LinkedIn offers a variety of tools you can use for your small business that go beyond the basics of building a profile and networking with your colleagues. With around 10 million registered users in Australia and with just about half of those users logging in every month, LinkedIn is a valuable channel to add to your digital marketing strategy, writes Faye Ferris.
Here are three key ways to grow your small business using LinkedIn.
Increase brand awareness and gain media exposure
Establishing a professional and trusted brand is vital to building strong and authentic relationships on LinkedIn. In addition, nurturing relationships with your prospective customers and clients is crucial because people are more likely to buy from those they know, like, and trust.
As a social media platform for business professionals, LinkedIn is most effectively used by small business owners who create both a LinkedIn personal profile and a company page. Both of these assets will showcase you and your business in a professional light when someone finds you in both the LinkedIn and even Google search results.
Gaining media exposure on LinkedIn on a consistent basis can be a powerful tool to boost your credibility in the market place and help position you as an authority figure within your industry of expertise.
Form strategic partnerships
One of the best ways to grow your business is by establishing strategic partnerships. LinkedIn is a popular online networking tool that offers a highly effective way to begin forming relationships with prospective partners.
First, take the time to think about what type of business partner you are looking for and what you’re hoping to achieve through this professional relationship. This will help reduce the amount of time you spend sifting through endless profiles that are not a good fit for your goals. A great tip is to create a buyer persona for your potential partners just like you do for your customers. This will be a valuable asset to help you target the optimal businesses for possible partnership.
One thing to keep in mind as you make connections and develop your network: The goal should be quality rather than quantity. It’s more valuable to have 100 meaningful business connections than 1,000 random or irrelevant ones. Everyone receives invitations to connect from all types of people. Make sure that you only add connections who are directly relevant to you and your business.
Publish and share content that positions you as the expert
LinkedIn is joining the ranks with their social counterparts by becoming a versatile content platform. It offers businesses the opportunity to reach their target audience with professional related content without having to sift through all the personal distractions that other channels afford. LinkedIn users are there for one thing and one thing only: business. This means that company content has a better chance of being seen on LinkedIn than on other social platforms.
According to LinkedIn, a status update typically reaches 20 per cent of your followers. On Facebook, however, whose algorithm favours content from users instead of companies, that reach is more like 6 per cent. That’s why B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn for content more than any other channel, with 94 per cent distributing content on the network.
As with any successful marketing campaign, you need to know who your audience is and what they want to see on LinkedIn. It’s important to publish and share content that benefits your followers—not just content that promotes your company. You want to provide content that is helpful, informative, and interesting.
Take time to think about what you would like to see in your feed as a consumer. The key takeaway: Overpromotion is a major blunder on social media—one that could cost you followers and engagement.
LinkedIn is the number one network for B2B marketing, and it can be a powerful tool in building brand awareness, creating strategic connections, publishing and sharing content, and driving high-quality leads. The main thing to remember with being on LinkedIn is to be authentic. Keep sharing and engaging with your connections without sounding like you’re delivering a sales pitch and only care about your business or yourself. People trust people. The more you are yourself on LinkedIn, the more people will tend to trust you and think of doing business with you in the future.
Just remember, quality over quantity and authenticity will go a long way in helping you build a firm foundation and reputation to effectively promote your brand and grow your small business.
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