What’s the Least You Can Do?
WHAT IS LINKEDIN?
We all know of LinkedIn and most of us probably use it in some way, but it’s helpful to have an overview of what LinkedIn actually is.
LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Founded in 2002, it now has 756 million members across more than 200 countries and is available in 24 languages. Clearly, LinkedIn is a powerful place for any business, organisation, or professional for many different reasons, and you would be foolish to ignore it! But what exactly are the benefits to you and to your company of using it?
Is LinkedIn an effective place to recruit candidates?
LinkedIn can be used to find jobs, people, and business opportunities or make recommendations of those you have connected with. Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates. Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers (perhaps that’s you) and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
LinkedIn is the most effective social platform for recruitment. However, it’s not usually a candidate’s first stop unless looking for a specific company or place where friends and former colleagues work.
Tips for using LinkedIn
Be clear on your objectives
- The most important question to ask yourself is what you are hoping to achieve by using LinkedIn. Do you want to actively develop new relationships and pro-actively maintain existing ones through Linkedin? Do you want to increase sales? Or do you simply want to have a profile on LinkedIn to demonstrate your business credentials?
Maintain your company page
- No matter your reasons for using LinkedIn, it is crucial to ensure your profile is professional, accurate, and up-to-date. LinkedIn is one of the first places a candidate and other businesses will look to learn about who you are and what you do. To maintain even the most basic profile, you should ensure that the photo, summary, and professional headline contribute to your professional credibility.
Connect and engage
- Connecting with people is the primary motivation for using LinkedIn. Creating connections and accepting connection requests is a powerful way to make candidates feel important. Even if they are not a match for the role you have open today, it gives you a chance to create a talent pool. You should not be afraid to approach other professionals; it is at least very flattering.
- LinkedIn helps you find connections and widen your web of contacts by highlighting people you may know, either because they are a contact of one of your contacts or work in the same business sector. You can also do searches by role or hashtags.
- LinkedIn also enables you and your company to have regular communication with your clients (existing, old and potential) through status updates, periodic messaging, commenting on their updates, etc. There is no point in having these ‘connections’ if you don’t maintain some degree of communication. That said, not every one of your connections will be worth your time and effort, so be selective.
Encourage staff activity
- You should encourage your staff to engage on LinkedIn by sharing and commenting not just on your posts but other related companies, topics, and interests. If you wish to position your company as an industry leader and a fantastic place to work, then your team’s voices confirm your credibility.
Use paid ads
- Paid ads are a great way to get new B2B leads. You can run campaigns to target companies or candidates that meet specific criteria and target people and companies specifically with a targeted campaign. If you have a message to deliver or are looking to recruit, drive more leads, or even just increase your following and brand awareness, a paid ad campaign could be just what you have been needing.
Join a group
- Join as many groups as you can! Join groups that your audience may be interested in to monitor the topics of conversation and join networks of your peers. It doesn’t have to be industry-specific; it could be location-based for local businesses or find answers from those qualified to answer them.
USING LINKEDIN GROUPS
Another way of growing your contact base is to join a LinkedIn group. As LinkedIn puts it, “LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts and establish themselves as industry experts”.
Essentially, this means there are two main types of LinkedIn Group…Groups with your target clients, where you will want to grow your contact base and ultimately bring in more business and Groups containing your professional peers, with whom you may wish to exchange information and opinions and increase your professional standing. If you enjoy using LinkedIn, you may also find yourself joining Groups containing people you know and have an interest in keeping up with (perhaps exchanging the odd piece of gossip here and there!).
But remember that taking part in these Groups will take up your precious time, so be clear about what you want to achieve from joining a LinkedIn Group and use wisely the opportunities that present themselves from these Groups.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can really grow your contact base and ultimately, your business. But, you have to be prepared to put in some work if you want to truly reap the rewards. However, if you are still unsure why you would want to use LinkedIn, then go back to the beginning and look at your objectives. If, ultimately, your motivation in using LinkedIn is no more than to keep up an industry profile, then that is the very least you should do.