LinkedIn is considered one of the most important tools for new business owners. This is due to the variety of ways you can use it for networking, brand visibility, lead generation, industry insights, content sharing, job recruitment and marketing. Leveraging these features can be instrumental in establishing and growing a new business.
Over 985 million people use LinkedIn to grow their businesses, expand their professional networks, or look for better employment opportunities. If you’re one of them, understanding how to get the most out of this platform can often lead to exciting career developments.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, even a few minor changes to the way you use LinkedIn could make a big difference.
In this article, we go through the basics of using LinkedIn for your business including:
- The benefits of LinkedIn for business
- Expanding your profile
- 3 ways to get the best out of the platform
- Using LinkedIn to advance your career
The benefits of LinkedIn for business
Before we get into the best way to use LinkedIn, let’s discuss why it’s important to have a presence on this platform in the first place. LinkedIn gives you:
- Access to job opportunities
- The ability to follow what colleagues and experts in your field are interested in
- A place to research the qualities that attract employers (by analysing other profiles)
- A platform to make connections with others in your industry
Social media is key to professional networking, and LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms for this purpose. On average, each connection you make on LinkedIn expands your potential network by more than 400 people – and dozens of relevant job opportunities. Six people are hired every minute on the platform.
Expand your LinkedIn profile
If your LinkedIn profile is looking a little basic, it’s a good plan to flesh it out so that it truly represents you. The more you put into your profile, the more useful LinkedIn will be. For starters, we recommend filling in About, Featured, Background, Skills, and Accomplishments:
LinkedIn enables you to populate each section with details about your accomplishments and skills. It’s important that you take the time to complete your profile with as much information as possible so that prospective employers and other connections can get a sense of who you are as a professional.
Bear in mind, you can return and update your profile at any time.
3 Easy ways to get the most out of LinkedIn
Many people set up LinkedIn accounts and then forget about them. While it’s possible to luck your way into opportunities just by having a profile, it’s highly unlikely. To take advantage of your network, you have to maintain an active presence.
1. Focus on content
The best way to grow your LinkedIn network is by sharing content related to your industry. You can post articles that you find interesting, or share your thoughts. It’s also a great place to engage in discussions with people who take the time to interact with your content.
LinkedIn can also form part of your content marketing strategy. It’s one of the few social media platforms well-suited to long-form posts.
2. Optimise your posts for reach and impact
Sharing posts is a start, but you have to work to make sure they don’t go unnoticed. Optimise your LinkedIn content by:
- Following a posting schedule. Sharing content consistently will grow your network and set you up to one day be seen as an expert. Find out when LinkedIn users are most active and publish your posts then.
- Adding relevant hashtags to each new post. This makes it easier for people outside of your network to find your content, which can increase your chances for connections and opportunities.
- Keeping captions short and sharp. Include simple Calls To Action (CTAs) that direct your connections on what to do next.
- Tagging people and pages when you mention them. LinkedIn will notify them, bringing relevant connections to your post.
Just like other social media platforms, your content has to compete for attention as users scroll through their feeds. These best practices will help your posts stand out.
3. Encourage engagement
Creating engaging LinkedIn posts can be a challenge, which is what makes captions so important. Use them to feature interesting quotes from your content or pose questions that encourage readers to interact. You’ll need someone to respond to user engagement promptly so your followers don’t lose interest in engaging with you. Think of it as a conversation that you’re having online: if two days pass between comments, the conversation will fall flat.
Finally, consider using LinkedIn polls to gather feedback and boost engagement. This can be particularly helpful for learning about emerging trends in your field or conducting consumer research.
Leverage LinkedIn to advance your career
LinkedIn can help you advance your career and grow your business, but only if you have clear goals in mind. Setting up a profile to get started is fairly straightforward.
Then, you can start implementing the tips we’ve covered in this post:
- Focus on content.
- Optimise your posts for reach and impact.
- Encourage engagement.
Did you know xneelo is on LinkedIn? We share relevant customer stories, entrepreneur insights and the latest in South African small business news. Follow us and join the conversation here.
Looking for more advice on how to connect with your community? Learn how to use a blog to increase engagement here.