You already know the usual ways LinkedIn can help your business. Building your proprietary audience, increasing your thought leadership, searching for your target audience etc etc. But there are so many strategies that there is almost an infinite way to use LinkedIn for business. Here we’ll cover a few ways that aren’t mentioned in an article every other day and regurgitated over and over in the online marketing echo chamber.
1. Finding New Products To Sell
Your job is to provide value to your customers. If your customers have a problem, you solve it. When you have a store (or an online store specifically), you can monitor social media to find new ways to provide value for your clients.
Take AnchorStamp.com* for example. They are an online notary supplies store. Normally, you wouldn’t think that notary publics are an exciting industry with a lot of social media engagement potential. But because Anchor Stamp found an active LinkedIn Group of notary publics, asked questions about what their needs were and LISTENED TO their customers, they found a new product opportunity.
Based on social discussions, it was discovered that several notaries were using UV pen lights to verify IDs. Anchor Stamp took this information and added it to their inventory. Now they are able to provide more solutions to their clients. On top of just offering the product, they now share that idea with their previous customers (and blog subscribers) who now get real, practical business advice.
If you’re in a niche industry and you are getting this kind of practical advice from someone who also offers products that you need, where do you think you’re going to be buying those products?
2. Find Hot, “Cold Call” Opportunities
Last week I was researching different software solutions for a potential client and had some questions for my peers. I posted a discussion (another LinkedIn story here) in a LinkedIn group and got some good feedback from other marketers. That’s the typical way someone might use LinkedIn groups. But this story isn’t about how I used it, it’s about how it was used on me.
This morning my phone rang…it was a sales director from one of the software companies I had been asking about in the LinkedIn group. He had seen my post and got our office phone number from our website. He also did some research on our company, real research too, I felt he was truly interested, and called to introduce himself and help me with my questions.
Honestly, this software fell out of the running already, but because of this helpful phone call I got and felt the sincerity of the sales director, I set up a demo to learn more and now they are right back in it. Even if they don’t make the cut for this project, they are definitely stuck at the top of my mind for any future opportunities.
3. Crowdsource Your Content Development With Experts
We have a client website that is focused on providing beginner information to consumers on a certain topic. The goal is not to take a deep dive right away into an overwhelming amount of information. But once a reader has spent some time going through the articles on the site, they may then be ready (and eager) to start enhancing their knowledge to the next level.
In order to get that next level information, we jump into, guess where…LinkedIn groups to get some more hands-on expert expertise. We’ll start a discussion with a link to our beginner article and ask the experienced professionals to add on with what they think is important.
Often times we’ll get several industry experts chiming in with their two cents and then giving us permission to quote them in a more advanced article on the topic.
Our readers are happy and continue to come back for more great information. The experts are happy to be quoted in an article. And we get quality information that boosts our clients’ credibility. It’s a win-win-win!
What Uncommon Ways Do You Use LinkedIn For Business?
Leave your ideas and experiences in the comments below!
*Full disclosure, Anchor Stamp is a client of ours