19 Oct How to Use LinkedIn to Boost Business
Are you using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy? In today’s online world, LinkedIn is the meeting place for business-to-business (B2B) engagement. Being a B2B social platform, it allows you the opportunity to grow your network, share your content and thought leadership, ultimately giving you the huge potential to generate new business.
If you get it right, LinkedIn lead generation is a viable and valuable strategy to use when generating leads to convert to sales.
We have put together a short and effective guide on how you can use LinkedIn to boost business.
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BUILD YOUR NETWORK
When you first start out on LinkedIn you will easily be matched with connections based on the companies you worked at previously and their shared connections.
It is good to start building up your network with those that you know and have worked with as they can be a great source of information who potentially could write recommendations to build up your LinkedIn profile and also link you with connections who may be of benefit to your business.
Once you’ve done that, it is advisable to widen your search by looking for connections that are working within to your area of expertise, or within the target market that you are seeking. Do yourself a favour and read their profiles first to ensure that they fit the profile. When you find people to connect with, it is important to personalise your initial connection request to them – address them by their first name and sign-off with your name, contact number and web or email address.
Once people start connecting with you, send a follow-up message to thank them for the connection. Thank them, and also give them a brief overview of what you found interesting about their profile and why you wanted to connect with them. You could also give a very brief overview of yourself and your business, but then invite them to tell you more about themselves to see if there are any synergies to uncover, or perhaps an opportunity to meet or further the conversation offline.
POST CUSTOMISED CONTENT
LinkedIn is very different to Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms. Being a business to business platform the content that you share with your connections needs to be customised.
Generic updates, sharing of news articles and other generic content or continuously sharing the same thing over and over are not acceptable, but moreover, will not gain any traction.
Your content needs to be authentic and engaging. There is nothing wrong with promoting yourself and your brand or getting people over to your website but you also need to give them something where you need nothing in return – share something that will address a pain point or share real lessons. This is harder than it sounds as the LinkedIn algorithms these days really only give visibility to posts that people are engaging with. So engagement is a real key if you want to use content to attract an audience to your business.
JOIN LINKEDIN GROUPS
LinkedIn groups are just like networking events, only online. Join groups that are relevant to your industry where you can connect with like-minded businesses and people. Also join groups where your customers are hanging out but only if you can add value to those groups.
Groups can be powerful if it is worked correctly. People who participate actively in groups get 4 x the number of profile views than those that don’t participate.
The other main benefit of joining groups is that you can send direct messages to the people within that group, whether you are connected or not. You have the opportunity to connect with people, widen your own network and share valuable and authentic information. Like all other messages you send, you need to make sure when you connect with people in a group that your message is of value.
DON’T BE SPAMMY
We have mentioned throughout this article about the importance of sharing valuable and authentic content with your connections. We can’t stress the importance of this enough!
People don’t want to be pitched too constantly. Even though LinkedIn is essentially another social media platform and is a great place to generate leads and turn them into sales, you won’t be successful if you’re polarising people by being too salesy.
Use LinkedIn to create yourself a wide network of connections that you could bring value to. Share authentic content that solves a problem for them or that can add value to them and/or their business. For sure you can share about yourself, what your business is about, promote your product or service but take the time to promote others, and share other things happening in your industry. Remember, the law of reciprocity is alive and well on social media today. The spotlight shouldn’t always be on you.
Take the time to picture the type of business community that you would like. Do you want to connect with potential mentors? Do you want to connect with a niche group of businesses who you think you could help? Whatever it may be, LinkedIn is the place that this can happen.
Just remember, be authentic, create engaging content and always think about how you can add value and share that.
Sue Mills is a marketing, sales and digital specialist to the financial and professional service sector, and the owner of Sassy Marketing & Communications. With over 20 years of experience working for and with financial planners, accountants, brokers and advisors she shows her clients how to step up and out to be sustainable and thrive in their practices through adopting smart and valuable marketing strategies. Call Sue on 0477 468 888 for a confidential discussion or visit www.sassy.marketing.