As a small business owner you can't afford to sit on the sidelines of the online marketing trend. The difficulty is, of course, that marketing budgets are not always readily available or robust. Fortunately, some marketing channels offer great potential for results without the need for a huge financial investment. One such starting point is LinkedIn.
A strictly professional platform, LinkedIn is a great resource for small business owners looking for other professional contacts and potential new customers. Using LinkedIn is also a great way to find business partners, new hires, and interns alike. Like learning to swim, it can seem daunting at first to just dive into the deep end, but once you've learned to float, staying active on LinkedIn becomes second-nature. Here are a few tips to get more followers on LinkedIn:
Build a 'have-to-stop-and-read' profile:
Whether it's your personal or your company LinkedIn page, without a well-crafted, well-thought-out profile, you're sending a weak signal out not only to the platform's algorithms, but also to other LinkedIn users. When you reach out to other LinkedIn members, the first thing they're going to do in their due diligence process is to check out your profile and start to learn more about who you are. Profile building should take more time and present a more complimentary picture of your professional background than any resume you've ever crafted. It's not possible to build a great LinkedIn profile if you're not willing to put in the effort. And be sure to keep your profile up to date with current information.
Create and share good content to boost LinkedIn followers
LinkedIn has two main ways to create content on the platform. The first is to post directly to your own profile page, much like you would do on any other social media platform. The second method is to post to a group. You'll find both to be fruitful in their own ways, often for different reasons. Groups have a targeted audience, so more detailed posts are better received. Personal profile posts should reflect insights that may be unique to your specific background, yet also applicable to a wide range of professionals. When posting from your company's profile, be sure to post information that's relevant to your industry and that your target audience will be interested in reading and sharing with others. Needless to say the key here starts with having high quality content. If your content provides no value to the reader, it's unlikely they'll want to follow you and continue to read content from which they don't gain insight or professional growth.
Get more followers on LinkedIn by advertising
It's not always easy to be heard over a screaming crowd. Trying to stand out or get noticed on social channels can often feel this way. That's why a good alternative is paid advertising. True to it's name, you'll have to pay for your space, but ads will give you the opportunity to target a specific audience, and so you'll cater your messaging and likely get better results than you would otherwise. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, it's also seemingly more acceptable to see ads and be targeted.
Follow links from your website
Marketing is very much an integrated practice, and by this we mean that each activity can feed into another. For example if you post something on your LinkedIn channel, it can link back to your website. Conversely, your website should have follow or share links that provide a direct connection to your LinkedIn profile if a site visitor clicks on it. This is the best way to make sure your audience has easy access to all the channels where you or your company are present, and so naturally you'll get more followers because people are more easily connected to your pages.
Partner (and cross promote)
Partners can easily be your evangelists. Select a partner that could also benefit from additional LinkedIn followers and agree to promote each other's content and have a cross-company follow campaign. Ideally this would already be happening naturally because you're producing good content, but if you do need the support partners are likely your best choice. You could incentivize them by agreeing to non-monetary rewards like breakfast for the office or picking up a Thirsty Thursday tab. This is your chance to be creative.
You don't get what you don't ask for
Sometimes the simplest solution is the last one that will come to mind. Sometimes all you have to do to get more followers on LinkedIn, is ask. You can ask in a lot of different ways including private messages to individuals, posts to groups or to your account, even something as simple as saying "if you liked this content, follow us on LinkedIn to know when we publish more" at the bottom of your articles or posts.
Anything you take on that is totally new can be overwhelming at first, but LinkedIn has proven to be the market leader for online professional networks, so it's important to establish your online profile and try these tips to get more followers.