LinkedIn has over 500 million registered members worldwide. Like other social media networks, it caters to a specific audience. It is the major social channel for business professionals and fills a niche that is not addressed by Facebook or Twitter.
When users are on LinkedIn, they are thinking ‘business’, not the next new recipe or celebrity tweet. In fact, about 40% of LinkedIn’s total users check in daily while 76% of business executives, in particular, check in at least once a day.
So far, everything that has been said provides a general point about why you should be using LinkedIn for thought leadership. Now let’s get down to the specifics of how LinkedIn can help you be a thought leader in your industry.
Build and Increase Engagement
Business is built on relationships. Relationships are built with engagement – two entities interacting with each other. You want your ideas liked, commented on, shared with other people’s network. You can increase your rank among your peers by publishing to LinkedIn more often. More specifically:
- Share industry news and insights
- Write original articles
- Submit and share your blog posts
- Comment and engage with others about their articles
Using a social network like LinkedIn that publishes and distributes deep thought leadership content helps to increase your website traffic and grow your email lists. LinkedIn users are also ready to talk business the instant they log in.
Research for Business and Jobs
You may think of LinkedIn as a giant resume database, but it is far from that. While personal profiles do contain a user’s work experience, LinkedIn serves as a platform for promoting businesses and business ideas. In fact, it’s best that you don’t create a resume-like profile.
Use your profile and company page to showcase the problems your customers are having and how you solve them. Make it about them, not you. As a result, when people search for solutions to their problems on LinkedIn, your company will become highly visible.
Besides showing how your business solves problems, LinkedIn also shows how your business leaders are connected to others in the industry. Connection implies endorsement and acts as an immediate reference for your business and executives. It shows how your company is connected to someone they know and builds trust for your brand.
Along with your company and personal profile pages, publish thought-provoking posts and share interesting articles with your take on their meaning.
- Go deep
- Talk about the issues and future of your industry
- Don’t sell anything; you are here to show how well you understand your customers’ world and to discuss the things that impact it
Leverage LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn allows you to create groups for the discussion and study of almost any industry or problem. Groups can have hundreds or thousands of members, and many are actively engaging online. LinkedIn group leaders set the rules of engagement, and anyone can share content for discussion within the group.
You can start a group of your own as well as contribute to those that are part of your target customer base.
Be bold and passionate yet professional. This is not Facebook where anything goes. Write as though you are in the boardroom or at a business lunch. You have something worth saying, and LinkedIn is the place to get it out where it can attract the right audience. The network is less crowded and more focused on a single area; you have a higher chance of people hearing and responding to your message.
Whether you are a global company or not, LinkedIn can expand your message well beyond the borders of the United States. Your goal is to engage and connect with others in your field — whether they are potential customers or like-minded business people.
Publish and participate frequently, gain followers, and engage with other thought leaders. Take your place in the pantheon; you and your business will profit in many ways.