Whether you’re looking for a job, making professional connections, seeking career advice, or generating new ideas, networking is the heart of it all.
The fact is, if you’re not building meaningful connections on LinkedIn, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to learn new skills, grow your network and boost the visibility of your personal and professional brand. The social media platform was once seen as a digital resume, but has since grown to become the largest professional networking site.
According to reports, 52 million people actively search for jobs on LinkedIn weekly, with eight people being hired every minute. Not surprisingly, it’s come to be viewed as the go-to platform for professionals looking to expand their network, boost engagement, and connect with others.
Unsure where to start when it comes to using LinkedIn to network like a pro? Discover the top expert tips and strategies for building meaningful connections on LinkedIn below!
Why is LinkedIn a valuable marketing tool for brands and businesses?
With its focus on networking, sharing ideas, and building your career, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for brands and businesses alike.
With over 1 billion users worldwide, you’ll find a tapped-in audience of like-minded professionals and businesses on LinkedIn ready to connect with. And with posts relating to your professional achievements garnering greater attention, you’ll see greater professional growth on LinkedIn, with the platform generating leads 227% more effectively than Facebook and Twitter.
As a marketing tool, LinkedIn offers a range of benefits to individuals and businesses, including:
• Digital networking facilitated on LinkedIn allows you to connect with potential clients, investors, and brands in your industry.
• You can build your profile as an industry expert by showcasing your skills, experiences and qualifications.
• You can showcase your company culture to support your recruitment efforts, allowing job seekers to easily identify and apply for new opportunities that come up in your workplace.
• With its network of professionals, it allows you to expand your skill set and share ideas, tap into new opportunities, and leverage valuable resources to grow your business.
How does LinkedIn content differ from other social media platforms?
So you’ve got a profile on the big three platforms, that are TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Do you really need one for LinkedIn, too? In short: absolutely.
Unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn is designed solely for professional networking. That alone makes it important for businesses wanting to connect with others in the industry and promote their work.
Still, that’s not the only thing that makes LinkedIn stand out from the crowd and appeal to those looking to grow professionally. Consider these differences below.
• It’s focused on B2B marketing online: With 97% of B2B marketers using LinkedIn for content marketing, the platform encourages users to engage with others while also sharing their own professional experiences, achievements, and advice. Through guest posts, co-hosted webinars, and online groups, you can expand your network, reach, and engagement.
• All content has a strong business focus: Regardless of whether you’re sharing news about your company, commenting on industry news, or shining a spotlight on an important business milestone, you’ll find that every post on LinkedIn is anchored in the business world.
• There’s less emphasis on curating an aesthetic grid and more emphasis on sharing expertise: LinkedIn focuses less on aesthetics and more on knowledge and insights. Each post delivers value for audiences through the expertise, advice, industry news, and facts shared.
• Changes to the LinkedIn algorithm in August of 2023 mean that audiences are more likely to find content they want: While Instagram prioritizes Reels, LinkedIn is the platform that spotlights meaningful content in the form of longer articles, deep dives, and trend-driven pieces. As the platform’s Senior Director of Product Management, Bonnie Xiong, suggests, these changes to the algorithm have already resulted in a nearly 40% increase in views of content that “provides knowledge from people outside of users’ networks.”
• The best LinkedIn content shines a spotlight on your business and personality: Consider the advice from Joel Mathew of Fortress Consulting, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, who speaks of the importance of highlighting your interests outside of work. “I find the most interesting and engaging candidates have hobbies and interests outside of the typical things you’d expect for the position…The nontraditional interests, hobbies and skills help show who you are and can also signal better job performance.”
5 practical strategies to build meaningful connections on LinkedIn
Ready to harness B2B marketing to grow your network and build meaningful connections on LinkedIn? Here are five tangible places to start.
1. Build your personal LinkedIn profile alongside your company LinkedIn page
Think you only need to focus on your Company Page on LinkedIn? Think again.
Both your personal profile and Company Page play an important role in building your profile and forging meaningful connections on LinkedIn.
• A personal LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with colleagues, mentors, and other industry experts, as well as list your previous experience, share and create content, position yourself as an industry leader, and build your network.
• A Company Page on LinkedIn, however, is where people find out more about your business. Here, people learn about your brand’s identity, voice, purpose, and your team culture.
The two might sound separate, but they actually work best together. You can only run ads and share job postings on LinkedIn Company Pages. But on your personal page, you can talk more about skills and endorsements, recommendations, and experience.
🔥Hot tip: Grow your audience and network simultaneously by resharing Company Page posts to your Personal Profile on LinkedIn. This will double the reach of your content. Plus, make sure to tag active LinkedIn users in the caption and comments on your posts to inspire organic conversations!
2. Contribute to collaborative articles to build your industry profile
With so many professionals on LinkedIn, the platform is home to a wealth of knowledge that can see you achieve professional growth, career development and land your dream job.
A new feature on the platform seeks to utilize this knowledge through collaborative articles. These cover topics ranging from “How do I get a promotion?” to “How to write a compelling resume?” LinkedIn then identifies members who are experts in a field or on a certain topic due to their experience or skills and allows them to contribute relevant and original contributions to the article.
According to LinkedIn, collaborative articles are the fastest-growing traffic driver on the platform, so contributing to them greatly enhances your visibility. It also helps to position you as a thought leader within your industry and a proactive member of your professional community.
By adding your insights to collaborative articles multiple times per week, you can work towards a Top Voices batch in a specific skill or category. Plus, make sure to respond and interact with other collaborators to forge organic connections on LinkedIn.
3. Regularly post thought leadership content that inspires conversation
Thought leadership content allows you to showcase your expertise, insights, and values to your target audience. This type of content positions you as a leader or expert in your field and makes your opinion one that’s highly sought after.
When it comes to building meaningful connections, this kind of content not only helps you build relationships with other leaders but also increases your visibility and credibility on the platform and can help lead to collaboration, networking, and other opportunities.
The key to thought leadership content is to make it engaging, memorable, and inspire conversation.
• Use real-world examples that showcase your personality and values as a thought leader
• Think of relevant stories that can apply to a range of readers
• Add visual elements like charts, graphs, or infographics to make your content more digestible
• Encourage conversation by asking questions, inviting comments, conducting polls or surveys, and responding to any reader questions or comments
Consider this example from Manny Medina, CEO of Outreach. While informative and educational, Medina uses strong storytelling to engage readers through personal anecdotes. He uses humour to showcase his personality and gives actionable, valuable advice.
4. Be proactive in connecting with new users
To make meaningful connections on LinkedIn, you first need to connect with new, relevant users. You want to build a relationship with purpose and see it develop into one that inspires conversation, the sharing of advice, expertise, and more leads.
To do this, you have to go beyond simply sending an invitation. Consider the following tips:
• Personalize your invitation to connect: If you know the person, remind them how you met or if you don’t, explain why it is you wish to connect. E.g. “I’m looking to learn more about [insert topic] and would be grateful for any advice about what it’s like to work for [insert company].”
• Comment on posts: Always ensure that your comments are positive, supportive, or provide professional tips and feedback. Commenting is a great way to engage with others and boost your visibility while connecting with new users.
• Check for work anniversaries or people starting new positions: When you see that someone is celebrating a work milestone or starting a new position, take the time to send a personalized message.
5. Consider joining or starting relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great space for sharing valuable knowledge and learning from other industry experts. It can also open the door to potential clients, partners, and collaborators in the future.
By joining or starting a group on LinkedIn, you’ll connect with other like-minded professionals who share similar interests, experiences, or can offer valuable expertise. It allows you to engage with others and expand your networking circle while establishing more meaningful connections with those in your chosen industry.
Use keywords to find groups related to your fields or interests, and ensure the group’s focus aligns with your own professional goals and interests. To engage effectively, introduce yourself in terms of professional background and expertise, avoid spamming or self-promotion by always adding value and answering questions, participate regularly, and respect the groups’ guidelines.
Level up your LinkedIn marketing strategy with Plann
Like any social media platform, consistency is key and implementing all these tips on your own can be a handful! If you need help posting with greater consistency on LinkedIn, let Plann help you.
With the ability to build your own content strategy, craft graphics through our Canva integration, and auto-post your thought leadership content straight to LinkedIn, you’ll be able to build meaningful connections with ease. Schedule your first LinkedIn post with Plann now!
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