Here it is: Understand that LinkedIn is about people.
Understanding that LinkedIn is a platform built for individuals to connect and communicate with other individuals is fundamental to using it with success. It is the online equivalent of ‘networking’, and it’s also an essential research tool to connect with people meaningfully – to start great conversations, to be introduced through connections, and to inform your sales presentations.
“It is the online equivalent of ‘networking’, and it’s also an essential research tool to connect with people meaningfully – to start great conversations, to be introduced through connections, and to inform your sales presentations.”
This means you cannot rely on automated posts or a great profile – this is only a starting point. To use your LinkedIn account effectively, you have to be personally involved – even if it’s just a few minutes once a week.
Because LinkedIn is about relationships with people, you will have to actively seek good connections and maintain your relationships with them – in a non-pushy, human, respectful way – just like you would if you were introduced to a new contact by a friend. It means that you have to tie in your online activity with real-life, human contact, such as attending networking events, setting up meetings, or catching up with people over coffee. It also means that while you may have regular, scheduled content going up, you actually have to log in and respond to comments and share your insights personally.
A lot of businesses apply the ‘set and forget’ to social media, only involving a small team to manage it. But this alone rarely works in achieving the business’ goals. The leadership team (and preferably the wider team) should maintain their own relationships, as well as keep an eye on what’s happening, who is interacting, and try to be involved on a personal level. If this seems pie in the sky, think of it this way: LinkedIn is an online platform that simply supports and extends what you are already doing to build business relationships, face-to-face, every day. If used with this guiding principle, a small, directed effort will yield the best results.