In terms of sheer volume and reach, Facebook remains the undisputed king of social media platforms. Yet every service has its own unique strengths. For B2B objectives, or any other posts with a business theme, LinkedIn represents a streamlined method of connecting with interested parties in the professional world.
Every silver lining has a cloud, however. LinkedIn’s sometimes-frustrating interface lacks an easy way to grow followers to a company page. Fortunately, the site is taking steps in the right direction – most notably with their recent announcement of an ‘Invite to Follow’ feature, which they recommend using once every three months. The idea here is that page admins will be able to invite LinkedIn users to follow their page, making it easier to connect with people interested in receiving their content.
This is a welcome development indeed – if they get it right. On Facebook it’s easy to invite friends to follow a business page with a simple click. LinkedIn’s recent launch of this service didn’t seem to go as planned; the site pulled the option temporarily after some apparent technical difficulties. Hopefully, this issue will be remedied soon, as the people you are connected to on LinkedIn are much more likely to be relevant to your business than your aunty or nephew on Facebook.
Practical Steps and Positive Habits for Growth on LinkedIn
While we wait for the world’s most valuable company to improve its business networking platform, the good news is there are plenty of other ways to take action and build a more effective B2B and B2C presence on your own. The following strategies will be a great help in your quest to be a popular LinkedIn influencer, brand, thought leader, or connector:
1) Grow your personal page to amplify your business page. Adding to your network is free, so we recommend taking a promiscuous approach to new LinkedIn connections. However, it is worth making a special effort to interact with people in your field. Consider the demographics that are relevant for your business and try to connect with as many of them as possible. Think of LinkedIn as an open networking opportunity rather than a private social media channel to be guarded.
Present yourself as a thought leader in your field to show you are worth connecting to and be generous with your interactions. The more you comment on other posts, the more you will be noticed. You never know when the next opportunity will arise.
As your status and connections grow, you can use your personal account to talk about your business page. This could be as simple as asking your connections to follow the page for exciting news and updates. A more indirect approach could be to share the best content from the business page, showing its value to all of your connections.
One of our clients has quadrupled their following in less than a year using this method. The result was a win/win for both the business and the individuals involved, providing a platform to engaging thought leaders while delivering insightful content to their contacts.
2) Reach out through targeted advertising. The most direct way to spread your message is to target your ideal audience with advertising. It is rather unlikely that anyone will engage with a random ad, so be sure to advertise your best – and most relevant – content to the segment you are targeting. By paying LinkedIn, you will be able to reach anyone in its global database. But such efforts depend on careful planning. It’s vitally important that you first establish your ideal target audience so that your money will go entirely towards showing your content to the people who are most likely to buy from you.
LinkedIn advertising is a lot more expensive than Facebook advertising, but ad spend is all about value. What is it worth to your business to have all your ideal clients following your page and seeing your latest news and insights on a daily basis?
3) Focus on adding real value to people’s LinkedIn experience. It’s important to maintain a lively social media presence – just be sure to respect other people’s time and intelligence. Don’t post for the sake of being active; post when you have something valuable to add to the conversation. If your field has seen genuinely new developments, or if you have a significant announcement to make, or if something newsworthy has occurred and you happen to have special knowledge on the subject, then by all means, post about it.
Just remember that constant self-promotion does not build a loyal following. If you can think of nothing original to say on a given day, then share insightful content that has been created by others. Each time you share quality content produced elsewhere, you will be seen as a well-read, open-minded, and positive contributor to a larger conversation.
By mixing your own high-quality material with content produced by others, your connections will see you as a knowledgeable source of curated information who understands the many facets of the issues you write about. Even if these same followers may not need your services today, they will certainly keep you at the front of their minds when the time comes. What’s more, they will be far more likely to recommend you to others who are interested in the products and services you provide.
The Path Ahead
There are several other ways to grow your page, such as adding follow buttons to your website, including a link in your signature, and encouraging your employees to advocate online on your behalf. A comprehensive approach to building your online presence also involves working within your company to implement these options. But the strategies listed above are practical methods you can implement today, and see immediate, measurable benefits.
Many companies lack the time and resources to manage their LinkedIn presence, and therefore fail to make the most of their relevant personal or business pages. If you need professional assistance in direct social media management, or creating original articles, videos or images to populate your pages, Lexicon can help.
Lexicon is a full-service digital marketing agency in Bangkok, Thailand. We specialize in corporate storytelling and produce all of our content in-house, including branding, copywriting, video production and graphic design. We bring all of our services together and use Digital PR and social media marketing storytelling to connect our clients with the ideal target audience.