Even if you’re not using LinkedIn to its full extent – and who of us really are? – no doubt you recognize the enormous potential that LinkedIn holds especially for those of us in the event industry.
A number of recent blog posts point out the benefits of using LinkedIn when you’re looking to bring more people to an event or conference, or draw visitors to your tradeshow booth.
Earlier this year, LinkedIn made it easy for web masters to integrate their LinkedIn groups into their websites. They did this by opening up its API to groups. What’s an API? Check Julius Solaris’ very informative post here. Basically, it allows you to make tons of connections to like-minded professionals through LinkedIn – but you do it by putting that outpost onto your website. At this point, I’m not seeing a lot of plug-in widgets, but I get the impression they will soon become plentiful. If you run a WordPress blog (like this one), there are a couple of LinkedIn plugins that allow you to display a LinkedIn badge or a share button. Check this article on WikiHow to find out more about connecting LinkedIn with your WordPress blog.
And then here’s a discussion on LinkedIn about what social media tools are best used to draw people to events. Lots of different answers as you might expect.
There are a lot of ways you can use LinkedIn to promote your business or event, as seen in this post from the Social Media Examiner, one of my favorite blogs on using social media.
You can sync your Twitter account with LinkedIn so any tweet lands on LinkedIn, or make it so that only those with the #LI hashtag are posted on LinkedIn. Messages don’t get lost as much on LinkedIn as they can on Twitter, which is important especially when you’re out promoting your event appearance. By syncing Twitter with LinkedIn, you’re getting more coverage for the same effort.
The LinkedIn Events App is seen as a powerful event promotions tool, allowing people to find your event and RSVP, too.
LinkedIn allows you to see if your connections are attending specific events (if you pay attention). Just by visiting the event RSVP page you can find people who might be worthwhile to connect with. Reach out to them, mention that you’ll be at the event and try to find a way to connect in person. If you have a first-level connection or are in the same group, you can reach out through LinkedIn email. If you’re a2nd or 3rd degree connection and have no group connection, use InMailTM.
Another great way to use LinkedIn for events is to find new connections and strengthen current connections. Again, here’s a terrific tutorial from the Social Media Examiner.
Making connections is what it’s all about: finding areas to connect on, reaching out, offering help, asking advice, be a resource – it’s all there on LinkedIn. If you’re not there, get there. If you’re already there, I suspect that you can really ramp up your connectivity efforts via LinkedIn if you just spend a little time on it.