Many Fire & Security directors think that they know how to use LinkedIn. How hard can it be? But they are not impressed with the results they are getting so they say: "Oh, LinkedIn doesn't work for my industry!"
Whether you're selling home alarms (Business to Consumer - B2C) or commercial fire safety, intruder alarms, CCTV and access control to businesses (B2B), social media can be a useful tool for getting new customers.
And I can categorically tell you that LinkedIn DOES work to generate site surveys for Fire & Security installers.
For those that do not yet have an account, go to www.LinkedIn.com. Enter your first and last name, an email address and a password. You've taken the first step to using LinkedIn.
There are five things you need to do to achieve LinkedIn success:
Your headline is crucial. It's the first thing that any potential customer will see in both organic search and on LinkedIn.
You go out to a networking meeting. Lots of cards are exchanged. Once at home, one of your new contacts hears about a local burglary and wants to know more about home alarms. He remembers meeting you earlier. He looks up your name on the internet. In most cases, the first thing he sees is your LinkedIn profile. If you have not completed it fully, giving all the necessary information, he will start Googling your local competitors.
Knowing how to use the 120 characters of your LinkedIn headline to their best effect is vital. It needs to contain some keywords and phrases that describe what you do. But also a compelling marketing message to make them want to find out more. One of the gurus called it making it 'clickworthy'. Make it hit THEIR pain points.
Click Me at the top right of your navigation bar
Then click View Profile in the pop up that appears.
When you get to your Profile, click on the blue pencil at the top right and you will see a pop up that contains lots of fields for you to complete, including your Headline and Summary.
Make sure you fill out your work email and phone number in the Contact section.
You should also complete the Experience and Skills sections. You can locate the sections for these in your profile and then click the blue pencil at the top right of each section to edit.
Add multimedia like videos, pdfs or slideshare presentations wherever possible. Make sure that these files also have your keywords and phrases in their titles.
A professional profile picture is a must. Something that makes you look approachable but serious enough to reflect that you are an expert in your field.
Complete every section of your LinkedIn profile.
It's easy to do, providing you have an email that comes from the company domain as one of your confirmed addresses on your LinkedIn profile.
On the navigation bar, click the drop down by WORK
Then select Create a Company Page at the very bottom..
Fill out all the fields and add relevant alarm and security images. Encourage your customers to follow your Company page by adding links to emails.
Get your marketing team to publish regular updates that you and other employees can share on your personal profiles. They will be seen by all YOUR connections.
Once you've decided who your ideal customer is, you can connect with them via the Connect button in the centre on all personal profiles and to the right of a prospect's name in the results of many searches.
It is a good idea to personalise your connection invitation by adding a note. Say how you know them or where you met. Explain why you want to connect - what's in it for them? You have 300 characters. Make them count! Never say 'I saw that you viewed my profile...' even if you did. It looks and sounds creepy and is very unimaginative.
There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn and each member is allowed to join 50 of them. Join as many as you can. This is a great way to be able to see and contact business people who are not in your network.
Choose a few main groups in your industry but focus your attentions on groups that contain your target customers... or which are discussing things that you are passionate about.
Having said that, don't go into a group and start posting self-serving sales messages. This applies to publishing content on the main LinkedIn platform as well. It is the quickest way to have people avoid you!
Being contentious is also not the best way to build relationships and start to influence people.