How To Cultivate And Maintain A High-Quality Network On Linkedin

By Kateryna Boiko

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LinkedIn is a powerful professional social media platform that offers great opportunities for businesses, employees, recruiters, and influencers. At the same time, many users still are quite intimidated by it and miss many benefits because of that.

Mostly, the intimidation comes from not understanding the netiquette of LinkedIn. Like any other social media, it has its own rules of the game. It is essential to know them and follow to grow a high-quality network among your connections. Whether you are a business owner looking for offshore staff, recruiter interested in talent, or individual searching for new employment opportunities – LinkedIn will help you to achieve your goals.

Source https://unsplash.com/photos/IVYu-j8E4Zk

 

Why is LinkedIn Intimidating for Many Users?

Despite it being a popular career-related service and the second most efficient B2B connecting platform, many users are rather anxious about using LinkedIn. There are several reasons for it:

  1.   It is highly-specialized. Unlike any other social media platform, it doesn’t have pictures of food, memes, or funny articles. To put it simply – it is not known for being “fun” or entertaining.  It is professional in every way, industry leaders share their expertise and have meaningful discussions. Some people might      feel that they do not have the same level of experience to join.
  2.   It is very structured. LinkedIn has the most significant netiquette and a person cannot just add anyone to their connections out of nowhere. Creating a profile doesn’t also look very easy; there are many fields to fill in. It is especially intimidating for employees and remote workers that just start their careers.       They might feel that they have no relevant job experience to show and do not understand what to write in the summary.
  3.   It is not private. Some users are not used to being on the spot online. LinkedIn shows who visits your page and displays all your work and academic history as well as personal information. It is, of course, possible to private it, but it beats the whole purpose of having an account there.
  4.   New users do not know how to network and build connections. Who to include as connections? How to reach out to people? What to write? Building a strong network is not an intuitive move, it requires strategy and dedication. If you have doubts about this part of using LinkedIn, this article covers all the rules      and steps in growing your network wisely.

The underlying reason behind these factors is that many people do not know how to use it. LinkedIn looks too scary and complicated for them. However, it is a great tool for businesses, employees, and individuals to network, connect, build their brand, or find a new job.

 

LinkedIn Benefits: Popularity, Prospects and Opportunities

The myth that LinkedIn is not popular has nothing to do with reality. A simple look at the current statistic will show how widespread this platform is.

As for now, there are over 645 million active users of this social media that live in 200 countries. It is a great range of professionals that offers an amazing reach of specialists. It is perfect for researching IT nearshore outsourcing opportunities, promoting a new product, or connecting with industry leaders.

The high specialization of LinkedIn is what makes it professional. Half of the USA adults with a college degree use it. The demographics here are outstanding for B2B relationships, building a brand, finding new talent, and becoming an influencer in a particular field.

It is not surprising that LinkedIn is the second most popular B2B platform for marketers (the first one is, of course, Facebook). As for today, there are more than 30 million companies registered on the platform. The main reason is that it offers amazing benefits to enterprises and businesses when it comes to reputation, building community, and displaying their expertise. People trust LinkedIn listings and check the company’s profile for additional information. According to recent research, 52% of buyers named LinkedIn the most influential source during their online research on the product. This is exactly what makes this platform so desirable for brands.

In 2019, it was voted as the most trusted social media platform on the study held by Business Insider.

The benefits of LinkedIn are:

  • For individuals, it is a possibility to find new employment. Only in 2019, more than 4 million professionals were hired via the platform. The recruiters also know this and use it for their advantage. They can access international talent, learn about dedicated team cost, and hire high-level experts for an in-house team or offshore staff.
  • For a business, it is important to build their network, showcase new products, and present updates. It is also very beneficial to find leads and new customers are people trust the source.
  • It helps to see and research competitors as well as establish your expertise. It connects industry leaders and helps them to communicate.
  • It is also incredibly advantageous when it comes to Google ranking. LinkedIn profiles and company pages appear high on the search engine, especially when they are SEO optimized.
  • LinkedIn brings exposure and helps to build a strong network. It offers great benefits when it comes to introductions, referrals, invitations to conferences, and industry events.
  • The platform helps to keep the business in front of existing clients and vendors as well as attract new partners.

Needless to say, it is one of the most credible sources when it comes to professional activities, whether one is interested in offshore team salary or new mobile app releases.

Source https://unsplash.com/photos/wS73LE0GnKs 

 

How to Cultivate a High-Quality Network on LinkedIn

Building a strong network is not as easy as it might seem and requires conscious efforts.

  1.     Decide with whom you want to connect.

There are two main ways to approach this question. First is to add everyone you know, including friends, family, and previous colleagues. The second option is to connect exclusively with the people who work in the same industry. The choice is up to the individual.

If you add everyone, it helps to grow the number of connections and gives a wider range of possible acquaintances. But it doesn’t make the friends’ list specialized in a particular field. However, even if someone is not part of the same field, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be in the future.

The important factor is to choose people that are active users and have decent profiles. Do not add to connections spam or blank profiles. It won’t be a good look and will decrease your credibility. They are easy to spot, usually have no profile picture, or use stock images. They are not specific about their place of work and have a weird-looking summary. Remember that you can always ask a person, who wants to add you to connections, where have you met and how do you know each other.

  1.     Add LinkedIn to Other Socials

To attract more meaningful connections, you need to let others know about your profile. One of the easiest ways is to add a link to it in other social media bios. If you have a blog or a company website, add the button that directs to the LinkedIn profile.

Another great idea is to add encouraging words and a link to it as your email signature. This way every professional will have the opportunity to add you as their connections. One can also let people know in their summary on the website that they are happy to connect with other professionals.

  1.     Share Content

It is not only about acquiring connections but also about building relationships with them. Posting content is a perfect opportunity to start a discussion, showcase your expertise in the industry, and give insight to your network.

There are several things to know about that. First of all, LinkedIn notifies all connections when you post something. It means that any piece of content needs to be well-built, professional, and informative. There is no need to post a picture of your dog every day, no matter how cute it is. Also, do not post too much or people will get tired of constant notifications. Make every post matter.

Posting helps to drive traffic and engage with the audience. Always answer the comments and follow up on any questions. Start a dialogue, share opinions, and nurture your communications. All of these people can become colleagues, partners, or new customers.

  1.     Connect Wisely

If you want to add industry leaders or high-quality professionals to your network, it is possible to reach out to them without an in-person meeting. But one must do it wisely and respectfully.

When you click “add to connection” always add a personalized message. It shouldn’t be very long, up to 50 words. Explain how you know each other, why you want to network, and what value you can provide. You can always ask for a referral if you have mutual friends.

One can also just “follow” certain influencers before adding them. It will bring their post into your feed and you can communicate via comments and discussions. Comments on other people’s post not only shows that you are interested, but it also brings personal exposure. If you add a valuable point to the influencer’s post, other users will see it. It builds your credibility and professional expertise.

  1.     Join Professional Groups

Groups are one of the best ways to network on LinkedIn. It helps to communicate with new people that share the same interests. It works the same as any offline professional event where you can meet someone, have a great conversation, and add each other to the mailing list.

Look for specialized groups. They do not have to be huge. Before you join, look at the engagement on the post. Big groups are not very active and if no one comments on posts, there is no one to talk to. Choose rather small but dedicated communities that have great engagement. Do not post in the group immediately, as you haven’t established your expertise yet.

For a couple of weeks, a good idea would be to comment on posts, discuss raised questions, and get into conversations. Only after that one can post their content on the group feed.

 

Conclusion

LinkedIn is an incredibly beneficial platform for businesses and brands, as well as individual professionals. It is focused on credibility and expertise. It has amazing marketing opportunities and provides high-quality networking. When used right, it might attract new talent, generate leads and customers, and widen brand awareness.

 

About the Author

Kateryna Boiko is a Marketing Director at Mobilunity, a Provider of Dedicated Development Teams with 9 years of hands-on experience in digital marketing. Kateryna managed to work with diverse industries and markets and now is keen on sharing unique cases with the world and coach on topics relevant to Web Analytics and Search Engine Optimization.

 

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