Considered by some to be the stuffy cousin of the younger and hipper social media platforms, LinkedIn actually has some great features. You may not find food photos or videos of the hot new dance challenge…but what you will find are leads.
In fact, 93% of marketers find LinkedIn to be their #1 method of generating leads. And 64% of corporate website traffic comes straight from the platform.
Clearly, LinkedIn is where people go to do business. So that’s where you need to be.
Here are six tips to get your LinkedIn marketing started right.
#1 Optimize Your Profile
Your profile will be your LinkedIn calling card, so it needs to be polished and professional. If you’re using the platform to build your personal brand, start with a picture of yourself and a custom banner. Use a site like Photofeeler to find a picture that looks competent and likable.
For a company profile, you can add your logo to the smaller, round space, and a custom banner. The banner should reflect your brand in color and style.
Next, draft your company description or personal experience section. This should be a carefully crafted statement that explains who you are and who you serve. Focus more on the customer than yourself! And make sure to include relevant keywords in your description, to help you show up in searches.
#2 Don’t Be a Lurker
If you’re going to use LinkedIn as a tool, you have to be proactive! That means posting, not just engaging with other people’s content.
LinkedIn has several ways you can get involved. You can write posts with attached links, images, and videos, just like Facebook. You can also publish longer articles directly on LinkedIn using the “Write an Article” feature.
Use a combination of posts, images, and longer articles to increase engagement. You can also use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your blog or website. Share short snippets of your content, along with a link where readers can find the full post.
#3 Make Connections
While it may be business-focused, LinkedIn is still a social media site at its heart. That means it’s all about making connections with people.
Follow brands and companies that you want to work with and connect with individuals. It’s always a good idea when seeking a new connection to write a personal note letting them know why you’re reaching out.
Then, make it a habit to engage with people regularly! If you’re not naturally the outgoing, networking type, give yourself a list of daily or weekly tasks. This could include a checklist like:
Make 10 new connections
Post 20 comments
Write 5 new posts
#4 Join Groups
LinkedIn groups provide a place for professionals within shared industries to connect. Some are public, meaning anyone can join. Others are private, requiring verification before they admit new members. LinkedIn Groups are great places for industry-specific conversations and networking.
If you can’t find a group in your niche, you can start your own and start inviting your industry connections.
Share your content with the group, starting new conversations. And contribute to conversations already in progress. Add value to the group without expecting anything in return. People will notice!
#5 Use Hashtags and Mentions
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to follow more than people, companies, and groups. You can also follow specific hashtags.
Search for an industry-specific hashtag in the search box, and then click the blue “Follow” button at the top of the results page. Then, you’ll get a post in your feed whenever someone uses that tag. This is a great way to find new people to connect with!
You should also be using hashtags in your own posts and articles. This will help people find your content as well.
Next, use ‘@’ mentions to get people’s attention. As you start to chat with more users, you’ll get a sense of what kind of content they’re interested in. If you find a compelling post that one of your connections might like, tag them in a comment. They’ll appreciate that you were thinking of them!
You can also use ‘@’ mentions in your own posts and content. You could tag people asking them to chime in on a topic or to share one of your role models with your feed. You never know — it just might get their attention!
LinkedIn’s ad platform doesn’t get the press of Facebook or Google but it may be the most successful of them all — at least when it comes to B2B.
LinkedIn has a few different ad styles. Text Ads are very small and brief, appearing at the very top of the newsfeed, or off to the side. Another option is Sponsored InMail, which lets you send messages right to your audience’s inbox.
Then, there’s “Sponsored Content.” This ad style shows up in the user’s feed and looks much like a normal post, except it says “Promoted” up at the top. It can include an image or video to grab attention.
While LinkedIn Ads are a bit pricer than Google or Facebook, there’s also much less competition on the platform. That may make it a strong contender for your advertising dollars.
Part of a Balanced Strategy
Depending on your industry, LinkedIn could be one of the most valuable platforms for your time and money. Unlike some of the flashier networks, LinkedIn’s growth has been slow and steady. That may make it a more stable and reliable social site, and one that’s worth the investment.
Make it a part of your overall marketing strategy for more leads, more connections, and more sales.
Clarence Fisher has spent more than a decade in the Internet marketing trenches honing his online marketing skills. After helping national companies go from concept to millions of dollars in revenues, he decided to focus his Internet marketing powers on helping local business owners achieve their goals. Clarence has a keen eye for finding out what works in a marketplace and positioning his clients’ companies to dominate their markets.
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