Ever since social networking platforms became popular, plenty of marketing experts have preached how business owners and managers can use these platforms to boost their business. But not all of these social networking platforms are the same, and the LinkedIn platform is especially different. You may not fully realize its unique features, and this mistake can cause you to make mistakes when you’re trying to use LinkedIn as a way to increase your profits.
If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn is especially crucial. Up to 80% of all B2B leads come from the LinkedIn platform. The second placer in this category is Twitter, which only contributes a paltry 13% of these B2B leads.
The biggest mistake you can commit as a business owner is to neglect to establish your presence on the LinkedIn platform. The benefits of creating a well-defined presence in this platform are too numerous and crucial for any enterprise. Being in LinkedIn can lead you to new lead sources and clients, and can also introduce you to new contacts who may prove useful down the road.
But by far the biggest benefit is the search engine optimization that LinkedIn can provide. With this SEO benefit, your company can be perceived as an authority in the industry.
LinkedIn Is Not for Direct Social Selling
LinkedIn offers a member database that lets you find certain professionals a lot more easily. You can search by industry, by location, by company, or by job title. That means if you’re looking for the type of people who generally make up your client base, you have a nifty list of potential leads to engage with.
The main problem with this particular paradigm is that lots of executives absolutely loathe being targeted this way. These people go on LinkedIn to connect and engage with other professionals, and not just to present themselves as targets for others trying to make sales. These executives can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of pitches they get each day, which is why it can be difficult to reach these people through LinkedIn.
But there’s a simple solution. You can still use LinkedIn to do your search for potential clients. But then try to engage with them through another social media platform, like Instagram or Twitter.
Show and Sell
The simple 2-step process to LinkedIn success is rather simple. 1) Join groups and invite other people to connect. 2) Offer helpful content.
LinkedIn is a “show and sell” networking platform. You can contribute various relevant content to the groups you enter, and your efforts can then enhance how others perceive your influence in your particular industry. Your content can mainly focus on how other people can do their job more efficiently, and you can do this through how-to videos and tutorial articles. You can also put in some entertaining bits that can also be quite informative, such as doing interviews with live video.
LinkedIn can help you attract more customers and improve relationships with potential suppliers. The key is to focus on emphasizing what makes your particular outfit different and better than your competitors. Talk about what you do that others don’t, and share illuminating stories about employees and customers. Emphasize how your company is better than others through these stories, though you can always tell stories about mistakes you’ve committed that taught you valuable lessons.
Optimize Your Profile
Your presence in LinkedIn doesn’t really help you if no one knows you’re there. Even your helpful posts are essentially useless if there’s very few people who encounter them. To be discovered and grow your brand within LinkedIn, you need to follow certain SEO principles to optimize your profile and to increase viewers for your content. More particularly, you have to put in the right keywords with certain parts of your profile. It’s just like how you need the right keywords in your website to make sure Google lists your site among the results when people use certain phrases in the search bar.
First, you should take a nice close look at the Headline section in your LinkedIn profile. Add the keywords here that are relevant for your industry. These are the words that others might use in the search bar when they’re looking for products and services that your company provides. So, you may put in terms such as “programming”, “apps”, “website design”, and “consultant” when your company’s main focus is creating apps for other companies.
Don’t forget to put in your location, and include the nearest metropolitan market near you. Lots of people like to find sellers and service providers within a specific area.
In a way, being noticed in LinkedIn is like being noticed at a party. If you just stand at a dark corner when you’re in a gathering and talk to no one, you’re not really going to get noticed. The same goes for LinkedIn.
Join about 25 groups or so within LinkedIn. These can run the gamut from industry-specific groups down to the professional association groups local to your city. Once you’ve joined these groups, make yourself more known by posting original helpful content and by joining in on various discussions. You can also follow accounts of people popular among the professionals of your industry, and post comments when these popular people when they post.
By participating more actively within these groups, you engage with more people while you also increase your visibility. This should encourage more people to find out more about you. You may get more views for your profile, more connection requests, and eventually more visits to your website. The increase in your website visitors can then in the run lead to new business opportunities.
Know the Proper Types of Content
There’s a difference between a “post” and an “article”. A post is meant to be short and succinct. It’s intended to be a direct status update. A post, for example, can be a thought-provoking idea or question that can get conversations started. It can also be a link to a news article coupled with your own opinions.
An article, on the other hand, is meant to be quite long. It’s a long-form blog post in other words. But some people make the mistake of spacing out their articles line by line just to garner people’s attention. Lots of people just find this practice annoying.
So, what’s the right way to use posts and articles? You can use LinkedIn articles as an additional component of your website blog to help with SEO and with your search results in the LinkedIn database. With these articles, you can share your thoughts about a key issue within the industry or provide value to others by offering how-to steps for tasks and processes that others may want to know about.
You can send in one or two posts each day on LinkedIn, with conversation starters and quick ideas. These can gain quick attention and boost organic reach. Then you can follow these up with articles that people may look for when they need to know something to help them with their jobs.
Monitor Your Metrics
You can check your search appearances to find out how well you’re doing when it comes to optimizing your profile and content. Every time your profile appears in search results, there’s a chance a user will connect with you. That’s how important it is to have the right keywords on your profile headline.
LinkedIn also tells you who viewed your profile. You’ll know their job titles, so you’re able to tell exactly the kind of professional you’re reaching with your profile and content.
Don’t Be Aggressive
Just because you have a person who has viewed your profile doesn’t mean you have a go signal to start pitching your services to that person. You have to be more subtle than that, as an aggressive approach can be rather off-putting.
Let’s say the person who viewed your profile might eventually become interested in doing business with you. You can just invite them to connect and mention your own curiosity. Maybe your connection request can mention how you’ve noticed them viewing your profile, and you’re curious to know why. You can then request to connect. Just frame these messages in a friendly manner without being too demanding or aggressive.
There are simply too many reasons why you need to prioritize your presence in LinkedIn to grow your business. For B2B businesses, it’s even more important than even Facebook. This platform can offer a new layer of legitimacy for your outfit, and you can use LinkedIn to boost your brand visibility and increase your influence in your industry.
LinkedIn can help you attract customers, find suppliers, and recruit new talent. You can prove your own expertise while also promoting your services and products. Your presence here can increase the number of your website visitors, which means more business opportunities (and greater profits) for your organization. Just make sure you do it right if you’re on LinkedIn so that you can maximize the gains for all your efforts.
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