LinkedIn is a powerful tool for individuals looking to craft a professional online presence. Cat photos, memes of the moment and political rants are few and far between on this platform; the focus rests solely on all aspects of business.
Individuals with profiles have the opportunity to rub shoulders with their industry’s elite, make meaningful, lasting career connections, or even participate in online networking with other like-minded careerists.
But there are three areas where LinkedIn really excels and can benefit your own career and business: lead generation, recruitment and building brand equity.
LinkedIn for Lead Generation
Connect with potential clients through your 1st and 2nd degree connections. Dive into their profiles and find out their interests and specific areas of expertise. Check out their connections … do you have a few connections in common that could help you establish common ground? Perhaps you share a common niche or specialty, or maybe you worked in the same company or area. When you approach your leads later, you’ll have mutual connections and conversation ideas.
One very savvy TKG client generated dozens of leads a day on LinkedIn by simply searching her connections’ connections (her 2nd degree connections) by industry. She would then either ask for an introduction from her 1st degree connections to these 2nd degree connections, or send a short InMail about their mutual friend, and it often organically lead to her being able to help the lead with her company’s service.
Lead generation on LinkedIn can take a little time. It does require patience to dig into the information available on the platform, but it can yield measurable results in a way that cold calling or endless networking events can’t quite meet.
LinkedIn for Recruitment
Current employees can be one of your greatest recruiting assets for both new followers and new employees. Ask employees to connect with your company profile, and indicate on their LinkedIn profiles that they are currently employed by you. Encourage employees to interact with your status updates, post about current job openings, or share your page or information regularly.
You can also upgrade to Careers packages on LinkedIn to reach qualified candidates … both those who are actively looking for a position like the one you’re offering (about 20 percent of LinkedIn users) and those who are simply passively using the platform, but would be fantastic candidates (about 80 percent of LinkedIn users). These options can range from about $100 a month for a targeted ad or posting, up to $10,000 plus for a robust recruiting system that includes a CMS and other options that can actually be quite reasonable for companies that recruit often and heavily.
LinkedIn to Build Brand Equity
If someone in your network posts a question or article in your realm of expertise, take a moment to thoughtfully respond. Publishing good content in the form of your own individual status updates, interactions with your connections, or even on your company’s page on LinkedIn will establish your brand as a credible influencer.
Remember, however, that even though LinkedIn is a professional platform, it is also first and foremost a Social platform, so look to build relationships with your audience and connections whenever possible.
Community management techniques that apply to other Social platforms also apply on LinkedIn. Answer questions when possible or acknowledge positive feedback when it is received either on your individual profile or company page.
Strong Calls to Action in your posts are also an effective way to boost engagement. You may consider directly asking followers to recommend your products, sign up for your newsletter or visit your website.
Above all, remember that LinkedIn is the one place you get to brag about your company as much as you’d like! Share how things work behind the scenes, your involvement in the community, how your company typically likes to recruit, or even updates on internal initiatives when possible.
Without the noise of personal issues, cat photos or ridiculous list articles, LinkedIn can be a safe refuge for all things career and business based. Leverage the platform to help build your career and grow your brand and business.