You're Linked, I'm Linked, We're All LinkedIn

Now that you are aware that you, as a credit union marketer and business developer should have a LinkedIn account, what’s next? How does a credit union marketer use LinkedIn to help their credit union?

As I mentioned earlier, credit unions attract some great people- credit union professionals are usually friendly, sociable and smart. That being said, you tend to make friends pretty easily. In his book “How to really use LinkedIn” Jan Vanmeiran lays out the technical aspects of how you can use LinkedIn to connect with others you have met and some that you haven’t.
According to Jan, it is all about the 2nd connection network. Your first connections are the people that you already know; those that are already “linked” to you. If you have been on LinkedIn, you’ll notice that LinkedIn will often “suggest people you might know.” These people are 2nd or 3rd connections that are linked to your first connections.

So, back to how a credit union marketer or business development officer like yourself can use LinkedIn to increase your SEG base and community charters. You want to approach company X to garner their interest in linking to your credit union but you just can’t get past the gatekeeper (we hear about this from credit unions of all sizes quite often). Credit Union marketers should be using LinkedIn to connect to the people they need to talk to through the people they already know in their network.

There is a search option on LinkedIn as well as an advanced search option. Click on the advanced search option and type in the company as well as the department or title of the person you are looking to talk to and their location information. Make sure you indicate you want CURRENT employees.

The search will pull up everyone in that company that is on LinkedIn and related to that company and the position/title you listed. From there, you can see whether or not this person is a 2nd or 3rd connection. What you are looking for is a 2nd connection; LinkedIn will show you who you know that knows the person you are trying to get in touch with. Now, depending on how well you might know that person, all you have to do is give them a call (I would suggest calling them if you know them well) or shooting them an e-mail and ask them to make an introduction; either through LinkedIn, e-mail or even in person.

Jan drives home the point that “you never know who your network knows” and LinkedIn is the window that gives you a view into your network’s network. Use it. Give your credit union colleagues a chance to live out one of their seven principles: Cooperation among cooperatives.

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