Using social media marketing to grow your audience and network is no new tactic in the world of digital marketing. In fact, this has become a common practice among almost every digital marketing agency across South Africa. However, there is one social media platform that can be very difficult to manoeuvre if you are not familiar with it: LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn is all about making connections, from individuals you might know on a personal level to those you wish you knew on a personal level (Bill Gates, we’re looking at you). And with the platform now having almost half a billion users, it is clear to see why it can also be leveraged as a successful B2B (business to business) marketing tool. 

For those working with a digital marketing agency, it is important to understand the power of LinkedIn for your business. Keep reading below for some helpful advice on how to effectively grow your network on LinkedIn. 

 

Customise Connection Requests

 

As we mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is all about connecting with people, and one of the best ways to reach out is to customise your connection requests. When you are scrolling through the generated list of people you may know, do not simply hit the “Connect” button, as this will simply send out a generic connection request that is likely to be ignored. 

Instead, you should click through to the user’s profile and use the connect button there. This will allow you to create and send a customised message to the person, alerting them to the fact that you would like to connect with them. If you have met the user before in person, use this in the message to remind them who you are and why you are messaging them. If you are in similar roles or in a similar industry, use this for the context of your connection request. 

 

Set Realistic Growth Goals

 

Once you have started sending out connection requests, you will need to look at what your growth goals are. For example, starting with 10 connections and aiming for 500+ connections might not be the most feasible goal. Rather, you should aim for having 100 valuable and relevant connections on your profile, and grow this every two weeks. 

However, it is important to maintain proper LinkedIn etiquette when it comes to growing your network. This means that you should avoid sending out hundreds of messages to people you do not know, as quality will trump quantity when it comes to reaching out to people to grow your business. Many people will not connect easily with people they do not know, so be sure to take this into account in your social media marketing strategy.

 

Share Content Often

 

As with any social media platform, LinkedIn encourages the regular creating and sharing of content with your audience. Sharing content often will help to drive more traffic to your website pages, it can also help to forge further connections with what are known as “2nd-degree connections” or people who are connected to your connections. 

When a connections likes, shares, or comments on content that you have shared, this will send a notification to their own connections about the activity. This will make it more likely that other people will see your content, read it, and react to it, thus posting more often is an effective way of building a network. Be sure that your content is relevant and valuable to your audience, and be sure to use keywords so that it appears in searches both on and off of LinkedIn. 

 

Keyword Optimise Your Profile

 

Today, LinkedIn shares a few features with Google, including using keywords to index and search for articles and profiles when people use their search function. This means that, in order to appear in these search results, you should optimise your profile using keywords. Be sure that any phrases or words you use are relevant to your business and your position. 

By doing this, you are creating an “always-on” inbound marketing strategy, as you will become more findable and when you post content, it will be found quicker by the LinkedIn search engine. Adding keywords will also make it more likely that your profile will appear higher-up in searches by people looking specifically for those phrases, which could mean that they send a connection request to you if you match their needs. 

 

Engage With Other Users

 

One of the most effective ways of effectively growing your LinkedIn network is to engage with other users. While you can effectively grow your network by publishing content regularly and sending connection requests, you should also engage with other users on the content that they have shared. 

For example, you can comment on a thought-provoking article and encourage someone to read something similar you have shared or written. Commenting or even reacting to content will increase your engagement and exposure further. If you would like a customised social media marketing strategy for your brand, speak to NetMechanic today about what we can do for you.