Using LinkedIn Effectively

linkedin

  • As of 2/6/2014 LinkedIn had 277 million users growing at a rate of 2 members per second.
  • 84 million users are in the United States with users in 200 countries/territories
  • There are 3 million LinkedIn business pages and 1.2 million products/services showcased on LinkedIn company pages.*

In a previous blog post about LinkedIn, we discussed how the social network has transformed from a “Facebook for businesses” into a powerful, multichannel platform that connects business owners and decision makers with promising leads, suppliers and peers. In this article we’ll look at how to effectively create a LinkedIn Company Page while simultaneously greasing the skids of your direct marketing operation.

Why Your Company Needs a Strong LinkedIn Presence

If your company operates in the B2B space, LinkedIn is probably the single most valuable social media platform for finding and developing your target audience. LinkedIn Company Pages are a “powerful way to build relationships with your target audience”. Chances are many of your employees maintain a personal LinkedIn profile that references your company. If you’re Company Page is incomplete or, worse, nonexistent, you will be missing opportunities for prospects, leads, or prospective employees to find you.

A well developed and maintained presence lends legitimacy to your operation while extending your company’s authority, reach, product awareness and lead generation. It can serve as a clearinghouse for information about your company’s products or service(s) as well as a repository of conversion-centric content.

There are also tangible SEO benefits, with corporate pages often ranking well in search results. Oftentimes a search for ‘Company X’ will return the firm’s home domain and LinkedIn page as top results.

You only get one chance to make a first impression

Overview

The Overview page is where most LinkedIn users will first learn about your company, and a fair amount of that page’s real estate (currently 646 x 220 pixels) is allocated to an image that is the first thing visitors will see when accessing your Company Page. Use an informative and eye catching graphic that reflects your brand and draws people in to learn more about the company.

Below the image is a Summary section where you need to clearly inform visitors about what your company does and why they should become interested in it – in no more than 2,000 characters.

The page also presents the ability to post company updates, showcase a product or service, display job offers, and more. Take the opportunity to include links back to your company website in these entries. They will help you grow traffic, generate leads, and serve as a trusted source for your inbound link building campaign.

Products (or Services)

The Products (or Services) tab is where you can individually highlight the products you sell or services you provide. It is an excellent opportunity to drive traffic back to your content rich website that is optimized to convert visitors into customers (right?). Serve them well and they may return to your LinkedIn Products (or Services) page to provide testimonials and recommendations. Visitors to your LinkedIn Company Pages can read these posts and see who those LinkedIn users are connected to. 70% of people follow links posted by friends and family, adding a personal touch not necessarily provided by your website.

Additionally, every product or service entry can be accompanied by a supporting image which can be further capitalized on by containing a compelling call to action (CTA).

Careers

On the Careers page you can post jobs, feature awards, and highlight your best employees. You can see who has viewed your open positions and assess their potential as a candidate by viewing their individual LinkedIn profiles and connections. A paid subscription is required for the Careers page.

Analytics

The Analytics tab provides statistics about your company pages, followers, and employees.

Page Insights track

  • Page views
  • Page visitor demographics by seniority, industry, function, region, company size, and employee
  • Unique visitors, and
  • Clicks on your products or services page.

Follower Insights provides statistics on:

  • Update engagement by impressions, clicks, interactions, and followers acquired
  • Update reach, and
  • Engagement by clicks, likes, comments, shares, followers acquired, and engagement percentage

With Employee Insights you can find out:

  • Who has a new title
  • Who has recently left the company
  • Previous companies an employee worked for
  • Top skills and expertise an employee has, and
  • Employee recommendations

These metrics provide valuable information about who is visiting your company profile page, content they are engaging with, and the people that help make your company successful.

Groups

While you shouldn’t join groups for their own sake, seek out and join groups in which you can position yourself as an authority. If you’re in the HVAC business, for instance, join groups that welcome HVAC contractors, residential construction firms and so forth.

To clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors, you may wish to start a group of your own. After creating a memorable name and logo, list your group on LinkedIn’s Group Directory and promote it on your company’s blog, Twitter account, Facebook profile and other platforms. If the group’s primary goal is lead generation, send out an email announcement to your mailing list.

Ads, Thought Leadership and More Lead-Generation Strategies

You can also use LinkedIn’s DirectAds, a relatively new feature, to directly target specific buyer personas. While you can’t send these ads to individual users, you can narrow their reach to include only high-value prospects. The bidding and setup processes aren’t much different than those for Facebook or AdWords, so your learning curve should be manageable.

Getting Started

Even if you need to curate content from other thought leaders in your field, which is, after all, a crucial piece of the content marketing puzzle, you should be posting on a regular basis. If you’ll be putting on a relevant event or publishing an important piece of content outside of the LinkedIn ecosystem, don’t be afraid to announce or link to it on your company page. As your company page accumulates followers, use it to broadcast information that’s relevant – and conversion oriented – to your prospects.

  • Post regularly. It is more valuable to your audience if you post one useful piece of content per day then multiple pointless ones.
  • Acknowledge and engage with your audience. Take time to answer questions or comments attached to your company page’s content.
  • Remain professional.
  • Use your company name and logo to interact instead of your individual profile.

Ultimately, using LinkedIn effectively is all about creating and curating useful content. The platform offers a host of powerful tools that allow you to hone in on high-value prospects, peers and potential employees. If you’re new to LinkedIn or haven’t found the time to work on your profile, you shouldn’t expect these tips to produce results overnight. Like any investment in your company’s future, it takes time and effort to maximize your LinkedIn profile’s potential.

(February 2014) By the Numbers: 70 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics Comments Feed

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  1. Pingback: LinkedIn: Why Bother? 7 Reasons Why You Should Be On It. | Nick Lewis Communications

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