You're on LinkedIn. Do you have a LinkedIn engagement strategy?
August 16, 2013
Creating and building out your profile on LinkedIn is an essential step in establishing your social media presence. But to make the most of LinkedIn, consider the importance of mapping out a strategy for engagement.
Why an engagement strategy?
Engagement is what separates social media from traditional outbound marketing. Simply put, being on LinkedIn is not enough to gain any real value from it. In fact, having a LinkedIn profile without an engagement strategy contradicts the very principles that make most financial advisors successful — to serve a narrowly defined market, to clearly differentiate yourself, and to have a strategy to realize your long-term objectives.
LinkedIn’s real value lies in its interactive nature, so don’t miss the opportunity to differentiate yourself by taking it a step further and becoming an active participant. Use it as a complement to your other functions, and consider the question:
Why should you approach LinkedIn differently than you approach the other facets of your business?
Get started now — connections are waiting
So take a look at these seven tips for creating a LinkedIn engagement strategy. Put them into action and you’ll be on your way toward developing a successful social media presence.
Define success for your program
Success on LinkedIn means getting connected. Consider revenue second.
Try dividing connections into four main groups:
- Suspects: Individuals who have a need for your products, but don’t know you exist
- Prospects: Individuals who are not yet clients, but have indicated an interest
- Clients: Individuals whose business you’ve gained, but the relationship is not very strong
- Advocates: Clients who have provided referrals, or exerted other positive influence on your behalf
Set attainable goals for your desired number of connections in each group, and make adjustments as you go. How many connections you seek in each group is up to you, but the numbers might break down as they would offline — with a greater number of prospects and suspects than clients and advocates.
Establish a thought-leadership position
Which themes and values represent your expertise? The key is to look beyond your specific offering of products and services to identify ideas, themes, and content aligned with your expertise — and publish it.
Evaluate your competition
Gain insights about what’s working best for your competitors, and what you should avoid.
What material does your firm offer that you can repurpose to support your message?
Plan on supporting your program
Block out a weekly “LinkedIn review” time.
Measure the results
By measuring the success of your LinkedIn strategy, you can continue to make improvements. For example, take a look at any increase in qualified connections and profile views for a given period, and any leads you generated or converted to clients based on your LinkedIn activity.
In a future article, we’ll go into more detail about ways to measure results on LinkedIn.
Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh. Review your profile on a regular basis. Be careful not to spam — update no more than once a day. If you don’t know what to post, consider approved market updates, news alerts, and links to your website.
Remember that successfully engaging with suspects, prospects, clients, and advocates on LinkedIn won’t happen overnight. LinkedIn is all about relationship building over time, not instant gratification. But, if you implement these easy tips for creating an engagement strategy, you’re already on your way there.
D. Bruce Johnston is a 30-year financial services career sales executive and social media expert. His website TheDigitalFA.com is dedicated exclusively to the social media, technology, and digital marketing needs of financial advisors.
He speaks regularly with wealth managers and financial advisors nationwide about social media engagement strategy, often in partnership with Delaware Investments® regional directors.
FINRA regulates the use of social media. Advisors should consult their compliance departments about restrictions regarding the use of social media before accessing any social media networks for a business purpose.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any content on LinkedIn, or any app, service, or publicly traded company. It is also not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security.
D. Bruce Johnston and Mobi Digital are not affiliates or entities of Delaware Investments or Macquarie Group. Mobi Digital is a private firm, providing enterprise level marketing automation solutions to entrepreneurs, small business, service providers, and institutions worldwide. Mobi Digital is responsible for the information in this presentation regarding D. Bruce Johnston and Mobi Digital.
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