The Power of The Cascading Network – Expanding Reach Through LinkedIn

I tend to assume that most people I interact with are active users of Linkedin.  But from time to time, I find myself convincing someone of the power of  the Linkedin network

Beyond the standard advantages – keeping up to date with people, having access to shared articles etc – the one that is often the most compelling is the power of the “Cascading” network.

Let’s say you have a company page on LinkedIn with 500 followers. You post an update, and it appears in the timeline of those 500 people – some will see it, some won’t. But theoretically, it’s in front of 500 sets of eyes.

Now, suppose you have 50 sales people, with an average of 100 connections. If they choose to share this update with their LinkedIn network, it is now in front of another 5,000 sets of eyes. To be fair, there’ll be some overlap in networks, so let’s say 4,000.

If 2% of these Linkedin users now click or share the update, it potentially goes in front of another 8,000 or so people. And the real beauty is that these networks tend to be highly targeted to your customer base. The majority of the network of your sales team is likely to be within the industry you sell into, and many will be actual customers; they in turn will be linked with many others within your target demographic (Engineers link with Engineers, Accountants with Accountants etc). And if they find the update compelling, it can be shared many times down the chain, to an ever expanding number of people.

A simple Company Update on Linkedin can reach thousands of highly qualified prospects. Of course, this will only happen if the update is relevant and interesting to the community. A product announcement might not get you the engagement you’re looking for, but an intro to a white paper, or troubleshooting tips could certainly capture attention.

So it goes from 500 eyes to 4,000, then to 12,000, to 20,000… and on, and on (depending on the quality of the network, and the value of the update). It reminds me of the quote inaccurately attributed to Einstein that “Compound Interest is the most powerful force in the universe”. Seems like Linkedin has a similar claim to marketing fame.

Take a look at your sales team, and their Linkedin profiles. Are they well connected? And if so,  are you using their networks to gain attention in your industry?

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