Unlike any of the other social networks being used by B2B marketers to build brand awareness, establish new relationships and generate new business leads, LinkedIn provides a plethora of communication options which I have listed below.
Sending a connection request
To generate new connections, LinkedIn provides a facility to send a connection request. Bear in mind that the assumption is you were previously acquainted with the person to whom you are sending the connection request, hence the options presented when you send the request (ie colleague, classmate, we’ve done business together, friend, groups, other). Bear in mind that if the person advises LinkedIn that they do not know you, this is recorded. When you reach a specific threshold, you will no longer be allowed to send connection requests.
Requesting an introduction
You have the capability of sending a connection request through an existing connection. It is relatively easy to do this. When viewing the person’s profile (to whom you wish to connect), click on the “Get introduced through a connection” option and follow the prompts.
Sending messages to an existing connection
This is a pretty straight forward process. When viewing the connection’s profile, click on the “Send a message” option and hey presto!
Sending bulk messages
You are able to compose a message and send it to many recipients. What is great about this feature is that you can specify locations and industries. This works well if you have content you want to share with connections within, for example, the Banking industry.
InMails are private messages that let you send business and career opportunities directly to any LinkedIn user. InMail allows you to contact or be directly contacted by 2nd or 3rd degree contacts as well as LinkedIn users who are not in your network.
Invitation to join LinkedIn groups
If you manage a LinkedIn group, there are a number of options available to invite persons to join your LinkedIn group. You can type existing connection name and email addresses or share the invitation with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Send an announcement from LinkedIn groups
For existing LinkedIn group members, you are allowed to send one group announcement a week. This will be emailed to all group members
New discussion on LinkedIn profile or groups
A new discussion posted on your profile will be shared with all your contacts. You can then share this discussion with the LinkedIn groups you manage, other LinkedIn groups you belong to, Twitter and specified LinkedIn connections and email addresses.
Comments on LinkedIn groups
For all LinkedIn groups, you are able to comment on all discussion. This can be a general comment which is viewed by all or a private comment to a specific individual.
Extracting contact details of existing LinkedIn connections
For all existing LinkedIn connections, LinkedIn provides you with the facility to extract your LinkedIn contact details to an Excel spread sheet. You must obviously exercise discretion in terms of ewhat you do with this information.
LinkedIn provides you with many options to communicate effectively with your target connections and existing connections and to publicise existing content to other social networks you belong to.
Is there other communication options provided by LinkedIn that I have overlooked? Have you had positive or negative experiences with these features and functions? I would love to hear from you!