Yes, we know the social media giant remains Facebook, but for those looking to network and develop business connections, you’ll want to get to know the platform known as the “professional social networking site.”
While the user count is continuously growing, LinkedIn is used sparingly. Meaning, you have a very short window to make an impact. Even more so than with Facebook.
Before jumping in, keep in mind what LinkedIn is known for - a “professional social networking site.” While it is a strong personal platform, LinkedIn is Business to Business or Professional to Professional network and marketing at its finest.
So what is the best way to use this “professional social networking site”?
Part One shared the benefit of and best practices of using LinkedIn’s Personal Page, and now Part Two will cover the Company Profile side.
Business / Company Page
You can use LinkedIn for B2B in different ways. You can use your personal profile to market your business / organization, sharing personal testimony to your what and why. You can also create a Company Page for your business / organization to market and share directly under your brand.
Which way is best? Simply put - both.
Either way, you can use LinkedIn for a variety of business tools and resources.
Extending Your Reach
Odds are you already have at least one of the following for your business: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Business. Each platform serves a unique purpose to grow your brand, and LinkedIn is no different.
On LinkedIn, your company page will help you reach both potential clients and talent. It will help both learn everything they want to know about your business; including information about your products/services, employees, and headquarters etc.
And remember: from cover photo to company description to content you share, your company profile should be cohesive to your branding and mission.
Remember: Share your LinkedIn profile just like you would any other platform. Both natively within LinkedIn (on your personal page) and externally throughout your marketing.
LinkedIn is an especially good source for discovering leads. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
Start by making sure this is always clear: “What do you do?” More than that, make sure it is clear how your what can solve another’s how.
Generating leads on LinkedIn isn’t about selling through your posts and messages. It’s about sharing solutions and expertise to your network - always providing value.
Leads come by being active and present on your profile, within professional groups, commenting on your connections’ posts, and investing the time into your network.
Your not on LinkedIn to sell. You’re here to add value and recognition to your brand, and share your expertise with fellow business professionals.
LinkedIn might just be the best way to recruit. Why? Where job title, company, and even education and experience may be hidden or not shared on other social platforms, this information is readily shared immediately when people join LinkedIn. Making it significantly easy to target your ideal candidate.
Also, there’s a larger portion of LinkedIn users who are actively looking for a new job.
The right targeted ad will go a lot further on LinkedIn than on Facebook. Why? Users on LinkedIn are there with a purpose in mind.
But this also means that LinkedIn Ads are not for every business. The CPC (cost-per-click) on LinkedIn is significantly higher on LinkedIn ($6-$9). So your ads and business will best succeed here when there is a high lifetime value / return - or you may just be wasting your marketing budget.
Tip: To see how your LinkedIn profile performs against competitors, LinkedIn provides a feature called “Companies to track” that reveals a list of companies similar to yours. It also gives you access to a few key metrics; including the total number of followers, follower growth, and social media engagement. You can identify what is working well for them and integrate those tactics into your own LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Post consistently, but purposefully
Provide content that’s valuable - and relevant - to your core audience
Post three to five times per week
Mix content between sharing from other sources and your original content
Studies show that “how-to” and list posts perform best, especially those with titles that had 40-49 characters.
Visual, visual, visual. Images improve your posts’ popularity is the fact that including photos increases the comment rate by 98 percent. AND video - 59% of executives said they would choose to consume it via video.
Share your LinkedIn profile (business or personal). Email signature, website, resume, other social media pages, business cards, etc.
Effective networking is about building relationships. It is critical to take the time to build your LinkedIn profile, add to your connections, and effectively use them to aid in your job search. It is equally important to give back and help your connections when they need advice and referrals as well.
Network After Hours
According to Mashable, statistics show that only 8.33 percent of Americans use LinkedIn during working hours compared to other social media sites, such as Facebook (with almost 30 percent of people using it during work hours), indicating that you might get more interaction and exposure if you update your status, network, and connect with people and companies after business hours on LinkedIn.
As with all platforms, test this out at different times of the day to see what works best in getting responses and other interactions.
Join Professional Groups
Do an Advanced Search to identify professional groups in your area and get involved. This will help expand your network, show your expertise (when you engage in online conversations and answer the questions that come up), and possibly connect you to the organizations you want to work for in the future. When researching groups, you want to participate in groups that have recent activity. Otherwise, you might be wasting your time if a group doesn't have daily or regular interaction online.
Write Once, Share Multiple Times
Whether re-sharing from your personal or business blog, breaking up a longer blog post into multiple posts, repurposing content from other platforms, or re-sharing old content with a new tip, insight, etc.
Read news from your connections.
Your connections post news, tips, and updates, which you can look over to stay current on industry trends and timely topics.
LinkedIn has many features for your personal and company brand. You can establish your expertise through the LinkedIn content platform, interact with your community via brand pages and groups, and reach out to others via LinkedIn messaging. Also, LinkedIn offers opportunities to network every day - both with individuals you may know and those you’ll want to know. You can expand your business connections through LinkedIn far more than by using Facebook or Twitter.
Are you already using LinkedIn? Or need help getting started? Contact LinkPoint today to see how we can help you grow your brand on LinkedIn.
Already using LinkedIn for your company profile? What about for your personal branding and reach?
Check out Part One of this article.