At the end of 2014 Q4, LinkedIn had 347 million users, up from 296 million earlier in the year. It’s probably safe to say that LinkedIn is unarguably the best social site for B2B marketing, and networking for business professionals overall. With so many users, one may wonder how to stand out and get noticed on a saturated platform. In this article I will share some tips on how to best utilize LinkedIn as a Market Researcher and provide tips to get your profile strength to “all-star.”
Keywords are very important when building your profile to increase your chances of showing up in search results. The more keyword-rich descriptions, the more likely you are to turn up as a top result in searches. Profile headlines are usually dull when it comes to optimization; you want your headline to clearly state what you do. For example, member Joan Stewart’s headline reads: “#1 Publicity Expert on Google. President, The Publicity Hound. Call & ask how I can help you with PR & social media.” She outlines, in detail with keywords, exactly what she does and leaves no confusion. People tend to shy away from the long headlines, but I’m here to tell you not to! Take full advantage of the character space and optimize, optimize, optimize.
As far as the rest of your profile, keep it simple, no need to pull out those impressive vocabulary words. Think of keywords you would search for and keep that in mind when constructing your profile. Keywords as simple as, “market research, research, business development, project management” are the type of words you want to stick with.
As a market research professional, you likely seek out information and intelligence in various niches, and LinkedIn groups are great for this. This is one of the key ways in which social networking offers vast benefits for market researchers. Not only are groups good for gathering information, but they are great for contributing information and knowledge as well. Groups are the “go-to” place to share valuable information and contribute to conversations. Engagement is important on any social networking site. If you are sparking the conversation, try asking questions to help boost engagement – ask member’s for feedback/input. Also, include visuals when possible, rich media content helps drive engagement. The more you put into a group, the more likely you are to become a valued member. There are several groups out there for market researchers such as the Market Research Professionals group.
There are hundreds of thousands of groups on LinkedIn, which can be a bit overwhelming when figuring out which to join. One way to help you strategically make decisions when joining groups is by viewing their statistics. Once you are on the group page, you click the “i” next to the “join button,” and then click on “group statistics.” This allows you to see more detailed information and if members of the group may be of interest.
Building connections is important as well, but it’s important to stay away from blindly connecting to people. Most people like a personalized touch. Even if you are connecting with someone you do not know personally, write a personalized message when sending a connection request stating why you would like to connect with them. Remember, LinkedIn is about networking, it’s not a popularity contest. Blindly sending out connection requests is useless if you aren’t actually networking. It’s also in your best interest to thank those who have connected with you as a follow up.
Last year LinkedIn made it easier to share content and articles in a blog-like format right on their site. LinkedIn Publisher is a great tool to help increase visibility, in fact, if you receive enough views on a post it gets picked up by LinkedIn’s own newsreader, Pulse. Not only is LinkedIn Publisher great for contributing content, but it’s great for simply viewing content. This is just another useful feature for market researchers to take advantage of to learn more about their industries and gain knowledge.
Enjoy some fun with LinkedIn’s version of Tetris, DropIn,which uses your connections' faces instead of the usual colorful blocks, a fun bonus from LinkedIn to enjoy on your lunch breaks, or at the end of your work day.
Do you have any best practices you have found helpful on LinkedIn, or social networking sites in general? Share some of your best practices in the comments below.
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Thanks for reading!
Social Media Coordinator,