During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, social media platforms experienced higher levels of user activity for obvious reasons, and this is expected to continue for the first few months of 2021. Some small business owners whose operations were impacted by public health restrictions realized that they had either neglected or left LinkedIn out of their social media strategy; those who decided to correct this lapse effectively increased their chances to acquire new business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) leads by more than 50%.
Whether you are looking for a job or operating your own business, there is no reason why you should leave LinkedIn out of your online presence strategy. Many self-employed professionals who happen to be enjoying business success think that marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; this is the same way many small business owners feel, and it ignores the great potential of LinkedIn as a powerful tool for lead generation.
If you became unemployed during the pandemic, LinkedIn should be the first online resource to use for a job search in 2021. You can use this LinkedIn profile as an example to guide you towards completion or to update an existing one. As of late 2020, there were more than 722 million active users on the platform, and quite a few are employers. Furthermore, LinkedIn registered an increase of more than 25% in daily activity through the worst months of the pandemic.
With regard to business owners looking for leads, there tends to be a misconception about LinkedIn being mostly a place where you can offer professional services such as legal representation and financial planning, but there is no such limitation. You may not think that the owner of a fashion boutique that specializes in trendy women’s apparel would be able to generate shopping interested on Twitter, but this happens on an ongoing basis. The key to LinkedIn success has a lot to do with managing your interactions on a professional level.
Staying with the example of a fashion boutique with a LinkedIn profile, the owner should have an individual profile that connects with the store page. Ideally, store employees should also have LinkedIn profiles connected to the store, but this is largely up to them. What the store owner should do in 2021 would be to launch a content marketing campaign that does not target consumers directly. The content has to be professional and of a business nature; for example, the owner can use the new LinkedIn Stories feature to go behind the scenes of how she manages her boutique on a daily basis. Another idea would be discussing what sales techniques her store clerks are using when assisting shoppers.
If the content is engaging and adequate for LinkedIn audiences, the leads will generate naturally. We cannot reasonably expect that only competing boutique owners will pay attention to LinkedIn Stories about the retail fashion industry. Viewers who start paying attention to the store’s inventory are potential leads, and those who visit the boutique’s website will get to see the merchandise. For 2021, you should make a commitment to remember that LinkedIn users share the same interests as users of other online communities, and this should prompt you to curate your presence therein.