Is LinkedIn still relevant for Business Owners based in UK in 2019?
There are a number of different ways to engage with such a popular platform among UK businesses, from its free service right the way up to its premium subscription worth £77.99 a month, but are business owners in Britain still finding it useful?
For Natalie, a director at The Typeface Group Limited, LinkedIn is still a very valuable resource to businesses – especially those that are time poor and looking to pitch products or services to specific people within a company itself.
“By being clever with searches and looking at who is employed at your target business, you can often get the contact details for the decision maker you are looking for,” she added in one of the seminars hold in London.
This sentiment was echoed by Jo Swann, MD at Chocolate PR. “For those with focused sales initiatives it can be a fabulous way of finding the perfect potential clients, but only if the individual combines connecting, with publishing,” she warned.
“Spam invites are not well received, and why should they be? It’s no better than cold calling. But combine targeted connecting with blog post publishing and effective use of personal and corporate updates and you can build an audience interested in your knowledge and insights as you can then demonstrate the value you can add as a connection.”
Swann has a Business Plus account, making her a paying customer of LinkedIn, but feels it would be better if the platform’s In Mail offering showed how people are connected. “If someone I In Mailed could see if I was connected to their connections as part of that message then it would help with credibility.”
New LinkedIn user stats show the UK is the fourth most connected country in the world, with an average of 144 connections per user, behind the UAE (211), Netherlands (188) and Singapore (152). However, London places top of the pile for most connected cities, with an average of 307 connections. Amsterdam (288), San Francisco (241), Jakarta (225) and Milan (221) block out the rest of the top five.
So, as a nation clearly enamoured by the social media platform, what do users find particularly valuable.
Gordon Beattie, president of The Creative Communications Group, believes the Premium subscription fee is “worth every penny”.
“LinkedIn makes it easy for our recruitment team to identify and connect with top talent. It’s saved us a fortune in head hunter recruitment fees. It also makes it simple to stay in touch with friends, associates, clients and prospects.”
Emma Cox, a business growth strategist, has over 2000 connections and thinks LinkedIn gives her access to a network unachievable otherwise.” I am a Premium user, but I would only recommend paying if you are sure you are going to actively use it as a tool to grow your business and set some measurable goals for what you want to achieve,” she added. “There’s no viable alternative to LinkedIn currently, so, I will stay with it.”
Weaving is not a paid-up member of LinkedIn, as she hasn’t felt a need to upgrade, but does feel that less posts about “what others like” would be preferential – so that space for updates from the people she is connected to can be made. She’d also like to be able to edit company page posts, as right now users have to delete and re-post.
As with any marketing, sales or recruitment investment, putting together a plan for what you want to achieve and how that will be carried out is critical. Rosa Guzman, director at Curated Digital, said her company uses LinkedIn in three distinct ways. “First it is a platform where we run campaigns for our clients and for ourselves. LinkedIn is great when you want to reach your audience – you can target based on different criteria such as job title, groups, etc or ABM.
David Jones, communications manager at Alphabet, finds the platform very useful for his work and had some interesting insights and advice for businesses.
“As a communication tool, it is an effective and easy way to steadily build brand awareness and engage with customers, suppliers and employees. We use the platform to celebrate the successes of the business, share content that our followers might find interesting and educate the industry about critical issues that might affect their business.
LinkedIn needs to be used in the correct way. It is a business medium and therefore content should be appropriate for this audience, especially when you’re looking to engage with senior- level people. Far too often we see companies treating it like Facebook, with a tone that doesn’t fit with the audience they’re trying to communicate with, and this can be detrimental to how people view your organisation.”
However, you use it, and whatever you feel about recruitment spam or Facebook-type posts, moving beyond the 500m user mark shows LinkedIn has put together a significant community.
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