We have frequently talked about how marketers can leverage different platforms across the web to grow their businesses. So far, we have discussed Google Trends, and Reddit and today’s post is all about LinkedIn.
You may have already heard about LinkedIn ads for B2B marketing. However, the platforms have a lot to offer if you know how to play it right.
Before we talk about other possibilities with LinkedIn for your business, let’s first clarify what you should not expect from the platform.
First, LinkedIn is not your resume or portfolio. Yes, in a way, you can leverage your LinkedIn profile for potential recruitment; we don’t see it replacing it altogether anytime soon (1).
It is also not a place to interact with friends like other social media platforms.
People primarily use LinkedIn for Three Purposes (2):
- Social Selling
- Thought Leadership
- Business Development
Don’t ask what value social media can bring to your business. Ask what value social media can bring to your audience.
Do this and social media will bring value to your business.
— Matthew Kobach (@mkobach) January 26, 2020
When Microsoft had acquired LinkedIn back in 2016, it was a professional social media network instead of an entertaining one. Today, it is evolved into a marketplace that provides:
- Your professional services (5).
- A place when you source your employees (6).
- A social media platform where you can boast about your best content (7).
More importantly, it has become a space where you can market your business.
At present, LinkedIn has more than 740 million members and over 55 million registered companies in 200+ countries (8).
In an experiment across all social media platforms involving 5,198 B2C and B2B businesses, LinkedIn had the best visitor lead conversion rate. LinkedIn achieved a 2.74% conversion rate, Facebook had 0.77%, and Twitter had 0.69% (9).
In other words, while it has fewer active users compared to Twitter and Facebook, it still ascends ahead of them when it comes to converting visitors to leads (10).
There are many strategies you can use to market your business on LinkedIn effectively. It includes:
- Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
- Becoming a thought leader
- Leveraging LinkedIn communities and groups
- Targeting prospects with LinkedIn ads
- Sharing knowledge with SlideShare
- Promoting on LinkedIn Showcase pages
- Sourcing leads with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Growing your connections
Social Selling with LinkedIn
For those unversed, social selling is part reputation and part activity.
If you are engaging on your prospects’ social media channels, commenting on their blog posts, liking their content, then you have covered the activity portion. However, it would be best if you also enhance your reputation.
You need to remember certain things when leveraging your LinkedIn profile to enhance your reputation.
It is critical to remember that whatever you write on your profile, you write it for your prospects. Therefore, instead of sharing what you wish to share, consider writing about what they would like to know about you and your business.
Consider asking these questions to yourself:
- What other companies you have previously worked with that your prospects would like to know about?
- How many other companies have you worked with?
- How have you helped your clients achieve their goals?
- Are your clients willing to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn?
Start filling your profile with these points in mind. You can begin by creating a value proposition for your profile’s headline. Writing who you help and how you help them is recommended instead of wasting this space with your titles.
Next comes your summary. While you may want to write a strong and detailed summary about yourself, most people usually skim profiles. Hence, it would be best to create an easy-to-read, concise profile with two to three short paragraphs that include relevant keywords.
Also, don’t forget to include a CTA that explains how and why a prospect should connect with you.
We prefer writing in first-person voice, like I or You. The essential part is that you stay true to yourself and be as real as you can. Your prospects will respond to it. Also, avoid writing buzzwords in your profile (11).
Update your experience section as needed. Use bullet points, and make sure to talk about how you have helped others or any specific achievements you have made instead of simply writing down your responsibilities.
Once you update everything, take a look at your profile’s aesthetic. Is there a header image? If not, consider adding one that incorporates your company’s branding.
Also, get your trusted clients to write a recommendation for you. Yes, a recommendation from your employer or former employer is alright, but it is better to get one from a client. It is because it reflects your credibility with prospects and indicates that you have valuable references.
Thought Leadership with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is arguably the best platform out there for professional content sharing. Don’t focus on a branded company page. Because, on LinkedIn, you gain more engagement via personal profiles (12).
When you regularly post and engage with other people, you extend your own reach, as well as your company’s.
A general recommendation is posting and sharing content at least once or twice a week. You don’t even have to overthink; you can post something as simple as:
- A status update about an achievement or how you helped one of your clients
- Your company’s updates
- Sharing an image, video, or article about your industry
- Promoting downloadable content about an ebook or a whitepaper from your company
Besides these ideas, you can also consider posting longer content in the form of LinkedIn articles. You can use it to share advice, big ideas, insights, or anything else relevant to your prospects. It is also recommended to share your published article as a status update.
You can also consider sharing it within your groups or even as a personalized note to a new contact.
In addition, you can also upload videos, photos, or live streams on LinkedIn (13). Hence, don’t focus on text-only updates. After all, your profile will be more eye-catching when your updates include a mix of multimedia while also offering your followers different ways to consume your content (14).
All in all, the key is to frequently update and optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract prospects. Hence, keep investing your time in your profile, highlighting your expertise, and engaging with others while posting articles and updates. And you will attract new audiences.
“Your content needs to be highly targeted and should accomplish two aims. First, it should teach your audience how to solve a problem and do a job better. And it should establish you as a thought leader in that space. If you offer your prospects a real value, each aspect would naturally lead to more business.” – Michael Riley, Co-founder of Boxter (15).
Business Development with LinkedIn
As we have already established, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for business engagement. And the key way to do it is engagement.
Do it as much as possible; the more you put yourself out there, the more visibility you gather.
Hence, don’t hesitate to add a comment and start a discussion if one of your connections has posted something you find interesting.
The best way you can do it is via LinkedIn groups (16). Find out which groups most of your prospects are participating and engaged with. Interact with the same LinkedIn groups to build new quality connections.
Be sure to keep these three things in mind while participating or starting any conversations:
- Ask specific questions to initiate a conversation
- Don’t leave people hanging after starting a discussion
- Be mindful of what others are talking about and respond appropriately
- Ensure you only post relevant content and comments to the group
When you find any individual you wish to connect with on the platform, share customized invitations.
It is also good to follow leaders in your industry. It will allow you to stay on top of trends and give you some key insights and pointers while writing your LinkedIn articles or posts for thought leadership.
Essential LinkedIn Marketing Tips You Should Know
Here are some tips for growing your reach on LinkedIn like a pro:
Use Rich Media for Your Posts
As with any other social media, posts with videos and photos also perform better on LinkedIn.
As per the official LinkedIn post, posts with photos receive 98% more engagement than those without (17). In addition, LinkedIn also says that customer collages including three or more images in one post also perform well (18).
Remember, customer images perform well on LinkedIn. Therefore, avoid using stock images. You can support your posts with PowerPoint, SlideShare presentations, or PDFs to support your posts.
It is also worth highlighting that videos get five times more engagement on this platform (19). Moreover, the LinkedIn algorithm also favors posts with videos hosted on the platform.
Below are some other best practices for posting on LinkedIn:
- Share relevant and timely content
- Grab prospects’ attention with videos or photos
- keep your posts short
- If you are writing a longer post, use bullet points or paragraph breaks to make it more readable
- Call out quotes, points, and key statistics
- Include a simple and clear CTA
- Name your target audience (for example, calling content creators, are you a coffee lover, etc.)
- Tag pages and people mentioned
- Prompt responses by leading with a question
- Create LinkedIn polls for engagement and feedback
- Use natural ways to include two to three relevant hashtags
- Use strong headlines for your articles
- Respond to comments within a short time for higher engagement
- Use LinkedIn Content Suggestions if you are running low on content ideas
- Post on LinkedIn at the right time
- Consider launching a Showcase Page
“While personal profiles get higher engagement, it is also essential to have a consistent and updated presence of your brand with its company profile page. Ensure that content, colors, and images on this page are consistent with your website and any other social media profile your business may have. You should regularly update your business page so your brand remains active and appears to be in business. We have all come across a company’s social media profile that has not been updated over a month, or even worse, never seems to be updated at all. Creating a LinkedIn presence and not keeping it well is worse than having no presence at all.” – Carrie Booher, Digital Content Editor at WWOZ 90.7 FM (20).
Leverage LinkedIn Analytics
You can improve your overall LinkedIn marketing strategy by regularly checking LinkedIn Analytics. Adjust your content based on post metrics, like which posts received most user engagement, what drove most action, what didn’t work, etc.
Additionally, you can monitor how people find your page and what sections they engage with most and least from the analytics dashboard. You can also compare this information with the number of page visits of your tabs.
And if you are running a Showcase Page, see the traction it is getting. You will get a sense of who is interested in your company via visitor demographics.
You can check the companies’ track table to see how your page performs relative to your counterparts.
Meaning it allows you to compare where your page ranks as per its total followers and new followers. Also, you can see how many updates each page posts over a selected timeframe and the overall rate of engagement.
Notably, if you wish to learn more about the employees of your competitor or client, you can check out their LinkedIn page’s People tab. You will see where they have studied, their skills, job titles, and even the employees themselves there.
“Understand that LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals to connect with other professionals. A business owner should connect with strategic partners, referral partners, prospects, and other business owners. And once you make those connections, you can decide how to nurture selected connections and grow them into relationships.” – Charlene Burke, CEO of Search by Burke (21).
In conclusion, you can successfully use LinkedIn to market your business by putting your brand out there and building connections. If you have not already, consider providing relevant and up-to-date details about your business in your profile so others can understand your brand.