Friday, November 22, 2013

No Time for Social Media? Make Time for LinkedIn

As we’ve said many times before on the topic of social media, each platform has its merits—if you have the time and energy to master them. But, if you only have time to devote to one social platform—we know even that’s a stretch for many of you--then LinkedIn will probably give you the biggest bang for your effort.

LinkedIn for referrals

First, look at the user base. About 40 percent of LinkedIn members are Managers, Directors, Owners, VPs or C-Suite officers. Do you want likes, winks and friends? Or do you want new clients and trusted referrals sources? We thought so.

Second, obsess about accumulating the most connections. No one’s keeping score. Definitely reach out to your inner circle and to valuable contacts that you just made at a conference or professional event. Definitely follow interesting people so that articles (or online discussions) that are relevant to your work show up daily in your inbox. But, having 50 deep connections with the movers and shakers in your industry or profession is far better than having 500+ connections composed mostly of people you barely know beyond a quick business card exchange.

John Powell, a principal at one of our longstanding clients, CEG Worldwide, noted recently that LinkedIn can help you position yourself as an expert to members of your target market. To make LinkedIn work for you, your profile must spell out the specific value that you bring to your clients’ financial lives—for example, by including your mission statement and elevator speech. Also spell out how you do great work for your clients and the biggest benefits that investors gain by working with you, he said. When you ask clients for introductions to other people—don’t be afraid to do this often-- you can mention specific people by name and increase your chances of gaining an introduction to them. The key, said Powell, is not to ask for a referral per se, but to offer a “second opinion” in which you conduct a free review for a clients’ friend and associate

Social media to identify new prospects

When used correctly, social media networks can be excellent for identifying centers of influence (COIs)—the key players and most important people in your target niche market. The idea is to meet the COI to learn more about your niche’s issues and how you can address those issues. For example, you can do advanced searches in LinkedIn to find connections among your clients who might be good to speak with. You also might then ask your client to make the introduction the next time you meet. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

LinkedIn showcases your expertise and stimulates referrals

LinkedIn introduced “showcase pages” this week that allow companies or firms to highlight specific products or services by creating dedicated sites for them on the professional network. With a Showcase Page, you can segment content to distinct audiences who are interested in different aspects of your business or practice. As some of you might have guessed, this strategy is part of LinkedIn’s broader goal to be content marketing hub for companies—not just a career networking destination for professional folks.

How to start a LinkedIn Showcase

Showcase pages can be set up by company page administrators by going to the “Edit” dropdown menu on their dashboards and selecting “Create a Showcase Page.” Businesses, which can operate up to 10 showcase pages, will be able to track page performance through existing analytics tools.


LinkedIn and other popular social networking platforms are powerful tools for disseminating information to the masses. These tools are fast, inexpensive and easy to use, but if you’re not careful, they can be a tremendous drain of your firm’s time, energy and resources. Figure out which one or two platforms you and your firm can really get behind and find an in-house champion or outside expert to help you. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just make sure reach out on a consistent, reasonable basis and for goodness sake, make sure your profile is updated regularly make sure you have something relevant to share whenever you tweet, post, Link, like connect or pin.

More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: LinkedIn, centers of influence, John Powell, CEG Worldwide


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