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 company page.
*WHATS' THE BEST TIME TO POST* Well, like any other social media posts think about what time your audience is online. However, LI's main news feed is sorted on "Relevance" not "latest" unless you change your settings. So rather than timing you should be focusing on relevant content that get's people commenting and engaging.
*HOW OFTEN SHOULD I POST?* LI rewards quality, so put the effort in on posts rather than quantity.
*SHOULD YOU POST ORGANICALLY or CAN YOU SCHEDULE CONTENT* Honestly, from the small experimentations there really isn't much difference. All social media platforms like "now" content. But with LI timeliness isn't the biggest driver, good content is.
*IS LI WORTH IT FOR B>C* This depends on your audience, if you are selling £5 items and reliant on instant sales, probably not. However, if your target audience is professional business people then you need to be where they are looking. However, look at how you post...focus on gaining interest rather than pushing hard for a sale.
*WHAT CONTENT IS BEST SUITED* Video, video, video (BUT with Subtitles) - this will always win out in LI. Secondly opinion pieces, make sure they are a decent length. LI dislikes one line posts and loves a few paragraphs. Links to your websites and other places are ok. But LI does prefer the content to remain in LI...
*...WHY?* LI is the most approved site by google to any content you add in areas such as articles. So although you might not get people to your site. LI will bring people to your profile.
*CHECK YOUR LINKEDIN SSI (SOCIAL SELLING INDEX) SCORE* Google "Linkedin SSI" and login - this will give you a score on how LI views you as an influencer. Typical scores vary from 20-75 (in my experience). So don't beat yourself up if your score isn't 100. But it will give you some pointers on where to improve. Honestly, I think it's nearly impossible to go above 75, without a paid version of LI. However just using the free account well can get you up to that level.
*OVERALL* If you sell B>B and focus on FB or other platforms instead of LI, you need to shift your focus as LI is the place to push these messages...as long as it's engaging content.