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Business Suirgery: Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media in Bury St Edmunds, looks and the pros and cons of being on LinkedIn





During a recent Women in Business networking event, a local business owner asked: “Do I need LinkedIn for my business?”

My answer is: “It depends”. Helpful, right? Bear with me.

Whether or not you need LinkedIn for your business depends on your business’s target audience, objectives and resources.

Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media
Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media

To simplify the decision-making process, I find it helps to weigh up the positives and challenges so here goes:

Positives

1: The platform for professionals – for B2B businesses LinkedIn provides brand visibility to a potential 1 billion users, making it a goldmine for potential leads and clients.

2: A professional networking powerhouse - LinkedIn isn't just for sales, it’s a space to connect with industry peers and seek partnerships to accelerate business growth.

3: Opportunities for thought leadership positioning – LinkedIn’s ability to accommodate a wealth of content, in particular the ability to publish long-form articles, allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field.

3: Access to talent – with an active audience of graduates, job seekers, recruiters and freelancers, LinkedIn is brimming with top talent ready to drive your business forward.

Challenges

1: Time – writing thought-leadership pieces, creating video content, crafting engaging posts, building a network, seeking partnership opportunities and participating in meaningful discussions all take time and effort.

2: Audience – while some argue that LinkedIn’s professional network are consumers too, the jury’s out for me on whether it is the best option for B2C businesses. In my experience, consumer purchasing decisions are not made on LinkedIn so B2C businesses may be best investing in building new or nurturing existing networks on other platforms.

3: High expectations – LinkedIn users expect high-quality, relevant and timely content, which not only takes time and effort but skill to get right. It’s also a highly competitive platform so ensuring your brand voice cuts through the noise needs advanced and expert planning.

Budget – As with all social platforms, paid promotions are favoured by LinkedIn’s algorithms so it is worth considering whether you have the advertising budget to invest in more than one social media channel. It’s also worth considering whether LinkedIn’s audience is going to provide a worthwhile return on investment compared to other platforms that may be more suitable for your particular business.

Bird Media
Bird Media

LinkedIn offers numerous benefits for visibility, networking and growth (in particular for B2B businesses), but it’s also important to bear the above challenges in mind. If you identify an active audience on LinkedIn and want to position yourself as a thought leader, but are unable to invest the time and effort to meet the demands of creating high-quality content, social media experts (like me!) can be a valuable external resource. If you want to discuss LinkedIn for your unique business, you can arrange a free 30-minute consultation with me by emailing lucinda.sloane@thisisbirdmedia.com – I’m here to help.

Follow Lucinda on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lucinda-sloane