LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for businesses. Unlike other social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, LinkedIn is specifically designed for B2B communications. Yet, many people set up a LinkedIn profile, add contacts every so often but don’t really get many benefits from their membership. Like any other social media marketing, if you want results you have to put in some effort. This includes optimizing your profile, adding contacts consistently, posting updates, and reaching out to potential clients (or investors, partners, job seekers, potential employers, depending on your needs). It helps if you have the best resources at your disposal. Here are five tools that will help you get the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Publishing on Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse is a powerful tool that helps you build influence by publishing articles. There are a few advantages to publishing on LinkedIn. You can write on topics tailored to your target audience, which can get more views to your profile. These articles have a built-in audience of people on the site. Furthermore, these articles can also get indexed by Google. Best of all, if LinkedIn likes your content you have a chance to get featured on Pulse, which can bring you lots of targeted traffic in a short time.
2. Small Business Marketing
LinkedIn provides tips and resources to help small businesses connect with potential customers. There are tip sheets for several key areas, such as connecting with your audience, building a brand presence, and sharing valuable content. If you visit this area, you’ll see that one of its purposes is to encourage you to use LinkedIn’s paid advertising. You’ll see a list of all the types of advertising offered, including sponsored posts and text ads. However, you can still get a great deal out of the tip sheets even if you don’t advertise. If you haven’t used LinkedIn much for marketing, the small business area is a good starting point to get familiar with many of the site’s business resources.
3. Premium and Sales Navigator Memberships
While you can get a lot out of a free LinkedIn membership, there are definitely benefits to upgrading to Premium or Sales Navigator memberships. When you upgrade, you have the ability to perform advanced searches, send a certain number of InMail messages per month, insights into people who have viewed your profile, recommendations, and lots more. The Sales Navigator is one of the most comprehensive tools for reaching out to the right audience. Because it’s run by LinkedIn itself, you have access to the site’s database and algorithms to help you connect with the most suitable people and businesses. LinkedIn offers free trials of its upgraded membership plans. These are worth trying if you want to get a feel for what you can do with these features.
4. LinkedIn Plugins
LinkedIn offers several plugins that make it easier to connect with potential contacts. You can post these to your website and send visitors to your LinkedIn pages. Depending on your objectives, you might send people to your company profile or ask them to share your content. You can also find a wide variety of external plugins, especially if you use WordPress. However, be careful before installing these as LinkedIn penalizes users of many external plugins. This is most likely because some of these plugins offer features that are similar to ones you get on LinkedIn’s paid memberships. However, using the site’s own plugins is perfectly safe.
It’s always helpful to know as much as possible about the people you’re talking to. Crystal is a unique tool that delves into people’s personalities based on the words they use. It’s not specifically for LinkedIn but it’s useful for analyzing your contacts and any messages you receive. It can also help you create more targeted messages (with LinkedIn, email, or any platform) by helping you choose words and phrases that match the recipient’s personality. This is a fun and valuable tool that makes you a stronger communicator.
All of these tools are useful for helping you get more out of LinkedIn. Of course, it’s still up to you to apply yourself consistently by posting regularly and always connecting with new people. LinkedIn is an ever-growing B2B resource that can help you build stronger relationships with clients. It’s important to find tools that help you make your LinkedIn marketing more efficient.