LinkedIn is the dark horse in the list of flourishing social networks. Personally, it was one of the first networks that also led me to a job in the recession. Yes like all others, initially I used to consider LinkedIn as a job portal. From zero connections I had 500 people in my connections in no time. Initially it was really cool to have more than 500+ connections but what shall I do with them. I also followed couple of groups and then finally became clueless and made a notion that LinkedIn has no place for engagement. I was proved wrong as after a while I started spending some quality time with LinkedIn, I observed how people and brands are using it. I witnessed some great examples of Volkswagen, Hopsim, etc. but then at the same stretch I also saw people sharing only jobs or the same content on a daily basis that they are also sharing across all networks. So we thought of doing our bit to make this situation a bit better and from today onwards we are starting a new series on LinkedIn success stories. The idea is to talk to Indian brands and users who are effectively using LinkedIn.
To start with I thought of approaching Pradeep Chopra, to know more how Digital Vidya is using LinkedIn to reap its benefits. Pradeep was quite happy to share his thoughts in an email interview with us which is shared below:
1. Hi Pradeep and I think you don’t need an introduction but will you share what is keeping you busy these days?
Setting up teams and processes to scale up our workshops business (Digital Vidya) and our Social Media services business, dvBytes. For e.g., we are setting up operations in Singapore.
2. Digital Vidya has been a gurukul in India in imparting social media knowledge. Will it be easy for summing up the experience in few words?
Looking at the impact we’ve made in enabling and supporting businesses in leveraging Social Media, It’s a very fulfilling experience for all of us at Digital Vidya. It’s been an exciting journey of close to 2 years now with 75 workshops across India & Singapore for more than 1200 people. As we always believed, relevant case-studies and hands-on experience are the two key reasons why our workshops are appreciated.
3. Digital Vidya has explored LinkedIn professional network in an amazing way. You have an active LinkedIn group with more than thousand members. How effective has been the group and can you share some tips on how to keep a group alive?
I would say we are still far from realizing the true potential of our group on LinkedIn. Having said that, it’s a great platform for anyone (including participants of our workshops) who’s interested in Social Media/Digital Marketing to stay connected with the latest happenings. The same is true for us; we get to learn a lot from the discussions which happen on the group. Moreover, this group allows us to stay connected with participants of our workshops.
To be able to religiously initiate new discussions and participate in the discussions started by others is what makes the real difference in keeping any community alive and our group is not an exception :).
4. LinkedIn company pages are very important for SME’s. What are the ways you will recommend for engaging more on a company page?
Prior of LinkedIn Company Page, there wasn’t a centralized place for an organization to receive recommendation/feedback/testimonial for a product/service. The only opportunity was to get a recommendation on an individual’s profile. Today if someone asks us ‘why should I attend your workshop’, I don’t have a better place than our company page on LinkedIn.
5. LinkedIn is termed as a network for sales also. How effective has been your LinkedIn presence when mapped to genuine leads for Digital Vidya?
While it’s impossible to quantify the exact value in terms of leads generated out of LinkedIn, we’ve seen enough examples and more important trends to be confident about the value of this medium for generating continuous flow of high value leads for us. For e.g., we’d signed up with one of the large media companies in India for training hundreds of their people across India. The lead for the same business was originated through LinkedIn.
6. Finally, it would be great if you can share some thoughts on the common mistakes committed by brands when using LinkedIn?
- More focus on numbers than quality: LinkedIn is all about nurturing relationships. More than the number of relationships, it’s the quality and depth of relationship which matters.
- Unrealistic expectations: People take short term view to leverage the potential of LinkedIn. In my view, the success on LinkedIn is a function of ‘disciplined’ effort to create and build relationships over long term.
- Building credibility vs promoting your product or service: Every function (e.g. Answers, Status Updates, Participation in Group, Apps etc) on LinkedIn can result in generating real business provided your focus is building credibility vs trying to directly promote your product/service.
After reading Pradeep’s answers, I believe I don’t have anything to add to this piece. Thanks Pradeep! Your tips with your thoughts are really amazing. LinkedIn takes its own time and it is quite resourceful not only for brands but also for individuals. The onus lies on us how we want to use it. So are you engaging on LinkedIn? We want to hear your tips too 🙂