• Scott Fitzgibbon

Getting on with LinkedIN

I was delighted to be able host a conversation on LinkedIN with a selection of business owners at various stages of their journeys. We all have varying experiences and exposure to the wide variety of social media outlets. So here's a few of the main questions that were discussed and my responses. These will differ from person to person, so if you disagree add a comment and help us all learn a little more.

*IS MY PROFILE PAGE IMPORTANT* Yes, if you don't complete your profile to the 100%, you won't appear in the searches as often (95% less frequency) and you won't appear in recommendations. As LI wants to showcase full profiles. But think about what you want to show. Scale down the content on the items you don't want people to read, and bulk up the areas you do. This is part of sales journey of someone finding your business. They don't need to know you worked in Asda at the age of 16, but are interested in your current projects.

*HOW DO I GET A 100% profile* It's easier than you think...follow the site instructions. You need....Industry selected, a postcode, a current position, two other positions, 1 education item, 5 skills, photo, 50+ connections, a work summary, a work sample/project, a volunteer experience. Remember this doesn't have to be your CV online, just do the minimum in some areas and focus on your business and relevant experience. ALLSTAR means you are complete.

*PUBLIC PROFILES* Many people hide away much of their profile from the public view. Why? If you were to meet someone new you wouldn't refuse to talk to them. Showcase your role, current position, projects to get people to want to link to you. Remember when you link to someone they will then see your full profile, so make sure you're happy that your profile is the "business you".

*WHO SHOULD I CONNECT TO* There are many schools of thought on this. But for those of us in attracting new business, and not looking to find a job (or just using the learning), this is a great opportunity to build a much wider network of potential client contacts or likeminded colleagues. Like with any form of marketing, target connections that meet your desired customer base and reach out. Don't be offended if someone says no. At the same time consider why someone is trying to link to you. If they end up seeing your posts and engaging it will only help you reach others.

*SHOULD I LINK TO EVERYONE (& ANYONE)* Again this will depend on your audiences you are looking to attract. I would set yourself some loose rules such as "business owners" in "Dorset" and look to target and accept requests from this group and work from there. Remember in today's world don't necessarily be put off if someone is linking to you from a far. A Link in Scotland might be just as valuable as a link in Dorset. However, if a connection is from overseas look at the reasons why you would be looking to connect, keep to your rules where you can.

*SHOULD I POST FROM MY BUSINESS PAGE* I believe that most people will be more interested hearing from a person rather than from a business. LI favours personal posts over business posts. I believe you should primarily post as your business-self, this will lead to more engagement. Unless your business has a "real following" as in people are queuing to get your products or hanging on for your next updates. Use your personal profile and use the Business pages for your Press Releases and Case Studies. Do set up a business page properly and link your role to that page, encourage your staff to link to the co