Though most people think of LinkedIn as a professional networking service – which it is – don’t make the mistake of overlooking this social media gem as a place for new business development, lead gen, competitive analysis and more. Yes, it’s a great place for people like event planners to grow their professional contacts and reputation, but it’s also a great place to promote meetings and events.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn has lots of moving parts, but once you understand the basics – and if you devote time to really using it – you may be surprised at what a strong tool LinkedIn can be for your events.
- Your personal profile comes first. This is the first thing people see, so it needs to be great.
- Right under your name is a “headline.” Many put their title here, but why not write something that makes people want to connect with you instead? Even better, use keywords in your headline that can get picked up by search engines.
- Think of search engine optimization (SEO) when you prepare your summary. Make sure people find you when they’re searching for a “widget expert.”
- Use your status updates wisely. Post thoughts, articles, links, your blogs, questions, etc., and decide who you share them with. This is what’s pushed out to your network and will define you in others’ eyes.
- As with all social media, the goal is not to have the largest network, but the most relevant network.
- Actively build your connections.
- Being part of a group can help you gain connections, find leads and be seen as a thought leader.
- Be active in conversations – read, contribute and “like” – but don’t overtly promote your event.
- Once you start to contribute to discussions, you’ll find that people will want to connect with you. People are often looking for help or answers on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is far better than the other social media channels at presenting you as a thought leader – and at ferreting out other thought leaders who can become a part of your event.
- Ask provocative questions to get discussions going. Maybe you’ll strike a nerve and uncover new topics for your event.
- Link your blogs regularly on LinkedIn about topics of importance, and dialogue with those who post comments.
- In addition to your personal profile, your event should have a Company Page on LinkedIn. This page can be a great lead gen tool.
- People can follow your page to receive all your updates – and you should post updates regularly.
- Consider status updates that really engage an audience – contests, relevant giveaways, advice from subject matter experts, etc.
- Use your banner spot effectively with a strong visual/message.
- You also get three rotating banners under the “Products and Services” tab that are linked to your website.
- Put in links to white papers or other resources that people have to register to download.