How to use LinkedIn for Business Development
There are lots of ways that you can utilise LinkedIn to expand your business, branding, visibility of your products, potential new partnerships and cultivating new customer streams are standard platform usage. There are however risks. Connecting with people you don’t know, or constantly posting the same content can be dangerous as these methods are likely to project an unstructured approach and image of your business and most likely have a detrimental impact upon your brand. These methods are also seen as bad practice. As with all other social media platforms, such as Twitter, nurturing a community, long-term is far more beneficial than any short term gain.
So how do you use LinkedIn to expand your business?
Here are a few methods across 3 different areas we’ve found to work:
This space houses all of your employment history, including your current role. However the feature that’s most impactful is the function to post updates, which all of your connections can see. Post content that is firstly interesting and relative to you, however, have clear objectives as you ideally want to drive connections and initiate conversations. Other functions include videos (CV video, Company Product demo etc), slide share (show your last meeting slides to your connections) Travel plans (keep your connections up-to-date on where you are and where you are going) and lots more. Lastly, you can add additional platforms to make it easier for contacts to connect with, say your Twitter, Google+ and company website.
A company page is similar to your personal LinkedIn profile; you have a field to input information on the nature of the company, the employees that work there and the people you’re connected with. People can follow the company, thus subscribing to company updates. Company updates should be informative, interactive and not consist of repeated content. Content ought be a mixture of blog links, videos and news reports that are relevant to your offering, adding value to your following.
You can ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ on a company post, like you can on Facebook. As such if your content is targeted enough, you should enjoy successful engagement levels with your following. If you’re a small business, getting your team to read and interact with your posts will help ‘spread the word’ to the rest of your following, and theirs! This interaction with will increase the impressions of your page.
When building a company page ensure the copy is company, brand or service heavy as this will help your page appear higher in search ranking (SEO.) SEO tip: Make sure that as many of your products are mentioned as many times as possible, without repeating keywords numerous times which we see as bad practice, we’d recommend no more than 10. Spend real time ensuring it reads naturally and your keywords do not look out of place. Utilise the Products & Services tab to link to specific pages on your website, this will help prospects get the information they need to contact you directly and make the sale.
LinkedIn Polls do exactly what you’d imagine. It’s a great way to gain valuable insight into the culture of your connections. You can also see the breakdown of gender, position and age demographic of those who’ve taken your poll, however, you cannot see their names or the details of the people that have voted unless they’ve left a comment.
Posting Polls too often may result in you loosing connections as people may tire of the frequency but asking the right questions will give you a great return on stats and also visibility.
Seeding or sharing the Poll in the groups that you are part of can also increase the engagement of your poll and gain a better insight in to the type of questions that you are likely to post in the future. Remember the poll ought to be utilised to drive people to look at your page.
TCG Poll tip: You can only have 5 answers on a poll so always have the last option as “If other, please comment”