For prospecting, at the end of the day the goal is leverage Linked In and other social channels to acquire more customers and retain the ones you have because you will be seen as a thought leader. But how can you do this effectively?

At the end of the day, it's all about engagement. Your client facing team members, sales AM’s, executive leadership all should have a social presence and position your company as thought leaders.  This engages our prospects and customers and sets us apart from the pack.

So I present,

The TOP 10 things you need to be doing on Linked In. Drumroll please!
10. Your Brand

In 1997, Fast Company author Tom Peters wrote about the importance of your personal brand.  Today it is imperative that you take control of your brand and put the best foot forward.

•It starts with photo. 
•Don’t use photos from you at the bar and your friends are cropped out.  
•High quality cameras are everywhere.  Take a pic, edit it and post it. 
•Put keywords that sell who you are and position you at the thought leader you are in your respective industry. 
•Remember you only have one first impression.

9. Team Effort

•Social selling extends beyond you. 
•Your company needs to have a strong presence and any client facing team member should too. 
•Senior leadership, sales, service and marketing should be active writing and sharing content across different verticals

8. Proper Introduction

So this is the standard LinkedIn Intro box. Do not ever use it! 

•Pause, think about why you want to connect and your reason for reaching. 
•Give them a reason to network with you. 
•Show the value you will deliver in having you as a connection, whether Content, a service, product etc.

7. Leverage Your Network

Linked in starts at the 2nd degree!

•Leverage your network
•Ask for introductions.
•LinkedIn makes it very easy with an “introductions” feature.

6. Cross Platform

These techniques to not reside solely on Linked in. Explore and expand your social networking to other platforms too! Twitter is a great network to develop B2B connections, and to interact directly with brands.

5. Groups

Groups are an excellent way to prospect in verticals you are trying to penetrate.

•Start and monitor conversations
•Sharing your insights in group discussions
•Make new connections

4. Recommendations & Endorsements

Recommendations are key to profile visibility as they show instant credibility!

•Request recommendations from current and former colleagues
•Recommend a business associate, they might reciprocate

Endorsements, which were introduced last fall are “lazy man’s” version of a recommendation

•Have some impact on your social presence
•Help keep you top of mind. 
•Just make sure you reciprocate.   I scratch your back you scratch mine!

3. New Tagging Feature

Tagging has several effective uses

•Mention individuals and companies of relevance in your post to encourage continued dialogue. 
•Enhance your content strategy by tagging companies, colleagues or thought leaders that may have contributed to your post. 
•Also has great impact on event marketing or speaking engagements

2. Sharing

Sharing is a great way to “share” thought leadership with your network and groups. 

It allows you the opportunity to stay in front of your network and become a “leader”.

1. Have Fun!

LinkedIn is about connecting with other, real people. Enjoy these interactions and view it as a way to make new friends and acquaintances.

I hope these tips are helpful as you start your social media strategy individually and as a company!