LinkedIn is a top option for professionals when it comes to networking. It is one of the most powerful social media tools for dealers and an ideal place to develop and expand your professional network. Doing so can help you build business relationships, generate solid leads and referrals, and grow your dealership. However, achieving this involves sound engagement strategies, patience, and providing value to others. Here are some ways to get you started cultivating your LinkedIn network.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

If you have spent any time on LinkedIn, you’ve probably received messages from total strangers who use the default connection invites when reaching out to fellow users. They’re employing a scattergun approach to networking, contacting as many people as they can with as little effort possible. However, having large numbers of people in your network doesn’t necessarily give you an edge. When it comes to your LinkedIn connections, size doesn’t matter; quality does. Use discretion if you receive these types of messages. You may be tempted to accept every connection that comes your way, especially if you’re new to LinkedIn, but this can dilute your network’s value.

When it comes to reaching out to others, don’t just hit the connect button. Take the time to create thoughtful, personal messages. It only takes a few extra minutes and can make a big difference in getting a response.

Start Connecting with People You Know 

Starting with people you know, like, and trust gives you a real and usable network of connections. Once you have connected with those individuals, you’ll have access to see your connections’ connections, which can open the door to new relationships. Ask your connections to introduce you to members of their networks. If you decide to connect with strangers without such an introduction, let them know why you are getting in touch. For example: “Hi Peter, I’ve been reading the articles you share here on LinkedIn and appreciating your perspectives on them. I’d love to connect with you to gain even more insight from you.”

Get People to Invite You

Let people know you’re open to connecting on LinkedIn by putting your account URL on your business cards, email auto signature, website, and any business directories where you’re listed. This will increase the number of connection requests you get from people who have an interest in your business.

Nurture Your Connections

Once you have connected with people, don’t leave them hanging. One of the biggest mistakes users make on LinkedIn is not following through. They create a profile, make a few connections, and then stop putting in any effort. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you should be actively working to draw more attention to your profile. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Post your own content, such as thought-provoking articles and videos.
  • Join and contribute to groups. Provide insights and ask questions to engage with others.
  • Comment on other people’s content. A simple ‘like’ is not good enough. Write something that demonstrates you’ve read or watched what they’ve published.

Create Your Own Group

You probably won’t be the first person to create a group in your niche, but this doesn’t mean you’ll get lost in a sea of noise. Not if you do it right. This involves being clear about the group’s focus and what make