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When used correctly, LinkedIn can be a marketing goldmine

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 2, 2013 11:32PM



If marketing is all about attracting attention and building relationships, then maybe it is time to update your LinkedIn profile, which may be the most valuable marketing real estate you will ever own.

Did you know LinkedIN:

• Celebrated 10 years in May?

• Grew from 4,500 members to 225 million members in 10 years?

• Membership is one-third in the US and two-thirds outside the United States?

• Members in the US earn $83,000 average family income?

• Includes 7 million “C-suite” executives, presidents and vice presidents?

Unfortunately, many small businesses including solo entrepreneurs believe LinkedIn is a place to park one’s resume and fail to recognize how important this social media site is. Another mistake is to send invites without any strategic thought. Because all members are allotted 3,000 invites, care should be taken when sending out invitations to connect.

For savvy small business people, LinkedIn is a great prospecting tool. Not only can you search by company personnel, you can search by geographic location as well as review your connections to see where there exists second-degree connection opportunities. And the best part, this prospecting gold mine only costs you your time because membership is free.

Yes, LinkedIn has premium (paid) memberships. However until you have squeezed the free membership for every ounce of opportunity, then it may make sense to wait before you plunge into a paid membership.

To attract attention in any social media site requires being engaged. These interactions may come from group participation to updating one’s status. By scheduling 20 minutes a day, one can strategically engage in several discussions as well as share information through the status update. The use of automation tools such as HootSuite.com (http://www.hootsuite.com) provides the ability to be consistent and hence visible in update postings.

During the month of June, the theme will be LinkedIn and provide some food for thought for:

• Headline

• Summary

• Skills

• Endorsements

• Recommendations

• Invitations

• New features

Please feel free to post any questions and I will attempt to answer them during the next several weeks.

P.S. Shout Out – To The Idea Factory in the Courthouse in Crown Point and The Grossbauer Goup in Chesterton.



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