Forget Facebook and Twitter… For B2B, it’s all about LinkedIn
Steve Fretzin, Founder & President, Sales Results, Inc.
Building a business in this economy isn’t easy. Having a superior product or excellent business model simply isn’t enough. The cornerstone of any successful business, especially in this economic climate, is the ability to reach and communicate with potential customers efficiently and often.
Thanks to technology, businesses are able to do just that. Networking should be a part of every business person’s strategy and online social networking sites make it as simple as the click of a mouse. However, with so many different social networking sites out there, it can be hard to know which sites are worth your time and which sites are strictly for personal enjoyment.
For business professionals, sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to stay in contact with friends and family, but it can’t help you to increase your bottom line the way LinkedIn can. Here’s why:
LinkedIn brings the separation gap from 6° to 2°. Like other social networking sites, LinkedIn allows you to connect with people you know. However, it has one distinct benefit—it also allows you to see the degree of separation between you and others with whom you are not yet connected. This allows you to discover who your connections are connected with, and many times they’re just the people you need to know!
LinkedIn is primarily for corporate professionals. Sites like Facebook mainly cater to people looking to have fun, post pictures, take quizzes, etc. After all, the site was created by college kids for enjoyment purposes. Most people do not use Facebook as a business tool, and most members aren’t on there to network or build their brand. However, LinkedIn was created for business professionals. Almost everyone on LinkedIn is a member of the white-collar business world, which not only helps you to reach a large audience, it helps you to reach your target audience.
LinkedIn can lead to quality introductions. When you are trying to land a big account or grow your business, sometimes all it takes is an introduction to the right person. LinkedIn addresses this very need. It has a unique tool that allows you to ask people you are connected with to connect you with people they know in a professional way. A quality introduction like this is a great way to get your foot in the door and gives you more credibility than a cold call would.
LinkedIn can help you reconnect with alumni and colleagues. LinkedIn has an extensive and comprehensive search engine that will allow you to locate and reconnect with past colleagues and peers. Who knows what company your old roommate from college works for, or what quality connections your long-lost coworker can offer you? These old relationships can be revived with LinkedIn, helping you to network and build your brand.
LinkedIn is a professional site. Because it was designed specifically for the business professional, LinkedIn users follow good business manners. Unlike the other social networking sites, you won’t have to weed your way through party pictures and drunken status updates in order to reach your target audience.
Building a bigger client base in this economy is no easy task, but thanks to LinkedIn, you can do so from the comfort of your desk.