LinkedIn was launched in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, from his living room. Today, the social media platform has over 722 million users across more than 200 countries. But what makes LinkedIn truly special is that unlike other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, it is meant for professionals and businesses. This is quite apparent from the fact that 50% of college graduates in America are on LinkedIn.
Some people feel that LinkedIn is only useful for finding jobs. The platform does allow professionals to gain exposure to recruiters and hiring managers. But that is not all LinkedIn can be used for. The social media platform is also a great tool for businesses to cultivate and grow their relationships. If you are unsure of how to achieve this, here is a 3-step approach that can help you.
1. Start with Research
Research is the foundation of successful relationship building. The first step in your research process should be going through the LinkedIn profiles of your target audience. Also, when you visit someone’s profile, it triggers a notification about you viewing their profile. This can generate curiosity in their mind and even encourage them to visit your profile in turn. Additionally, here are some other tips that can help you in your research.
Look at the Groups They Belong to
- Try to identify the LinkedIn groups the individual is active on. This can provide a good idea of how to engage with them in these groups, before you send a request to connect.
Check Their Other Social Media Profiles
- From the “Contact Info” section of the profile, you can know if your prospect has linked any of their other social media profiles. You can get additional information from these profiles.
Look at the Company Website
- From the company website, check about the products and services offered by them. Check out the goal of the organization and if there are any struggles. Also, go through the “About” section to know about the company culture.
2. Start Communicating
Your goal should be to move the relationship one step forward with every conversation you have. Once your invitation has been accepted, send a welcome message. The goal of this message is to start a conversation. A few days after this conversation, try to provide value to your prospect without pitching. This helps in building credibility. One to two weeks after this, try to take the conversation offline. This could be a phone call or even a personal meeting.
3. Take Advantage of LinkedIn Tools
LinkedIn has plenty of built-in tools to help you nurture relationships with clients, such as:
- The tagging feature of LinkedIn allows you to segment and organize your connections. Different clients may be at different stages of the relationship building process. This feature ensures that you are only sharing relevant information with your clients.
Use Follow Up Reminders
- LinkedIn also has a built-in reminder system. This ensures that you do not forget to follow up with a client or stay in regular contact with another.
Keep Note of Important Details
- The note section can be used to store all the relevant information you have about your prospects. These details can be brought up in conversations, making a great impression.
When connecting on LinkedIn, try to personalize your interactions, understand the pain points, and find commonalities. With these practices, you can cultivate incredibly fruitful business relationships using the social media platform.