With more than half a billion users, LinkedIn has become an important promotional resource not just for individual professionals but for entire companies. Its built-in tools can make it easy to zero in on top business prospects, and savvy marketing departments can turn it into a significant competitive advantage. According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn is responsible for 64 percent of the visits to corporate websites that originate on social media.
However, simply having a company LinkedIn page isn’t enough. Here are some LinkedIn marketing tips to help you make the most of the platform.
1. Define your audience and start searching
If you haven’t already done so, create detailed profiles of the business prospects you’d most like to reach through LinkedIn. These are the types of companies whose business would be of the highest value to you and the ones most likely to have needs that your products and services can meet.
Factors such as industry, company size, and location can easily be plugged into LinkedIn’s customizable search filters to identify prospects that best match your target. When you know exactly who you’re trying to connect with, you can tailor your approach to appeal to them.
2. Make your company page shine
Is your LinkedIn page everything it ought to be? Does it immediately send the message you want to get across and set the tone for the relationships you hope to develop? A few important points:
- Make sure your profile is complete. It’s surprising, but some companies leave fields in their LinkedIn profiles blank. Even if some fields seem less important to your business than others, omissions can cost you contacts and reduce the impact of your page. Incomplete profiles seem less professional. Simply having a complete profile has doubled the number of visitors for some companies.
- Use a strong, branded cover image. This can be your company’s logo or signature symbol, something people also will see when they visit your website or your headquarters, or a picture that sums you up. Your LinkedIn page should be branded and reflect the company’s personality. The right image is a big part of that.
- Spend some quality time on the “About Us” field. This should be a concise but definitive statement of your company’s brand, personality and values, and it should clearly convey what you offer that makes you special. Try not to exceed LinkedIn’s recommended length. Use straightforward language. Without being too wordy, pack this section with keywords to make your page search-friendly. Research has shown most users access LinkedIn on their smartphones, and most smartphone searches are Google searches, so keywords matter.
3. Start your own LinkedIn group
Running your own group puts you in the driver’s seat. You decide who to invite and you steer the conversation, delivering daily digests, sending group announcements and keeping the most important information front and center. If you create a group, of course, you must commit time and effort to make sure you consistently supply members with high-quality, relevant content.
4. Position your company as an expert
You don’t want to come across as pushy or desperate to make a sale, and if you convey your authority effectively, you won’t need to. Your content and tone should demonstrate your company’s expertise in the field. Get your top people to write posts on important topics. When company executives speak to a civic or industry group or serve on a panel at a conference, take note of it on LinkedIn and summarize the remarks. Provide valuable information that shows the depth of experience and knowledge you offer, and let visitors know how to get more information if they’re interested. Arouse curiosity and reward it.
5. Pay attention to quantity
Numbers matter. Online advisors have varying answers to how often a company should provide new content on its LinkedIn page, but there seems to be a consensus that if you’re not offering something new on your page at least weekly, you’re not putting enough effort into engaging your visitors. Create a content schedule and stick to it. Spotlight company news, major initiatives, product pushes, expert advice and relevant shared content. If the well runs a little dry, it’s OK to reuse some, but not too much, of your best older content. It probably will be new to many visitors.
6. Pay even more attention to quality
What a company presents on LinkedIn should never come across as random or haphazard. Key points:
- Be consistent. Everything should reflect the company’s personality, style, values and branding.
- Be vibrant. Use hashtags, images, videos, bullets – anything that adds punch to your post.
- Be concise. Think short and sweet. A good piece of content could be as simple as a strong quote paired with an arresting image. But you don’t have to sacrifice depth. If you have a longer piece you believe will sustain visitors’ interest, write a teaser or summary that piques the reader’s curiosity and then link to a blog post containing the full text.
- Be useful. Always keep your visitors’ needs and interests in mind.
7. Direct traffic
Cross-promote. Be sure to include links to your LinkedIn company page in emails, in blog posts, in marketing communications, on your website and on other social media. Tease your LinkedIn content when appropriate. Add the LinkedIn button to the company’s email signature. Take advantage of every opportunity to bring visitors to your LinkedIn page, and make it easy for them to share the content they find there.
8. Capitalize on your best relationships
If your interactions with another company have been mutually beneficial, ask that company to recommend yours to others, and offer to recommend that company in return. But be honest. Don’t exchange recommendations without having developed a real working relationship or for a company’s services that you don’t truly believe in.
9. Take advantage of LinkedIn analytics
LinkedIn is set up to help you figure out whether your approach is working and what content is registering with your visitors. Demographic information on your target audience is available to help you tailor content to that audience. It’s easy to track which posts are getting likes and comments. LinkedIn lets you set your own goals and measure whether you’re meeting them. Paid features such as InMail are particularly helpful in targeting and reaching a desired audience.
When used effectively, LinkedIn is a great way to keep your company in front of your target audience and show them what you have to offer. The right approach, presentation and content can build the recurring contacts that eventually become a relationship.
If you haven’t taken full advantage of using LinkedIn for marketing your company, the time to start is now. Tools are available to help you establish a robust presence on this valuable social media platform.