Maximizing LinkedIn to Build YOUR Business

 Monday, October 31, 2011

How many of you have asked yourself “I’m over 40 and I don’t understand this Social Media Stuff? Well, you are not alone as I have heard this statement so many times throughout my social media training workshops.

Try looking at social media as if a business cocktail reception party without restraints of time or space. Then ask yourself these questions before delving into Social Media without a strategic plan.

  1. What do you want to accomplish?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. Why do you want to go there?

Social engagement typically foals into three pillars

 Feedback = crowd sourcing ideas, innovation, marketing effectiveness, when you want to enhance customer experience. Decrease time to market for a new product or getting to market with a higher quality product or5 having better marketing effectiveness. Measurement or ROI in this space is very closely aligned with your business mission and if looking at general metrics, will not get to the ROI.

Advocacy = true word of mouth around an issue, an idea product or service. Measure things around brand consideration and brand preference and this is where conversions and sales may come in.

Support = when you have a peer to peer to peer support  model where you have one customer helping another to figure out the best way to use your product or service and in the support model you want to measure cost deflection for example.  This takes money out of the cost for providing support and you can totally socialize this function.

  1. Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation.

Participation is much more than just talking—that's what marketers and sales people have been doing for years. True participation is a mixture of:

  • Listening to current customers, prospects, industry experts and other influencers in the market space and internalizing what you hear to improve your business.
  • Speaking to the overall market conversation with quality, supportive and helpful content that people want to respond to, inquire about and pass on to others.
  • Caring about what is being said about your products, your company, your competitors and your industry, but more importantly, caring about helping your customers and prospects fulfill their wants and needs.
  • Sharing your experiences—positive and negative—and your insights as you grow your company and evolve your product lines.
  • Building relationships with market conversation Influencers, Participants and Listeners based on the mutual interest of the consumer problems that need to be solved with product innovation.
  1. Using LinkedIn to Develop a Customer Focused Culture with Extreme Focus.

The Three Key Questions

I am completely convinced that whoever “owns the voice of the customer” and uses that information to build an organizational culture of Extreme Customer Focus… will own the marketplace.

The following list I want you to ask yourself three incredibly important questions:

  • 1 What can I do with this?
  •  How can I make this work for my business?
  •  What can I do right away?
  • What is Extreme Customer Focus?
    • The family restaurant that has bathrooms cleaner than yours at home, with fresh flowers, free diapers, handy-wipes, lotion and mints.
    • The doctor’s office with a juice, coffee and fresh fruit while you wait (or better yet, that gets you in on time, every time).
    • The lawn care company that leaves a nicely arranged bouquet of fresh flowers from your yard every time they trim your plants.
    • The upper-end restaurant that gives you a hand-written thank you card with your check.
    • The drycleaner that simply sews on any missing buttons they find.
    • The downtown business that offers to “feed the meter” while you shop.
    • The restaurant that offers you a free dessert for taking 5 minutes to fill out an in-depth survey.

Listening and learning from and about the customer has taken on new dimensions with the advent of wide-scale use of social media. This concept has been added to questions on how your organization listens to customers.

  1. Why LinkedIn?

Have you ever Googled yourself?  If you are active in Social Media, your LinkedIn, Facebook and other Social Media Links will also show up which gives you more exposure in Google.

Check out the LinkedIn Stats and Who is actually using LinkedIn!

  1. Connecting  YOUR Way to Success Using LinkedIn.

Create a Compelling Prfoile and NOT a Resume rehash. I see many people list their Curriculum Vitae or a resume of information in Their Profile.  All I can say is Blah, Blah, Blah. 

Take Advantage of All of LinkedIn’s Features.

How many of you are comfortable with all the profile features?  Have you updated your profile 100%?  LinkedIn will keep the % for you so be sure to optimize and fill out all profile info.  Then SHARE your Profile when updated or make changes. See next to my photo what I have done in LinkedIn to optimize my profile.  I listed what I specialize in which is also optimized.

  1. Create Compelling Profile

In the summary is where you can really focus on optimized keywords.   See here I used

Trade show exhibits, trade show marketing, marketing, small business and also listed my credentials at bottom for certifications for the business.

Be sure to list Specialties with keywords as you can see on the top right here for what I did.  Yes, you can bullet the info to be easier to read.

Treat this area as your elevator speech with keywords that are searchable in your industry.

Did you know under the Skills area you can add your keywords here?  I listed 22 Skills to cover both companies.

Under my website I put keywords with Hyperlinks to the websites. Also see under interests w here I again listed Keywords

LinkedIn Is YOUR Online Rolodex so be sure to IMPORT your Email Addresses.

While researching LinkedIn and updating this Blog, I found this person who is a person well connected in LinkedIn that I found and I wanted to add him to my network.  I went through my 2nd degree connections and asked for an introduction as she was connected to Steve.  This is how you can really focus on growth.

It is just like referrals face to face but the new way on the internet.

  1. Manage YOUR Contacts Into Categories for Connecting with the Right Messages.

Ok, how many of you are over 500 connections???  Well, I am at 1820 and growing. I needed to organize my connections. 

How to do this?

You can purchase a program to do this for you called PROFILE ORGANIZER as an upgrade for Business Plan at $39.95/Mo at yearly contract or $49.95/Mo month to month or even an Executive Level for more money but you really do NOT need to.  Here is how to do it Free

Go to your Contacts tab at the top of YOUR LinkedIn Page.  Then go view your contacts and beside each name you will see Edit Tags.

Assign your categories for marketing.  As you can see from my connections, I have listed by groups, Out of State, NM, etc.  This will allow me to communicate more effectively with my network.

  1. Connect YOUR Way to Success with Status Updates.
  • 1 – 3 times per week
  • Start with a Lower Case Action Verb
  • Share What You Are Working On
  • Include Links to Articles, Presentations
  • Update Status – Strictly Business

  1. Recommendations.
  • Give Them
  • Ask for Them
  • Don’t Forget to Return the Favor!

  1. Tips for using LinkedIn.

  • Answer Questions to Highlight Your Subject Expertise
  • Communicate. Show Interest. Look for Ways to Help.
  • Be Yourself. Be Real. Spend Time Being YOU.
  • Don’t Always be in Selling Mode.
  • Have Fun!

  1. Promote YOUR Events.

Start with Individual, Community, National and then Global.

Businesses are increasingly adopting customer-focused processes to gain competitive advantage. But for building a business around customers, companies need to understand them. They need to engage in regular dialogue and conversations and keep people informed of what you are doing and planning.

Step 1: Adding an Event

Anyone can add an event and have it appear on their profile. To enter in a new event:

Go to the More menu at the top of your home page and then click Events.

Click the Add an Event tab.

Enter any information you have about the event.

If you want the event to appear on your profile, click I'm attending and then select Attendee, Presenter, or Exhibitor.

Click Publish Event.

A network update will be generated to your connections if you indicate you will be attending the event.

Event Attendance Display

Each event displays three buttons to select from to reveal your level of interest in that event:

"Attending" - This button offers dropdown options to select if you plan on attending, presenting or exhibiting at the event.

"Interested" - This button can be selected if you are interested in the event but have not yet decided.

"Not Interested" - This button can be selected if you are not planning on attending or are not interested in the event.

A network update will be sent out to your connections after you have clicked on one of the possible actions. Attendee names will appear publicly on the Events "Overview" and "Attendees" tabs.

NOTIFYING Your Network about an Event.

If you find an event you want to share, you can notify your network by clicking the Share link under the event summary on the event's Overview tab. This allows you to send a LinkedIn message to any of your 1st degree connections.

You can also let your fellow group members know of an upcoming event that may interest them by posting it as a discussion.

  1. Find the Value of LinkedIn Groups.
    1. Choose a Target Market
    2. Join Groups for those Markets
    3. Can Join Up to 50 Groups
    4. Actively Participate in a Meaningful Way
    5. Set Communications to Weekly

Here is an example of my KeepitQUERQUE Group.  I am President and I needed some volunteers for an event so I went in there to post a comment.

Here you can do your own search for groups to check out and request to Join.  Some are automatic when you join and others have to be on an approval system and you wait for the response for approval or not.

On the right you can see many of the groups I am involved in.  I am also in the WBC one.

Search by Industry, Key Words.                      

 Get Involved Within YOUR Groups.

  1. How to Listen – Start with Setting up Alerts!

Google Alerts =

Yahoo Alerts:
Technorati Alerts = - Powerful Social media Seawrchenging watches for your terms and updates you

RSS Feed Subscriptions to Search results Technorati, Feedster, Yahoo & Google News, Blog Pulse
Social Media tags:,,

  1. Manage LinkedIn with LIMITED Resources and LinkedIn Profile Stats.

Go to the Profile Stats and view your connections and View the Stats

I hope you learned a lot about truly optimizing your LinkedIn Profile and will start updating your Profile today, start listening, engaging and joining groups.

About DJ Heckes, Author of Full BRAIN Marketing and Owner of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts

DJ Heckes is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing  .  She focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their Small Business Marketing strategies.  DJ Heckes also presents customized training programs for Business Marketing, Social Media, Leadership and Trade Show Marketing. Learn more at  and  Be sure to follow us!

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
Full BRAIN Marketing

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