Should Your Small Business Use LinkedIn to Acquire New Clients?
Adding this social platform to your marketing strategy can help your company grow!
LinkedIn has evolved rapidly over the past few years, expanding capabilities as well as adding millions more users. This social network of professionals boasts over 700 million users around the world. That’s a powerful platform!
Approximately 52 percent of LinkedIn users are male and 48 percent are female. The growing network’s users visit the platform with various intentions including job hunting, connecting with like-minded professionals and posting resumes for prospective employers.
It’s important to realize that LinkedIn isn’t just for professionals and job seekers anymore. You should use LinkedIn to grow your business as well. Just as a job seeker can find a new career, you can find customers, employees, and partners on this professional social network. LinkedIn is the perfect place to build brand awareness and stronger relationships with consumers.
According to Sprout Social, businesses marketing on LinkedIn generate 277% more leads on average than those engaged in Facebook marketing alone. So whether you’re looking to share great content for your brand, find new employees, or reach a new audience, adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy is a smart idea.
First You Need To Optimize Your Profile or Page
Before you can start making connections and posting articles relevant to your industry or target audience, make sure you create an appealing LinkedIn company page. Start with a high-quality profile picture that’s relevant to your brand. Not having a photo is an often overlooked mistake, as having an image gives you 21 times more profile views. Company pages can use the brand logo as a profile picture while high-resolution professional headshots are ideal for personal profiles.
Next, you need to get all your employees on board. Have your employees add your company to their personal profiles. This automatically turns them into followers and helps your company get noticed on the platform. Encourage them to like your company posts and also share your page and posts to their own personal network to generate new followers. Employees can play a critical role in broadening your reach and strengthening your network on the platform. Connections mean everything on LinkedIn.
How To Make Relevant Connections
The basis of LinkedIn is the ability to make meaningful connections with other professionals. It’s important to focus on the quality of those connections. Targeting the right groups is key to your strategy and can strengthen your client base. Who should you connect with? Begin by identifying and following other companies in your same industry.
For example, a good way to connect with Healthcare practitioners, providers, patients and policymakers is to know exactly what the hot trends are right now. One of the fastest-growing topics of conversation in the industry today is telemedicine. Timely content creation like this on LinkedIn can help you connect with an active, engaged audience.
You can then use these connections to gain a sense of professionals in fields or occupations that could become great referral sources for you. Here’s the approach we recommend:
Search based on location, company, job title, alma mater, and other useful data points. By narrowing your search into a targeted group, you’re able to hone in on exactly the kind of people and businesses you’ll be adding to your network.
Send a personal message along with your request to connect. Keep it simple and mention you’re looking to expand your network. Point out any similar interests and why you think the connection will be mutually beneficial, which helps you stand out from other requests and assures you’re a real individual, not someone looking for client leads. This first step may initially seem like a grind, but you will soon gain meaningful network connections and you’ll gain a respectable pool of talented professionals with diverse backgrounds and networks.
How to Engage With Your LinkedIn Connections
Making connections on LinkedIn ensures your profile is viewed regularly. If your profile is viewed often, you can generate greater web traffic and exposure for your business organically. It’s crucial to keep your network engaged with you so that your company’s name doesn’t sink into obscurity.
Once you have established a quality list of connections, you need to create engagement through sharing relevant and interesting posts and unique articles. Also consider creating some original content to set your company apart from competitors.
Creating original content within the LinkedIn platform is recommended because your posts can be tailored to a specific audience that can be reached with a minimal amount of effort. To begin creating original content on the platform, click on the “write an article” button on the top navigator. LinkedIn’s text editor is a simple and easy-to-use tool that makes publishing and sharing content to your established network effortless. Here’s more information on how to create articles on LinkedIn.
As you create content, focus on interesting and relevant information in what your business specializes in. You want to be considered a thought leader by your network. Share the ins and outs of the specific topic you’re discussing from various perspectives. This approach will help you gain credibility and as you consistently produce quality information about topics you’re well informed about. Do this and you will notice your network increasingly engage with you.
To expand your business’ digital footprint, consider leading your LinkedIn network to your website by sharing half of the article on LinkedIn and the remaining information on your website through a direct link. Driving to pages on your website will support your digital marketing efforts and goals.
How To Interact in Groups
LinkedIn’s groups are organized by industry, location, and interests, which means there is a pool of connections already in the subject you have expertise in. These groups can be both large and open-ended (such as general groups in your industry) or small, (covering more specific or niche topics in a specific city).
Join the right groups to gain a closer sense of community within your specific field and gain valuable networking possibilities. If a relevant group does not exist, create your own group and invite key members of your network to participate. The advantage of controlling invitations and direct messaging of your members helps protect the integrity of your group and keeps it effective and relevant. Recognizing the ways different groups use LinkedIn is key for your marketing strategy.
Build Your Brand on LinkedIn
Building your brand on LinkedIn enables you to grow your network, interact with like-minded professionals, and create new relationships with potential clients. Harnessing the power of original content creation and interacting through groups is a first step in successfully using LinkedIn to acquire new clients. LinkedIn’s unique advantage of organizing individuals by professional interests and backgrounds makes it an optimal marking tool for businesses.
Used appropriately, LinkedIn is an effective marketing tool that can take your business to the next level. If you have questions or would like more information on how to make LinkedIn work for your business, contact us. We’re ready to help serve as your marketing partner.