With over 460 million users and growing, LinkedIn is fast becoming the platform for both B2B and B2C to grow and expand their networks. With most networking events transitioning to online, LinkedIn has become more essential than ever. As a B2B marketer, you can’t afford to neglect increasing your LinkedIn network.
But as with everything in life, you need a strategy to do it well. We’ve compiled a list of easy ways to increase your LinkedIn network. Do these, and you’ll start to see a high ROI.
What you should know – Networking on LinkedIn!
Before we jump right in and look at easy ways to increase your LinkedIn network, it’s vital to know the following facts about LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn is currently the world’s largest professional social networking platform, with over 722 million users. It saw a 55% increase in conversations among connections in 2020.
- The higher the number of your connections, the better. Those with 500 connections and more rank higher in search results.
- SEO is crucial for LinkedIn. Both your profile and company page must be SEO optimized to rank high.
- LinkedIn has an inbuilt analytics tool that gives you data. With a premium account, you have access to better analytics.
The ABCs of Growing your LinkedIn Network
Through implementing the following strategies, you’ll start to see results—a higher ROI for your business. But for this to happen, you must be consistent with LinkedIn. This also applies to any social media platform. It’s not a once-a-month thing.
You’ve got to be active on social media at least two to three times a week to see results. This is the first way to build your network. The second way is by implementing these strategies.
1. Check Out LinkedIn Premium
LinkedIn premium is a paid upgrade to your LinkedIn account, which gives you extra perks and incentives that you don’t get with a free standard account. LinkedIn gives you a one-month free trial, which is worth taking advantage of. Please note that you get four different price options.
With a premium account, you get:
- Access to more people (larger network from all over the world)
- Unlimited visibility of your extended network
- You can actually see who viewed your profile and follow up by sending a connection request to include them in your network
- Advanced search options
- In-depth analytics that allow you to conduct better data analysis
- 30 InMail messages a month (message people that are not your first-degree connections)
- Free learning (courses) that not only expand your knowledge but give you access to the trainers (most are experts in their field that you can add to your network)
2. Create Great LinkedIn Content
If you’re not already creating great LinkedIn content, then you’re reducing your chances of increasing your network. Remember content is a crucial component of business growth, so you should invest time in creating great content for your network. Your network is searching for great content so give it to them.
Your business should have a content marketing strategy in place to assist with it. You can hire an expert to create one for you. Great content is one of the best ways to increase your LinkedIn network.
Over-deliver by producing fantastic content that:
- Adds value to your network (can be entertaining, educational, or inspirational)
- Provides solutions to their problems or gives them an interesting perspective
- Is consistent (post often, at least two times a week—have a schedule in place)
- Has variety to it (mix it up posts, articles, slideshows, videos, livestreams, infographics, etc.)
- Has a target audience in mind (it’s strategically targeted to them and speaks to them in their language)
- Has purpose to it (No piece of content should be random; it must have a goal to it. Always ask, “what is the purpose of this content?”)
- Offers incentives (consider offering giveaways and freebies to your network—eBooks, how-to guides, whitepapers, etc. We all love a good incentive, especially if it’s FREE)
- Position yourself as a subject matter expert and ensure your content reflects this. Content like e-courses, e-books, webinars, and tutorials is excellent for subject matter expertise
- Features a great CTA that gets them to take action (book a call with you, visit your website, etc.)
3. Regularly Update your LinkedIn Profile
Don’t let your LinkedIn profile—including your company page—become like an unkept front garden. It gives the impression that your residence is uninhabited or just plain untidy.
Impressions count online. If you’re serious about increasing your LinkedIn network, you must invest some time (at least every few months if not more) reviewing and updating your LinkedIn. This goes for both your profile and company page.
For instance, as a business, it’s imperative that you ensure your LinkedIn reflects this if you’ve rebranded. Make sure to update simple but often overlooked things like your phone number, website, profile picture, and banner. These easy and simple tweaks make a huge difference in increasing your network over time. Also, make sure your LinkedIn is always keyword optimized to be found and ranked.
4. Prioritize and Promote your LinkedIn
Just like you would promote your brand, you should promote your LinkedIn profile, including your company page, throughout your marketing and branding. This includes showcasing your LinkedIn on your business cards, whitepapers, brochures, website, blog, email signature, etc.
To fast track your network expansion, prioritize promoting your LinkedIn profile over your other social media platforms. Remember as a B2B to keep in mind the following statistics:
- LinkedIn is the number one channel for B2B marketers to distribute content.
- LinkedIn is recognized as the most effective for B2B lead generation.
- LinkedIn drives more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites. It’s much less with Facebook and Twitter.
5. Think Outside the Box with LinkedIn
It’s easy to just think in terms of your network—first-degree connections. After all, you probably interact the most with them. However, to increase your LinkedIn network, step outside the box and:
- Look at your competitors and see who is engaging with them and connect with them.
- Look at your industry and people who provide services or products to the same end-user as you—follow them, connect, and engage with them.
- Make sure to look at your second and third-degree connections and reach out to people who are in similar industries or have similar roles.
- Use LinkedIn Advanced Search. It allows you to conduct more in-depth queries to find organizations and individuals to connect with.
6. Join LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers)
Lions are LinkedIn members who have an open network that allows them to accept all invitations from other members. This benefits their network and yours too. They are super connectors, with some LinkedIn members having several million connections.
By adding LIONS to your network, you’ll instantly expand your network. You can even become a LION too. With the world still affected by COVID-19, LIONS is expected to grow exponentially to connect people worldwide. If your brand needs an international audience and larger search capability, add LIONS from America, Canada, Australia, Europe, etc.
7. Join LinkedIn Groups to Increase Your Network
Aside from joining LIONS to fast track your LinkedIn network, consider joining LinkedIn groups. Although not as active as Facebook groups, content marketing experts predict that LinkedIn groups will grow to become as active if not more so than Facebook groups.
Many LinkedIn groups have thousands of members—some from all over the world. So, the possibilities of expanding your network are great. You can interact and connect with many of these members even if they are not your first-degree connections. Many brands are strategically promoting themselves in LinkedIn groups to expand their reach.
8. Be Visible on LinkedIn
When you’re visible, you’re valuable, and this couldn’t be truer with LinkedIn. To be visible on LinkedIn, you must consistently post and create content, participate in interesting discussions, make comments on other people’s posts, use LinkedIn’s status update, and ensure you have turned on the right privacy settings.
If you go to your privacy settings, you’ll see that LinkedIn gives you various options of how you want to be seen and found on the platform. Some users only want their immediate network to be able to see their profile and connect with them. Make sure you select the right setting for you, as this will determine who can find you and connect with you.
9. Set Monthly LinkedIn Growth Goals
Think strategically, and just like with growing a brand, set monthly growth goals for LinkedIn. This is where you decide how many people you want to connect with. Be realistic. Don’t aim to connect with 1000 people a month. You can start with 100 people and increase from there if it’s appropriate to do so.
In several months you’ll get to 500+ connections. Many users have a network of 10,000 and over. But they started small and grew their LinkedIn network day-by-day month-by-month until they got to where they are now. You can do the same. It just requires effort and diligence.
Remember, for some of these connections, consider personalizing your requests. This is good online etiquette and increases your chances of being accepted.
10. Use Images in Your LinkedIn Content
Humans are visual creatures, so naturally are drawn to images. A brand that doesn’t use images is disadvantaging itself big time. Research shows that LinkedIn posts with images get two times the engagement. So be sure to incorporate visual content on LinkedIn and witness engagement and growth.
When possible, consider using actual photos. If you do use stock photos, only use high-quality ones. And make sure that your images are relevant to the content. Don’t just add an image for the sake of getting clicks. This dilutes your brand. You want photos that enhance your content, not take away from it.
By implementing the above strategies, you’ll start increasing your LinkedIn network in no time and be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner. Book time with our team today to discuss how we can help you increase your LinkedIn network.