as much more than simply the Facebook of business. An excellent source of prospective employees, professional resumes, and articles about business topics of interest, LinkedIn excels at connecting like-minded business owners with their current and prospective clients. In fact, it provides an excellent way of maintaining and cultivating business relationships while generating leads.

As Facebook has recently taken a decisive (and controversial) move away from business and toward exclusively social relationships, LinkedIn’s importance as a social media tool for networking and business development is growing by leaps and bounds.

Let’s take a look at LinkedIn’s various methods of allowing you to beat the shortest path to prospective clients and new business.

Groups

Sorting 450 million users worldwide into like-minded business owners and clients is a daunting task. LinkedIn offers you the ability to search for, request to join, or create your own niche group. Once there, you will be able to connect, communicate and collaborate with other group members by participating in discussions and adding your own valuable insight and experience to the mix.

Commenting on the contributions of others is key to translating LinkedIn’s social aspects into business benefits. Put yourself and your company on the radar screen of those you’d like to build relationships with by engaging others in conversation, commenting, sharing and contributing to the overall richness of a LinkedIn group.

Influencers

LinkedIn allows you to connect with not only like-minded individuals, but also with leaders in various industries, represented by LinkedIn Influencers such as Tony Robbins and Richard Branson.

Like, comment on, and share their posts as status updates on your own page. Making connections should benefit others as well as yourself and there’s no better way than by sharing valuable content.

Active Networking is Active Prospecting

You can accelerate the networking process, and thereby your prospecting activity, by using the LinkedIn search bar. It’s as simple as typing in keywords of interest to you and your business. LinkedIn will display other users who share your interest. Results will include first and second-degree connections at the top of the list. From there, the drill-down is limitless!

Ask your existing connections to introduce you to their connections, all filtered by common interests. The more you grow your connections, the more you will grow your prospects. By customizing your connections requests, you increase your chances of seeing those requests accepted.

Don’t limit your connections to individuals only. Companies that list shared interests should also be engaged. Be sure to follow other companies’ pages and be an active participant in discussions and the sharing of valuable, helpful content.

Marketing by Building Connections

By posting and sharing valuable information as profile status updates, you can become a thought leader within your ever-increasing collection of connections and groups. Thought leaders share not only useful resources, but their own expertise. This is the most effective way to market that which sets you and your business apart, without openly selling.

The Group Email Tool can be a useful means of sharing, in newsletter format, your insight into the topics and industry trends of interest to other group members.

The game known as The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon popularized the idea that the path between you and notoriety is shorter than you might think. LinkedIn has spent the last 15 years since its inception popularizing a similar idea. LinkedIn allows you to network with 450 million business professionals worldwide, viewing your connections’ connections, and find the shortest path between you and new business prospects.

Wendi Hill

Remember The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, actively mine your first degree connections and their connections, some of whom will undoubtedly be in need of what your business can provide. Using the LinkedIn introduction feature, you can market your business by making connections and shorten the path to success.

Six Degrees of Connection

LinkedIn continues to prove its value by filling the B2B social media niche, especially in the aftermath of Facebook’s departure from the unpaid marketing arena. Learning to master the tools and methods of wielding this powerful network of business prospects requires time and effort. Market Momentum can help. Contact us today to begin the process of optimizing your LinkedIn presence and maximizing the benefits to your bottom line.

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