Relevant networking is absolutely vital for your business. LinkedIn offers a way for you and your team to connect, communicate and engage with your different audiences as a form of networking.
Networking on LinkedIn
It is a cheap way to build audience and awareness and the know, like and trust that you hear so much about. A few minutes each day purposely connecting, engaging is time well spent.
How do you network on LinkedIn?
By connecting with your target market, posting content and engaging with others (ideally your target markets) with relevant content and posts. Engagement might be direct with their posts or just in their world with others that they follow and are connected with.
Following and supporting people (and customers) you meet in real life with their LinkedIn work keeps you infront of them and allows you to help them get their message out there. You don’t have to like and engage with every post and things you don’t agree with you can take the call whether to stay away or engage in a conversation.
Business or Personal LinkedIn Profile?
For me LinkedIn is a person to person networking platform so I would choose personal profile everytime but there is a role for the business page too.
To be honest the most important thing is to just start showing up, consistently and stop looking for the excuses for not doing that!
What comes after connecting, posting and engaging?
I do think you have to be careful with your effort and return. There are lots of reasons but here are a few:
- Not everyone is on LinkedIn
- Not everyone is active on LinkedIn but I do believe “they are always looking”. More are actively looking and researching on it than it may seem if you look at their profile and interaction record.
- You have no control on the content they see.
- An audience is not committed to you. They are not leads because they like and see your content on LinkedIn.
- You have no control of your audience, it could be taken away from you any day which is why you need your leads on a database.
- You have to be careful on the time spend. You can quickly go from being very purposeful to aimlessly scrolling!
- You have to test the temperature with your audience and create CTAs to get them from social media into your database.
- Think about how you read a social media post or a blog and how you read an email – you give them quite different attention don’t you?
I think leads and sales ultimately come from the inbox not social media, getting an email and phone number and the permission to talk to them is for me an important step (your database is yours, your audience on LinkedIn isn’t).
So for me once you are connecting and engaging on LinkedIn the next step is to find ways to get the audience off LinkedIn and onto your database of leads to start communicating with directly (telephone, email, direct mail, networking, corporate hospitality).
It is a 2-way street
Fundamentally it is not just about converting audience to leads in your database, it works both ways. Connect with your leads from your database on LinkedIn so you maximise your opportunity for you to be in their world and share your content on social too.
Give Recommendations and Testimonials
One other thing, BNI brought us the concept of givers gain and I do believe what goes around comes around. Which of your suppliers or colleagues could you give a recommendation to on Linked In. It could be your phone or IT providers, your garage, your PT or VA, your insurance broker who is always there to answer your queries and make sure your risks are covered Take the lead and find people to thank for a good service.