We find that LinkedIn is often overlooked by leisure facilities as a tool that can be used to engage their customer base. It is often thought that the social media platform is only for business to business. However, this could be an ideal platform for those leisure facilities looking to target business professionals for the lunchtime market or to encourage them to pop in before or after work. There are over five million LinkedIn members in the UK. Here are six steps that can help your leisure facilitiy really make an impact.
1. Complete Your Personal Profile - LinkedIn is all about the individual on behalf of the business. Ensure your profile and the profiles of other key team members have photos. This helps others recognise you when they want to connect with you, especially if you have a common name. It also looks more professional. Update the summary and specialities using industry keywords. This will help your profile appear in keyword searches undertaken by LinkedIn members and in Google too. Mention your website (and up to two others such as your company Facebook or Twitter page/profile) in your profile.
2. Create a Company Profile - although the focus of LinkedIn is the individual on behalf of the business, you can also have a company profile. This tends to appear in search results when LinkedIn members undertake Company searches. When updating the description and specialities again use industry keywords so the profile appears in LinkedIn search results and also in Google search results. Visit the Big Wave Media LinkedIn profile.
3. Post Status Updates - post messages to both profiles providing useful advice (tips) on how to escape the stresses and pressures of work and keep fit and healthy. If you are using Twitter as well, we would suggets that you control the message you post to your personal profile. Many people on Twitter have their tweets auto update their LinkedIn status. The problem is that if they are mid-conversation on Twitter, their update on LinkedIn will make no sense. The personal profile tends to get seen most when it appears in search results or when someone you have met offline is looking you up online. So really you want a message that makes sense on your profile and something relevant to that week.
4. Get recommendations - LinkedIn makes it easy to request recommendations from those connections you have worked with. Here for example the fitness instructors working with business professionals could request recommendations. A recommendation from a trusted source can be a powerful endorsement, especially when trying to attract others from within the same organisation. The recommendations can also be re-used on the website and in other marketing material.
5. Build & Message Connections - through connecting with people on LinkedIn, you are effectively building a second database of contacts to message (email). If you use this channel, we suggest you not to bombard your connections with lots of messages. Make sure what you do send is targeted and of interest to your contacts.
6. Participate in Groups - this we feel is the key to getting the most out of LinkedIn and reaching out to a much wider audience online. The key to social media is sharing information and being helpful to others. Remember not everyone using social media will buy, only those looking for specific help. So make it easy for these people to find you by participating in relevant group discussions. There are often location based groups by city and or county with local business professionals participating in them. Here new discussions could be kicked off about how to escape the stresses and pressures of work and to keep fit and healthy, which others will benefit from.
Undertaking these activities in LinkedIn will help with building connections with existing members who could become ideal advocates for your facilities. This can help spread the message to their colleagues and other business connections within LinkedIn.
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