For many, it’s a no-brainer to have a presence on LinkedIn. And many organizations go beyond making sure their staff have profiles, but actually create a Company Page as well.
But what good does that do if nobody’s following your company? And how do you get followers?
Fortunately, you can use a method I’ve tested that has proven to increase LinkedIn followers.
First, let’s take a look at a few numbers. Without naming names, I looked up ten local competitors of T&S to see how many LinkedIn followers their pages had. Because companies specializing in online marketing should have the most followers, right?
- Company B – 54
- Company D – 25
- Company F – 13
- Company J- 20
- Company L – 28
- Company N – 42,799
- Company P – 223
- Company R – 35
- Company S – 52
- Company W – 44
There’s one big outlier there, Company N. In 2013, that company was purchased by a national company. Apparently, the local office no longer has their own LinkedIn Company Page.
Where does T&S Online Marketing sit? As of this writing, we have 175 followers. So excluding Company N, Company P is the only one that has more than us.
In fact, Company N, Company P, and T&S are the only ones on the list that have 55 or more followers!
The LinkedIn Follower Strategy
So what’s my strategy for getting followers? It’s embarrassingly simple:
I ask people to follow us.
I reach out to the people I’m connected with on my personal account, and ask if they’d mind following my company.
There are a couple steps I take first, though.
- I make sure the person is on LinkedIn, and that I’m connected with them. Actually, I only look at people I’m connected with when I use this strategy, so this part is a given.
- If they’re part of a relatively small organization and have a LinkedIn page, I follow their organization.
- I go to their profile and endorse any skills listed down below that I really think they’re good at. I don’t use the automatically suggested skills LinkedIn sometimes displays up top.
- I check my company’s list of followers to see if they’re already on there. Unfortunately, there’s no automatic way to do that or export the list, so I go through my followers page by page and search using my browser’s built in search function.
Then I send the message. I used one message when I first started this tactic, then another on an ongoing basis after connecting with people.
This is a variation of the message I used when I first started this strategy. I sent this message through LinkedIn’s message system.
Subject: Quick question, PERSON’S NAME
Would you mind terribly following COMPANY NAME on LinkedIn? We’re building up our LinkedIn presence, and would appreciate your help.
If not, that’s perfectly okay. No hard feelings.
If so, just go to this link and click the Follow button on the top right: http://linkd.in/1pPJHiY
Thanks either way!
I didn’t use the long link LinkedIn supplies. Instead, I used the site http://bitly.com to shorten it, to make it less intimidating.
Make sure you don’t use the same exact link I included above, or they’ll end up liking T&S, not your Company Page.
I also told them exactly what to click, and even where on the screen the Follow button is located.
Finally, I made sure they know it’s okay if they don’t do it. This is extremely important for two reasons. First, it means that if they can’t or won’t follow us, they don’t feel like a jerk. Second, it actually makes them more likely to do it.
This is the message I now use after connecting with someone on LinkedIn.
Subject: Thanks, PERSON’S NAME
Thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn! Don’t feel any obligation, but if you wouldn’t mind following my company on LinkedIn as well, I would greatly appreciate it.
Just go to the link below, and click the Follow button on the top right:
Again, no obligation at all. Thanks again for connecting!
Since they just requested that I connected with them, or approved my request, I start out by thanking them. Then the remainder of the message follows a pattern similar to the first.
An unexpected side effect was that these messages frequently result in actual conversations, not just new followers!
This strategy can be time consuming, but fruitful. If you have many contacts, don’t attempt to go through all of them, just work on the messages for an hour or two.
After your initial effort, just send the other message each time you make a new connection.
Try it out, give it one day to one week, then leave a comment below letting me know how your numbers changed.
Oh, and one more thing: We do update our LinkedIn Company Page on a regular basis, which factors into this as well. If you need help with that, we do provide LinkedIn Company Page management, so feel free to contact us to have a conversation.
P.S. In the time I was writing this blog article, we gained another follower. This strategy really works!