No matter what business you’re in, as an entrepreneur or a CEO of an international corporation, social networking has become a part of our everyday business life. And when you’re looking for business growth, you can’t ignore the value social networking can bring to your organisation.
With over 700 million members, LinkedIn is the preferred platform among professionals and corporates, and has become an essential tool for professionals and industry experts looking to build their business network, expand their reach and grow their business. LinkedIn provides a platform for individuals to connect with other business professionals, share their business growth experiences and engage in industry-related discussions. LinkedIn networking has become a task on everyone’s to-do list and it’s not uncommon for professionals to have thousands of contacts. However, having a large LinkedIn or social network is only beneficial if you are prepared to put some time and effort in and learn how to leverage it effectively. Yes, any form of business networking will take time, but the results could see exponential growth for you and your business.
But first, let’s get down to basics and discover …
What is Social Networking?
Social networking refers to the use of Internet-based platforms or websites that enable individuals to connect and interact with one another. There would be few people these days, not familiar with the large number of platforms that typically allow users to create personal profiles, share content with photos or videos, and communicate with others through messaging or commenting.
Social networking for business has become an essential tool for any company looking to build its brand, engage with customers, and drive growth and success.
Social networking has transformed the way people communicate, connect, and share information. It has created new opportunities for individuals to build and maintain relationships, whether they are personal or professional. Social networking has also created new forms of content creation, such as user-generated content, and has enabled users to share their opinions and experiences with a wider audience.
By leveraging social networking for business growth, companies can:
- Increase Brand Awareness
By sharing content and engaging on social media, companies can increase their visibility, connect and collaborate with other businesses and ultimately, reach a larger audience.
- Build Business-2-Business Relationships
Social networking platforms allow businesses to connect and communicate with businesses they want to collaborate with more easily.
- Network With Other Professionals
LinkedIn networking, in particular, is a powerful tool for business networking and can support companies to connect with potential partners, suppliers, and industry experts.
Business growth through contacts
There’s no doubt that when your network grows your opportunities for business growth improve exponentially. The more contacts you have and the larger your network, the more options you have to grow your business, find new possibilities for collaboration and increase overall business visibility. But having a large social or LinkedIn network comes with a little bit of work if you really want business growth. Here are just a few things you can do to leverage your LinkedIn Networking:
- Know Your Purpose
Have a clear purpose and goal for what you want to achieve from your social networking. You may be a master at LinkedIn networking and have thousands of connections, but if those connections do not align with what you want to achieve then they aren’t going to assist your business growth. As a business strategy, decide what you want to achieve from your LinkedIn networking.
- Optimise Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your digital resume and represents you as a professional. Make sure your profile is complete and optimised to attract the right people to your network.
- Engage With Your Network
Engaging with your network is critical to building relationships that will enhance your business networking and growth. Engage with your connections by commenting on their posts, congratulating them on their work anniversaries or promotions, and sharing relevant content. By engaging with your connections, you’ll build a more meaningful relationship that may lead to further opportunities for collaboration.
- Join LinkedIn Groups
Joining LinkedIn groups is an excellent way to connect with like-minded professionals and improve your LinkedIn networking. Look for groups in your industry or areas of interest and participate in discussions.
- Share Valuable Content
Sharing valuable content is an effective way to showcase your expertise and knowledge. Share articles, videos, or infographics that are relevant to your industry or interests. Show your social network your expertise and you’ll get more opportunities for business networking and collaboration.
- Attend LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn hosts a huge number of virtual events – your business networking can only improve when you showcase your knowledge and engage with industry professionals in this way. Attend these events to meet new people, learn from experts, and expand your knowledge.
- Build Meaningful Relationships
Finally, focus on building meaningful relationships with your connections. Don’t just connect with someone for the sake of growing your social network. Instead, take the time to get to know your connections, learn about their goals and interests and find ways to support them. By building meaningful relationships, you’ll create a network that is more likely to support and advocate for you and your business growth.
By using these powerful social networking tools of engagement, your LinkedIn network will grow, and you’ll be able to access and collaborate with businesses in a much wider geographical area to support business growth.
Access to a national (and international) network
Through social networking, you’ll give your business visibility to a national network of industry professionals and businesses. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll discover when accessing a larger geographical network:
- Access to More Opportunities
A national network can help you tap into opportunities that may not be available to your business locally. Your business is unique, and until you network with businesses outside of your local area, your growth will be limited. Reach out nationally and internationally and the sky’s the limit.
- Increased Visibility
The larger your network, the more visible you become in your industry. This can lead to more opportunities to showcase your skills and expertise, as well as build your personal brand.
- Access to Diverse Perspectives
A national network can expose you to diverse perspectives and ideas. By connecting with people from different regions and backgrounds, you can broaden your knowledge and expand your horizons. You might come up with innovative ideas that will benefit your customers.
- Enhanced Credibility
Having a strong national network can enhance your credibility and reputation in your industry. This will help to build trust with clients and colleagues and can open up new opportunities for partnerships and collaborations.
So, are you growing your business through social and LinkedIn networking or are you just adding new contacts to your list without engaging? Through this article, you can see how actually building, connecting, collaborating and engaging through your business networking will have a much bigger impact on your business growth than just ‘growing’ your contact list.
If you want any further information on how to improve your LinkedIn networking, we’d be happy to chat. Your business growth can improve exponentially when you scale through your LinkedIn network.
With years of experience growing our own business network through LinkedIn and Social Networking, District32 and Scalepreneurs exist to support you to grow your business, your network and yourself. Find out more by connecting with us. Lorraine@district32.com.au