Scaling a LinkedIn Network to Nurture Prospects

tech connectionOne of the greatest benefits of LinkedIn is the ability to create a public or private community of peers and prospective customers. The problem is, most of those networks are small and have little interaction. Both of which pretty much kill the idea of networking and connecting.

SpotSource, a Miami-based firm that delivers talent acquisition, staffing and consulting services, has built the SpotSource Solutions Network, a focused LinkedIn group that may have cracked the code on interactivity and growth.

The membership of the network is impressive, as is the level of interaction. According to LinkedIn, the SpotSource Solutions Network has more than 1,100 global members with a 685 percent week-over-week growth rate. With only 30 percent of the members in South Florida, the company has expanded its reach well beyond its traditional base. The make-up of the members is 30 percent+ in senior jobs and has a unique blend of IT, Program Management, Operations, Sales, and Consulting.

SpotSource makes this group work not by posting a torrent of job openings but by delivering resources that helps both job seekers and hiring managers. Examples of quality content include a summary on the skills gaps in Latin America and the career growth of IT execs. Some of the material is repurposed and some is original. Either way, SpotSource is positioning itself as an expert in a very crowded field.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Top vendors to staffing firms

The result is powerful. A telecom manager from Schneider Electric commented recently that he likes the Latin American content and added that he’s always looking for great resources in Brazil. That’s no longer a lead; it’s a qualified buyer. Instantly, social media turns from a creative play to a lead generator.

How can you build a network like the SpotSource Solutions Network?

  • Be focused. Work with small target audiences. Be too broad and you’ll lose the interest of members.
  • Be unique. There’s a lot of clutter on LinkedIn. So pick a topic that’s not only compelling but resonates with and solves the problems of your target audience.
  • Be consistent. Post 3-5 times/week. And focus on distributing your own content as well as repurposing stories and other information from reliable sources.
  • Be aggressive. Use all of your resources to direct your customers and prospects to the group. And leverage sales, recruiting, billing and customer service teams to promote the group. Not to mention all of the online and offline promotions you can employ to illustrate the value of your interactive network.

Just as important, highlight the success of your network to your customers. HR and hiring managers are eagerly looking for suppliers that can effectively illustrate how they’re different (read that as better) from everyone else. A compelling and fast-growing online network is a great illustration of your overall value in the marketplace.

MORE: Emerging employers eclipse traditionalists in the war for talent

Jim Lanzalotto

Jim Lanzalotto
Jim Lanzalotto runs Scanlon.Louis, a strategy and marketing outsourcing firm that helps companies grow. He can be reached at jim (at) scanlonlouis (dot) com.

Jim Lanzalotto

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