LinkedIn is the world’s number one social network for establishing professional connections between both businesses and individuals. As with any other social network, LinkedIn facilitates content sharing and publication, but with a more professionally oriented approach. As a platform for social media marketing (SMM), LinkedIn’s main potential concerns its power to connect businesses together in business-to-business (B2B) marketing or connect businesses with the general public whether to exchange ideas, cultivate authority or seek out new employees.
How LinkedIn Can Help Your SMM (Social Media Marketing) Campaign
Although any business, regardless of its size and industry, can use LinkedIn for its recruiting efforts, businesses in certain industries will also find it to be an invaluable tool to include in their social marketing strategies. The various social activities which you can conduct using the platform for the benefit of your business include the following:
- LinkedIn is by far the most popular online platform for establishing B2B marketing leads, and any industry which is concerned in generating leads from other businesses can expect to see around three times the conversion rates from using this platform than they can with Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Of course, your levels of success will vary depending on a number of factors, but some sure-fire ways to increase your chances include keeping your company page up-to-date, promoting relevant products and services regularly and seeking professional recommendations for them.
- As a professional platform, LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources for building up brand authority through thought leadership. In the highly competitive online world, building trust among your professional connections is key to building trust with your current and prospective consumers as well. The platform provides an invaluable set of features which help brands to provide important updates, share news about their companies’ performance, achievements and new products and services as well as establish a more professional side to their businesses’ online presence.
- Businesses can use LinkedIn for positive engagement to reach out to potential customers including both businesses and individuals. Just like any other social network, it allows brands to engage their customers directly and build relationships based on these interactions. Customer engagement via LinkedIn can also be personalized, as with any other social network albeit with a more professional tone and approach. However, as is the case with any SMM platform, LinkedIn is not a place for blatant self-promotion and one-sided conversation.
Success with LinkedIn
For the most part, all of the best practices which apply to SMM using any other social network also apply to LinkedIn albeit with a more professional and business-orientated approach. As is the case with any social network, marketing on LinkedIn means becoming part of a conversation and engaging your intended audience in the process. As is often the case with SMM, it is easy to convey an insincere approach by way of using blatant promotion and sales pitches, and this is not what social media marketing is all about. In order to succeed, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the general tips and guidelines for good social media etiquette by paying close attention to social stimuli and current trends. The following details the best practices for using LinkedIn as a marketing platform:
- The first thing to do is set up your company page. Ensure that your company page and profile are complete, and keep all of the details up-to-date and consistent with your other online profiles at all times. Keeping your content up-to-date is essential for keeping your LinkedIn profile alive and conveying a professional image. Updates will also be displayed in the newsfeeds of your followers. You should also provide regular news updates on important company-related events, achievements, changes and product or service launches.
- Keep a close eye on any responses to your posts, customer and business reviews and any questions which your followers may have. Social media is just as much about responding and answering questions as it is about posting. Be sure to address concerns and complaints and thank people for leaving positive feedback. In doing so, be transparent so that you can build up trust and authority in the eyes of your audience.
- Follow your competitors’ profiles on LinkedIn to see what they are doing. As a professionally orientated network, LinkedIn can provide invaluable insights by way of competitive intelligence while opening up a wealth of new B2B leads and marketing possibilities.
- Follow up potential leads in a personal rather than promotional manner. If you find someone on LinkedIn who you believe may be a promising lead, do not think of that individual as someone you are trying to sell something to. Instead, personalize the way in which you contact them by addressing them directly and telling them what you have to offer and how you may be able to help them. Using personalized greetings rather than generic ones will greatly increase your chances of generating leads.