Lisa Hurley

Lisa Hurley

Over the last several months, I have had the opportunity to learn more about LinkedIn, and research if there are better ways for YCDC to utilize it.

My coach has pushed me toward making videos, and Ginger Johnson is one of the first people that showed me how much LinkedIn has changed. What I have learned has been intriguing. This social media platform has morphed over the last couple of years from what some would have called a job board, to the number one platform for Business to Business (B2B) sales lead generation. During a masters LinkedIn course, a trainer asked, “if you knew what you know now about Facebook 5-7 years ago, would it have changed your business marketing strategy?” I believe for most of us it would have, and have decided to share with you some of what I have learned. We need to be proactive as LinkedIn grows to be on the front side instead of catching up. I have walked away from articles, webinars and training with the belief that not only does YCDC need to be using it more, but all businesses and individuals need to decide to utilize it, not only for B2B opportunities, but also in building our reputation as a community for potential talent and businesses.

Why have I come to that conclusion? LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, and it is now the fastest growing social media platform. While there are over 600 million users, around 300 million are active (log in at least once a month), however only 3 million create content weekly. Many active users are using the platform to read articles, keep up on trends and research, learn skills, find influencers, and perhaps most importantly form opinions about companies. I am taking a leap that communities can stand out if their businesses and individuals are active. Some further LinkedIn demographics that helped firm up my position include: 90 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 63 million are in decision making positions; 40 million are students and recent college graduates (potential workforce); 49% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 per year; and 25% of millennials actively use LinkedIn. These are people that we would love to have a look at York County businesses.

Those 3% who are releasing content on a regular basis, may not be releasing good content! By releasing quality content, you are building your LinkedIn community and reputation. At the moment, there’s a high level of trust and personal connection. Someone is much more likely to meet with you if you have been connected, because LinkedIn is building trust and a professional community more than other platforms. We should work at creating quality content and building a highly targeted community. Find the people you serve, whom you can connect to learn from, or potentially partner with in the future, and build your LinkedIn community. As in person, you never know who is watching your posts, and it could lead to a customer or employee down the road. Make sure you’re nurturing the leads and feed out content that affects your targets (active, targeted, influential). Do not make every contact a sales pitch.

Some tips if you’re starting down this path. You can change your connect button to follow. That means that you can choose who to connect with, but anyone can choose to follow you to see your content you share publicly. People can still request to connect with you, and there’s value in the connection. I asked one of my trainers if I should be releasing the videos, I’ve been doing on the YCDC page, or on my profile, and he said to both. As you create content, feel free to share your information in both places. If you have an employee posting tips, this is great content to share on the business page, and vice versa. Make sure you have your own profile. Why? Because people trust people more than companies. In fact, one article I read pointed out that an Executive Director did not have a LinkedIn profile, and because of that, wondered what was going on with the organization. They felt the organization was behind the times, and did not want to work with an organization that did not stay current. Review your personal profile, your headline should not be the automatic default of your job title. Ensure you have a photo of yourself uploaded to your profile! Also, make sure to custom your URL to your name. www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-hurley-cecd When you send a connection request, make it personal, as it is 90% more likely to be accepted, yet very few people take the time to do this. For example, ‘I listened to your presentation at ABC, and I was fascinated by your points on social marketing. If you’re open to it, I’d love to connect and continue to….” Once connected to a potential lead, do not follow up with a sales pitch immediately, instead build the connection.

Don’t be afraid of using humor in your posts, and let your personality show. Start writing articles, and keep them at 400 words or less. If longer, link to your website as LinkedIn has the highest clickthrough rate of any social media platform. Remember, you may be writing articles or posts for another platform! Share articles that are of interest to you and your customers. Almost every source showed how-to and list posts perform the best. I have found that project updates perform very well on our page. If you’re using the platform to generate B2B sales, take a look at the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tool. You don’t have to spend long on LinkedIn, in fact you can spend as little as 5-10 minutes a day working LinkedIn.

I am available to meet if you’d like to discuss your strategy. As many of you know, I believe we have a larger impact if YCDC is not the only organization talking about what a great place we have, and what great businesses there are here. Join us in spreading the word about Why York County on LinkedIn!

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