Deep South Media has a thriving LinkedIn programme – both in curating the platform for a number of businesses and imparting our immeasurable wealth of knowledge in training others how to use it effectively, writes Cliff Moore.
But not everyone ‘gets it’. There are a great many businesspeople who are either not convinced by LinkedIn’s benefits, choose to ignore the platform entirely, are too busy or utilise it sporadically, often only because they are asked to by bosses.
I feel that is a mistake.
There are many and varied reasons for having a LinkedIn presence and I run through a few of these below but suffice to say we are very much supportive of the platform.
In short, the primary function of LinkedIn is to reach out and connect with other professionals from around the world – in a sense, a global networking event without that cringy minute to talk about yourself.
Lies, damned lies and statistics
LinkedIn was launched in California in May 2003 and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft since December 2016. It has 774+ million registered members from more than 200 countries and territories.
That’s fairly impressive but means nothing to anyone really. What is more important is what you get out of it. So why not join the more than 33 million users in Great Britain and participate fully to see what that means.
While I am chucking stats at you, here are a few more: 50% of internet users aged 35–44 use LinkedIn; when making purchase decisions, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn; 92% of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn to other social networks and 80% of LinkedIn members consider professional networking important to career success.
Of course, stats mean everything and nothing, can usually be manipulated to back up whatever your current thinking might happen to be, or say the complete opposite – and most people will have glossed over when reading (or, more likely, skimming) the previous paragraph.
Instead, let us concentrate on practicalities.
The bottom line, simply, is that if you are not using LinkedIn, your competitors most probably are – and that puts you at an immediate disadvantage in terms of brand awareness, lead generation, information dissemination, business development, competitor monitoring, recruitment, networking, credibility and sales.
Raising, and maintaining, a high profile for your business is no easy feat, but LinkedIn certainly helps. Building a strong corporate LinkedIn platform and employing a system where all colleagues like, share and comment on posts is a simple, but effective method.
The old adage ‘people buy people’ is certainly true on this platform and individual posts, rather than company ones, will undoubtedly gain greater traction – but you must have the brand identity to start with and a corporate look for all employees’ profiles to utilise this fully.
Your profile is all important so spend a while perfecting it – you must have a good professional picture, a punchy and informative précis, a factual description with no flowery adjectives and a list of skills and experiences.
Also, brand awareness is not just about profile raising, it also includes the cross-selling of colleagues’ skills and expertise, particularly in specialist areas,
Building connections is the only way to succeed with LinkedIn. You may have been shouting about what you consider to be the best product or service in the world, but if your connections number a bunch of students, a retiree, three people in a nebulous company whose premise in uncertain and a yak breeder in Outer Mongolia, you probably won’t get much reaction.
You need people, plenty of them. So build your network and address the quantity versus quality argument. The former means connecting with all and sundry in the hope that someone will one day be useful, the latter indicates that you restrict your network to connections within your immediate sector. I prefer the former, with the latter included – best of both worlds.
The media world has fragmented, particularly over the last 10 or 15 years and there are myriad ways of finding out information and spreading the news. People posting on social media channels often beat the mainstream media to the new content, but one has to be able to trust the source.
Thus, if, say, a notable person’s death is reported on Twitter or some other vehicle, I will inevitably refer back to a main news source – a trusted voice, but naturally slower than a bedroom keyboard warrior, for confirmation that this is true. This is so for both national and regional media
This, in a way, is why LinkedIn has now become such an important tool in disseminating business. You can present your news directly in front of professionals (and others) on your own terms and at your own timescale. You will be soon known as an authoritative source yourself because what you publish must always be honest, trustworthy and true or people will quickly stop looking.
In its early years LinkedIn was very much a recruitment tool. It still is but advertising posts and searching for roles in now just one part of the overall offering.
Posting details of roles directly to potential candidates is a sure-fire way of speeding up the recruitment process. Some positions are now only advertised on LinkedIn and can be applied for through the platform. LinkedIn is also an excellent vehicle for hearing about opportunities.
If you use LinkedIn for nothing other than networking you will be part of a fairly considerable club, but instead of seeing the same old faces as one would at an in-person event (which is inescapably restricted geographically), there is a pretty large audience of professionals for you out there.
LinkedIn algorithms will inevitably direct you towards posts and profiles relevant to you and you will soon be sharing best practice, advice ideas and innovations with your new interest group – and all at your fingertips.
Experienced LinkedIn users participate in many conversations, join interest groups, follow industry or sector influencers
And who knows, you might one day have a requirement for yak breeding services.
What to post about
Your subject matter is hugely important, as is writing your posts effectively. That is where Deep South Media comes in – our LinkedIn training sessions explain all this and show you how to drive brand awareness, attract leads and cross-sell your services.
Legal, accountancy, property and third sector organisations have already taken the convenient, two-hour, online course run by three DSM experts and have come away reenergised.
How to get in touch
- To find out more about LinkedIn training simply click back to the DSM home page from this blog or visit: https://www.deepsouthmedia.co.uk/services/training/
- You can contact me via messaging on my LinkedIn, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, please contact me on 01202 534487.