Anyone who wants to use LinkedIn or or other social networks to build their business can find lots of articles telling them HOW to do it. For instance, here’s a great one by Stephanie Sammons: 5 tips to build and grow your LinkedIn network.
But if you’re not already committed to a social networking strategy, how is not the question you’re asking. You probably want to know WHY you should develop a social strategy and then figure out what are you trying to achieve.
Here are 6 compelling reasons why you should focus on growing your LinkedIn social network if you are an advisor or business professional:
1. LinkedIn is THE social network for professionals.
It is the only social network explicitly structured around people’s professional lives. If you have clients that are professionals, most of them probably already have LinkedIn accounts and are actively networking online. If some of your best clients are there, can you afford not to be?
2. Increase your online search visibility.
Google loves LinkedIn profiles. Try searching your name (or try a competitors name if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile) and see how prominent a LinkedIn profile is on the search results page. People who are considering doing business with you are looking for your LinkedIn profile. If your competitors are active on LinkedIn, can you really afford not to be?
3. Social networking builds engagement.
Building your online social networking skills translates into new opportunities to engage with your clients who are already active online. Don’t worry about how to attract new leads and prospects. Instead, focus on your clients first. If you’re not paying attention to them and sharing valuable information with them online, someone else will.
4. Wealthy investors like social networks, especially LinkedIn.
A recent survey of Canadian and US investors showed that wealthy investors like social networks for doing research and they have a high degree of affinity for professional networks like LinkedIn. If your target market is using LinkedIn to get smarter about their investments, can you afford not to be?
5. Our decisions as consumers are socially influenced.
When confronted with a decision about what to buy and who to buy it from, our decisions as consumers are strongly influenced by our social psychology. We seek opinions from our friends about what they do and who they use. We do online research online in order to find valuable information and experienced people who can help us make a better decision. Can you afford to be absent or, possibly worse, perceived to be inept in the social space when prospects are doing their buying research on you?
6. Socially savvy customers influence more peer purchases.
Not only do we ask our trusted friends and confidantes what they do, we also weigh their advice based on their perceived knowledge. It turns out that socially savvy peers can be more influential and make more recommendations than others. Can you afford to not be on the radar of the most socially savvy of your clients — who may already be partial to referring you new business?
Social strategies are not going to be a perfect fit for all advisors and certainly not for reaching all the clients in your practice. But for most advisors, LinkedIn offers a number of effective and relatively easy ways to reach out to and strengthen your relationships with some of your most important clients.
Can you afford to be in a relationship business and not embrace the new tools of social relationships?