Networking is a fine balance between brands and PR agencies sharing product information and influencers introducing their blog, audience,digital reach or footprint.
These initial introductions are a means to an end to find out how we can work together. So how do we keep those connections close at hand? LinkedIn, of course.
The most important social networking platform for business is LinkedIn. Established in 2003 with over 414 Million members in 200 countries, it is the standard for business.
After the initial introductions at networking events like blog conferences, we proceed to the exchange of business cards, allowing you to connect online using LinkedIn.
Because LinkedIn has the capacity to keep all your contacts in one place, you can access them whether you are on your computer or smartphone. More importantly, new contacts will have all your contact information right there in front of them.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource for brands to see what bloggers, content creators and digital specialists do. Using LinkedIn to keep track of who you met, where you met them, and what they do can make your life easier when you are looking for bloggers or influencers to work with. LinkedIn can also be used as a resource to review people that you may want to connect with BEFORE you get to a conference. Profile pictures allow you look out for that one influencer that has been on your radar. You can also read through recommendations that influencers have received.
Here are tips on how to use LinkedIn to connect with influencers.
Make sure that you have introduced yourself and your company to potential influencers and get their contact information. Give them one key piece of information that they can then associate you with.
Give them a heads up that you will be contacting them through LinkedIn. This lets them be more open to accepting your invitation for adding them to YOUR professional network.
Keep profile pictures consistent so that your new contact can associate a name to a face. We all tend to remember visual cues better than written so remember to not use logos as a profile picture. Networking is about meeting people and connecting with people.
You want to see an updated LinkedIn profile including recent posts, clients that the blogger has worked with, campaigns that they have worked on, etc. Make sure this aligns with your target market.
Make sure to have the contact information easily accessible. Be it an email address or phone number, make it easy for your new contact to get in touch.
Make notes in the ‘relationship’ section of the influencer profile. This lets you record: (1) notes about them – something that you talked about in your first meeting or something that they mentioned, such as upcoming releases or products they were particularly interested in; (2) where you met them; (3) reminders for follow up.
In future status updates, mention the conference; that you are planning to follow up or that you are hoping to reach out to your recent connections. They will see that in their feed if they connected with you. You are keeping them informed and you will be ‘top of mind’.
LinkedIn is where business people connect and network. It’s THE social media platform for professionals. Many social media influencers have profiles on Linkedin to make it easier to connect with them. Use it wisely and you are opening yourself up to all sorts of new networking opportunities.
Margarita Ibbott is a blogger, traveler, professional organizer and social media trainer (specializing in LinkedIn). She tells stories on her blog, DownshiftingPRO – Your Family, Your Home, Your Life, about her family, her travels and her organizing clients. As a professional organizer, she works with families, individuals and small business owners to help them create order in their lives.