For most, LinkedIn is a social platform for networking, recruiting, and findings jobs, but few realize its true potential towards the channel. If you work with a distribution channel and do not have a powerful presence on LinkedIn, you are undoubtedly missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with and engage with current and potential channel partners.
First, let’s go over the facts (all information is provided courtesy of LinkedIn) and what they mean to you:
According to LinkedIn, they are the largest professional network with more than 313 million members spanning across 200 countries and territories
Aside from being an impressive feat (it’s the third largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter), its greatest benefit to you is that it opens up an entire professional network right at your fingertips. Information such as contact name, job title, company, contact information, and associated profiles, makes LinkedIn give sites such as data.com a run for its money. And since LinkedIn profiles are individually owned and not a collaborative, it increases the quality and accuracy of contact information.
LinkedIn members have conducted over 5.7 billion professional-oriented searches in 2012
This means that LinkedIn users are using the social/professional network to discover new information, whether it be job-related or purchasing related. The fact of the matter is, as of recently, the buyer cycle has shifted control away from sales and in the hands of the actual customer. Potential customers are conducting research on their own without requiring additional resources or times from sales. It is only when a customer is ready to make an actual purchase decision that sales is actually required. By providing relevant information on LinkedIn, such as a Slideshare presentation or product information, you increase your chances of being found by LinkedIn’s search algorithm and you also increases the likely hood to generating a new sale.
There are currently more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups is an opportunity for you to build yourself as a leader within your industry. Not only does it make you look impressive, it also draws attention of potential channel partnerships. Channel partners are always willing to partner up with vendors, but it’s the whole partner experience that may deter or attract them. Take this opportunity to prove your willing to work with them and their strategic goals and provide additional information such as program benefits how successful your channel has been over the quarter.
Every company has unique characters within their channel. To consider the options that LinkedIn provides your channel, take a glance at our latest white paper “How to Use LinkedIn in Your Channel Strategy” to understand the full scope LinkedIn can provide your channel operation. Think we may have overlooked something? Leave us a comment below and let us know what LinkedIn strategies have been working for your indirect channel.