Influencers are the 'in' thing across most social media platforms, but what about LinkedIn? Even here, influential and connected people exist — just not in the way you might think.

Below, we look at the few frequently asked questions about Linkedin influencers:

FAQ #1: Do LinkedIn influencers exist?

Yes, they do. But, this type of influencer isn't your typical celebrity who is famous for their looks or talents. These are people who are successful in their own field and can share valuable knowledge with their followers.

LinkedIn originally chose who was worthy of influencer status, but the public didn’t agree — especially since some of the original lists did not post any engaging content. Across the world, other influential business leaders started popping up and gaining the public's interest through their content and interaction.

Now, the list, titled Top Voices, is reviewed every year to include new individuals or remove those whose accounts have gone dormant. To be a part of this coveted inner circle, you still need to be invited by the LinkedIn administrators. However, it is commonly agreed that you reach influencer status — or at least become eligible for it — once you reach 501 connections.

FAQ #2: How can your business use them?

Similar to other platforms, on LinkedIn, you can ask influencers to mention your brands or products when they post on their page.

The aim would be to reach individuals in the same sphere as your brand or reach other companies through this form of targeted business-to-business communication.

Since LinkedIn is a networking platform, using influencers is ideal because this type of marketing is all about who you can reach. It is estimated that LinkedIn posts from influencers reach 30 000 views! It’s only logical to use influencers to expand your reach.

FAQ #3: Does your business need them or should you be one instead?

Influencer marketing can be a useful addition to your strategy, which is why brands choose to partner with influential individuals.

The goal of influencer marketing is to promote your products, increase brand reach, boost engagement and heighten social proof. This is because an influencer reaches additional followers on top of your loyal customers, which results in more leads and increased following. So, it's ideal to use when you need to improve brand awareness and search visibility.

But if you are satisfied with your visibility in your industry, and you don't have products to sell, perhaps you should consider becoming an influencer yourself. This is a perfect option for key opinion leaders because it can strengthen your position in your sphere of work.

FAQ #4: How can you become a LinkedIn influencer?

Here are a few steps you can take:
  • Optimise your profile: Make sure you have completed all the nitty-gritty parts of completing your profile so people can immediately see what makes you an expert in your field.
  • Interact with followers: It isn't enough to just post content, you need to interact with your followers. The reason people follow influencers is that they are interested in what you have to share.
  • Comment and engage strategically with posts: To become an influencer, you need to show people you are someone they want to connect with. The way you do that is by commenting from a point of expertise on posts that are relevant to your vocation or industry.
  • Create and curate content: There are two elements to sharing content on LinkedIn: creating original content and choosing what content from other professionals you want to share. Make sure that all the posts you share reflect your expertise or relate to your field.
  • Follow other influencers: Once again, we face the importance of networking; it is all about who you know. By engaging with other influential people, you are able to learn from them as well as reach a number of their followers who might be interested in you as well.
  • It's not about the number: LinkedIn deems people with over 500 connections to be influencers. However, having a smaller number of followers who find your content engaging can be more valuable than a large number who don't react to your content at all. Your following can grow through the small group when they engage with your content.
Do you have more questions about influencers that we didn’t cover in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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If you are still deciding whether you need an influencer on social media or not, check out the article Are influencers still relevant during the global crisis?
*Image courtesy of Canva