LinkedIn is touted as the social media platform for professionals and true to that statement, it has played a huge role in connecting millions of professionals to employers, business partners, and clients in the years that it has been in existence. Started in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to be the fourth most used social network in the US. Besides being a social platform for professionals, LinkedIn is also a powerful marketing tool that can launch your business to new heights if used correctly. In this article, I am going to walk through a few best practice tips you can use to make LinkedIn work for your business.
When it comes to marketing, the first impression is everything, so it is in your best interests to make that shot count. The best way to make an excellent first impression on LinkedIn is by crafting a well-optimised profile that inspires confidence in your potential clients. So how do you that? By treating your LinkedIn profile as your resume. First and foremost, your profile should feature a professional profile picture, ideally with you smiling because no one wants to do business with a grump. You can also add a cover photo to make your profile stand out. Second, make sure to list all your experience and achievements and finally, customise your profile URL to make it stand out.
Now that your profile is all set, it is time to lay the foundation for marketing on LinkedIn. To be successful in LinkedIn marketing, you should identify your brand and create a presence on LinkedIn. By creating engaging and compelling content that drives conversations that relate to your field will help, since it positions you as an expert in your industry and also drive inbound connection requests from people who are interested in your value. It is these connections that you can market yourself to later. You can also utilise the articles section on LinkedIn to share compelling stories that backlink to your company website and products. Backlinking will improve your profile SEO and as such, increase your organic visibility.
After getting people to notice you and your brand, it is now time to reel them. People always relate more to an individual than to a faceless organisation, so it is essential to show your human side to your prospective customers. You can give your profile a human touch by posting pictures of your employees, behind the scenes videos and photos of your daily company operations, and any content that shows you’re a real person. Making contributions to the community through charity and other philanthropic acts also exhibits the human side of your organisation and creates positivity around your brand.
Spend a few minutes each day on LinkedIn making new connections with others. You can use the advanced search function to find potential new connections by company, industry or role. LinkedIn Groups are another great way to find collections of like-minded individuals. Don’t do the hard sell, this is a turn-off, rather request and connection and then thank them when they accept.
Most companies make the mistake of treating their company LinkedIn page as an extension of their website where all they do is post about their products and recruit employees. You want to manage your company LinkedIn profile as a lead generation tool and create a funnel that directs traffic from your personal page to your company page, and then to your website where you can start selling to them. When you have optimised your LinkedIn presence in this way, you can start leading your contacts through your funnel and closer to your products or services.
Make sure to send a thank you message to the people that interact with your profile or your articles and videos because those are warm leads that may only need a little nudge to convert into buyers. Showing gratitude is essential in creating lasting bonds with your potential new customers.