<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1233557686751204&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

How to use LinkedIn to grow your business

When growing a business, knowledge and strategy will get you so far. But networking is a powerful tool to branch out and really shift your growth into the next gear.

It naturally spreads brand awareness, and creates valuable connections within your industry. Before LinkedIn existed, networking was a compilation of events, word-of-mouth, and business cards, lots and lots of business cards.

Perhaps the most commonly used professional networking site, LinkedIn has taken the concept of networking to the next level. Within just a matter of keyboard taps, you can connect with similar profiles or businesses to share ideas and grow new partnerships. LinkedIn is certainly a digital materialisation of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’

Is LinkedIn social media?

Much like the ‘blue/black, white/gold dress debate’ LinkedIn’s categorisation is a bit of a grey area. Is it social media? Or is it for professionals? LinkedIn has the features of both, which is why it blurs the lines between a social platform and a virtual office.   

In some ways, it has the features of a social media site:

  • Users engage with content and share ideas/information
  • Individual users can create a personalised profile
  • Content is posted and shared
  • Users build connections with one another to grow their network of 'connections' and 'followers'

However, it also ties in with the features of a professional networking space with the following features:

  • Job posting on virtual job boards
  • Company profiling
  • Networking groups separated into industries, hobbies, or interests

This combination of social and professional content is what makes LinkedIn so popular. It adds that personal touch to a business or professional profile whilst retaining professionalism. It directly markets not only your business, but yourself. LinkedIn provides the perfect opportunity for contacts to get to know each other to build a stronger business relationship.

Personalising your LinkedIn profile allows you room to inject personality into your business. After all, your partners, stakeholders and prospects won’t connect with your business; they’re connecting with the people behind it.

That's not to say LinkedIn is 'social media' enough to post the photos from your friend's party from the weekend. However, it still allows the user to dictate and shape their the content however they want to, adding that 'personal' element. 

Using LinkedIn as a part of inbound marketing

Access to a wide range of prospects is like a gold mine for anyone trying to branch out their business. It can help strengthen relationships with pre-existing clients, or it can help establish new connections with fresh prospects you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

So depending on your buyer persona, LinkedIn can be a great tool for any inbound marketing strategy.

For reaching out to new prospects, businesses can use LinkedIn's 'campaign manager' feature which allows brands to build their own marketing campaigns and gain exposure through brand awareness. Attracting new clients using targeted ads can be a powerful way to gain conversions.

Making connections

The LinkedIn 'chat' feature is also a place for new connections to blossom. It transforms the concept of the formal email structure into a chat box aesthetic to add informality to your connection request.

LinkedIn is all about networking. And networking isn’t a new concept; anyone can do it. But not everyone is good at it. It’s not always as easy as saying, ‘Hello, want to connect?’ just because. If someone requests to connect because you share connections, or work in the same field - then the request makes sense. But if you're reaching out from apparently nowhere - people will want to know why you want to connect with them.

To be good at networking, you need to have a clear goal. Give your new connections a reason to want to connect and make it personal. Copy and pasting identical messages without personalisation or purpose will make the message seem ingenuine and vague. The ‘give before you take’ approach is a great way to start a connection with others. Offering purpose for connecting will make your invitation far more appealing.

The power of groups and communities 

It's all about finding common ground and being present in these circles.

Often, we’ll make new friends and connections based on common interests. LinkedIn is much the same - it's just like making new friends. We connect and befriend the people in our lives based on common interests.

Joining groups provides access to these pockets of communities where your potential connections are located. Engaging in discussions, posting fresh content, and starting conversations will pique the interest of these connections - and the networking will speak for itself.

But how does networking affect growth?

Having connections in business is really beneficial. Word of mouth, recommendations, and working with your connections on new projects are all ways that you can grow your business. The ‘endorse’ feature of LinkedIn is just one example of this, where people can write reviews about your services.

LinkedIn provides a deeper level of industry exposure, and it even showcases your content to strangers. The algorithm gives us all a helping hand, by widely showcasing content to strangers whom you have mutual connections with.

Although LinkedIn is more designed for industry engagement, it provides a space for profiles to engage with these content topics - much like Facebook and Instagram. This magnetises similar businesses, sparks conversations with your network, and links together a whole web of like-minded individuals.

Following these similar business and like-minded individuals can really help broaden your knowledge of industry news, and join important conversations that are relevant to your field. Essentially, LinkedIn opens up a whole load of opportunities and new resources. Plus, it helps keep you in the loop. And who knows, just one valuable engagement could become a long lasting, mutual partnership that benefits your business for the long run.


New call-to-action