How do you interact with your target audience? Where does your ideal customer spend his time?
Most of the small businesses rely on their website to interact with their customers, but the chances of any real interaction through your website are quite slim. That’s why companies nowadays are moving towards social media platforms for better exposure.
Out of the three most popular social networks, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the only platform that is built with businesses in mind. It allows enterprises, small and large alike, professionals, and talented workers to connect and share relevant business information.
If you’re a small business owner trying to boost your online presence, LinkedIn is the ideal place to start. Not only will it help you create a strong online network, but it will help you build real business relationships, generate leads, and find the right talent for your business.
What Makes LinkedIn a Marketing Powerhouse
- LinkedIn has more than 630 million users, and the professional network has registered unprecedented growth over the past two years. Between Q3 of 2016 and 2018, LinkedIn added 123 million users in these two years, surpassing both Facebook and Twitter in terms of growth during the same period.
- 92% of Fortune 500 companies and INC 5000 fastest growing US firms use LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn accounts for 46% of the social media traffic to B2B company sites.
- More than 30 million companies are present on LinkedIn.
How to use LinkedIn for your success
Start with the basics
The first thing customers do to check your business is to search it on Google. Courtesy of its robust network, your LinkedIn profile is likely to rank among the top few search results. Use these SEO techniques to complete your LinkedIn profile first.
When creating your profile, make sure that:
- Your profile description stands out: What are the chances of you connecting with someone whose profile description sounds like a boring monologue? Probably none. Write an exciting description. Reflect your core values while indicating how you can help a business or professional through your services or product. Do understand that being subtle is the trick here, so avoid being too sales-oriented.
- Add custom link descriptions/text: Instead of using My Website, use something that draws attention. For instance, if you provide a B2B marketing service, use something like ‘Building Lasting Impressions for Your Business.
Use LinkedIn with a purpose to grow your network
LinkedIn was built with one purpose, to help businesses and professionals grow their network. That’s precisely what you need to do. Here is how you can use LinkedIn to boost your network:
- Grow your network: Start by connecting with all of your current customers and partners on LinkedIn, but don’t stop there. Find people who are in the same industry, area, or share a similar job profile. If you are targeting B2B clients, connect with professionals in the upper-managerial positions.
- Work on your network daily: Instead of sending out 500 connection requests in a day, send 10 to 15 invitations every day. Additionally, add a custom message with every request, as people are more likely to accept invites with a personal message. Consider it as a long-term investment and continue growing your network.
- Join or create targeted groups: Since getting relevant exposure and customers is the primary reason why you are using LinkedIn, join target groups. More often than not, you’ll find industry experts, professionals, and businesses in these groups, allowing you to understand market trends, hot topics, and business opportunities. However, you should aim towards making positive contributions in the group instead of hard-selling your products or services.
- Helping others is critical: Focus on helping people in the best of your capacities. It could include giving recommendations, even if the other person didn’t ask for it. One of the basic laws of human behavior says that when you help someone, they are likely to respond positively.
Streamlined tactics to boost your lead generation
Once you have a basic profile with a couple of hundred connections, it is time to up your game and be tactical about lead generation. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Focus on relevant connections: Why are you on LinkedIn? Are you looking for more customers or trying to boost your brand presence? Connect with businesses that suit your ideal customer profile. LinkedIn allows you to filter businesses by their size, location, industry, and job roles, so leverage these filters to develop a network of target users.
- Use LinkedIn messaging to create an email list: A good email list is worth its weight in gold. Since you have a network of relevant professionals and customers, ask them if they would like to join your email list with Linkedin Messaging. Being specific is the key here. Tell them what kind of information they will receive and how it benefits them directly. A good strategy is to offer a free service against their subscription, such as a free review of their website link structure.
- Post high-quality content: One of the best ways to boost follower count is to share relevant, useful information. Choose topics that you are an expert at and stick to your niche. Providing actionable content is critical, so be careful about what information you’re sharing with your network. Create content affordably by outsourcing to a reputable marketplace.
- Create a LinkedIn group: While it may seem daunting at first, creating a LinkedIn group could give returns in the long run. The trick is to be highly focused. For instance, if you offer marketing services, create a group for businesses seeking similar services and information. You can start by joining existing groups, and then target members with the right job profiles. Send them an invite, and voila, you have your own LinkedIn group. Make sure to offer relevant content and be quick to resolve problems or answers.
- Pay special attention to your company page: Start with using graphics that are in line with your company website and logo design. Share regular updates and remain active on the network. It pays to be responsive, so answer or acknowledge the comments on your content.
- Offer value, build rapport, and then seek business: One of the most important rules of achieving success on LinkedIn is to be relevant and helpful. Always offer value to your connections and work on building rapport. Once you have a fair understanding of your connections’ goals or requirements, pitch your services. Be careful about spamming your connections. LinkedIn is a give-and-take network, so giving value will bring the same to you.
Ready to master LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for businesses. It offers direct exposure to your target customers at no cost. People on LinkedIn mean business, so you have higher chances of conversion than any other network. If you’re just starting with your online brand development campaign, use these tips to master LinkedIn.
Tell us which of these tips worked best for you in the comment section.
About the Author: Marsha Kelly
Marsha Kelly sold her first business for more than a million dollars. She has shared hard-won experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her Best4Businesses blog, where she also regularly posts business tips, ideas, and suggestions, as well as product reviews, for business readers. As a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from her experiences to build your business.