With 380 million registered users worldwide, LinkedIn has become the go-to social media network for business professionals. In fact, 35 percent of community members use the network daily. In the last 12 years, LinkedIn has evolved from a resume holder to a robust network of individuals representing more than three million businesses.
Research shows that 50 percent of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on the social platform; thus making it the perfect place to engage with customers, clients and potential partners about what you do best – your business. There are multiple ways to capitalize on these opportunities. Here are my top five for business-to-business brands:
1. Page Maintenance
A Company Page should be maintained on a daily basis by an experienced social media guru/agency. An updated cover photo and biography should be considered to coincide with other marketing materials as campaigns, products or services are launched. Additionally, team members should follow the Company Page and engage with the content according to our “Unwritten Rules of Social Media Courtesy” to demonstrate support and promotion of the page to their personal LinkedIn networks.
A proper evaluation of a company’s LinkedIn audience should be done prior to creating content for the Company Page. There are more than likely a few different audiences involved with an existing Company Page, including employees. Therefore, LinkedIn is a good place to communicate with them about training and tradeshow opportunities they may want to attend.
As engagement with the Page increases, and employees share the company’s LinkedIn content, more users, such as decision makers, will become connected with the Page. The audience can also be targeted with unique messaging to specific, individual groups within the Company Page’s LinkedIn following. This way, employees are informed of training classes while not cluttering decision makers’ news feeds with this information.
3. Post Content
An organization should analyze its competitors to see which types of content are frequently shared on the platform. More likely than not, competitors are not using LinkedIn to its full potential and that your company can use this as an opportunity to create the industry standard by utilizing the Rule of Thirds, a social media strategy that has been successful with other M/C/C clients.
Content should be created on a regular basis around three different types – promotional (products, press releases, company news, etc.), educational (industry news, contributed articles, training updates, etc.) and engaging (fun content including Flashback Fridays or Throwback Thursdays, industry or business quotes, company photos from events, etc.). All of these elements should include photos as often as possible to increase comments by 98 percent among the audience.
4. Use LinkedIn Pulse Publisher
Senior leadership members should publish articles through LinkedIn Pulse Publisher. Company Pages are not allowed to use the LinkedIn Pulse Publisher, but individual users can. After posting an article, a Company Page can share the piece with its LinkedIn network; and the author, as well as other users, can share this content in LinkedIn Groups or on other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook.
This article also becomes searchable on LinkedIn, and as more users interact with the article, the more visibility it will receive. Some articles become so popular from likes, comments and shares that they are included in Pulse emails generated by the social platform and distributed on a weekly basis to a tailored audience with interests in the topic. These articles increase the exposure of your company’s expertise.
LinkedIn does not allow Company Pages to participate in Groups, but the Company Page can feature groups they recommend for users or where their leadership is active. Groups are a wonderful place to network with industry professionals. They can either be private or public, depending on the group administrator’s preferences, and members can discuss relevant topics with other members; promote products or services; post and apply for job openings; review members of the group and search through discussions. This is a good place to promote your team members’ Pulse articles. We recommend executives become involved as much as possible with discussions in groups that are appealing to help drive more users to the Company Page, establish credibility and provide more business leads.
The most important thing to remember when using LinkedIn is that it is a social platform for business professionals. Stray away from posting click-bait links and any other type of content that may be deemed as inappropriate for business. Additional ways to capitalize on LinkedIn should be the use of SlideShare and Lynda.com, though these tactics may not be appropriate for all brands.