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Is LinkedIn capable of supporting business growth?

Is it actually possible to grow your business through the LinkedIn network?

The business networking and professional profile site LinkedIn has gone from strength to strength over the past few years. From humble beginnings, the site has gained a reputation among the top social networking platforms, shoulder to shoulder with Facebook and Twitter.

Richard George, corporate communications manager for EMEA at LinkedIn, certainly thinks so. He has recently published a five-point guide for LinkedIn users designed to support them in maximising their business, regardless of the scale and scope of their organisation.

According to George, the methodology for optimising benefits from LinkedIn’s network is surprisingly simple, yet effective. Despite this simplicity, the site has the ability to enable targeted, accurate growth with tangible results. Here is the lowdown on how to leverage the professional networking power of the platform to further your business aspirations.

Maximise your employee engagement

Each staff member has contacts through the LinkedIn platform. By engaging with your team and requesting that they connect to you and your business, you have the potential to reach out to a wealth of prospective customers by using your staff as ambassadors for networking. Incentivise your team to have complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profiles and to optimise their network to realise the potential of the site and increase business growth.

This is an easy and completely free way of generating a stronger online brand for your company using the power of networking through word of mouth. Any contact you are linked to through your staff base could translate into a future sale. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is designed to enable marketing and sales teams to identify positive opportunities for making introductions to kick-start the creation of new business relationships.

Streamline your activity

LinkedIn provide a Company Pages section that enables you to quickly navigate through a global list of firms, searching by industry, service provision and location. This enables you to build up a list of potential customers and identify individuals or firms with which you have already positively connected. The Sales Navigator function works with you to suggest firms matching your profile and identify key personnel who make purchasing decisions.

Share your wisdom

The best way to attract prospective customers and contacts through the platform is by proactively sharing your knowledge. Providing insightful wisdom pertaining to your industry will generate attention for your business, placing you as an expert in your field. Seek out opportunities for contributing to other people’s updates, adding useful details and tips for your industry to engage with potential customers and forge new contacts.

Identify the right contacts

Shortlist the decision makers in your industry and target them to identify and network with purchasers. Researching your ideal consumer list and going on to engage with them streamlines your marketing by ensuring your message goes directly to the people you want to attract.

Be active

By sharing content with key stakeholders, you can develop a routine of proactive communication and knowledge sharing. It is not enough to build your profile and then walk away from it, hoping it will network on your behalf; instead, the most successful business promotion and brand reinforcement comes from regular ongoing interaction across your network.

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