Best Practices for Business Building on LinkedIn

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I’ve had a profile on LinkedIn for a number of years now. LinkedIn and Twitter are two of my favorite social media platforms. Most business people would agree with me that LinkedIn is a great tool for building a strong network and engaging with others. Most would likely not agree with me that Twitter can also be a great business-to-business (B2B) business-building tool. We have, though, definitely found that to be the case for ourselves and for our clients. (More on that another day.) Here we want to focus on LinkedIn.

What We Like About LinkedIn as a Business Tool

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn was built as a business tool. Initially a tool to help job seekers connect with companies, and recruiters to connect with job seekers, LinkedIn is less “spammy” than other sites. Although, some spam is beginning to creep in. It offers the opportunity to find and connect with people based on a wide range of interests and aptitudes. And, over time, it has evolved into a business-building tool as well.

Source of Referrals

In fact, for us, it’s the greatest source of referrals and new clients that we use. Better, even, than presenting at business conferences and events.

Source of Information

LinkedIn is a great tool for staying up-to-date on business news and trends. You can follow individuals and companies who are experts on topics you’re interested in. You can monitor our network to see what others are posting about. We’ve also found groups to be an extremely productive way to get and share information on timely topics, or simply to monitor sentiment around various trends.

Opportunities for Thought Leadership

LinkedIn is a great tool for building thought leadership. LinkedIn is a powerful place for us, and the clients we work with, to share knowledge and build brand.

But, despite the fact that we’ve been able to leverage LinkedIn very effectively, we often hear others lament that they just don’t get enough traction through LinkedIn. Or, in some cases, they simply may not understand the platform well enough. If you’re one of these people, we have some important tips that can help you be more successful. Best of all, using these tips doesn’t have to cost anything but your time. There’s no need to pay for more functionality than what LinkedIn provides free in their basic package.

Tips to Leverage the Business-Building Power of LinkedIn

  • Build your profile with your audience in mind. Who are you hoping to connect with or influence? What interests them? If looking for someone like you, or a company like yours, what are the types of keywords and phrases they would be likely to search for? Include these keywords and phrases in your profile.
  • Determine what you want to be known for, or what you want your brand to be, on LinkedIn. Then focus on that area of expertise with your content.
  • Reach out to others on LinkedIn, both those you’re connected to in the “real world” and those you’d like to connect with. Contrary to popular wisdom that you should never ask to connect with someone you don’t know, we’ve found that doing exactly that can be a great way to build a strong network of new relationships. An important tip here, though, is to be specific and straightforward in your invitation to connect. We very openly share that we’re experts at content development and interested in connecting with companies and individuals that might need high quality, original content for their content marketing efforts.
  • Focus on your personal profile, not your company page. People like to connect with people, not companies. In addition to that, LinkedIn company pages don’t offer the functionality that company pages do. You can’t connect with others, you can’t post long-form content, you can’t follow others (all things that you can do through your personal profile). Here’s another thing to think about in terms of company pages: they tend to compete with your website. And if you’re not able to offer content that is different in some way from your other content, there’s really no reason for people to engage with you here. In fact, LinkedIn company pages seem to be primarily effective for posting job openings.
  • Interact with others. Like and share their posts, comment on their posts, congratulate them on their achievements.
  • Don’t be overly self-promotional. That can be the death knell for building an audience through any digital channel. Yes, of course, you are likely trying to promote something (as we are), but you want to provide value to your network. They’re not likely to remain connected with you if all you seem to do is sell, sell, sell yourself.
  • Post regularly. LinkedIn doesn’t require the same level of activity as other social media channels (Twitter, for example) do. Still, you want to maintain a regular presence. We generally post once/day on personal profiles and one to two times a week on company pages.
  • Get other subject matter experts (SMEs) from your organization to build their own personal profiles and cross-post and share with each other and with you. Again, company pages can’t like and share content, only personal profiles can. Leverage the networks of others in your organization to help strengthen your brand and your online presence.

LinkedIn doesn’t have to demand a lot of time for creating and nurturing a solid network. If you need help boosting your presence on LinkedIn, we can help. We provide account management services and training for individuals and teams. We can review/audit your existing presence, write/rewrite profiles and work with your team to develop a process for building your LinkedIn presence to drive traffic and business results. Or, if you prefer, we can manage your LinkedIn presence to drive traffic to your website or build your thought leadership. Our monthly rates for this type of management vary based on frequency and number of posts, and the amount of engagement required. If you’d like to learn more, send us an email, or give us a call. 

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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