Ask the Expert: Ian Cleary on Social Media Tools and LinkedIn Success

How to expand the reach of your messaging and keep current with your connections

July 18, 2015

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In our last Ask the Expert post, we learned about the four pillars of B2B Marketing with Ruth P. Stevens. For our latest edition, we’re talking social media marketing and LinkedIn with Ian Cleary. Ian is the CEO of digital marketing training company RazorCoast and founder of the award-winning RazorSocial marketing tech blog. He is also a sought-after public speaker, with events like Social Media Marketing World and Content Marketing World under his belt.

Ian is a marketing tech wizard, but he is also passionate about the human side of marketing. Read on to hear his thoughts on getting value out of LinkedIn, expanding the reach of your messaging, and the importance of keeping current with your connections.

Q&A with Ian Cleary, Founder of the RazorSocial Marketing Blog & Digital Marketing Superstar

LinkedIn: How do you recommend marketers approach LinkedIn differently than other social networks?

Ian: LinkedIn is very much a professional business networking and relationship platform.  With other platforms you share more about what’s going on in your personal life, whereas LinkedIn is more about your career and your business.

The best way to get value from LinkedIn is to provide value.  Think about building relationships and adding value and you’ll be successful. Provide value through your updates and groups. Reach out and build connections with relevant people and figure out how you can help them.

Porter Gale said, "Your Network is Your Net Worth.” Think about this quote when you’re spending time on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn: What tool or tactics do you recommend for brands looking to enhance their company's LinkedIn presence and expand messaging reach on the platform?

Ian: As you want to share your content on many platforms, you may use tools such as SproutSocial or Buffer to share content or interact with status updates on LinkedIn. But avoid the temptation of scheduling company or personal updates, group updates, etc. There is no tool that substitutes you being there on LinkedIn, interacting and networking in real time with relevant people. So network real-time as much as possible!

LinkedIn Advertising is a powerful tool to expand your messaging.  Through a very targeted approach you can reach the most relevant audience with your content. InMail is also a powerful way of reaching out and connecting to relevant people.

LinkedIn: What tool(s) do you recommend for marketers who want to add relevant connections efficiently while also making sure they are staying in touch with connections who can potentially open new doors?

Ian: I don't recommend any tool for this. I recommend that you network with relevant people on LinkedIn and reach out to take the relationship to a new level with a direct connection. But when you reach out you should never use the standard template connection email. Create a personalized email to start off the relationships on the right foot!

A genuine person reaching out to build an authentic relationship is a person who will be successful on LinkedIn.

For more insights from Ian, be sure to check out the award winning RazorSocial blog.

Stay current on the latest social media marketing trends when you subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.

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