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The role of LinkedIn for business

In this week's guest blog, Anisha from Approach PR gives tips on how to utilise the 'go-to social platform for business to business networking'.

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With over 610m global LinkedIn users [1], it’s undeniably the go-to social platform for business to business networking. 

But how can we best use it to grow our networks, build relationships, remain competitive and importantly, generate leads which convert to sales? 

Whatever industry you’re part of, whether it’s finance, manufacturing, retail or professional services, you ultimately want to partner with people who you trust.

Using a social media platform such as LinkedIn is a great way to demonstrate your professional expertise, personality, authority and build relationships with people who want to do business with you.

Here are some of Approach PR’s top tips on making the most of LinkedIn: 

Health check

A perhaps obvious, but easy to overlook, tip is to perform a quick health check on your personal profile to ensure everything is up-to-date and informative to a potential connection. 

  • According to LinkedIn, a professional photo can mean your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed and 36% more likely to receive a message – a clear, good quality head and shoulders shot is ideal
  • Consider using a company header photo to showcase your place of work, particularly if being a brand ambassador is part of your role
  • Ensure sections such as your work experience are up to date with key responsibilities listed
  • Again, consider sharing a company bio in your ‘About’ summary to highlight your place of work
  • Include a brief summary of your role, interests and expertise. What would make someone want to connect with you? Can you support their business development? Help them source responsible finance? If so, ensure these questions are answered in your summary   

Sharing content

Finding and sharing content on LinkedIn can seem like an overwhelming, time consuming task – particularly on top of busy work schedules.

However, sharing updates about your business or your professional comments on an industry or topical matter highlight your expertise and authority to connections and their wider networks.

If you’re already spending 20 minutes in the morning reading the news, share links or comments which you think your audience would find interesting.

If your connections are engaging with (liking, commenting, sharing) your content, it means it’s reaching an even wider audience in their network and you are being seen as an authority in that field.

 Making connections

Try and include an initial message when requesting connections; it’s a chance to add some personality and helps justify why you’re getting in touch – perhaps you’ve attended the same networking event and share common goals or, you’ve seen some of their work and would like to keep in touch. 

As with all social media, LinkedIn works best when you remember the ‘social’ aspect of social media – engage with your connections’ posts, congratulate people on new job roles or tag them in posts you think they’ll find interesting.

You never know where building and maintaining your network online could lead!

To find out more about LinkedIn training workshops and Approach PR’s bespoke training arm, Approachability, visit https://www.approachpr.com/social-media-content-training/.

[1] Social Media Today: Linkedin reaches 610m members 

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