This is a guest blog post written by Andrea Hewett, Social Media Business Director
for Holt Marketing and Management Services, Inc.
Does LinkedIn ranking matter? Only if you want to be seen, but then, why wouldn’t you? If you are looking for a job, new business, new partnerships or new connections; profile views matter. If you are not, they still do, because you may have to look for one of these things in the future and you want to be prepared.
Social media isn’t a fad. Almost everybody has realized this by now. It’s also not a sprint…it’s a marathon. I’ve heard this more than once in my career and it’s just as true today as it was when social media began. It takes time to build connections, contacts, leads, sales, etc.
The same thing applies in your personal life… you don’t meet 250 friends and business acquaintances in one day and form immediate bonds and working relationships, why would you expect to do so in social media?
Social media started out as a way to connect with people you don’t have time (or proximity) to connect with in person. Social etiquette still applies whether you are face to face or not. Think of social media in terms of the telephone, an alternate way to contact someone, and apply the same proper etiquette. Would you call someone you hardly know and ask them to buy your product or service, sight unseen with little to no information on it? If the answer to that is yes, you should look for a career outside of sales. Would you talk to someone else in the room with you while you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone on the phone? The answer to this should be no. (I know people who do this and it is BEYOND annoying…it messes up the dynamic of the conversation and gets confusing for the person on the other end of the line.)
Forming a good relationship with someone comes with finding similar interests and growing off of that.
In terms of business, this still rings true. A similar interest might be finding a better way to do a job (and your product or service may be the answer to that). Whatever your interests are, when you contact someone new you should have something of value to offer them. This doesn’t mean you should send them an iPad in hopes that you can buy their allegiance (although if that is your tactic and it’s working, kudos to you…and you can mail my iPad to my work address listed at the bottom of our website: http://www.marketingholt.com/). However, what most people value is friends and family, not material objects. What do friends and family give of value? Loyalty, a sympathetic ear, a bit of humor, good advice, appreciation, tips on the best products or services; just to name a few. If you aren’t giving your customers the same courtesy that you would extend your friends and family; you aren’t doing yourself, or your business, any favors.
Let’s break these down to see just how valuable they really are:
- Loyalty – Yes, you should be loyal to your customers…don’t turn on them because they gave you a hard time with something, learn from it and improve it. That is how you build loyalty in return.
- A Sympathetic Ear – Who likes to feel like they are talking to the wall? We all need to vent our frustrations in our own way; when you listen to someone, it helps to ease some of their tension which makes them feel better. Plus, some of the greatest inventions and new products were created from trying to make tasks easier… showing us just how profitable simply being a good person can be.
- A Bit of Humor – I don’t know many people who don’t like to laugh (or maybe I just don’t want to). Laughter is a great stress reliever, ice-breaker, and a way to engage people in a fun way that they will remember. Studies have proven that people tend to remember the good events in their lives over the bad.
- Good Advice – If you ask my younger siblings they will tell you that I’m the perfect child and I do everything right and know everything (at least in our mom’s eyes), but that simply isn’t true. No one can know everything (the world is ever-changing so it is truly impossible). Although I strive to learn as much as I can about anything that comes my way, I am always open to good advice that can help me be a better version of myself. While some people don’t share this viewpoint, more often than not, people want to make things easier on themselves and knowledge is power. Just make sure you tread carefully on what advice to give and when.
- Appreciation – I don’t know about you, but I’m a giver. Not the “I donate to charity because it’s the right thing to do and I want the recognition” kind of giver (although I do donate to charity because of the joy it brings to me), the “my favorite part of Christmas is watching others open their gifts from me because it makes me happy to see the joy that it brings to them” kind of giver. However, one very important lesson I have learned is not to discount the joy that it brings to people when they help you! This is a very powerful feeling and when people know you appreciate the things they do for you, they want to do more of it. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure to be thankful when you receive it (and maybe call attention to that helpful person in front of others). They will feel great for knowing they made your life better (and who are you to deprive them of that)!
- Tips on the Best Products or Services – Of course you are going to want to promote yourself or your products (and that’s okay, when the timing is right), but don’t forget that there is a life outside of you and your business and you might just gain a follower if you provide them with a good tip on something they need help with that makes their life a little easier. Don’t selectively help only the people you can benefit from. Plus, you may even have the good fortune to recommend a product or service of one of your clients or connections!
And there you have it. “It” being how I improved my LinkedIn profile ranking. Of course I started with an All-Star LinkedIn profile (LinkedIn’s words, not mine), learn more here: Improve Your LinkedIn Profile without Lifting a Finger, but I ultimately achieved this through being helpful and genuine with others. I focus my blogs on useful information and solutions that I have found people have a need for (and try to toss in a little humor to brighten the day), then I post links to those blogs on LinkedIn. I have also added connections, shared other people’s content, endorsed skills for my connections, congratulated them on their successes, recognized important events for them, and thanked people for their shares and likes.
I still have room for improvement, but my hope is that once people realize that I genuinely care and want to make their life better in any way I can that I’ll move my rank to #1 in profile views…not because I care about being the best, but because then I can prove to others that being good to others is what makes you the best!
What are your thoughts? What has helped you improve your LinkedIn profile? What hasn’t? Do you have any social media sales horror stories? Please share below in the comment section. I would love to hear from you!