How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing/Non-Sales Professionals – Part I

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It’s often easy to see how using the social networking site LinkedIn to find new potential customers could be very beneficial to sales & marketing teams.  But what if you’re not in sales or marketing?  How can you use LinkedIn to your benefit and the benefit of your company if your role within your company is not directly tied to bringing in new customers?

Here’s a few examples of the benefits of LinkedIn beyond finding new customers:

Building Credibility & Establishing Trust

Regardless of your role within your company, you are representing your company wherever you go.  Engineers, Information Technology, Research & Development and Quality Assurance personnel can use LinkedIn to build their own credibility online and establish trust – key elements in building relationships with anyone you want to do business with.  One of the things that has changed dramatically in recent years is the amount of importance people place on trust and credibility; if you can’t be found online when someone is looking for you, credibility suffers.

For instance, let’s say a potential new client is evaluating your company and one of your competitors.  The decision-maker searches online and discovers that not only are the sales & marketing folks she’s been dealing with from your company knowledgeable, but also your engineers and the people behind-the-scenes have great reputations online as well.

Having a presence on LinkedIn helps build your reputation and credibility for you and establishes your subject matter expertise.  This strengthens your personal brand, opening up new opportunities for you, and establishes credibility for your company as well.

Ways to do this:

1.     Participate in Groups pertaining to your area of expertise.  Answer questions that are posed within the Groups that demonstrate your knowledge and experience.  Ask questions within the Groups to get discussion started.

2.     Create your own Group pertaining to your area of expertise – invite relevant individuals to join your group and ask questions to get the discussion going.

3.     Participate in “Answers” on LinkedIn – go to Answers and do a search for questions pertaining to your area of expertise.  Answer those that are appropriate – answers are voted on at the end of a seven-day posting period, at which time your answer can be ranked “best answer” within a category, further enhancing your reputation and credibility.

In our next post we will cover the importance of making connections with new resources and how to find more opportunities via LinkedIn. Stay tuned!

08.01.2011

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