With over 660 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, you have to wonder why LinkedIn is not as talked about as the other social platforms. Maybe it doesn’t generate traffic for websites or encourage active sharing, but it does seem to have an extremely engaged audience.

Beyond just the size of the community, the B2B impact cannot be understated. According to data from Sumo.com, LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites & blogs.

According to Neil Patel almost all (80%) of B2B leads come from LinkedIn vs. 13% on Twitter & 7% on Facebook. This makes it an extremely effective marketing platform for businesses.

So here are the 5 LinkedIn lessons that we suggest that businesses should follow.

LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking tool

crowd of people in building lobby

Many people join LinkedIn to network, so finding a receptive group or community isn’t that hard. Be smart and use the search function that helps you by narrowing the filters through location, connections level, current companies and more. This will help you find a group of people that you would like to connect with easily.

It might also be worth paying to become a Premium user, you can further fine tune your search to include years of experience, function, seniority level, company size, and when they joined. For a salesperson, this is pure gold.

Stop with the long messages, please!

LinkedIn messages should not resemble your email inbox. 1,000 word essays that you will never read probably litter your LinkedIn message inbox. If you don’t read it, chances are your potential clients won’t read it either.

We distilled some of the feedback from our community of digital marketers and sales folks into these salient points:

  • Your messages should be as personalised as possible
  • Each message should be no longer than 3 sentences
  • Try to initiate dialogue rather than hard sell from the start
  • Your initial message should not be about saying how great your company, but trying to build a strong relationship

Don’t rely too much on automation

Automation is not something that LinkedIn’s algorithm seems to like. Apparently it works initially, but once they identify that is automation, they will put a stop to it.

The effort put into building the automation won’t mean much when they ban your account. It is better to work smarter and put effort into finding the right contacts and engaging them manually.

Networking is easier when using a senior profile

When reaching out to potential customers, it helps when your profile shows that you have some decision-making capability. It helps improve acceptance rates for invites and also improves the likelihood of them engaging in a dialogue with you.

However, a good rule of thumb to follow is not to utilise a senior account and run mass sales-driven campaigns. This lessens the value of the account and also indicates to any potential lead that they might not be dealing with a real decision-maker.

Become an influencer – personal branding matters

man wearing headset

Professionals with a well-developed personal brand have a much higher chance to attract attention of C-level executives and generate sales-qualified leads. Beside greater awareness of your expertise and role, a strong personal brand also builds trust with your network.

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool, but it needs to be used well. Rather than trying to brute force your way to leads, use the platform to build real networks and scale your business through that.