People buy from people, which makes LinkedIn one of the most important social platforms, according to Philip Calvert, professional speaker, LinkedIn trainer and social media sales strategist.
However LinkedIn continues to be underrated and underused, with the vast majority of people still viewing it as a glorified job site despite its 300 million users.
Calvert told delegates at the AM Digital Dealer conference that once individuals learn how to use LinkedIn properly and become active members on its online community, benefits and results will follow. In fact, in many ways, the reputation or ‘brand’ of the individual is inextricably linked with that of the business and LinkedIn provides an opportunity to build trust in both. After all, LinkedIn usually tops search results for individuals.
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Calvert cautioned against assuming that an individual’s offline reputation, which has probably taken years to establish, will immediately translate online: “In some respects we have to start again and create new behaviours online and attract people to us.”
Research from Hubspot identifies LinkedIn as the most powerful social media source for leads with a 2.74% visit-to-lead conversion rate (Twitter 0.69% and Facebook 0.77%) reflecting its influence. LinkedIn enables reputations to be established online, provides virtual networking opportunities and a place to share knowledge.
Calvert advises logging in regularly, even daily; have a professional, well presented profile with a good photograph; connect with people at every opportunity; incorporate misspellings of your name in your profile if it is commonly misspelt; use the blogging platform to publish articles to promote your expertise; and help people out when they ask for information or guidance.
Added Calvert: “You need to use LinkedIn to see what people are saying in your industry and what the competition is doing. LinkedIn rewards people who engage and that’s people who like, comment and share. LinkedIn is a supremely powerful tool to build trust and enhance your professional credibility.”