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14/12/2017

How to get the most out of LinkedIn

With over 500 million users, LinkedIn offers a variety of services for you to further awareness of your brand. For organisations, LinkedIn is mainly seen as a networking platform for businesses to gain partners, share their industry insights and search for potential employees (with individuals using it to find new jobs). To get the most out of it you do need to invest time, but it’s an investment that can reap rewards.

Individual v company profiles

LinkedIn works very much like Facebook, in that you can have a company page, but it has to be owned by an individual. LinkedIn company pages also face the same restrictions as Facebook company pages; they can only sit passively, and can’t interact with people. You therefore need a proactive individual promoting any content and steering people towards it.

If you’re looking to use LinkedIn to grow awareness of your business, you therefore need to consider the relationships between the company page and the individual/s who might be promoting it, with organisational and individual strategies being aligned.

This means your strategy also needs to consider whether you want to position one figurehead as your company thought leader spearheading your brand, or whether you want all employees or key personnel to be championing it. This then begs questions about your social media policy, which needs to be robust, so people don’t go rogue and damage your brand on this influential platform.

Building your individual network

If you are looking to focus on LinkedIn’s individual features there a few things to keep in mind when trying to gain traction:

  • Be proactive: The less you do, the less likely you are to get noticed by the people you are trying to connect with and influence.
  • All about relationships: LinkedIn works on more of a relationship base, like Facebook, rather than a follower base, like Twitter or Instagram. However, almost all social media platforms work with a snowball effect; the more people you connect with, the more likely you are to be introduced to other users.
  • Initial connections: Start by connecting with people you already know; you can then ask them for introductions to other people you are interested in connecting with.
  • Widening your network: Search for companies and people who are similar to your brand or are in your target audience.
  • Check your updates: Make sure to check regularly who is viewing your profile and new users that might be worth connecting with.

Joining groups

An excellent feature LinkedIn offers is the ability to join and create groups. An example could be a group dedicated to discussing industry news and how that might affect like-minded businesses. Posting in these groups allows you to position yourself/your organisation as an industry expert; the more you post, the more likely people are to discover your profile and recommend you to other users. Look out for people asking for advice and make sure your answer is understandable and helpful.

Groups are also the perfect place to keep up to date with developments from other businesses, enabling you to identify potential areas for collaboration and build mutually beneficial partnerships.

Be thoughtful

LinkedIn gives you the ability to post longer updates than sites like Twitter. Use these characters wisely! Don’t just spam your connections’ feed with sales posts; make sure you’ve put thought into each update and that your connections will gain from what you’re talking about.

There is an additional advantage to doing this: because it works as a search engine, posting regular content on LinkedIn can move you up searches on other platforms, such as Google.  To really make sure your profile is one of the first that people see in their Google searches, make sure your posts contain keywords and phrases that are likely to appear in relevant search terms.

Promoting your organisation

Alongside establishing the personal profile of your company figurehead or key representatives, it’s worthwhile setting up a company page.  As stated above, these are essentially passive, so you need your LinkedIn champions to steer their networks to the content on this page.  However, it’s a useful extra resource to list your company’s specialisms, products and services; as well as giving your organisation an SEO boost, you may also find a potential customer coming to you after reading your company page on LinkedIn as the platform is increasingly used by companies to find suppliers. 

Like any social media platform, those who get the most out of LinkedIn are those who put the most in.  But if you use the right techniques, offering valuable insights to your network, you could gain new customers and business relationships. For an in-depth guide to boosting your business on LinkedIn or other social media, we offer training that covers everything from the best times to post, the right content to use and how to win followers. 

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency

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