LinkedIn is the single most efficient strategy for online B2B networking and if you aren’t already engaging in the platform, you’re probably ignoring a goldmine. So today I decided to share with you some easy to implement LinkedIn tips to help you make your business more profitable in 2017.
I’m not making this up. Statistics show that 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to help them make purchasing decisions, a number you can’t ignore when you consider the fact that 76% of key decision makers prefer to work with recommendations from their professional network.
From sales to HR to customer engagement, LinkedIn offers some of the best resources for developing your business, and we’re about to show you 8 LinkedIn tips to improve the 3 most critical aspects of your empire: your network, your team, and your sales strategy.
LinkedIn Networking Basics: Engaging with Your Audience Like a Pro
Permission marketing at its finest, high-quality LinkedIn networking techniques can bring you closer to the people that matter most for your long-term success. This includes customers, partners, producers, industry leaders, educators, potential employees, and everyone in between.
1. Using Advanced People Search to Expand Your Network
LinkedIn’s advanced search lets you filter users by title, company, location, keyword and and a whole lot more. Best of all, you can save your custom queries to find the 5 kinds of people you need in your network:
- Your ideal buyer, i.e. your customer avatar(s).
- Event organizers and must-know industry professionals that can give you authority points
- Your buyer’s social influencers
- Media professionals including industry bloggers and writers.
- Non-competitor industry professionals: suppliers, vendors, and producers
2. Optimize Posting Times and Frequency
Timing is everything, and keeping these 3 LinkedIn tips in mind will help you make the best use of it when it comes to building your LinkedIn network.
- Best Posting Time for Engagement
The ideal posting time on LinkedIn is Tuesdays between 10 and 11am, but you’ll find that the ideal time for you largely depends on your industry.
LinkedIn found that most execs engage at around 8PM, making this a better time to engage with high-level decision makers. Again, mind your audience.
- Is There an Ideal Posting Frequency?
According to my research, 20 posts per week will get you a solid 60% audience reach, which is a good majority of your active contacts particularly when you consider this feature is still free.
3. Using Tools to Manage Posts and Analyze Engagement
It goes without saying that consistent activity will pay off in the long term, especially if you focus on quality content that is relevant to your target market.
I’ve tried several different to help me manage my social media including Hootsuite, MeetEdgar and Buffer are just a few of the tools that let you schedule posts in bulk, keep track of activity, and (most importantly) assess your results.
4. Joining and Creating LinkedIn Groups
Depending on the groups you join, you can get access to key information about your buyer’s, your competitors, and industry leaders in your field.
Joining a healthy variety of groups related to your business and actively participating in discussions can help you develop an affinity with the people that matter most.
Here are 5 value-driven group concepts you can use to leverage your profile:
- Location + Industry-Specific News / Discussion Group. This is a great way to gain clout in your industry. Just make sure a similar group doesn’t already exist.
- Strategy-Specific Group. You can choose to focus on a particular strategy that your team specializes in to differentiate yourself from other groups in your field. This is especially effective for niche markets.
- Event-Related Group. This works for companies that organize or host a large industry event, but you can also try acting as a sort of directory for other industry-related events.
- Industry Professional Sub-Group. Often a group will already exist for your niche and industry type. You can narrow the scope to focus on sales managers, recent graduates, or any sub-group you think fits with your buyer persona.
- Product or Service-Specific Group. This won’t work for everyone. IF you have a large enough base of buyers on LinkedIn, this gives you a great space for social listening, polling, and (of course) upselling.
HR and Recruiting Tips
Thousands of businesses worldwide use LinkedIn as their primary recruiting source, and with good reason.
93% of recruiters search the platform for job seekers, and not having a profile means a potential employee is simply unwilling to keep up with the shifting job market.
Being not only present but active on the platform is a good preliminary indicator of a passionate professional, and having a great company page can bring them right to your door.
5. Optimize Your Company Profile for Job Seekers
Sure, LinkedIn allows you to post job ads– but this is a paid service. In terms of optimizing your LinkedIn organically, the golden rule is developing a stronger company profile that consistently features attractive, engaging branded content that passive candidates (ideal employees who happen to work for someone else) will love.
A well-rounded LinkedIn company profile will typically feature:
- Strong compage header image
- LinkedIn showcase pages
- Keyword optimized descriptions related to buyer/employee search-terms.
- Post and engage with your network will love
The fact is that most anyone in your network will eventually seek a new opportunity.
Americans make an average of 12 changes in their career, so focusing only on the people looking for work now will snuff your pool of passionate candidates in the long-term.
Engage with group members and qualified connections now to stay top-of-mind when they transition later.
6. Let Your Employees do the Hiring
In addition to using the advanced people search, asking your best and brightest to share your job opening with their network is a great way to find quality employees.
According to LinkedIn, companies that use their network to find talent have 10x the choices, which is why referrals are currently the #1 way to recruit.
Free LinkedIn Tips for Sales
There are tons of ways to utilize your personal LinkedIn profile and company page to sell. Here are my 2 favorite strategies (they’re all free):
7. Take Advantage of Free Emails to Group Members
Group Admins – Take advantage of your status as a group admin and use your opportunity to send mass InMail messages to group members once per week.
LinkedIn Users – Many people don’t even know that you can message in common group members for free. Here’s an article I wrote not long ago where I share 3 Easy Steps to Message Almost Anyone on LinkedIn For Free
8. Message individual prospects in your network
When it comes to making sales, upgrading your account should really be a no brainer. In the event you want to stick to LinkedIn’s free services, you can still send messages to your 1st level connections.
The best way is to create a value based messaging sequence specifically designed with your exact target market in mind. The messages should focus on providing relevant content that provide value while positioning you as a thought leader in your niche. Once you’ve provided real value to your audience, the chances of converting those conversation offline goes up 10 fold based upon my experience of generating over $20 million in new business through LinkedIn.
What type of content/messages should you send your prospects?
- Thank you message
- Case studies
- Industry articles
- Blog article from you or your company
- Published articles you have written
The key is to focus on highly relevant content that positions you as a valuable resource or expert within your industry/niche!
If you’re curious about building your personal brand and landing more quality sales via LinkedIn, click here to see if I have any Free LinkedIn strategy sessions available and maybe we’ll get a chance to chat so I can help you implement my easy to use LinkedIn marketing system
“Stop the madness. There’s a better way!”
LinkedIn Marketing & Social Selling Consultant, Trainer, Speaker