Being a social media platform, LinkedIn is different from other social media outlets as it is specifically designed for businesses and professionals. Users mainly use Linkedin to showcase their job experience, hire people or for finding a suitable job and for sharing professional thoughts. This makes Linkedin an important platform for your professional connections.
As I started looking for a job, I was not able to find any suitable job on any other job search engine, but I found the suitable one at Linkedin. Therefore Linkedin is the best job search engine. But Linkedin is much more than that!
Unlike other communication tools like Facebook or Instagram, connections are not added on LinkedIn to chat or to share your photos and videos. Here connections are made to expand your’s or your business’s reach. Connections are made on Linkedin for the following reasons:
- To be found and contacted by more professionals.
- To drive more traffic to your site.
- To generate a ton more leads
- To build your database
- To create more opportunities
- To build thought leadership
Marketing has become a very vast area and with the introduction of digital marketing, global marketing has become very easy. You just need to find where does your potential client spends most of their time and you have to target that social media platform.
Given this, it’s no surprise that 79% of marketers see LinkedIn as a very good source of leads, with 43% of marketers saying they have sourced at least one customer from LinkedIn. That number increases for B2B marketers, who report that 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn.
If compared to Facebook user count .i.e. 2 billion+ users, Linkedin has 600+ million users only, but if you compare the lead generation of the two, Linkedin is far better than Facebook. A study found that Linkedin is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
From a business point of view, you can utilize Linkedin to generate leads, build brand awareness or even establish a strategic partnership. Moreover, features like LinkedIn Plus, company pages, groups, get introduced and the ability to see who has seen your profile makes LinkedIn a driving tool for recruiting, prospecting and establishing thought leadership.
In this article, we look at how you can use Linkedin effectively for your business:
- Complete your personal profile:
People do business with people and not with the company directly, therefore it is essential for you to first work on your personal profile.
The company’s profile together with your’s profile and all the other employee’s profiles build the structure of the company and it represents the brand. You need to understand that the person will decide if they want to do business with you or not based on your profile, therefore the leads depend on your profile and your profile should nail the first impression.
Here are some tips:
- Add a good-quality photo of yourself
- Add a background photo
- Mention your industry and location
- Sparkle your profile with a summary about who you are, what you do, what you can offer and you can also write about your previous projects and the project scope.
- Add your current position
- Add to your previous work history and a few skills
Try to shoot for 100% completeness for your profile.
- Connect with other users:
The goal is to reach as many users as possible.
Your potential customers are first circle people and your goal in your connection project milestones is to reach the second circle. i.e the connections of your connections.
Using LinkedIn you can connect with people and professional organizations in your industry. Forming connections not only helps you in staying updated with the latest developments and share information with others in your field, but it also allows you to connect and view their connections (if they are not private profiles).
Therefore you can view and find potential clients from their connection list too.
- Start Talking:
Once you have made the connection, LinkedIn allows you to have a real-time conversation with the connection using the messaging facility. The green dot is an indicator that the person is online and you can have a chat with them now.
LinkedIn offers a smart reply function using which you can give short, contextual and automatically generated responses. This helps you to respond quickly and be more productive.
For premium users, a feature is available known as the Inmail feature. Using this, you would be able to send messages to any Linkedin user, without any prior information or additional contact information.
- Use Recommendations and Endorsements:
Any connection can write recommendations on other users’ profiles and endorsements of their skills. Getting recommendations and endorsements can be very beneficial for you and it will help you in developing your professional network.
Recommendations and endorsements serve as testimonials. Getting 5-10 testimonials is good. You can ask people with whom you have worked to write one for you. In return, you can also write one for them.
Remember “It was fun to work with XYZ” is not a testimonial. Ask them to write about your qualities and achievements that impressed them. Eg: ‘XYZ is great with project scheduling”. This can help you stand out from the crowd.
- Optimize your company page:
A company page without an audience is of no use. Therefore you need an audience and if you want the audience to reach you, you will have to optimize your page so that people can easily find your company page.
To optimize your page, you will have to make it SEO friendly. Here are some tips to optimize your page:
- Include keywords in your profile information that people use while searching for your goods or services.
- Link to your company page with your website, blogs, and other marketing materials.
- Share content regularly to keep your audience engaged.
- Create engaging content just for Linkedin:
Create and post content that your target audience finds interesting.
Being a social media site, LinkedIn allows you to post simple text updates, images and videos. You can also post from other users. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and help them. Whether your content is engaging or not can be found by looking at the clicks, likes, and comments.
LinkedIn also offers a service to publish full articles, via its publishing platform “Slideshare.” The content will be showcased in your profile and can also appear in search engine results.
While you would definitely want to promote your business with your content, sales targeted content does not work well here. Instead, you should help your audience by solving or talking about their or common pain points or how they can perform better at their jobs.
People invest their time on Linkedin and therefore you should help them by publishing not only sales targeted content, but you should also upload content that helps them.
- Sponsor your content:
Sponsoring your content is a service provided by Linkedin wherein you can sponsor content that has received high engagement from your audience and is in sync with your strategic alignment.
It is just like an advertisement wherein your content will reach the Linkedin feeds of the professionals that you wish to target.
Advantages of using sponsored content:
- Attract more followers by reaching a wider audience
- Use filters just to reach the targeted audience
- Know the number of leads that you are getting via advertising with conversion tracking.
As the world is blessed with alternatives like there are many project and task management tools that serve as Wrike alternative, Linkedin Sponsor your content also has an alternative and that is Linkedin Ads Campaigns. Using this you can raise awareness, build relationships and you can also drive more leads.
- Find new hires and opportunities:
As there are millions of professionals on LinkedIn, you can definitely find your desired employee here.
You can also search and filter the results by different criteria like industry, location, company, language, former companies, nonprofit interests, school and degrees of the connection.
After finding the desired candidates, you can connect with them and if they accept your connection, you can have a conversation and if all goes right, they will come for the interview and they will get hired.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.