Using LinkedIn For Business Growth: The Power Of Cross-Sharing
LinkedIn is an extremely powerful platform for small businesses to develop their brand and network with decision-makers in their sector, and one of the most effective ways to maximise its potential is through cross-sharing. In this article, we’ll look at what cross-sharing is, its benefits, and how to use it effectively to grow your business.
What Is Cross-Sharing?
Cross-sharing on LinkedIn can refer to two different but interrelated things.
1. The first is the act of sharing content from other LinkedIn users on your feed, such as a post or article, with your own network.
2. The second is the practice of sharing videos, blog articles, infographics etc hosted on your personal profile or LinkedIn company page with other relevant LinkedIn groups or pages.
Most users deploy the two tactics hand-in-hand, although for the purposes of this article we will mainly be focusing on the first meaning.
By cross-sharing original content from other LinkedIn users, you are essentially endorsing someone else’s content to your own followers, and by doing so you not only expose your followers to new ideas and perspectives, but it can also help you develop relationships with other users on the platform. By cross-sharing carefully curated content from other users, you enhance your own credibility as a thought leader and influencer in your industry, emphasising your commitment to the industry as a whole.
Note our emphasis on original content. This is what makes cross-sharing different to simply re-sharing a third-party link posted by one of your connections. Re-sharing can also be a positive practice in some circumstances, but it is less personal and has less potential for relationship building and brand development.
How Can You Use Cross-Sharing To Grow Your Business?
The practice of cross-sharing grows out of simply searching LinkedIn for interesting and useful content. If you find something that resonates with you and that feels like a good match for your target buyers, then it’s probably the sort of content you should be creating yourself. As you develop your own content, therefore, you can cross-share items that support and reinforce your own perspective, thereby subtly building up your own authority as an innovator and thought leader.
People always appreciate their content being shared, as it validates that they have something relevant and interesting to say, and they will usually repay the favour, too, paying more attention to your feed and the content you post in future. You may find links to your website appearing in more business blogs outside of LinkedIn, for instance, more social shares, reviews and testimonials on Google, and even more inbound leads. This helps create more meaningful and genuine relationships on LinkedIn, opening the door to productive conversations, referrals, and business interactions.
Cross-Sharing Best Practices
The benefits accrued from cross-sharing come from the thought involved, so while it is an excellent way of building a network and reaching new audiences, you should employ the practice carefully.
Connect with the right people: identify the individuals or businesses that are most relevant to your company or sector and connect with them, prioritising people who are active on LinkedIn and to share content relevant to your target customers. Don’t just copy paste from the main influences in your sector. Try to find other ‘under the radar’ voices who might benefit from your support.
Don’t share content from direct competitors: although your competitors may have good things to say and ideas to draw from, you won’t gain much by directly promoting their products and services over your own if you both offer pretty much the same thing. ‘Don’t buy from me, buy from them’ isn’t a sustainable sales strategy.
Engage with the people in your network: don’t just share content without any context or other communication – engage with the people in your network by liking, commenting on, or sharing their posts outside of LinkedIn, and don’t be afraid to send direct messages either. This will help increase your visibility and engagement level within your network.
Be picky: be selective with the content you share and read it a couple of times to ensure that it is relevant and valuable to your audience – don’t just skim the first couple of paragraphs. For the content to reflect well on you, it must be in sync with your own values, ethos, and service philosophy, or represent an alternative perspective in order to prompt a conversation/ dialogue on your feed.
Add your own comments: when sharing someone’s post on LinkedIn, feel free to add your own commentary to it. This will help give context and the reason why you like it and are sharing that particular content.
Keep a balance: don’t over share content produced by other users, and when you do share, share content from a variety of people and businesses to sustain a balance. Don’t go to the well too often by always sharing content from one particular user, as this could appear inauthentic or sycophantic. Your personal and business feeds should also always contain more original content produced by you and your business than content cross-shared from others.
Cross-sharing is a simple yet effective way of expanding your network, increasing your visibility, and ultimately growing your business on LinkedIn by cultivating trust and authority. To find out more about LinkedIn marketing and how you can use the platform to grow your SME, please get in touch today by getting in touch via our website or giving us a call on 01332 982198.
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