Telling the truth about SME life today

LinkedIn’s five-point guide to growing your business with the professional network

(1) Tap into your biggest ambassadors

Collectively, your company’s employees have a wealth of contacts that they can tap into, any one of which could be your next customer or new hire. Business owners should encourage all their employees to have complete profiles on LinkedIn and make sure their network is up-to-date.

As well as being a free and simple way to grow your company’s reputation through word of mouth, this will make one of the key features within LinkedIn Sales Navigator TeamLink all that much more powerful.

TeamLink helps salespeople, marketers or business development professionals to see who in their organisation is best placed to make an introduction to a potential customer they?re looking to connect with. These sorts of warm introductions are a surefire way to speed up the relationship-building process, giving you the best chance of winning business faster.

(2) Work smart, not hard

Free resources like LinkedIn Company Pages give you access to information about millions of organisations worldwide. You can search for companies by industry and location, helping you quickly build a potential list of prospects and see who you already know within those organisations via your network.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator makes this process even simpler, and will even automatically suggest people within those organisations that fit the profile of decision-makers you’re looking to reach. It will also alert you to opportunities to engage key contacts, for example when they change roles or share an update on LinkedIn.

Read more on social media business developments:

(3) Be engaging

Social selling is not a spectator sport. Sharing relevant industry news and professional insights on LinkedIn will help get the attention of the people you want to connect with.

If you see prospects or customers sharing relevant updates, look out for opportunities to contribute to the discussion and position yourself as an industry expert.

(4) Identifying decision makers isn’t enough

Identifying the key decision-makers is the first step in social selling. However, the most effective social sellers don’t settle for this; they push to understand exactly how the decision-making process works, including all of the other influencers and potential members of buying committees.

Top social selling performers spend 25 per cent more time on research and preparation and a lot of that preparation involves exploring clues as to how the decision gets made. Studying how different prospects are connected, and who shares content with whom, can also provide vital clues.

(5) Take action to influence every stakeholder

In-depth understanding of how buying decisions are made is only as valuable ad the actions you are able to take as a result of it. Great social sellers are always active.

In fact, the top performers send 148 per cent more connection requests and share 23 per cent more content than the rest. It’s not just how often they share that makes a difference, though it’s also how they share.

Richard George is corporate communications manager for EMEA at LinkedIn

Meanwhile, when it comes to marketing on Twitter, House of Fraser launched a campaign so strange that users suspected a hack.


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