The LinkedIn.com social networking site is more of a B2B (business to business) network, a place to converse with like minded professionals to learn and share information and build the popularity of your business and/or brand. All B2C (business to customers/consumer) posting that you might do on Facebook or Twitter should be avoided on LinkedIn. Promotions, sales, and specials at your company will be viewed as SPAM so be thoughtful to what you post.
One of the many benefits of growing your profile and thus your popularity on LinkedIn is that the greatest advocates for your business are colleagues in your respective industry.
A referral as well as acknowledgment from a professional colleague is very valuable in terms of persuasiveness for any listening consumer, this holds true within any industry.
- The most effective way to build your popularity and profile is through open and constant dialog. To do this you should become part of a Group, more than one is best. You can find this tab in the menu bar of your LinkedIn page, click on the Group button.
- On the right, simply type in a relevant keyword for your business and look at the groups that are populated on the screen. Geographical references might help but are also limiting, worth a try anyway.
- You can also click on ‘Groups you may like’ in the drop down to see what suggestions LinkedIn might have for you.
- Once you find a Group that looks interesting, have a look around. Look at the most popular discussions, observe the dialog and interaction level. The more people with the most interaction are the most valuable. Click the ‘Join Group’ button to request membership.
- Once you are accepted into the Group, start commenting, answer questions, become part of the discussion but be sure to provide value in your comments and answers. Elevate the conversation with fresh information, not just agreeing with the rest of the participants.
Share resources; to keep with the discussion/dialog, read all the comments so your comments are relevant and on point. This will start the process of building fans in your group and they will start to follow you.
- The next step is to start a post, a discussion that provides value to your group. Provide a link to an interesting article and talk about it, share an opinion or one of a popular figure.
- Be sure to ‘Like’ your post, this helps the process.
- Next, comment on your own post with additional information, this increase the activity level of your post and moves it up higher in the queue of posts within that group.
- From there monitor and engage other participants in the discussion.
Mixing it up with like minded professional is stimulating and enlightening. Bonds are formed and advocates of your company are created. Your reach has been increased and potential leads for your business will grow.
This is the power of B2B networking on LinkedIn.com.