LinkedIn continues its extraordinary growth with two professionals joining the business network platform every second.
Across EMEA, more than 185 million people have created a LinkedIn profile and every day, more than two million posts, videos and articles fill LinkedIn feeds. In fact, the world’s largest professional network says that 20% of its population is business decision makers.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs see the business benefits that can come from LinkedIn. Last year, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson topped the LinkedIn Voices 2018 as the most influential LinkedIn user of the year. His posts - yes, he does write all his own content - cover all aspects of his life and work, from Virgin initiatives, business advice and entrepreneurial musings, to the causes he’s passionate about and his travel adventures.
Of course, Branson has a jump on the rest of us because he’s rich and famous, but the real secret to his LinkedIn success is that he posts regular original content which offers value and is written in an authentic voice. It might not seem like selling but with every post he’s the ultimate Virgin ambassador promoting all things Virgin.
We regularly work with businesses on social-selling campaigns, teaching sales teams how to use LinkedIn to become brand advocates and in turn, nurture relationships and find and connect with prospects. From the newbies to the experienced, sales teams often don’t have the time to keep up to date with the ever-changing nature of the platform - so rely on us as their agency partners to keep them abreast of the latest and important technology tweaks.
It takes time and dedication and you need to ringfence time every day to log into LinkedIn. If Branson has time to post on LinkedIn daily – sometimes several times a day – everyone should be able to find 15 minutes to engage.
Below are some of my top tips for turning LinkedIn into the ultimate social selling tool:
- Ensure your profile is fully optimised – a completed profile gives you the best possible chance to be found on LinkedIn;
- LinkedIn is a platform like any other social media channels where peer-to-peer marketing is king. Endorse people who have demonstrated great skills, whether they are colleagues, clients or partners and don’t be shy to ask for recommendations. You’ll be surprised how willing your work peers (past or present) will be to share positive feedback about you.
- Be active. The best time to engage is between 8am and 11am.
- Post a status update every day – share a new piece of content or industry news.
- Each day invite one to two people you know to connect.
- Comment on or like a piece of content from someone in your network.
- Visit your company’s LinkedIn channeland like/comment on one of the updates.
- Join relevant groups – this is a great way to meet prospects, pick up on trending content and gain customer insights.
- Create personalised connection requests.
- Make your profile open – this way, when you visit a person’s profile they are notified, increasing your visibility.
- Use search bar filters to get the content that matters to you.
Overall, make sure you think about LinkedIn as a platform to build relationships first, and sell second. It’s not a quick fix and there aren’t any golden formulas for instant success - you have to spend time to reap the rewards!
Nastasia Feniou is the digital client lead at TVC Group.