- Posted by Catherine Valentine Rosario
- On July 30, 2019
- LinkedIn, Social media
Social media has become more than just a trend in society, for some, it has grown to be the primary way of socializing, networking and even conducting business. The sum of people who regularly use certain social media platforms is quite staggering. For example, in the first quarter of 2019, Facebook reported 2.38 billion users. Their subsidiary, Instagram, had an average of one billion monthly active users in 2018. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, houses more than 630 million users.
LinkedIn in particular has promptly become a mainstream tool for businesses for a variety of reasons. Originally launched in 2003 to serve as an online social network, LinkedIn has now grown into a strong content platform.
While countless large-scale corporations and Fortune 500 companies have utilized LinkedIn to sustain their brand, the platform does not discriminate by size. Many smaller startups and local businesses have begun to exploit this new wave of networking. No business is too small to reap the benefits of a personalized profile and strong social network. In fact, with the right strategy, it could be what propels a local business to the forefront of a community.
Here are three tips on how local businesses can use LinkedIn to grow their business:
Network First, Sell Later
Much like building a house, you must first start with a solid foundation and build up. The mistake too many small businesses make on LinkedIn is bypassing the networking step and going straight into a sales pitch. Selling can most certainly be effective through LinkedIn, but it takes time to build that target audience.
Connecting with people within your industry will lead to increased sales in the long run. It’s crucial to build a strong base first.
Engage and Publish Original Content
Keep the “social” in social media. It is not optimal for a business to merely exist on LinkedIn. Commenting on, sharing and even creating original posts for your network to engage with is key. This frequent activity will present your business as an expert and a go-to-resource within the industry.
Publishing original content will grow your businesses reputation and increase traffic to your page, which ultimately could lead to more customers. Ask questions, provide answers, share interesting articles, provide company updates. These are all huge ways a company can establish itself as a major force in an industry.
Additionally, according to LinkedIn Pages Best Practices, companies that post original content weekly show a “2x lift in engagement”. At the end of the day, engagement is the end goal for content.
Integrate Your Business’ Pages
Adding a link on your LinkedIn profile to your company website is quite valuable, especially for smaller businesses. It gives potential customers multiple ways to educate themselves about your business. If your business utilizes other social media platforms, it doesn’t hurt to add a shortcut to those pages on your LinkedIn company page and vice versa.
Cross-linking these pages provides companies a way to increase their overall online presence, a dire necessity in modern business.
These mediums and their abilities have provided a revolution in business. The ability to connect with people, information and businesses with the click of a button is totally unprecedented. That’s not to say the old ways of doing things are extinct, but the efficiency these social media platforms like LinkedIn provide is second to none. Now is the time for local businesses to realize its potential and use it to their advantage.
—By Christopher Lennox