If you run a business, it’s likely you’ve heard of (or use) LinkedIn as a social network. Known as the platform for companies and corporate highflyers, it’s been a staple of start-up and employee checklists since its conception in 2002.
It’s less likely however that you’ve been able to use LinkedIn as a viable, productive sales tool. Dodgy connections, relentless sales pitches and a clumsy interface have forced LinkedIn down the social media food chain for many busy business owners. But the platform does have significant selling power that simply can’t be dismissed by companies and individuals wishing to raise their profile and achieve greater exposure online.
As LinkedIn rolls out a fresh new look along with new capabilities promising smoother functionality and easier navigation, now is the perfect time to review your activity on the network and discover how you could be using it to your advantage. In this blog we take a look at how ‘corporate Facebook’ can help you to transform valuable new contacts into lucrative clients.
Make the most of your connections
Many business owners are guilty of largely forgetting about the connections they have on LinkedIn, logging in periodically only to check messages and notifications. It’s easy to understand that your connections are of little value if they are neglected or ignored. Instead, nurture the fledgling relationships you have with connections. Some of them could become influential partners, indispensible suppliers, or valuable customers. Incorporate LinkedIn into your social media schedule, posting regular, relevant updates that will be of some interest and value to connections. Engage proactively and reactively, taking time to like, share and comment on the posts of others. Respond to messages and reach-outs. Celebrate the achievements of your connections; show an interest in their business. This in turn should encourage reciprocal activity. There are also more specific ways to boost the power of your LinkedIn connections – such as LinkedIn video marketing, direct messaging and more. Link long form content to your website or blog to encourage a flow of warmed-up traffic to your landing pages.
Cleanse and repeat
Many of us are guilty of harbouring physical clutter – and the same applies online. Whilst a surplus of Facebook friends won’t do any harm, keeping hundreds of useless contacts and spam accounts on LinkedIn is going to significantly affect the reach and exposure your profile can achieve. Every once in a while it’s worth cleaning out your contacts, ensuring they’re all still relevant and can potentially produce some positive outcomes for your business. Remember that if a contact doesn’t occupy an industry of interest, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be a valuable asset. Connections can produce surprising opportunities simply by association. Making a pledge now to only accept requests from suitable connections makes this task much easier going forward.
Pimp your profile
When you are making connections, it’s crucially important that the first impression you provide is a great one. Once your potential prospect has navigated away from your profile, you’ve lost the opportunity to catch their attention again. So what causes people to turn away from a potentially perfect proposition?
Poor profile photography is a common issue. As humans we are innately visual – and a low quality, fuzzy or unprofessional thumbnail is an instant turn off. Invest in a headshot taken by a professional – then you can use it for marketing literature and other promotional purposes. The written content you share with potential prospects is also important – as once they decide they want to connect with the person on an aesthetic level, they want to learn more about that individual and get to know them better. The information you share builds an impression of the credibility and authority you hold in your chosen field – details of qualifications, achievements and experience are key. SEO-optimise your profile content with keywords to turn your LinkedIn page into an extension of your website.
Your public profile is important. Need support to ensure the impression you’re making online is the best it can be? Speak to us today about social media and holistic marketing services.