By David Officen, proCFO
How often when you’ve been preparing for a meeting have you looked up the person you are about to meet on social media? I’m sure most of us do this regularly. Whilst there’s still a lot of people who think social media is only for the “young ones” the reality is that is far from the truth. Look at these social networking statistics. Obviously, Facebook dominates but there are approximately 4.2million* active users every month on LinkedIn so there is the reason why you should build linkedin influence.
One of the most useful ways to use LinkedIn is to become an influencer, or thought-leader. Becoming an influencer on LinkedIn serves a few purposes. First, it positions you as an authority in your industry and helps you brand yourself and your business. This is especially important for small business owners, who need to expand their network and compete with larger, more well-known businesses. It also helps you with recruitment, but in a much more meaningful way than sifting through profiles of candidates. When you’re an influencer on LinkedIn, talented people come to you.
The great news is that anybody can become an influencer on LinkedIn. All it takes is some time and a thoughtful strategy.
Here are 5 ways to build your influence on LinkedIn
1. Create content
LinkedIn has a great tool for publishing posts, and it is a much easier way to reach a business-minded audience than a personal blog. Your posts can be about anything you want, but they should have the goal of helping your network solve a problem. It’s quite easy to share content on LinkedIn, so create content your network will find valuable and want to pass on.
Tip: Keep your posts relatively short and to the point – the goal is to create large quantities of useful content. So, break a long piece of content into a few short pieces that you can publish over the course of a few days.
2. Share content
Don’t make the mistake of only posting and sharing the content you create. But don’t share everything that comes across your feed either. You need to be selective in sharing posts from your network that you think are helpful and meaningful to you and to the rest of your LinkedIn network. Remember, to be an influencer, you need to demonstrate that you understand the needs of people in your network and that you can address them.
Tip: Try to share a piece of content every day, and don’t share content from the same person or group of people.
3. Join groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with people who are in similar industries or on similar career paths to you. You’re limited to only joining 50 groups, but that still gives you plenty of room to explore niche areas. When you’re looking for groups to join, consider which ones your influencers are in as well as which groups already include members of your network. You should also join groups that include your customers to get a feel for their pain points and to learn how you can serve them better.
Tip: Once you’re in a group, make sure to engage so you can build your network. Answer questions, but try not to ever dominate the conversation. Remember that you can leave a group at any time, so experiment to see which types of groups are the most useful for you.
4. Tag people in your network when you post
Everybody likes to get acknowledgment, which is essentially what happens when you tag someone in your post on LinkedIn. This feature will alert the person you tag along with everyone in their network. This is an additional way to connect with your network and build linkedin influence.
Tip: Use the tagging feature to acknowledge somebody’s hard work or to thank someone for attending an event with you. Keep it professional.
5. Never sell yourself or your products on LinkedIn
Any strategy you use will help you become an influencer, provided you aren’t using LinkedIn as a place just to market yourself or your product. Everything you do on LinkedIn should indirectly point to the fact that you are someone people should do business with.
Tip: That doesn’t mean you can’t use LinkedIn to generate leads. But you should do this privately, using Direct Mail, instead of publicly on your profile or in your posts.
When used correctly, LinkedIn is the best social media tool out there for building your brand and build linkedin influence. Use these ideas to get started today.
About David Officen
David is the Founder and Managing Director of proCFO.
David combines an accounting and consulting background with commercial experience both as a manager for large commercial businesses and as the owner of private and family businesses.