Generating Value from your Linkedin Account
Written by Megan Edwards, Membership and Communications Manager, Austmine
I am regularly asked by Austmine members how they can make the most of their time and/or money investment on Linkedin. Anyone connected to me on Linkedin will be aware I’m a fairly prolific user (if you’re not yet connected to me, please do add me to your network now). I use the platform to network with new and existing contacts, promote myself, my company and any programs or initiatives that will benefit individuals or companies within the METS sector and share news articles, presentations, events or editorials that I think would be of interest to my network.
The important question to be asking is why do I take these actions? What tangible outcomes derive from sharing, networking, brainstorming etc. on Linkedin? In brief, specific benefits from my activity on Linkedin include: more engaged members (my customers); more engaged and aware prospects; higher traffic to my website; greater awareness and brand knowledge of Austmine within mining companies; increased membership sales; increased event ticket sales; increased international trade mission sales.
My Business Linkedin account costs $29.99 per month and is well worth the investment, driving on average 1000% ROI. Here are my top pieces of advice for maximising your benefit from Linkedin:
- Before anything else, ensure your profile is up to date. This includes the correct current job, also reflected in your headline, a career and/or company summary, a photo (of you, not you and your fish, or your motorbike), education and qualifications.
- Join relevant industry, or job role, groups to ensure you broaden your network and have the opportunity to see the discussions being raised by your peers.
- Connect with people! There are two schools of thought on who you should connect with on Linkedin. Some feel you should only connect with people you have met with in your life. Others (I fall into this camp) feel one of the joys of an online network is that you can have a significantly larger network online and this can provide the conduit to making new connections. I have over 8500 contacts on Linkedin, the majority of whom work in the mining sector here in Australia. I have met around 1000 of them, but some I have only ended up meeting thanks to our initial connection on Linkedin. The more people you are connected with, the more eyes will see whatever you choose to post.
- Participate in group discussions. Many people choose to take a back seat in group debates, watching it roll out. I understand, committing your opinion in writing on a public platform where thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people around the world can read what you wrote, is daunting. If this thought is overwhelming, pick your engagement times carefully, going for topics where you have a solid knowledge, recent examples, or personal experience in the debated area.
- Reach out to people when you don’t want something from them. It’s an old cliché that people only hear from their Account Managers or sales contacts when they need to renew or make another sale. Email, phone call and coffees can all add up to a time consuming approach if you have more than 3 or 4 clients. Linkedin significantly reduces the time investment required, but still demonstrates you’re not only contacting them when you want (or need) something.
- Share! Post articles, news, photos, blogs, thoughts, anything you feel would be interesting and relevant to your industry and connections. Numerous times I’ve only read something, or heard of a project or company, thanks to one of my contacts sharing it on Linkedin. If you know it would be particularly relevant to someone specific, tag them in the post so they receive a notification.
- Only create a company page if you can update it at least a couple of times a week with new information. A fantastic example of a METS company doing this correctly is AMC Consultants (see their company page here ), using a variety of mediums, and always sharing slightly different types of news or information.
Any Austmine members who would like to talk more specifically about their individual or company presence on Linkedin, is very welcome to drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to help out!