How to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

Some elements to consider

 

1. Personal Profile

  • Use keywords in your headline and summary section
  • Create a visual profile using multimedia (i.e. presentations, photos, videos
  • Publish long-form articles
  • Ask for endorsements

2. Contacts

  • Have you added everyone you know? (i.e. networking events, friends, former colleagues)
  • Constantly scan the “People you may know” suggestions
  • Personalize the connection email text

3. Company Page

  • Company pages allow you to target posts to relevant audiences
  • Keep an eye on the analytics – what types of content get the most engagement?

4. Groups

  • Join both peer groups and target market groups
  • Check out the profiles of your target market and/or competitors - what groups are they a part
  • of?
  • Focus your attention on only a few groups (rather than spread yourself too thin)

5. Search

  • Ensure your profile and company pages are optimized for search engines (both internal and linked to LinkedIn)

 

Action plan: 10 minutes per day

  1. Start by first revamping your personal profile and adding contacts
  2. Search for relevant groups by keywords
  3. Observe size and activity of group (i.e. if it’s 100,000 people, it’ll be hard to stand out; alternatively, if there isn’t a lot of activity, it won’t be worth your time)
  4. Join 3-5 groups to test them out
  5. Spend 10 minutes a day commenting on posts or sharing insights
  6. Pay attention to tone, and what comments/insights get attention/good response
  7. Make sure you aren’t too self-promotional!
  8. Once you get a feel for the group, you can start asking relevant and specific questions
  9. After regular engagement, you can begin sharing content (i.e. your company’s blog posts, articles, free downloads) – but only if they useful and relevant
  10. Notice who may be regularly engaging with you. Send them a personal message to connect over coffee/Skype

Other considerations

  • What kind of brand do you want to portray?
  • Be consistent with this brand (within LinkedIn and other platforms)
  • Don’t forget to drive people to your profile (add links to your email signature, connect immediately after meeting someone, etc.)
  • Utilize SlideShare to share original content
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LinkedIn Interview with Neal Schaffer

Author, Maximize Your Social, Trilingual Social Media Strategy & Social Business Coach, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker


LI: What type of content best connects with audiences on LinkedIn? Is there a specific type of content you prefer to consume on LinkedIn?
NS: The content that best connects with audiences on LinkedIn is undoubtedly the type that makes us do our jobs better as well as invest in our professional brand. Without a doubt, the recently added Influencer content is of the highest quality, but there is other great content to be found in Network Updates as well as relevant Groups. It all comes down to content that is both relevant and timely — but deep as well.


LI: How do you make sure personal time spent on LinkedIn is productive? How does this differ from other social networks?
NS: I spend my personal time on LinkedIn in 2 ways: 1) Keeping up-to-date and engaging with my network, and 2) Business intelligence looking for information on people, companies, or news in my industry. I limit my time and remain clear on my objectives.


LI: What recommendations do you have for marketers looking to connect with target audiences on LinkedIn?
NS: LinkedIn, like any other social network, is about people that are using social media for communication with others as well as information gathering. Professionals are not looking to be sold to, but they are seeking out information that can help them do their jobs better. The best approach that I would recommend for marketers to connect with their target audience would look like a combination of the following:

 

  • Establish robust profiles that make you discoverable in LinkedIn's profile search.
  • Share relevant content consistently from your personal profile.
  • Reach out and connect with those from your target audience that you know but have yet to connect with.
  • Proactively utilize your LinkedIn network for introductions to key people in your target audience, using
  • LinkedIn Inmails when an introduction is not possible.
  • Engage in relevant groups.
  • Create a group to represent your company.
  • Promote your LinkedIn Company Page, build up a follower base, and engage with them.
  • Utilize Text Ads to help precisely connect you with your target audience.
Robyn Hounjet