Stalking with Style on LinkedIn


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We recently introduced a series of “Stalking with Style” -themed posts and asked readers’ opinion on what you wanted to us to write about. While many marketers expressed familiarity with branding efforts on Facebook and Twitter, it seems LinkedIn is still unchartered territory on many fronts, especially for prospecting and customer relationship-building by sales and marketing teams. This could be due in part to the belief that LinkedIn is simply a tool for “personal” branding, specifically for those individuals interested in networking or looking for a new job. What many don’t know is that LinkedIn has been steadily adding new features and functionality that are making it much more effective for corporate branding and sales efforts as well.

We’ll continue to write more on this topic, but to get us started, this post will cover a few ways you can learn more about prospects, competitors and current customers via LinkedIn.

1. Follow Companies

LinkedIn offers several opportunities to learn more details about specific company. For example, similar to Twitter, you can follow companies on LinkedIn. See the Apple example below.

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Additionally, tabs on company profiles (like the one here) show who has recently left the organization, been hired, and what job positions need to be filled. With this detail, LinkedIn members can start drawing some of their own conclusions – from a prospecting or competitive standpoint – about what direction the company is taking from a product development or regional growth perspective, for example.

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2. Read Status Updates

A lot of people aren’t aware of how to lock down their status updates on LinkedIn. By adjusting specific settings on your profile, you can control what information or status changes will be made “public” to your network. If controls are left open, you can learn quite a bit about a person, especially those who are diligent about updating their status such as including future travel plans or attendance at an upcoming tradeshow. To ensure your team is targeting and personalizing their outreach effectively, encourage them to do their homework on LinkedIn. This is a good way to learn what customers, partners or prospects are most interested in and sets the stage for a more valuable conversation, versus going in “cold.”

Following is an example of just what we mean. From this post, which is integrated with the person’s Twitter account, you can learn about an upcoming event of interest, and a particular session that may be worth attending if you are interesting in learning more about her company.

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And if you don’t want certain people to know that you are looking at them on LinkedIn, update your privacy settings.

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3. Get The Answers

Based on our experience, a very niche audience uses LinkedIn Answers, a feature that allows for a lot of “information” to be shared back and forth. You can start by visiting Advanced Answer Search and typing in a topic related to your industry. For example, “content management system.” Say I work for a content management company, it would be in my best interest to see who is asking about this topic because it could be a possible prospect. And, as a suggestion, when using this feature, after typing in a key word, it asks you to select an area to search for the keyword match in. We suggest selecting the “Questions only” option because it will help narrow down results.LinkedIn Img 5 Stalking with Style on LinkedIn

And Voila! You now have 3 people who are trying to find out the best content management system.

While I acknowledge we have only scratched the surface here, I hope these suggestions help get you started with using LinkedIn to “stalk with style.”

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What other LinkedIn topics would you like us to tackle?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alexis Karlin
B2B marketing professional, Alexis Karlin, brings high quality experience to the table at Percussion Software. Her creative marketing skills help drive high quality leads to the sales team. She imparts her passion for social media to other team members, to help promote brand awareness for the organization. Through organization and enthusiasm she is able to show marketing isn't just about process and technology, it is about the passion behind the brand.


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