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Corporate LinkedIn Strategy

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Alterra Business Consulting Ltd helps companies get up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take them to do themselves.

Alterra Business Consulting Ltd helps companies get up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take them to do themselves.

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  • 1. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourselfReasons for using LinkedIn as part of Corporate Social Media MarketingThere are over 6 million LinkedIn members in the UK with half in London and the SE. To use LinkedIneffectively it is important to have a well thought out strategy and to ensure it complements youroverall marketing plan.1. Creating the perfect profileIf someone meets you at a networking event and can remember your name but not where you work,they may type your name into Google. If you have an unusual name, it is likely that your LinkedInprofile will come up very high on the first page. Thats one of the reasons its so important to have acomplete profile which truly represents your expertise. Your public profile should be full of keywordsand it should really show your potential clients and customers exactly what you have to offer i.e.your value proposition.So my first tip is to make sure you make yoursummary is as interesting as possible. Yourheadline should really tell your potential clientor customer exactly what you offer.LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to put inthree webpages. Take the opportunity to putin the three most important pages on yourwebsite. You may think it is more appropriateto send people to your blog as this will givethem much more information about what youare currently talking about.Dont forget you can also put in a twitter feedand finally, you can rename your public profileurl with something that reflects your realname.1
  • 2. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourself2. Finding new connectionsFrom the main navigation bar, choose the word Contacts which is the third one in from the left.Hover over the word Contacts and you will see a drop-down menu - select ‘Add Connections’ andthis will take you to another screen where you have a range of choices.LinkedIn allows you to provide an old e-mail address such as a Hotmail, Google mail or Yahooaddress and then it will read your contacts file and you can go through and choose people that youwould like to invite to be your connections on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can allow LinkedIn to readyour Outlook, Apple mail or other e-mail application. On the Add Connections page there is aninstruction which asks if you wish to import your desktop e-mail contacts. It will then prompt you tofind your contacts file; for example, your Outlook folder where all your contacts e-mail addresses arekept. Browse for that file and LinkedIn will find all the e-mail addresses in your address book.Alternatively, you can type in e-mail addressesone by one in the right-hand box and sendinvitations.Once you have used LinkedIn for a while, agreat way of finding people to connect with isfrom the screen called People you may Knowwhich is found on in the Add Connectionssection. LinkedIn becomes quite adept atfinding people that are linked to yourconnections so these will be people who youhave something in common with usuallyanother connection. Just click connect andyou will be able to add a personal message topeople before you send them the invitation.3. Advanced People SearchOne of the most useful things that you can do with LinkedIn is look for people who you dont knowyet in industry groups which are useful to you. This is done by using the Advanced People Searchfunctionality. At the top of the screen on the right-hand side you will see a search box. To the rightof the search box you will see the word Advanced in blue letters. Click on Advanced and up will comea screen called Advanced People Search. This allows you to look for people on LinkedIn by keyword,first name, last name, title, company name and also location.So if I am interested in accountants located within 10 miles of my office postcode area, LinkedIn willallow me to search with those criteria. Once you have done this you can use the filters to furtherspecify exactly who you may be looking for. The filters are industries, groups, relationship, language,etc. I use this function all the time to find the right people to connect to.2
  • 3. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourself4. Using Company PagesRecently LinkedIn introduced the ability to update as a company. This means you will see updatesfrom companies you follow as well as individuals you are connected to.How then do you go about finding all about the company on LinkedIn? From the main navigation barthere is a tab called companies. Hover over that and you will see a drop-down menu which gives youa list of the companies you have worked for and then underneath a dotted blue line you will see thelist of companies that you are following. Very quickly you can see information about companies youare interested in. Once you click on a company name you will be taken to the overview page whichgives you a short introduction to the services the company provides. Underneath that you will seethe employees who are in your network and on the right-hand side further details including theirwebsites and, on occasions, a map showing the location of their head office.Some companies have included services giving more details of the various products and servicesthey offer. This is a much underused part of LinkedIn and really people who are not using thismissing out on a great way of having extra web presence. For each product and service there issummary information and if people click on the heading it will take them through to a page whichallows you to provide much more detail including who are the best people to contact about thatparticular service and also promotional videos and special promotions available at a particular time.In addition companies can obtain recommendations for specific services and products in theircompany rather than just testimonials for individuals.5. Organising your connectionsHover over the word Contacts on the main navigation bar and click on the word Connections. Youwill then see a page with three columns. In the centre of the screen you will see all your connectionsin alphabetical order. With their picture are their name, where they work and the number ofconnections. On the left-hand side of the screen you are able to search for connections either bykeyword or by part of or their entire name.Your connections can also be sorted by company, location, industry and recent activity. If you clickon one of your connections in the centre more information will come up about them. This is whereyou can edit details and send them a message. This means that LinkedIn becomes the modern dayRolodex. I like to tag my connections so that it makes it easier to send messages to groups of people.3
  • 4. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourself6. What makes a good update?If we go back to our Home page by selecting Home on the top left-hand side of the screen, we willsee the updates going back in time from the latest one backwards in a stream. Towards the top ofthe screen you will see your picture and a box which says share an update. You can type an updatein the box and attach a link by clicking the blue Attach a Link instruction at the bottom of the box.In addition, you can share your update on twitter if you have a twitter account. Always make surethat you should attach a link as often as possible because this makes your update more interestingfor your followers and also it takes up much more of the update screen.Some people have their LinkedIn and their twitter accounts synchronised; it is very important toremember that your twitter followers may be very different from your LinkedIn connections. Thismeans that some tweets are not suitable for LinkedIn and vice versa.In my opinion, it is a mistake to have your LinkedIn and twitter accounts connected. You can alwayschoose to selectively post your tweets to LinkedIn and you can always choose whether your LinkedInupdates are posted to twitter.7. Searching for groupsGroups are a great way to connect with like-minded people and to join in discussions on topics ofinterest to you. There are over 1 million groups on LinkedIn. Groups can be found on the fourth tabon the main navigation bar. Hover over the word Groups and select Groups directory. You will betaken to a list of all the groups. On the left-hand side of the next screen you will see a box whichallows you to type in a keyword. This might be a location, an industry you are interested in, or aparticular profession.Be careful to ensure if you select a town that is in the correct country. This is particularly true in theUK as many towns have the same name in the US. It takes quite a long time to find the right groups4
  • 5. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourselfin the right locations, but it is worth persisting. Once you have found a group that interests you canclick on the icon and find out more about the profile of the group. You will see the discussions whichare most popular, the latest updates; the top influencers for week and the managers choice.To find out further information about the group, click on the word More and you will get the choiceof group profile this will give you more information about group members who are in your networkas well as when the group was created, what sort of group it is and the number of members.If you wish to join a group you click on the yellow box which are says Join Group; some groups areopen and some are closed. Open groups allow you to join without approval whereas closed groupsrequire approval before they allow new people to join.8. Combine LinkedIn with face-to-face EventsWe all like to find new events to attend, particularly if theyre free. From the main navigation barhover over the word more and from the drop-down menu you will see a list of applications. The firstone is events; click on this word and you will be taken to the events homepage.The events application has been completely revised in the past week and allows you to search byindustry group and location. This is a great way of extending your networking or finding trade showsand conferences in your field of interest.9. Asking for those all important recommendationsI dont know about you, but I am often a bit sceptical about the testimonials which I read onwebsites. Some of them sound as though they have been made up or even written by the companyor business owner. On LinkedIn it is pretty difficult to falsify testimonials. You can ask people youhave done work for or worked with to write you a testimonial and it will then appear on your profile.This gives potential clients or customers who are thinking of working with you an opportunity tocheck out the quality of your work or product. If they are connected to the people who have giventhe recommendations they can, of course, contact that person for further information.Its important to remember to ask for recommendations as soon as you have done a piece of workfor somebody and usually most people are happy to oblige. Tit-for-tat recommendations look a bitcontrived as they will appear on your update stream simultaneously. I would always leave a few daysin between mutual testimonials.5
  • 6. Alterra Business Consulting Ltd – Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourself10. Interact with your connectionsThere are lots of opportunities to interact with your connections on LinkedIn. From a simple Likewhich acknowledges that you have read somebodys update and appreciated what they havewritten, or you can comment on someones post. This means that people who are looking at youractivity will build a picture of the things you are most interested in. If you see an update which is ofparticular interest to your network you can share it by posting it as an update or even posting it togroups or sending it to individuals. LinkedIn is not just about a profile and updates it is about communicating with an audience and creating a dialogue.Amanda BrownManaging Director of Alterra Business Consulting Ltd__________________________________________________________________________________If you would like further information about using LinkedIn as part of your social media marketingstrategy then please take a look at our website at www.alterra-consulting.co.uk or by callingAmanda Brown on 01707 373138 or 07947 502760. You can e-mail us with your questions toinfo@alterra-consulting.co.ukWe run open courses at two levels; LinkedIn Essentials and LinkedIn Masterclass, one-to-onetraining, in-house courses and we manage LinkedIn on companies’ behalf. Getting you up and running on LinkedIn in a fraction of the time it would take you to do yourself!6

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