Early we talked about the starting point on your LinkedIn way. We set the profile in the way it would be appealing and comprehensive for the viewers and covered a bit of joining groups and posting content.
However, LinkedIn isn’t only this. It can propose you a variety of tools which turn out to be incredibly helpful for promotion your business. Now we’re going to focus more on where to move further and which steps to take to make LinkedIn work for your business needs.
But firstly let’s recall why to use LinkedIn.
1.People are going to LinkedIn for work.
Well, it’s the first and the most favorite one for me. This point describes the difference between social media platforms. Firstly let’s apply it to the business-to-business model. Here’s a lively example of how it works. Imagine that you’re out with your daughter to the zoo. Suddenly, one of the workers you hadn’t noticed until that moment came up to you and started to propose his services.
You would think that it’s funny but you would hardly be able to connect it somehow to your business. It’s your weekend and a zoo is a place where you’re coming to entertain your daughter. For your mind, it would be hard to associate this place with the work and take it seriously even if you really have something to do with the zoo workers.
The same stuff happens with social platforms. Business owners, entrepreneurs, startupers, marketing and digital specialists, managers of all the levels, growth hackers are coming there to chat with friends, to read news, to post a new photo and rarely for the work purpose. You’re manager of a digital agency but still, you’re a friend, a brother, a husband, a son.
You opened facebook messenger to chat with your mom about the plans for Christmas but you’re interrupted by the marketing guy who wants to talk to you about business perspectives of using his company services. You would feel just like in the zoo – being in the wrong place, speaking to the wrong person. Doesn’t it make sense for you?
It’s different with LinkedIn as people are going there with the mood for work, not for chatting with friends. Therefore, chances to be the wrong person in the wrong place are ceasing significantly. I will highlight here that it’s relevant for a business-to-business model. In contrary, a business-to-client model works well on the non-specified social platforms like Facebook.
Being B2C you’re focused on making a life of your customer better. In this case to be the right person in the right place you need to know the road of your customer – when and where he (she) might be the most subjected to the kind of information you want to provide.
2.The way people treat each other within LinkedIn.
We’re not expecting from people posting on Facebook or Twitter 100% trustworthy information because we know that people are resting there. They are sharing their thoughts, observations, just funny stuff. A lot of just funny stuff. So, it would be somewhat ridiculous to treat a post of the person as a truth to the highest extent when together with marketing news he is normally posting lovely cats and photos of his hangouts with friends.
Therefore, we’ve used to think about some social platforms in the terms of the places for entertainment. Of course, it influences the way we treat all the information throughout the platform. Even if we decide to come up with, let’s say, case study which can help a lot of specialists to avoid common pitfalls on the way, placing it on Facebook or Telegram would mean roughly losing of the half (it depends on the kind of business, so for some business it might be more than a half) of your prospective audience.
Comparing to Facebook, LinkedIn is more trustworthy platform because we expect people to write there relying on their experience or share something proved in the field. We treat the content on LinkedIn more seriously and, therefore, for those who would like to show expertise it’s the best place to share knowledge. You may want it to do in the different ways: writing and sharing articles, actively participating in the groups by answering questions and helping people with an advice.
This can be a great breakthrough to becoming a thought leader for those who consider your content as useful. Knowledge is power.
3.Possibility to drive traffic with the help of LinkedIn.
As we have already talked about the importance of sharing content where your target audience most likely is, here I will highlight it once more. LinkedIn is a great place to drive traffic to your web-site and blog. To make it work, be sure that you are posting original information on your LinkedIn profile.
You need it to ensure people that you’re the person who truly knows what he (she) talks about. Then, you can share links to your web-site and blog content by updating your status, so that it would be shown to your connections and to other participants of the groups you’re in. And if you’re sharing information from other sources, remember that it might be relevant.
As you can see, LinkedIn has a lot of tools which serve to help you spread the word.
4.Comfortable place for you to identify and generate the leads.
Once you have oriented with the target audience, you can identify leads by turning to the content your prospects share and group discussions where they post the issues they want specialists to comment on. Don’t forget that being the right person in the right is extremely important and it’s a hard work. Just staying in the group won’t help.
Content that you share matters as you may remember that each viewer of your profile can observe your content right below the professional headline section. So, your content is your face. Treat all this seriously if you want to get a result out of it or just don’t do anything because only the active member of LinkedIn benefit from it.
How to go about it right? Just like any other part of your business. Just like other thought leaders. You’re not the first on this road. So set your goal and schedule the steps towards it (here: participation in discussions and posting).
Now let’s look at the steps to make your profile successful.
1)Create LinkedIn Company Page
Yes, it’s just with any other social platform. If you want to promote your business, you need to build up not just your own profile appropriately but also a business page for your company. Remember that it can be considered as a bad taste to talk to people about your business without a possibility to present it on the same.
Accordingly, if you’re talking to people about your business within LinkedIn, you need to attach a link to your company page exactly on LinkedIn. Creation of company page just as simple as on any other social platform (come here for an advice).
- As always, first goes your logo and background image. It might be implicit that they are unique ones, no plagiarism (for background image as well).
- There’s a company profile you need to fill out. Don’t talk a lot. Let people get the main idea and want to know more. Only the main information.
- Engage your employees to mention the company page on their profiles.
- Share link to your company page on your website and blog by adding “Follow” button.
2)Start your own group on LinkedIn.
Do it to gather people from different fields who might share an interest in your business and find contacts with the other members useful. Building a community around your business is always a worth doing thing, yet, not the easiest one. Having LinkedIn group gives a possibility to bring to the one place prospective customers and partners and show them your expertise.
- Start with original name and logo for your group, so that it might include the main purpose of the group (e.g. “Growth Hackers of Netherlands”) and be somehow memorable for an audience (by its unique design).
- Fill out description and summary of the group. It should be concise. Only a few sentences.
Use keywords to attract people from the special fields. Remember that the summary appears in the Groups Directory (it means that while searching through the options people will see the name of the group and its summary below). If your summary must be only of 300 characters length, in the description you have 2000 characters at your disposal.
Consider it as a long form of the summary. Here you can permit yourself a more detailed overview of the idea behind your group.
- Set the entire rules of your group in the appropriate section, clarify permissions for joining and posting (either member has to request or it can be done instantly), set privacy settings.
- Of course, there’s a lot of ways to promote it that LinkedIn provides you (but this is a topic of another article).
Here you can find helpful directions on this road.
3)Take a serious look at your connections.
Remember about the quality-over-quantity approach. It’s the best what you can do to grow connection base that you want to have. If it’s is still represented by relatives, friends, and occasional contacts, then don’t expect to get an advantage for your business out of it. For informal chatting, there are plenty of options, like Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, KIK (etc.), but LinkedIn is for your professional contacts.
So make it meaningful picking those contacts that might be beneficial for both sides. Also, look at the option of “People you may know”. When opening profile of each person you will see possible connections (mutual friends) that map your way to this person. Then look at suggested friends and kindly ask them about an introduction. Remember that your connection base is rarely something you can get in a passive way.
To expand your contact list beyond people you know personally and you have mutual friends with, help your target audience by producing relevant content and contribute to group discussions. Useful information that you provide won’t be missed, and people would want to hear from you more.
LinkedIn provides a lot of tools to help you further your Business Development process. You’ll always be able to find help from service support either you’re creating company page or making your group or promoting one or another. The only tricky point most of the beginners stumble across is a time that you need to make all this great.
Here arises a need to have a plan of “very important”, “important” and “would be cool” things to do, and schedule your actions accordingly. It’s impossible to decide one day that you want to write articles, participate in discussions, work on the acquiring new connections and make it without altering existing schedule. Therefore, don’t be afraid to make a change in the latter. Just be sure that you have a right system of prioritization.