For years, various social media channels have provided us with the platform to share our personal opinions for years – whether we are sharing the newest research, commenting on trending topics, or writing and commenting on blog posts, we interact with the world through social media.
Several platforms have their own personality — Facebook has the notorious “thumbs up” like and recently added the much-requested reactions, and Twitter has its 140 character rants, but one platform stands alone as the site that links professionals across industries by building mutually beneficial relationships. That’s LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is underutilized as a resource for professionals and businesses, alike. Both use LinkedIn to build a professional identity and gain notoriety. They can also stay informed on trends in their industry by following periodicals, leading agencies, newspapers, and industry groups relevant to industry insiders. In the Cannabis Industry, LinkedIn provides a unique professional audience — often lost on other platforms. If your cannabis brand means business, then you need to be found and be regularly engaging on LinkedIn. Refined Bud has four tips to grow your cannabis business notoriety on LinkedIn.
Build your profile in a professional manner
As with any social site, you have to create your profile and be an active user on the site to stand out from competitors. When creating your page with your brand’s vision, logos, language and style are crucial to maintaining consistency — whether you’re a budtender to CEO. You want to be recognized as the same company inside LinkedIn as you are outside LinkedIn. That’s just good marketing and branding
Remember to include consistent keywords when describing your business in content as well as in any URLs. This practice is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it helps to increase the likelihood that search engines will find your profiles when someone searches for your business or products/services your company can provide. To determine the keywords for your company, research how your consumers or clients search for you and use that to your advantage when building your profile on LinkedIn.
As with all marketing in the cannabis industry, finding the right approach is essential. Remember that people are using LinkedIn for professional connections and potentially don’t want their employer to see connections from a company who posts racy content and promiscuous images.
Grow your network like a weed
After you complete your LinkedIn profile, begin to build your connections. Get recommended by clients, colleagues, friends, and partners for services you offer or products you specialize in. Showcase your expertise and get those you know you best to verify on your behalf.
Promote yourself by connecting all your social accounts (blog, twitter, facebook) as well as your website to your LinkedIn profile. By doing this, you create a unified set of profiles that professionals and clients can easily find your official pages on various sites. It also is another way to boost your visibility in search engines (REMEMBER: SEO) and inside the LinkedIn site where your profile will be recommended to similar businesses or experts to connect or follow.
Find industry experts on LinkedIn and join their groups. These large groups connect you to thousands of companies and professionals within the cannabis industry or based on a similar skillset you share. Not all your connections have to be from within the cannabis industry – especially if you have expertise or are a thought leader in another field. For example, a company that develops research for the legalization of medicinal marijuana might want connections to the medical industry experts or connections to government and policy people.
Research articles, connections, and industry experts often to develop a clear social media strategy on LinkedIn. By understanding how often your competitors produce content and the type of information they share, you can better develop a strategy that will fit your business vision. Forbes research from 2013 shows that 75.8% research companies and people on LinkedIn. By studying your competitors on LinkedIn you can determine the company size, profiles they, what people also viewed in comparison to their profile, and the type of content they share on LinkedIn and other sites. Researching on LinkedIn is a valuable tool that can boost your knowledge of competitors and better develop your own social media strategy.
Create and Contribute
It is not enough to make a LinkedIn page. To make the most of your profile and connections, you have to consistently create new content and contribute to existing, relative content. Publishing on LinkedIn is an easy way to increase views and shares of a blog, update, or content you’ve developed either on LinkedIn or another site. When you publish on LinkedIn, all of your connections are notified, and you have the opportunity to have your content featured on LinkedIn’s Pulse Channels which is an area on LinkedIn that helps publishers to reach several targeted audiences in various industries that are interested in the exact content you are posting.
When developing content for LinkedIn ask yourself the following questions:
Who is the consumer? What group are you trying to attract to your business?
How is your expertise relevant to this group?
How is your expertise relevant today? Is there a current event/article/trend this group is aware of (or needs to be aware of)?
How will you reach this consumer group? For example, are they informational video, funny blog, or fact-driven article type of people?
Lastly, how will this increase connections?
Don’t be fooled, it takes a lot to manage any social network, including LinkedIn. If you’re breaking out in the Cannabis Industry or consider yourself a ganjapreneur, you have to pay attention to your digital life. Don’t half-ass it. Polling has shown that up to 81% of customers will do research online before making a purchase. Your digital footprint on social media, including LinkedIn, matters. So take it seriously. At Refined Bud, we can provide the tools, content, and topics to build your profile and manage it in an engaging and relative manner with the LinkedIn community.