For businesses, relationship building is an inevitable component for growth and new opportunities. Old ways of selling that consist of a salesy pushy approach are over and gone for good. Through the modernization of the internet, the biggest disruption in today’s business marketplace, LinkedIn continues to offer businesses with untapped potential relationship building and new lead opportunities across B2B or B2C markets. As a matter or fact, according to LinkedIn stats, over 50% of its professional members are more likely to engage or purchase a product or service from a company on its platform compared to other traditional methods of acquisition. Interestingly enough, all executives from 2013 Fortune companies are active participants of the platform for means of networking, lead generation, and relationship building opportunities.
So, how is your company utilizing LinkedIn for business?
For many small businesses, even to this day, LinkedIn seems like a completely foreign territory. However, from a sales perspective its potential for forging new alliances can assist sales departments and business owners equally. Mastering the LinkedIn universe is no small task to accomplish and requires plenty of practice, testing, and tuning. In the grand scheme of over 40% of Fortune 500 companies will be non-existent in 10 years, so it’s prime time for small businesses to harness LinkedIn potential.
Establishing Your Business Presence
One of the first steps in getting acquainted with the business network is to start by creating a company page. It’s the bare minimum requirement for brands of all forms and sizes. Getting the foundation in place for future success is an integral component for leveraging full potential of the business platform.
- Page Design – Populating your newly created business page with relevant information that pertains to your company is a key ingredient to ensuring full engagement with potential prospects. Ensure that your company description, specialties, industry, and website address are clearly outlined for visitors to the page.
- Search Optimization – The newly revived LinkedIn business pages provide stronger value in SERPs and search engines such as Google. It allows you to display of up to 156 characters of information from the description text shown on the company page. Ensure keyword-richness is succinct and adequately positioned within that respective area in order to amplify search visibility.
From a communication standpoint, it’s imperative to align company resources with team-building and strong content delivery. If not instructed do so already, ensure that all appropriate company resources are associated with the company page by enlisting it within their independent professional profiles. Also, check to see if each resource is an active follower of your business page.
- Content Generation & Distribution – Finding the right individual within your company to appoint as the sole content driver serves the utmost importance. That particular individual will need to be versed in various areas of subject matter expertise as it pertains to your company. Being a tech-savvy individual is not a requirement, but LinkedIn administration would most likely consider it a strong benefit to your organization.
Acquiring New Followers
Now that you have your company page up and running while optimizing for optimal search visibility, it’s time to work on fostering new business relationships. After all, those new followers will attribute to generating new B2B or B2C lead generation opportunities your company has been thirsting for.
- Engage the Team – Enticing company employees to participate and contributed sparks nearly a 70% engagement rate with a company page. Check to ensure that each employee has listed the name of your company on their professional profile for succinct association. No profile? Assist them in creating a new LinkedIn account.
- Shout It From the Rooftops – Raising awareness around your new LinkedIn company page is imperative to its growth. Utilize newsletters, e-mail marketing campaigns, announcements, or even cross-pollinate with other social platforms.
- Enhance Visibility – Utilizing plugins or widgets on your site or blog will help bring visibility to your newly created business page. The LinkedIn developers section offers direct bolt-on functionality that you can seamlessly integrate within any website without much hassle. Additionally, if you’re a WordPress user, check the plugins section for a variety of available plugins that help you include a company page badge on your site.
Once basics are out of the way with a properly configured company page and congruent website enhancements, it’s time to get to work. Before grabbing things by the horn, it’s important to establish an understanding that LinkedIn engagement, forging new relationships, and building new B2B or B2C opportunities requires an organic approach. Placing monetary value on a relationship is more or less a redundant way of classifying the worthiness of such relationships. However, do remember that any newly established business relationship on LinkedIn is not only industry-targeted but far more qualified than the average traditional lead you may acquire.
- Be Helpful, Friendly, and NON-SALES-y – An arrogant approach won’t get you far. Being rude will kill any pre-existing momentum instantly. Being too pushy, spammy, or overly promotional will only drive followers away. Consider sharing industry specific news that is relevant, interesting, and most importantly helpful to your followers.
- Be Coordinated & Timely – Statistically, updates that occur in the early business hours of the day tend to spark the highest level of engagement. However, certain content also sparks interest in the afterhours. While following the golden rule of posting in the early business hours will assist with stronger engagement, definitely consider testing out the waters a bit further by exploring other timeframes.
- Post Frequently – Developing a trend of post consistency indicates a proactive approach to your followers. Typically posting once a day will suffice to gain some momentum and pick up interest from followers. At minimum consider publishing no less than once a week.
- Content Is King! – no, really! Being selective about the quality of content published says a lot about your brand. In a way, it sets a standard that projects across to company page follows. Informational, authoritative, and industry-specific content will maintain strong engagement and participation from company page followers.
Amplify Brand Perception
Impacting others’ brand perception can be achieved through the recommendation of a friend, colleague, or even family member. The importance of quality content sharing on a company page is critical in relation to user engagement. Followers are able to comment, like, and share individual status updates made on a company page, amplifying that activity over to their first degree connections. Such activity from followers enforces an endorsement of content quality and assists with building brand advocates. In the eyes of their first-degree connections, it helps position your brand as an authoritative expert within a designated field.