I recently had the opportunity to meet Gary Vaynerchuk at a VeeFriends event in Chicago. I used my five minutes with him to thank him for preaching about the organic impression opportunities on LinkedIn and inspiring me to post on the network twice a week.
LinkedIn is my primary and most consistent social media platform. The marketer in me loves the organic reach and the free awareness I have created for my company, KickHouse. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far to help others build their personal brands and company awareness via the platform.
Here are 3 unique ways I leverage LinkedIn as an entrepreneur:
Relationship Management: When I meet a new connection or prospective franchise owner, I add them on LinkedIn shortly after our first interaction. My personal note is something like “It was great to chat with you. I look forward to working with you and following along with your journey here.” When they accept my personal request, I log into my company page and invite them to follow my company page.
If I’m unable to find someone on LinkedIn by searching their name, I add their email into Outlook and then toggle to the “LinkedIn” tab farthest to the right which will locate the LinkedIn account associated with the email address of the new contact you created. If you don’t have an Outlook account, it’s worth creating one just to use this functionality behind the scenes.
I aim to post twice a week, which keeps these connections up to date with what’s happening with me and KickHouse in an unobtrusive way. Because my posts are genuine and written from my own voice, it’s not uncommon for me to meet people and have them say “I feel like I already know you.” That’s the ultimate win! My passive posts have established rapport and trust without face to face interactions.
Brand Building: When you start a company, you should quickly establish your “owned” digital footprint, meaning the digital environments you will have complete control over. This includes your domain names as well as your social media handles. Many entrepreneurs forget about LinkedIn as a social presence and that’s a mistake. LinkedIn is the home of over 65 million decision makers within organizations which can unlock new client or investor relationships as well as partnerships.
More importantly, your company page on LinkedIn is an “owned” media channel that can help you grow your brand voice and overall brand awareness. You should communicate important company updates as direct posts on your company page but more importantly, your company page can extend conversations and amplify your employee voices, including your voice as a founder.
As an example, when Gary posted our meet & greet interaction on his LinkedIn, I used my company page to interact with comments from my personal account to increase engagement on the post and keep the conversation going. When posts have engagement, they get more organic impressions which is free publicity for your company.
I manage both my personal account and my business account. In the example above, I am simply talking between my brand and myself which allows both pages to show personality and voice.
Establish Expertise: You can increase engagement on your posts and establish yourself as an expert by engaging on other trending articles or popular posts. LinkedIn makes this easy by showing you trending articles on the right hand side of your home page. The section called “LinkedIn News” is popular articles curated by the editorial team at LinkedIn. Engagement on these posts will go farther than engagement on posts within your newsfeed.
When you see a “LinkedIn News” posts within your content pillars, treat your comment as a post in and of itself. Share your expertise and build off of the article topic. Be thoughtful and thorough and your comment may be highlighted in the “LinkedIn News” thread which will show your comment to a broad audience and increase your following.
You should only comment within topics that are in your content pillars. My pillars are entrepreneurship, leadership, franchising, fitness and marketing. If I comment on something outside of those realms, it may be inaccurate and will degrade my expertise instead of building on it.
LinkedIn is not just a job search website. It is a social network with over 850 million members worldwide! If you’re not leveraging LinkedIn to grow your business, you’re missing a great opportunity to drive organic reach and awareness. It’s not too late to get started. Build out your profile, add your contacts, start posting and you’ll grow your audience quickly.