Monday August 12, 2013
Getting Real with LinkedIn Engagement
LinkedIn's mission statement is: “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
I think we forget in this world of social media where people are focused on millions of Followers and thousands of Fans and hundreds of Connections that the whole point of social media is to connect with our audience. And when it comes right down to it, that audience should be the one person you need whether you are looking for a new employee, wanting to sell your product or hoping to woo donors for your non-profit. No matter what your end game, social media should be about that one person you need to reach out to today to create more business.
Unfortunately many would rather make a million dollars by clicking a button and hoping their fans will financially support them than work at engaging with their tribe. The get-rich-quick schemes on the web today remind me of the magical fantasies I read as a kid. If you just know the secret formula, the world can be yours! Every day someone asks me what the best LinkedIn automation gizmo is for feeding leads into some automated marketing tool. There isn't one. And if there was I wouldn't recommend using it.
The power of LinkedIn is that it helps us connect with real people in real life. We need to go old-school. Do our searches, do our research and then pick up the phone!
One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it tells us exactly how we're related to the people in our network (1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections) and the best ways of communicating with them. To a first level connection we can simply send a message. 2nd and 3rd level connections might get an invitation or an introduction. Folks who fall outside our network get a paid InMail. The limitation is in those folks who fall outside out network. Especially if we don’t have $10 for each InMail we want to send. Another limitation is that LinkedIn is increasingly hiding our connections from us. First taking away their last name, then their whole name and picture altogether!
One of the best tools I've found for getting past LinkedIn’s restriction to better research and find a prospect’s contact and company information is eGrabber's Account Researcher. Account Researcher cuts prospect research time down to a few minutes and will help you:
- Find missing e-mail and phone numbers of your prospects when you have only the prospect’s name and company.
- Quickly qualify a company and build a list of key decision makers with name, title, email, phone, and social media foot print.
- In pre-call prospect research to get taking points from news, patents, blogs, press releases and other sources.
If you decide you want to try eGrabber's Account Researcher out, you can do so by clicking here for a FREE trial (http://goo.gl/3SULX1)
. Use Promo Code LBAR10 for an additional 10% discount.
Back to LinkedIn - Once we have found the person that we want to connect with, on LinkedIn or through Account Researcher, and have researched them by reading their profile on LinkedIn and checking out any content or links they might've shared with us, then it's time to reach out to them for that face-to-face or at least a phone-to-phone meeting.
LinkedIn isn’t about selling your stuff. Its about finding and engaging with people; developing that feeling of “knowing, liking and trusting.” And once you have established a relationship with the person, then you can move to the next stage in the game. The more you know about them, the better you have of getting to that next stage.
I'm sure there are automation tools out there that will help you get thousands of connections on LinkedIn. I’m sure you could funnel those new connections right into your email marketing strategy. Or you could send a quick message to the folks who connect with you, thank them for their time, and ask them about themselves. Use LinkedIn the way it was meant to be used. A human connecting device.