LinkedIn has positioned itself as the go-to platform for business networking. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the social media platform has over 500 million registered accounts and 300 million daily users. These high user numbers make LinkedIn a compelling social business marketing platform.
However, with such a huge active user base, marketers need to adopt strategies that cut through the noise. Check out these 10 LinkedIn social marketing tips you can use from the get-go.
Complete Your Profile
As a beginner, your first step on LinkedIn should be to provide a complete profile. Your profile is the face of your brand, so it’s important for your profile to be professional. Your profile has the potential to influence your relationship with prospects. An impressive profile can attract quality connections. In contrast, a profile that’s lacking can convey a shoddy brand.
In the best negotiation classes, experts recommend using a professional profile photo for a positive first impression. Other essential profile elements to include are:
- Quality images for your background image
- An up-to-date job title and description
- A well-crafted introduction
- An informative headline
- An engaging summary (“About”)
- Complete background (education, class year, and work history)
- Skills and expertise (such as negotiation classes attended and spreadsheet competency)
Set Up a Company Page and Showcase Pages
Apart from your personal profile, company pages offer an alternative to tell your company or your brand story. Include Showcase Pages if you have many product lines or different departments.
Regular updates can work to build brand awareness and generate inbound traffic. If you have employees with LinkedIn accounts, encourage them to share approved company content. Employee advocacy can build your company’s credibility and increase your market reach.
Leverage LinkedIn Pulse
Research published in LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn reveals that 94% of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn as their primary content distribution channel. Twitter follows at 89%, while YouTube and Facebook stand at 77% each. Even with so many users, only about 3 million LinkedIn users share content weekly. 3 million posts targeting 300 million users per day translates to a potential 9 million impressions each week.
LinkedIn publishing (or LinkedIn Pulse) allows members to use the platform for content marketing. You can blog directly to LinkedIn Pulse and promote the content in your networks and through other online channels. You may also use your status update to distribute your marketing content.
Include Your Links
According to Sumo, the marketing automation experts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter drives over 90% of all social traffic to B2B websites. More than 50% of all social traffic comes from LinkedIn.
To benefit most from LinkedIn, use interesting call-to-action (CTA) phrases. For instance, your CTAs may invite prospects to negotiate on your products and services. Link your anchor texts to relevant product pages on your website. Use the LinkedIn feed to leverage your hashtags and your Twitter images, too.
Provide Value Before You Ask Favors
A common beginner mistake is to start by asking acquaintances to share your content, like your posts, and buy your products. Asking such favors before creating a connection comes off as spammy and selfish.
Do good unto others before you can expect favors. Don’t rush into negotiating for unearned favors. Start by first sharing your connections’ posts. Recommend experts you have worked with before. Endorse your connections’ skills, where applicable. If you help your connections promote their products, they’re far more likely to have a positive attitude toward your brand.
Customize Your Invites
When you press the “Connect” button on someone’s profile, a customization popup appears. Add a note and personalize your introductions. Avoid the temptation to send mass connection requests with one generic message.
For instance, you may start with:
- Hi. We recently met at the New York Trade Fair…
- Hi Jane. You were my trainer last year for one of your negotiation classes held at…
- Hello Tom. It’s been a long time since we worked together on the __ project…
- Hi Sue. Your blog post on __ was terrific. I want to connect and learn more about…
However, it’s true that many users won’t notice that your connection request is accompanied by a personal message.
Unfortunately, some new users mistakenly use LinkedIn as they would use other social media platforms. For instance, some may use LinkedIn to start romantic relationships. Avoid engaging in flirtations, as you may come off as unprofessional. View every interaction as a potential professional connection. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a future negotiation opposite a would-be connection who once rejected your LinkedIn advances.
Also, avoid posting the usual social media fodder like party photos and cat videos (unless they apply to your brand image).
Join online communities in your niche and make connections with your peers. LinkedIn groups are a great place to share your expertise and distribute your content. Groups offer a platform to join industry discussions with like-minded people.
LinkedIn communities offer limitless chances for relationship-building. Most groups have a mix of industry players and prospective customers, making LinkedIn groups ideal for brand promotion.
LinkedIn’s InMail can support the fast growth of your network. InMail is a fusion of instant messaging and email. It is a premium service that allows you to send direct messages to people outside your network.
Most beginners may bemoan the extra expense of a premium account subscription. Luckily, LinkedIn offers a free one-month trial of premium for all members. Once you have created your account, click on the Settings and Privacy page. Then, go to the Accounts and Payments section to activate your free trial. With the one-month free trial, you can InMail prospective connections and grow your network.
Be an Open Networker
A LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) is someone who accepts connections from anyone who sends a request. For a beginner with an intention for social marketing, being a LION has the following advantages:
- It offers the potential for quick growth in terms of connection numbers.
- Expands the number of people you can connect with since there are no regional or industry constraints.
- Increases the chances of ranking higher in search results.
However, you should keep in mind that being a LION comes with a few risks. Firstly, you’re more prone to receiving many spammy emails from strangers. Secondly, prospects may find it difficult to determine the value you place on connections. Too many varied connections may undervalue their relationship with you, meaning your network may appear unreliable.
It’s important, therefore, to negotiate the need to expand your reach with retaining credibility. Remember, while a LION allows connection requests from people they don’t know, a LION is not obliged to accept all requests. It’s wise to show some reserve in who you allow into your network, even as a LION.
The Future of LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, says the site’s target is to have 3 billion active users by 2022. Now is the best time to create your account and start social marketing on this versatile platform. 9 million impressions per week can drive your business to profitable glory if you market your brand the right way.