As a growing business, you’ve been told countless times that to reach your audience online you must take advantage of social media. Job seeking and building your connections may be the most popular use for Linkedin, but it can actually be an amazing platform to market your business as well. Including Linkedin as part of your marketing strategy allows for stronger partnerships, improved brand awareness, effective lead generation, and a closer reach to people with like-minded ideas.
Where Facebook and other similar social networks create a direct link to your consumers in a casual setting, Linkedin creates a connection on a professional level, allowing you to promote your products and services through a professional network of people who may not be present elsewhere online, such as a business executive or a B2B sales representative.
If up until now you have left Linkedin on the back burner of your marketing efforts, it’s time to begin increasing your business’ recognition with this ultimate guide to Linkedin marketing.
Before you can begin to share content and build relationships, you need to create a company page that will stand out to visitors. Having a strong profile is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. The more followers you can gain on Linkedin, the more organic reach you will have. Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to give your page an extra pull, it’s all about creativity. Keep these rules in mind:
- Don’t leave your page half-finished. When you’re building your Linkedin profile, pay attention to the site’s completion tracking. If your page is telling you you’re only 60% of the way, then you could be missing out on 40% of your followers. Finishing your page is a simple yet very effective way to attract more followers.
- Always add your company logo. It’s the easiest and quickest way to promote brand recognition on your company page. Nothing says distrust like a grey-box where your logo should be.
- Include relevant keywords. Throughout your company page, ensure you’re using keywords that directly and indirectly link to your business and the service or product you’re selling.
- Add your business contact information. If a possible client or partnership is attracted to your business and wants to reach out, they will need to have a way to get ahold of you. This isn’t Facebook, your business information is your identity and it should be public, especially if you’re open to new connections (which is why you’re on Linkedin).
- Promote your Linkedin page to your team. Regardless of whether your business employs 2 or 200 people, you’ve already got at least someone (even if it’s just yourself and your old college roommate) to follow your page. If your employees connect your business to their employment, you’re already reaching their connection list.
- Keep sharing content, even if it feels like you’re not reaching anyone. Especially in the early phase of your Linkedin presence, it can get frustrating when your efforts come back with less than desired results. It’s important to keep building and sharing, raw, relevant content that will link your customers to your business and develop your thought leadership within the online community.
Next step, SEO
If you’ve been writing blogs and building content with the hopes of finally mastering the always confusing Search Engine Optimization, Linkedin is no different than any other social media platform. In fact, contrary to what many people may believe, it’s a super-powered search engine all on its own.
Just because I included SEO as its own headline, doesn’t mean I believe it’s your most important resource. If you spend all your efforts on SEO with nothing to turn those hits into conversions, then it was all for nothing. Conversion optimization is equally important as optimizing search results, yet is hardly mentioned in marketing content. Follow these guidelines when optimizing your Linkedin company page.
Put a little extra effort into your welcome message
It’s the first thing visitors see on your page and will probably be the last if you don’t create valuable content that will invoke them to scroll further.
Don’t overcrowd your page with content
Keep what’s important and get rid of the fluff. Your Linkedin is your online resume and a testament for what you and your business have become. Having too much junk on both in your profile and in the content you share will hide the valuable content, the stuff people want to see, and will lead potential conversions elsewhere.
Make your cover something you want them to judge
Your images can be one of the most tangible parts of your business, especially if it’s a service you’re selling. You need to create visuals that give off the right impression and promote you as a leader of your industry. You wouldn’t pull into an empty parking lot facing a dark storefront, or click through a bland website with nothing but content, let the same idea drive the images and videos you share on social media – including Linkedin. Your cover image is the first thing visitors see – get creative. If it’s still the generic blue, you’re missing out on some easy marketing space.
Appeal to your audience
If your business is more on the professional side, be sure to develop your profile with the people you want to attract in mind. If your profile looks more like your old MySpace page instead, start over. Create your page knowing that the people you’re hoping to connect with and build strong relationships with will see it.
Your experience is more than just what you’ve done
Remember when I said Linkedin is your online resume? Scratch that. As a business owner, your Linkedin profile proves to your target audience that you are experienced, educated, and know your chops. It’s also an opportunity to optimize keywords and phrases so the right people find you.
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Create and share content that inspires, relates, and educates
It’s what social media is all about. Sharing organic and recycled content is your ticket to reaching your audience – do it the proper way and you’ll be building your brand awareness and relationships with each passing scroll. It may be easier to get away with sharing casual, personal, and unrelated content on other social media pages, but Linkedin should be focused solely on your business, what you do, and your professional development. Remember:
Linkedin is perfect for targeting the exact type and size of business/clients you want to attract
“If you are selling customer support software to small businesses in the United States, you can set your advertising campaigns to only be showing to businesses [that are] under 100 employees, based in America — and within that grouping, only to executives at those companies with a customer-support title,” says an article on BusinessNewsDaily quoting Tim Peters, director of marketing, at IntelliResponse.
You get what you put in
If you’re only going to put any effort in once a month, or even a week, then be prepared that you’re only going to receive the conversions, followers, and achieve the goals that you have planned for with only putting a minimal effort in. Want to produce the best results, put in your best efforts.
Ask yourself: would I care about this?
How many “Monday Motivation” posts do you need to see on your LinkedIn feed to feel like you can take on the week? These generic day-fillers may get you a few hits, but they don’t last in the long term. Before sharing a post, always ask yourself if you were to see the same thing on a competitors page, would you care? Would you feel like it was building you up?
Linkedin is an excellent opportunity to connect with your followers on a humanistic level. Share pictures of orders going on, notable projects within your team, and employee milestones. Linkedin gives your business the ability to give a behind-the-scenes look at how your business runs, and the knowledgable team that keeps the gears running.
Always include a call to action on everything, even the stuff you re-share
Your company profile page has a CTA option under edit/buttons. You can create a CTA that will direct your followers and visitors to the desired page on your website. On the content you build, always ask a question or include something that will influence readers to engage with the post and your business. If you’re re-sharing an amazing piece from one of your partners etc., always include a CTA and a caption that relates the page to your business.
There are plenty of helpful tricks and tips offered by the makers of Linkedin and countless social media marketing experts across the internet. If you take anything from these guidelines, know that they continuously change because social media and how audiences interact with these platforms are constantly changing. You need to ensure your business is ahead of the competition and first on social media developments.
Do your research. Find keywords that correlate with your business, are not overused, and show up in search engines. Don’t know if you’re showing up? Test your content, titles, etc. and, if you’re not on the first page, try adjusting your content a little. You’ll get there.