A simple rule of thumb for business is to provide more value in the equation than you are asking for in return. In the social context of LinkedIn, this translates to helping to solve problems, providing relevant guidance and insights and giving without the goal of reciprocity in the relationship.
Individuals and organizations must first provide value and develop rapport in an authentic and genuine way to earn the right to engage with customers. Below are 5 simple steps to enable a successful LinkedIn strategy.
1. Focus on Building a Sound Business Outside of LinkedIn
Although it sounds obvious, it is worth stating that it is critical to focus on creating a company that is worth talking about. Storytelling starts with a legitimate company message and story.
Develop a story that resonates with your customers, partners and affiliates.
Take a position and reinforce your stand with your actions and communication to cultivate a loyal following.
Build your brand awareness by defining what makes you unique and different from your competitors.
2. Build the Right LinkedIn Audience
Growing and cultivating a relevant LinkedIn network means focusing on quality over quantity. Be disciplined in the connections you make and listen with your eyes to understand their needs, problems and passions.
Review connections' profiles, recent history, shared connections and group participation to ensure that you can add value.
Focus on supporting and amplifying your connections and the brands you follow to foster engagement and build relationships.
Join groups that have an audience focused on the problems your business solves.
3. Create and Share Relevant Content on LinkedIn
Become an active contributor to the conversation through your posts, insights and promotion of others' content.
Review influencers content to understand formats and interaction patterns.
Employ cross-channel tactics to maximize exposure in establishing reputation and authority for yourself and your network.
Hone your social listening skills to ensure alignment of published content with your audience's needs and challenges.
4. Formalize Your LinkedIn Content Process
Create a formal plan for LinkedIn that includes goals for activity levels such as providing insights, sharing of content, and publishing original content. Regularly evaluate what is working and what is not working.
Define your key content resources, content ideating and writing approach and activity cadence.
Consider a platform to automate and monitor your content publishing and activity.
Take the time to define and measure specific metrics to assist you in growing your brand awareness, audience engagement and relationships.
5. Focus on Servicing Your Customers
Social media including LinkedIn is about customer service - helping to solve problems and providing consistent and superior customer care.
Spend the time required to understand what your audience is saying about you and your competition.
Translate your social awareness into relevant content and interactions in the right LinkedIn context, be that in post comments, original content or group participation and engagement.
Provide guidance and advice related to solutions for the pain points of your audience.
"Social media is more about Sociology and Psychology, than it is about Technology." Anonymous
As stated at the onset, a simple rule of thumb for business is to provide more value in the equation than you are asking for in return. In the social context of LinkedIn, this translates to helping to solve problems, providing relevant guidance and giving without the goal of reciprocity in the social relationship.