Defense contractors can grow their business by raising their company's profile, participating in "virtual trade show breakout rooms," positioning themselves as experts, generating quality leads and making direct contact with key decision makers.
LinkedIn, with over 120 million users, is the largest professional social network online. A new member joins approximately every second.
Over half of LinkedIn's users represent some level of senior management. An executive from every Fortune 500 company is on LinkedIn.
But LinkedIn is not just for individuals seeking to build or expand a professional network. Companies can also have a presence on LinkedIn and an increasing number of defense contractors are using it to grow their business.
In a Hubspot whitepaper on leveraging LinkedIn for business, a number of features are outlined that can be enormously helpful for defense contractors:
- Company Profile - Much like setting up a website in order to be found by search engines, setting up a company profile on LinkedIn enables your company to be located or discovered, and stand out from other defense contractors with no presence. On this company profile you can provide your own company description, add keywords, specify "Aerospace & Defense" and add other details.
- Virtual Trade Show Breakout Room - If you think of LinkedIn as one big virtual trade show, then the groups on LinkedIn are like the breakout rooms. Groups are where people with similar interests can come together for discussions or to share mutually interesting news. Currently, there are over 1 million groups on LinkedIn. If a group relevant to your company does not exist, you can start and promote your own group and build community around it.
- Thought Leadership - Like all social media, LinkedIn allows creators and curators of content to attain thought leadership. This is done on LinkedIn primarily via status updates and answering questions at the LinkedIn Answers section. On the Answers section, companies with real problems are posting questions. By answering questions, you and your company can establish expertise, begin relationships and gather leads where a company's problem is related to a solution that you provide.
- Contact Decision Makers - When trying to locate someone specific but to whom you are not connected, LinkedIn allows you to see if they belong to any groups or if you have a connection in common. If there's a common connection, you can ask that person to make an introduction for you. And if you have paid subscription to LinkedIn, you can utilize the InMail service and send a message to anyone on LinkedIn, regardless of connectivity status.
Click here to download a free eBook from Hubspot, Learning LinkedIn From the Experts: A Practical Guide to Leveraging LinkedIn. or view the SlideShare presentation below.