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Linked In – B2B Marketing Tactics

For B2B brands, Linked In offers some excellent targeting capabilities.  Again be prepared to allocate some advertising dollars.  Connection building is also an effort that is likely to further evolve.  Many people have spent time and effort to amass as many connections as possible.  Fortunately Linked In only displays 500+ connections which have diminished the obsession to accumulate ridiculous amounts of connections from people you have never met and likely will never interact with.  Look for Linked In to segment connections in the future to provide some form of qualitative metrics.


From time to time, I ask people what percent of their contacts they have seen, spoken to on the phone or exchanged an email in the past twelve months.  The answer is almost always a low percent so even professionals who have a large and legitimate number of contacts could benefit from the advertising solutions to keep them more top of mind with their Linked In network.


For a few years now, I have guest lectured at the University of San Diego’s marketing classes and even though I am not the professor that will give the students a grade, I give them the homework assignment of creating a Linked In profile and inviting friends and persons who they have demonstrated some level of performance that may differentiate themselves from their peers.  I suggest they request a connection with their professor and while I don’t invite them to connect with me, I do get one or two invitations each semester from students in the class which I do accept even though we have only the slightest of connection and I may not even recognize them on the street.  I don’t accept the invitations from the real estate, insurance and wealth advisors seemed to have read somewhere that Linking in with strangers is a successful business development practice.


I have had a Linked in profile for some years now and have found it a valuable tool in helping determine which calls and emails from strangers I am likely to return.  There are too many to respond to every unsolicited contact one receives.  I did receive an email from Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Chairman of Linked In (I’m guessing he didn’t send it personally) telling me that I was Linked In member number 17, 868 which is pretty mind boggling when you realize there are more than 300 million people on the platform now.


 Here’s a profile for Michael Sick with an ID number that identifies the Linked In ID number which can give you some idea of how long the profile has been on Linked In:


I recently received a request to connect from someone I have never met with this profile ID:

www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=373635XXX  (hyper link does not work as I changed the number to protect the guilty. 

The profile was from someone who indicated that they have been a marketing and sales consultant for 15 years and their Linked In Profile ID was number 373 million?  Something doesn’t feel right here as they touted their internet marketing capabilities and they are a “Johnny Come Lately” to providing the transparency that Linked In offers.  Profiles and be changed and backgrounds can be exaggerated but at least they are out there for public perusal.

Periodically, I get emails from contacts seeking to verify or request background information on persons I am connected to.  I have found it a great tool to stay connected to persons who I have worked with in the past, particularly those that I worked with before the dawn of the internet who I would have otherwise lost track of.


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