Engage Prospects and Customers with LinkedIn Mentions
October 10, 2013
Once you have followers, it's important to continue to engage them through acknowledgement and interaction. One great new feature that LinkedIn offers is the Mention feature. This tool allows you to create interactive conversations with your followers by acknowledging them in your comments and posts.
As a business or individual, it's helpful to think of each interaction as a chance to establish your identity and provide useful information to your followers. It's also important to think about what your followers might be hoping to get from interactions with you. As a rule of thumb, all interactions on LinkedIn should have the goal of helping members become more successful professionals. As your followers start to become familiar with you, conversation will be easier to facilitate and followers will be more likely to turn into loyal customers.
So, what's the best way to use mentions?
Choose your audience.
Who are you mentioning in your post and why? When you type the user name of one of your professional contacts into the status update box, you'll get the option to highlight that person's name, have your comment appear on their page and notify them of the mention.
Keep content informative.
Its important to be friendly, but the majority of LinkedIn users want to receive information that will promote their professional success.
Don't try to sell yourself.
Just as you would in a normal conversation, avoid overt self-promotion. Instead, try to offer something helpful or valuable to your customers.
Keep it short.
Just like in your status updates, keep your mentions brief and to the point -- these always receive higher engagement than longer posts.
Get social without being pushy.
Simply having your name out there will drum up business. Give your contacts shout-outs on birthdays and anniversaries; thank them for referrals, and check in to see how they've been.
Don't mention contacts in the context of blatant advertising.
This might cause your network to dwindle in numbers, and although your contact's circle will see your name, many won't form a favorable opinion of you.
Know how to participate with your network.
What do your contacts respond to? Content that is relevant and interesting to them. Most LinkedIn users enjoy friendly interactions, especially on their own threads. Prove that you are interesting to correspond with and potential customers will start clicking on your page to learn more about you. Just remember to stick with the topic at hand and avoid butting in with any verbiage that could be construed as spam.
Mentions are a great way to give a "hat tip" to someone in your network, which can go a long way in the business world. We've seen promising results from early tests of the Mention feature.
Network participation best practices
Share others' accomplishments.
If one of your contacts writes an amazing blog post, promote it by sharing it and mentioning her. Not only will you drive more visitors to your page by sharing a good read, you'll also entice your contact to pay more attention to your work, so she may reciprocate your good deed.
Keep up with news that is relevant to your line of work, and use Mentions to share anything interesting with your network. Enjoyable stories or news clips will keep members of your network visiting your page frequently to check out the latest headlines.
Engage with your employees.
Employees are your biggest brand advocates! They are also the most likely to engage with your mentions and posts.
Avoid substituting social media conversations for face-to-face meetings.
Although social media is an ideal way to get name recognition and to exchange referrals, it's not a substitute for being able to speak with a customer directly. As you explore potential business on LinkedIn, push for in-person appointments, and direct your prospects to your store or office.
Case studies: learn the best.
Across LinkedIn, companies are using mentions to engage in interactions with their followers. Here are some helpful case studies to show you how certain business are doing it:
Drum up Business Using LinkedIn Mentions
Get your business charged up with these 5 tips.
Your contacts might not be actively using LinkedIn to learn more about business activities but you still want to make them aware of your presence. Engaging with your network can require more of a personal touch in order to help your business grow, and that is exactly what Mentions allow you to do.
1. Conversation is good, spam is bad.
Engage with your contacts the way you would with someone you met at an event or meeting. You don't want to put people off by seeming too sales-y. Rather, you want to think of ways you can connect with people or offer something helpful.
2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The golden rule is important in the world of social media marketing. Be sure to keep your content friendly and mindful. You wouldn't want someone spamming your page with advertisements or leveraging your name for their own interests, so be sure not to treat other people that way.
3. Be active.
Using mentions several times per day will keep your name fresh in your contacts' memories. Don't overdo it, but try to maintain an active presence so that people begin to see you as a source of fresh, interesting content.
4. Keep it interesting.
Try to use humor, personal anecdotes, and good storytelling in your Mentions. You can also link to outside sources such as news articles that meet these criteria.
5. Remember, LinkedIn is a way to facilitate meetings, not a replacement for face-to-face discussion.
Meet face-to-face with your contacts whenever possible. This is the backbone for cultivating an ongoing relationship through LinkedIn. Contacts who know you personally will always be more likely to engage with you and your Mentions over time.