For some, LinkedIn is the least exciting social networking service. It’s seen primarily as a business-orientated service – but it is, in fact, a combination of both professional and social, so should really be embraced! It’s widely perceived as solely a recruiter’s platform – and, of course, a source for job-seekers – but it’s actually so much more…
LinkedIn claims to be “the world’s largest professional network with more than 530 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.” Pretty impressive right?
But don’t forget: LinkedIn is an extremely powerful marketing tool.
Unbelievably, some businesses neglect the site – or dismiss it altogether. But the networking service can do so much for you and your business. LinkedIn gives your brand further exposure on a highly popular site. Yes, LinkedIn can help you recruit and partner with other professionals – but it can also find you clients. LinkedIn can, if utilised intelligently, generate leads and, subsequently, conversions.
Do you know how to use LinkedIn as an effective online marketing tool? Check out my top tips below on setting up and maintaining a successful LinkedIn business account…
Setting up your LinkedIn company page
Your LinkedIn company page needs to be descriptive, accurate and insightful. If you haven’t set up a LinkedIn company page yet, the process is really easy. First of all, you must have a LinkedIn profile with your real name. Once you’ve got a personal page, click the ‘Work’ button at the top right of your screen and you’ll see the option to create a company page. Click it, and let the fun begin!
Your LinkedIn company page needs to be descriptive, accurate and insightful. If you haven’t set up a LinkedIn company page yet, the process is really easy. First of all, you must have a LinkedIn profile with your real name. Click the ‘Work’ button at the top right of your screen and you’ll see the option to create a company page. Click it, and let the fun begin!
I can’t stress enough how quick and easy it really is to set up a company LinkedIn page. Add a photo, compelling About Us section, website URL, company size, industry type, company type and at least one office location. Other information is optional, such as the year your company was founded, specialities, featured groups and additional office locations.
A few quick tips on creating your LinkedIn company page:
1- Fill out all the information fields you physically can.
2- Include focus keywords in this copy– your LinkedIn company page content should be SEO-driven!
3- Include a high-quality cover image and profile photo.
4- Consider adding your website URL and contact number to your cover image. Choose clear Call to Action (CTA) content or your company tag line rather than your logo here.
5- Elaborate your boilerplate in the About Us section – don’t just copy and paste.
6- Definitely use your logo – companies with a logo get six more page views on LinkedIn!
7- Check out LinkedIn’s image specifications below.
LinkedIn Showcase Pages
LinkedIn Showcase Pages are a wonderful addition to your company page. They basically let you promote a specific product/market through a separate LinkedIn page and fantastically extend your reach. They can help highlight your expertise too.
This is how marketers can truly target with dedicated content.
Showcase Pages are just extensions of your company page – extension pages which can also be followed. You can create up to 10 of these (initially) which will be listed neatly in the right column of your company page. Like the creation of your LinkedIn company page, make sure you use relevant keywords in your Showcase Page name and copy to enhance SEO.
Tip: If you want more than 10 Showcase Pages, you can contact the LinkedIn support team and request them.
Marketing with LinkedIn
Once your personal LinkedIn page and company page are pristine, up to date and full of helpful information about the business, the marketing can truly begin.
Spread the word
Whether you’ve just set up a LinkedIn company page, or maintaining an active profile already, are you shouting about it enough? It’s imperative to tell people about your page. Promote your account with logos across your website, marketing copy and company email signatures. Shareable social links are a must. Are your employees aware? Encourage them to link their profiles to the company page – and, of course, share the business page’s content! If your company page is linked to several employee’s personal pages, you’re already encouraging extending reach.
On the other hand, ensure you’re following your partners’, prospects’ and customers’ LinkedIn pages and liking, sharing and commenting on relevant content. Interaction is key.
If your business is global, you can set up your LinkedIn company page in more than 20 languages. LinkedIn automatically translates section headers for you but you’ll need to edit the page with translated content. This is super handy when it comes to marketing globally, inevitably!
Post & schedule
As you’ll have seen in my previous blog: “6 tips for a successful social media campaign”, I’m a big Hootsuite fan. Utilise a social media management platform of your choice to ensure your LinkedIn company page stays active. If you’re posting directly on your LinkedIn page, the Post Settings dropdown menu gives you the choice to post to the Public or a Target Audience, as seen below. Posting targeted updates is great to reach niche internet users – but you need to have a minimum of 300 company page followers to do so!
Content, content, content
Your LinkedIn company page shouldn’t be a stream of sales pitches.
You need to post engaging content if you want to start conversations, drive traffic, increase brand awareness and spark conversions. Instead of shouting about your latest offer, share blog posts written by your marketing team, or post features on the people behind the business. Share interesting thought leadership pieces. Share company news – big and small. Definitely share positive testimonials!
Always use images with your updates. Many believe LinkedIn in to be a purely professional focussed networking platform – but visual content here is just as key as in the Instagram marketing world!
Finally, be a regular updater – a sparse, rarely updated LinkedIn page doesn’t look great for anyone – and don’t be salesy. It’s a real turn off.
Tip: Currently, companies can’t directly upload videos on LinkedIn – so share a YouTube Video URL instead!
Of course, there is the option to move away from organic reach into the world of LinkedIn sponsored content. It’s certainly worth experimenting with sponsored updates at some point and see how effective they are depending on your business goals.
To sponsor content, you’ll need to use LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, and choose an ad product; either Sponsored Content, Text Ads or Sponsored InMail. Ensure your destination links are accurate!
Sponsored Content can be seen by targeted LinkedIn members across desktop, mobile and tablet devices – a world of consumers! (Whereas Text Ads will appear only on desktop, and Sponsored InMail in inboxes on desktop and mobile).
To sponsor a company page update, it’s pretty easy. You need to be a Company Page administrator to do so, and you can have up to 100 updates within a campaign. It’s a good idea to keep updates relevant and short – using images and interesting copy.
LinkedIn Text Ads are fab for B2B organisations especially, looking to drive traffic to either your LinkedIn company page or your website.
Writing a compelling headline, accurate description and include a high-quality, captivating image for sponsored LinkedIn content success!
Send Sponsored InMail if you want to send personalised messages to targeted users of LinkedIn. These are awesome for event invites and promoted content, like whitepapers.
Tip: Keep an eye out for video ads – LinkedIn are currently testing these and hopefully, video ads will be available through Campaign Manager soon!
LinkedIn Groups are another fantastic way to spark and manage conversations by professionals in the same industry as your business. It’s very easy to create a group (found under the groups icon in the upper right corner of your homepage). You can make your group discussions visible to everyone or keep them visible only to members within. Make sure you create an open group so everyone can join.
LinkedIn Groups provides a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts. You can start a new group by filling out the fields on the Create a Group page, or why not join related groups and contribute to discussions, through your personal and/or business page?
Marketing & analytics
It’s massively important for marketer’s to track the progress of LinkedIn company pages and sponsored content. Analysing content gives you a deeper insight in your page and content’s performance. LinkedIn makes observing analytics very simple. You can analyse progress of page visitors, updates and followers, over up to the last year, and export reports on progress at the click of a button.
LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform, combing business and pleasure cost-effectively. Whether your goal is to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, build engagement or generate leads and conversions, LinkedIn is a handy tool waiting to be utilised efficiently.