Righti-o Grandad! Here’s my question:
There’s a lot of buzz about LinkedIn but I can’t decide if its a good place to do social-media marketing. I have about 350 plus connections on LinkedIn and although I don’t get a lot of referrals from it, these people do spend more time on my site if they come from LinkedIn.
It does suggest this is a good place to be active (and all my posts go to my LinkedIn timeline) but LinkedIn itself is quite counter-intuitive in its design. I find LinkedIn hard to navigate and, therefore, time consuming. What are your tips on how to get the best out of LinkedIn as a marketing tool for a website? (The endorsing of skills is particularly irritating. Should I be endorsing connections back? That will be very time-consuming. Will it be worth it?)
Regards and thanks very much!
Gill Moodie, Grubstreet
Dear Serial Connector
Look at you with 350+ connections, aren’t we popular in the virtual space…? Forget about the buzz, it’s buzzing if you know how! But…
“Just because you have 100’s of connections, it doesn’t mean you have 100’s of people who want to do business with you or want to go to your website. They may just want to hear from you”
In my experience, LinkedIn has evolved drastically from its early days when it was formed in 2002 and launched in 2003 from being a very exclusive portal based on trusted and recommended connections to today,where it is like a frenzy-buzzing ground of the most like-minded through to the yin and yang for everyone, connecting with each for no reason whatsoever (bar a popularity race& self career-promotion), through to stalkers and the obvious head-hunters (not literally obviously) and yes businesses driving business.
“LinkedIn still has many positive attributes for many businesses today – just avoid the Sharks & Stalkers”
But another key point you raised is the actual website usability and user-experience (you didn’t mention if you accessed it via the web, mobisite or App – as the platform is better on some than others).
So being serious for a second, you mention you have 350+ connections and of those how many do you know personally, trust and would do business with?My key question to you iswhy you joined LinkedIn, have made so many connections and what are you hoping to gain from being on the site – as your reason maybe very different to why others connect with you.
In my opinion, the old way was a great way. Connecting with like-minded people you trusted, or wanted to connect with for mutual gain. So being a Grandad, with lots of kids, I am quite picky who I connect with or accept connections from – I have a very clear strategy.
“Using LinkedIn is like attending a business conference or forum on steroids!”
So lets start by listing out some of the basics in what LinkedIn is all about:
- LinkedIn is all about networking. Making connections, and connections through connections. It’s like having access to the list of all the attendees to a business conference, with all their details for you to make a connection. Did you know that LinkedIn is growing at a rate of c.2+ people per second (so by the time you have read this article, depending on how good your eye-site is, LinkedIn would have gained over 500+ people).
- It’s a place where you can increase your contacts, raise your profile online, get referrals, learn from your connections, hear breaking news, read whitepapers and keep up to date on what’s happening in your business sector
- Its other powerful angles is the ability to join desired groups, where you can get advise, give advise and seek advise. This is one of my biggest reasons I use it daily. It’s like being at a forum on steroids. I love posting questions to my selected groups. I usually get at least one great idea back each time or referals
- It’s a place to do straight talking business. But like any marketing, you need a strategic plan in how you are using LinkedIn as a channel and tool in both attracting and engaging new business for any company.
So here’s to “DigitalGrandads“#TopTweetTips” on ways to improve your connections on LinkedIn and drive business”
- “Always add a picture” logo (otherwise you look doggy, unless you are a Grandad and shy). You need to be authentic. People now want to know and see who you are. In the early days, only the brave and extrovert posted a picture. But today it is the total opposite; if you don’t then it makes people think you have something to hide!
- “Set up a professional profile” (It may sound obvious – but trust me it’s not. Just like your website or any other brand material – it needs to have the same attention to detail and professionalism)
- “Create a summary” of your business (concise and to the point)
- “Grow your connections”. But remember ‘quality’ outweighs ‘quantity’. Otherwise you will be getting online survey requests from people you have never head of, asking you to rate the quality of their work. Really! Please stop it! My response – see your real-life line-manager in the real world.
- “Join relevant groups”and engage with them – be an active member / ask questions – remember people love giving advise and answers / useto promote your business / add content to group posts / be proactive
- “Set up a Group” – If you are really good at what you do set up a group – for example – Intelligence Group for Intelligent People
- “Leverage recommendations” and thank your recommenders
- “Link to your other digital assets” / blogs, website, mobile sites etc. / promote and share links to your landing pages. Did you know you could customize your links? For example – customize links to your website to say “for the latest media Intelligence”
- “Use LinkedIn plugin” on your website
- “Keep your profile and status updated”
- “Update relevant contentregularly”. Take the effort and time. Ask questions as prompts to greater interactions. Maybe even set up auto-publishing
So if you wouldn’t say it in the real world – don’t post it in the virtual world
Now Usability – well that’s a topic in its own right. BTW I do presume this is the website question? as their App is brilliant and even an old Grandad like me can navigate through it seamlessly. If you don’t believe me read this.
– DigitalGrandad is a Marketing Professional with over 140 dog years of practical digital experience working with both global and local brands. From SME’s through to Multinational’s and across industry sectors he has seen and embraced the changes technology has given to us to better our lives. Yes he remembers the old days, but is now a firm traDigitalist born through traditional marketing.
If you have a digital dilemma and are too afraid to ask your boss or your agency, but feel you need to ask for some straight no-nonsense advice, please email me at DigitalGrandad@marklives.com with your question, or better still tweet to @digitalgrandad1. I’ll answer one every week on MarkLives.com.
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