Michael Deane of the Qeedle small business blog shares with us his best practices for making the most of the marketing potential of LinkedIn. Is your business making the most of the opportunities available on one of the premier business social media sites?
There are more than 4 billion internet users in the world, and 80% of them use social media platforms on a regular basis. Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social network with 2.23 billion monthly active users, which means that it can expand your reach tremendously and transmit your marketing message all around the globe in no time. Still, with approximately 500 million active users, LinkedIn is the dark horse of social media marketing, as it’s even more powerful when it comes to connecting with your potential clients and business professionals and experts from your field. However, just like it’s the case with any other marketing tool, LinkedIn has to be used carefully if you don’t want to come off as too spammy or pushy. Although this social media channel has more than 4 times fewer users than Facebook, both you and your company can benefit from using it on several levels. These seven tips will help you make the most of LinkedIn’s digital marketing potential:
Optimize your profile
Before you start engaging in any marketing activities on LinkedIn, it’s essential to optimize and polish your personal profile. If we bear in mind that your potential customers want to learn as much as possible about your business, it stands to reason that they will be interested to find out more about the people who work for the company too. Having a recent, high-quality profile headshot is a must. Since LinkedIn profiles with a photo garner 21 times more views and 36 more messages than the ones without it, it’s definitely worthwhile to have a professional photo taken. Come up with a compelling headline which will prompt the people who click on your profile and explore further. Add at least 5 relevant skills, and ask your existing customers for testimonials. Finally, ask your co-workers to optimize their profiles too, as they’re your company’s best advocates.
Connect with the right people
The worst thing you can do is start sending connection requests non-selectively. It’s OK to try to build your network, but make sure to reach out only to people from your industry and field of expertise. When you want to connect with people you don’t know or with whom you don’t have mutual connections, it’s a good idea to say a few words about why you want to get in touch and introduce yourself. This introductory message can also be a very effective conversation starter. The “ who’s viewed your profile” option can also come in handy for networking purposes. Don’t think that viewing these people’s profiles back and sending them connection requests (if they’re your target audience) is stalking, because it’s what this social media network is for. Similarly, visiting other people’s profiles is like leaving them your business card.
Optimize your company page
Similarly, it’s important to fine-tune your company page as your marketing efforts will revolve around it. Include your logo and engaging visual representation in order to boost brand awareness and recognition. Add a well-crafted summary which will explain what your company does and how it can help prospective customers. Make sure that your company page is updated on a regular basis, which means posting relevant content, latest news, and career opportunities. The next step is optimizing your page for search, and this can be done by including relevant keywords in the profile information section. Adding LinkedIn links and buttons to your website, blog, email signature, and any digital promotional materials will also improve your SEO rankings and help your company appear as a top result when potential customers search for content and products they’re interested in.
Add showcase pages
While your company page is the starting point for any marketing activity on LinkedIn, Showcase Pages are a great way to direct your visitors towards your brand’s particular product or service they’re interested in and establish targeted connections with them. These pages allow you to personalize your target audience’s interaction with your company page, segment your outreach on this social media platform, and deliver tailored messaging through your content.
Produce engaging content
Publishing relevant, helpful content which will answer some of your target audience’s common questions, help them perform better at work, and solve their pain points should be your key strategy. Generally speaking, LinkedIn audiences frown upon salesy content which tries to promote a company’s products and services in an obvious and blatant manner, so avoid doing this at all costs. Create useful content packed with actionable tips and tricks that your target audience can actually benefit from, but don’t refrain from sharing high-quality content produced by others too. Another way to stand out from the crowd is to offer your own, fresh perspective and opinion on the latest industry trends. This kind of content performs excellently on LinkedIn and it can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and grow your audience, which is why publishing it on your company page will drive you a great deal of engagement.
Take advantage of sponsored content
If your content gets a lot of impressions and engagement, it’s a good indicator that it’s valuable and relevant. To make the most of it, use LinkedIn’s native advertising option called Sponsored Content. It will allow you to promote your content on the newsfeeds of business professionals, industry leaders, and decision-makers you want to target. This way you’ll expand your reach most effectively by displaying your company updates and compelling articles to the right audience, thus generating qualified leads and attracting prospective customers. As this isn’t your average social marketing tool, enrolling in some social media marketing training will do you a world of good and increase your chances of success.
LinkedIn paid advertising options
If you want to use LinkedIn to its full extent, invest in one or more paid advertising options it offers, such as Sponsored InMail, Sponsored Updates, or Text Ads. With these tools, you can target different demographics and segments, thus getting your marketing message through in the best and most effective manner. Just like with any other ad campaign, it’s crucial to come up with engaging copy, CTAs, and visuals, and optimize all these elements based on the results of A/B testing. A useful rule of thumb is not to use vague wording in these ads, because business professionals want to know exactly what benefits and value they can expect if they decide to click on your ad. The same goes for your calls-to-action, so make sure to prompt your audience to click on them by using actionable words such as download, buy, or sign up and telling them how they will benefit from accepting your offer, for example, “Start a free trial and increase your Instagram following”.
LinkedIn is a gold mine of business opportunities and by following these best practices you can generate tons of qualified traffic, unearth valuable business leads, and finally translate all this into profit.