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LinkedIn for businesses: Does it work?

  1. LinkedIn
    Kat Haylock

    Kat Haylock Community Editor Staff Member

    Posts: 373 Likes: 161
    2 |

    This year, business-focused social network LinkedIn crossed the 500 million user mark, putting it just behind Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram in the ranks of social titans.

    A quick search for Facebook and Twitter throws up news stories about Russian hacking and celebrity bickering. For LinkedIn? Fifteen years after its conception, all the articles come back to one basic question: “How do I use LinkedIn?”

    As anyone who has come across the UK Business Forums LinkedIn page can attest, I don’t understand LinkedIn. For me, it’s always felt a bit like flossing or keeping track of my pension - something I should do because everyone else is.

    When Imogen McKeever posted on the forums last week, her thread echoed countless of others. Her target audience is on LinkedIn, but the activity and engagement she’s looking for isn’t.

    For a site that boasts so many business professionals, it can sometimes feel like you’re just broadcasting into a black hole of thought leaders and marketing ninjas. So how do you get LinkedIn to work for your business?

    With massive thanks to fisicx, WebShop Mechanic, Scott[at]KarmaContent, Clinton, Dave Tidwell and Mike_Cartwright, I’ve compiled some of the best posts on the topic.

    Build up your network

    First, focus on building the right network. LinkedIn isn’t Facebook and, as ruthless as it might sound, having a list filled with relatives and old school friends won’t do your business much good.

    You should already know who your target market is (and have decided that LinkedIn will work best for you), so think carefully about who you connect with. If you’re a local business, you’ll want to make sure a lot of local people are reading your posts.Overseas contacts are fine, of course, but remember they’re not necessarily who you’re targeting.

    Join LinkedIn groups to find people relevant to your industry. Be sincere in posting comments, enter into discussions and don’t spam. Many groups host events and meetups, which can help you to strengthen your professional relationships in real life too.

    Avoid filling up your network with sales people. They might be quick wins when it comes to increasing your number of connections, but they’ll skew up the statistics of who’s actually interested in your posts. As Clinton puts it: sales people will “dig their noses into every damn thing looking for new people to connect with. And they usually want to connect just to pitch you some crap.”

    Add value with your posts

    How would you engage with your target market if LinkedIn didn’t exist? Like fisicx says, it’s as simple as using the same techniques, but just doing it over a keyboard.

    Talk to people, offer advice and be friendly and personable. At the end of the day, LinkedIn might be business orientated but it’s still social media. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and have opinions, even if they’re controversial. The more you engage, the more engagement you get.

    Focus on adding value in your posts: if you’re sharing blogs or articles, include experiences that people in your industry will find useful. So if you work in sales, publish a customer case study or a piece of industry research.

    If you’re stuck for ideas, one of the best strategies is to identify your objective, identify your audience, identify their pain points and then create something of value that will take their pain away.

    Bear in mind how much content is regularly published on the site.It’s probably not worth writing something solely for LinkedIn, unless you have thousands of active connections. Post articles you’ve already used elsewhere and include a link back to the original.

    Don’t use LinkedIn for selling

    Thinking you’re there to sell is one of the most common mistakes people make with social networks. If you’re constantly pumping out sales messages, can you really expect people to take the time to engage?

    Instead, you want to use LinkedIn to demonstrate to your target customer that you are the go-to expert in your field. Similar to how the forums work, advertising your product will get you lost in a sea of companies just like yours.

    Giving sound advice, time and time again, will get you noticed. Social media is just a place where opinions are formed, and unless you’re selling a cheap item that lends itself to selling off-the-page, it isn’t typically where people will actually purchase from you.

    It’s the authority you develop that can lead to future sales opportunities - though it may be difficult to trace the source of these opportunities back to your social media efforts.

    Work for zero benefits

    Another point from Clinton here: why post? Why share other people’s stuff? Why do any of it if it’s not benefiting you?

    Building up your network on LinkedIn isn’t about tangible rewards, so you need to be prepared to put the benefits aside and just do. It isn’t a five minute job - it will take months. Of course, investing your time without any expectation of specific return on investment isn’t for everybody. But if you do it right, it can be better than advertising.

    Do you use LinkedIn for your business? What are your tips for success?

    #0
  2. Donfelix

    Donfelix UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 8 Likes: 0
    A careful look into their revenue numbers also proves that it works for many businesses that do it right. I once watched a video presentation by Jon Lombardo, the Content Marketing Lead at LinkedIn, that insights he shared on how they and others use it opened my eyes to a higher extent.
     
    Posted: Nov 4, 2017 By: Donfelix Member since: Nov 3, 2017
    #2
  3. Discdevil

    Discdevil UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 15 Likes: 1
    linkedin i think really is a treasure trove for information for people who you dont want to give it to to be honest.
     
    Posted: Nov 15, 2017 By: Discdevil Member since: Nov 6, 2017
    #3