It’s never quite as simple as “plug and play” when it comes to a solid business social media strategy but with a little extra work, you can start creating and building relationships that produce results. At the heart of great networking lies great relationships and LinkedIn is the best online tool for cultivating those relationships digitally, in my opinion.
You want to ensure you have done everything possible to make your online presence appears welcoming, professional and personalized.
Here are 5 steps to add to your LinkedIn approach for a more effective social media strategy:
- Make your initial message more personal! If someone reaches out and connects with you on LinkedIn, spend a minute to remember where you might know them from and review their profile to see if anything rings a bell. If not, look for some common ground to connect on and thank them for the connection. I still get more than 70% of my business through LinkedIn and it generally starts from the initial message as it comfortably opens up the dialogue.
- Be a leader in your industry. You need to personalize your profile to speak directly to those whom you serve within your industry. Never let your LinkedIn profile turn into a dull, stagnant resume. Update your status on LinkedIn often with something engaging and helpful to those you serve. Always remain on the cutting edge of industry!
- Have a professional photo. This should be a no brainer by now, but so many people neglect it. Don’t crop yourself out of a picture you look great in from a party or social gathering. Get yourself a professional headshot by a photographer and make sure you smile!
- Make sure your summary speaks to your ideal client. Your summary shouldn’t be about you as much as it should be about how you can help your ideal client. You want your target market to read your profile and feel the synchronicity between what you offer and what they need to solve their problems. The more you can speak with words that appeal and relate to your ideal client, the better your results will be.
- Engage in groups. You are able to join a maximum of 50 groups on LinkedIn and you should make use of that ability by joining 50! Try and find groups related to your industry and in your target area (local or otherwise) to bring you closer to those who can either become potential clients or strategic alliances. Some groups will be dead, others will be full of spam, but there are many that are full of active discussions with great people and great moderators that maintain quality conversation within the group. It’s a process of trial and error to find the great ones, but it’s well worth your time!
I don’t have enough good things to say about LinkedIn as I continue to get 70% of my business (or more) from it alone, and have met so many great people that have become valuable referral partners as well. These are the exact same 5 points that were fundamental in getting me over 13,500 connections (and growing) on LinkedIn and will definitely be a valuable asset to your social media strategy as well.
What approach do you find most effective on LinkedIn? Leave your message in the comments below.