— CBC McGuire Mears (@CBCmma) November 12, 2014
Linda Day Harrison, CPM,CCIM
Founder at theBrokerList
A: Huge thanks to CBC McGuire Mears for asking this great question!
My initial thought when I received your question on Twitter is that networking and marketing are a hand-in-glove process! Networking is relationship building, and so is marketing. I believe they are one in the same. With that thought in mind, LinkedIn is the most gigantic, single online location to find those people you wish to target. Target marketing is a fundamental step in the process. You have a company, and you want your brand to receive exposure that is credible and recognizable in front of the target market audience you desire to be in front of. My first step would be to make sure every single member of my team had a LinkedIn profile On top of that, I would be certain that it was accurate, professional and linked back to the company page. I would insure that all roads from that profile would lead back to the image and pages, or supplemental places, where more credible content could be found. To me, that's what marketing entails!
I would make sure everyone received training on how to use LinkedIn, so they can share content that I generated on behalf of the company or brand that I am marketing. My next step would be to determine my target market audience, because I am now ready to start the process of helping my people keep our brand and news in front of that audience. Let’s say your target market is medical office users in Chicago, Illinois, for example. With that information in hand, I would generate content specifically of interest to that audience and I would make it easy for my team to share. I would email them or help them to post a status for this information on LinkedIn and I would tweet, Facebook, Google+, as well as use any other social media tools at my disposal as well. Since LinkedIn and Twitter are integrated, I would be sure all of my team had Twitter accounts and excellent bios that reflected the company name, and a way to follow links back to the listings. So, when I post a status on LinkedIn, it also feeds to Twitter. The bottom line is being recognized for what your people are experts in. In keeping with that, I would have team conference calls to organize what groups people belong in and make sure that the team was efficiently spread out on LinkedIn in order to conquer as much territory as possible. In the LinkedIn groups, you can field questions and post “Of Interest” content, aka blogs, which generate dialogue and interactions. Once you get that credibility built up you can then start calling for “face-to-face” meetings. Overall, I would say that LinkedIn is a tool. It is door-opening reference tool, or a warm call, as opposed to a cold call. By using LinkedIn to market, or expose, or promote your brand, you automatically give yourself credibility.
Whenever I meet someone, or learn of a company, and I immediately go to LinkedIn to see how active they are and what they are doing. To me, it shows they are aggressive and Internet savvy. If they have a blank profile, I do not put much faith in that person and I really do not pursue working with them. That's a big turn off, in my opinion. LinkedIn is a way to demonstrate your expertise, credibility and knowledge as a company, team and leader in your market area. So, although it is a networking tool, I believe having a strategy properly thought through with reference to an overall corporate plan is wise, and does go hand in glove with your overall marketing efforts. It is probably one of the top places that potential new clients go every single day, where you can get the most bang from your marketing buck!
I have provided an infographic and link here, which I find to be a wonderful checklist for anybody in marketing.
By: Linda Day Harrison
Founder | theBrokerList
Check out Linda's Masterpiece Page Here: http://bit.ly/1zyfrOJ
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