How to: Use LinkedIn as a marketing tool
Traditional, in-person networking is no longer the only way to connect with business professionals. In our digital age, we have access to social networking sites such as LinkedIn, where networking can take place directly from your mobile phone or computer!
LinkedIn is a social networking site, similar to Facebook, but with the aim of connecting and encouraging professional relationships. With two new members every second, LinkedIn can connect your company with more than 450 million business professionals worldwide. Therefore, if you’re operating in a business to business environment (B2B), LinkedIn could be crucial to your social media marketing strategy.
Why do I need a personal profile to market my business?
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn offers the option of both a personal and a company page. You’ll need to have a strong presence on both to make your LinkedIn strategy a success! Let’s run through how and why having a strong personal profile is important to the marketing of your business.
As a business owner or employee, it’s important to begin your LinkedIn marketing with a personal profile. More often than not, people want to do business individuals, not faceless corporations. A personal profile enables you to directly connect with other professionals that you know, or want to introduce yourself to. Once connected, their status updates and general activity will be shown in your feed.
LinkedIn uses the common “six degrees of separation” principle as inspiration, which states that one person is only ever a maximum of 6 “steps” away from another. On LinkedIn, when you connect with another user, you’re given a “1st”, “2nd” or “3rd” degree label. This is a great starting point for an introduction with a potential employer or client.
Having an active and updated personal profile can be a great way to improve the online awareness of your company. Your attitude, interactions and behaviour on LinkedIn can have an impact on the way your company is viewed. Sharing or writing insightful industry-specific articles is a great way to situate yourself as a thought-leader. It’s also a great idea to encourage your employees to complete their own LinkedIn profiles and remain active and engaged with company and industry news.
Getting the Most out of your Company Page
A company page can be thought of as a personal profile for your brand. Just as your personal profile reflects what you do, who you are and what you stand for, your company page should do the same for your business.
The page should offer a portal of knowledge for prospective clients and employees. A place where they can learn more about your company, what you do and the people who work for you.
You should engage with the customisable features on your company page. This means branding your LinkedIn address with your business name, updating your “about us” and uploading an on-brand banner image. Before getting started, ensure that all of these smaller elements represent who your company is.
Before making your first post, you should define your audience and goals as this will affect the voice you adopt and content you deliver. Develop SMART goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Regardless of your type of business, purely sales based content generally doesn’t perform well on LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn users respond better when pain points are addressed, and their questions are answered. And, as is the case with most social networks, images and videos generally increase page engagement.
You should also consider sponsoring some of your LinkedIn content. This is the equivalent of paid advertising on Facebook and ensures that you can promote your content directly into the LinkedIn feeds of the professionals and potential clients that you want to reach. After doing so, you can use LinkedIn analytics to discover the effectiveness of your content, how well it’s performed and which posts have particularly resonated.
The Purpose of LinkedIn
The purpose of LinkedIn is often misconstrued. It’s a great tool for recruiters to find possible candidates for their open positions. It’s a great place for job hunters to find, and apply for their next role. However, the platform serves as much more than just that. LinkedIn also manifests as a powerful platform for doing business.
Community features, such as LinkedIn groups, enable you to stay in touch and up-to-date with the latest news from your industry. They also assist in increasing awareness of your name and your brand. From both these groups and your general feed, you have the opportunity to like, comment and share posts. You can also direct message, which is a friendlier alternative to corporate emails.
Installing these social features within a professional network encourages person-to-person interaction within a business-to-business environment. Tuning into this as a business can lead to greater success when trying to attract new employees and clients and when maintaining existing professional relationships.
While traditional networking continues to exist, you can access this and more from your mobile phone with LinkedIn. If you work in a B2B environment and would like some help introducing LinkedIn marketing to your social media strategy, get in touch with our content team today. Book a meeting, email us or come in for a cuppa, we’d love to hear from you!