Thursday, March 6, 2014

70% of Your Clients Are Judging You on This

Your client satisfaction?  No.  The quality of your projects?  Not so much.  Your hit rate?  Wrong again!

No.  Seventy-percent of your clients are judging you on this (of all things):

Your LinkedIn profile.

Don’t believe me?  Well, you’d better start—

According to the Hinge Marketing Team’s newly released study, Beyond Referrals: How Today’s Buyers Check You Out, 59.9% of buyers “check out” potential professional services providers through social media—and of that 59.9%, 70% of those buyers use LinkedIn as their primary source of information on service providers, compared to only 25% of “other social media” (including Google+, Facebook, and Youtube) and 5% of Twitter.

Why does LinkedIn have such an overwhelming lead over other forms of social media in terms of instilling buyers with feelings of legitimacy toward a firm?

Hinge states: “Given the platform’s professional focus, this doesn’t come as a surprise—and sends a clear message as to where sellers should focus their social media efforts.  Notably, LinkedIn provides one venue in which buyers may easily turn to for advice.”

Other notable methods buyers use for checking out professional service providers explored in the study were website viewing (80.8%), online searches (63.2%--emphasizing the need for strong SEO practices), and asking friends if they’ve heard of the firm (62.4%).  Significantly, the research showed that buyers used an average of 3.2 methods each time they “checked out” a provider, suggesting that sellers must be accessible in multiple channels.

Your takeaway?

Bare minimum:
·         Hire an outside consultant to create for you a killer, user-friendly website.
·         Hire an outside consultant (an employ an internal marketing analyst) to ensure your website is as SEO-friendly as possible and showing up on Google as high up as possible.

·         Create a company LinkedIn profile that you use as a forum to engage your audience and distribute content—and get your CEO involved!  He/she should be putting out new information frequently, representing your company as a thought leader in its field.

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