There are some excellent ways to utilize LinkedIn for identifying, qualifying, and engaging your prospects. At the very least, consider LinkedIn a tool that can provide a first look at a prospect’s business information, whether it’s career history, education, or professional interests. Some people also list nonprofit and for-profit boards, interests, and other achievements.
Always keep in mind that this data is self-reported, but for the most part professionals wish to be accurate in what information they put out there for their work colleagues, potential clients, peers at their level, and prospective employers/employment agencies to see. Think about this for a minute. For example, it would not be a very good idea to put erroneous information about your professional self for your manager or co-workers to see, right? This isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, but I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that most of my 300+ LinkedIn connections are as accurate as they possibly can be.
Basic information people share:
- Where they are currently working,
- Work and personal accomplishments
- Past employment history
- Education, certifications, and awards
Top decision-makers, executives, and proprietors are on LinkedIn, as are their companies.
Search by keywords:
- Industry, job title, size of company, Fortune 500, seniority level, years of experience
- Alma mater
- LinkedIn discussion group(s), their LinkedIn interests
Of course you can also purchase Premium account options.
LinkedIn can be a great way to engage your alumni communities through a myriad of groups. Also don’t forget the many discussion groups that you can join to help you connect with your prospect research and fundraising colleagues so that you can partake in the sharing of ideas and/or ask for advice.
Some other blogs post featuring information about utilizing LinkedIn on our ProspectResearch.com website are as follows:
- Is Your Research Department Using LinkedIn at all? To Its Full Potential?
- Staying connected with your peers in LinkedIn – Discussion groups!
- Where to Find Information Regarding Social Networking ROI
- Facebook and LinkedIn – The social media personal and professional go-to tools?
- Shades Of Gray: Social Media and Prospect Research
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