While many social media managers would have you believe your business MUST be on all or the majority of social media platforms this is not actually true. Nor is it efficient or helpful for your company’s growth. Two to three well managed and up-to-date platforms will market you and your business sufficiently.
LinkedIn was originally designed for job seekers. People wanting to make a career change would set-up a profile that read like a resume and company pages were full of facts and figures intended to garner the interest of those looking for new positions.
Over the years it has evolved into a place where major corporations, small to medium business owners, solo entrepreneurs as well as that someone looking for work gather. LinkedIn is where you don’t have followers instead you make connections.
But does LinkedIn still have an image problem when it comes to the different generations of entrepreneurs? At a glance, it seems to be dominated by Gen X and baby boomers. Unlike the freewheeling styles of the other social media platforms, LinkedIn is more tightly structured and visually rigid. While words abound creativity in the form of photographs, videos and infographics are not much in evidence. This makes it challenging to showcase the uniqueness of your personal and company brand.
So it is for you? If your business name is your name, or you offer professional services as in being an accountant, lawyer, consultant or if people strongly identify more with you than your company name yes, you should be on LinkedIn. It will increase your findability on all the search engines.
Don’t get me wrong ideally all business owners are on LinkedIn but a stagnant profile isn’t going to accomplish anything. LinkedIn calls for a commitment of at least updating a few times a week. You need to tell your story, not merely education and career highlights, have current contact info, respond to messages, and reach out to both potential new contacts and known associates. Your profile photograph should be a clear headshot of just you. Think of everything you put on there in the context of an online networking event.
To increase reach and credibility there has to be a commitment to share or write interesting content and tips about your industry. Also by joining and participating in group discussions based on your interests or current business field you can ‘meet’ people outside of your immediate location.
LinkedIn does provide you with the opportunity to drive website traffic, find leads, and establish B2B relationships. You can even create a business page from your profile page but that too will require nurturing and ongoing updates. If you need to grow your business outside of your immediate area all this work can be of great benefit; however, if your 2019 goals are more customer-centric and short to the point posts stick to the faster paced social media platforms.
Right now no one would ever call LinkedIn fun or even particularly engaging but it is trying to be more relevant. I am just not sure if with time it will plateau or steadily grow to be one of social media’s quality and trustworthy platforms.
Jill Crossland is a business and marketing consultant who can take your business and social media to the next level.