By Hilary Bird, Marketing Manager at Consensus, @Hilbonix
LinkedIn and B2B Marketing:
For those of us marketers in the business to business (B2B) realm, we know that LinkedIn is consistently pulling through as the strongest social tool for bringing in new qualified leads. But in order for LinkedIn to be your strongest tool, you have to know how to use it in the most effective ways. That’s why the marketing department here at Consensus has put together the top ten tips for leveraging LinkedIn for business (from an organic approach).
1. Create a Company Page
Creating a company page gives people another avenue for learning about your company. You can build a solid following if you’re posting good content, which helps build your company’s online authority as well as reputational authority. If you’re just starting your company page, ask your company to “follow” the page before sharing it with the rest of the world. This way, it’s more assuring to others when your company page already has a decent following.
2. Post Worthy Content
Post entertaining, educational, newsworthy and/or informal content on your company page. Share blogs, articles, videos or infographics from your industry’s thought leaders. These posts should outweigh self-promotional posts by 80/20 ratio.
3. DON’T Hashtag or Tag People
LinkedIn doesn’t operate like Twitter and Facebook - hashtags and tagging people using the “@” symbol don’t create links.
4. Use Intriguing Meta Descriptions
If you’re posting an article, a video, an infographic or something along those lines, LinkedIn automatically adds a meta description text box next to the content piece in the post when you paste the link into the post text box. For example:
Make sure the description and meta-description are different. Both should be no more than a couple of sentences long. They should describe what the content piece is and why our audience should care about reading it.
5. Use Images
Images are always more engaging than text-based posts. If you’re copy and pasting a link into your post text box, sometimes an image will automatically be included in the post. If not, LinkedIn lets you upload your own image to any posts. Always take advantage of this feature.
6. Interact with Posts
To help make your company page look more active, try “liking”, commenting on, or sharing company posts through your personal LinkedIn account. It also expands your company page’s exposure because all of your personal contacts will see your interaction with the page through their news feed. Encourage your coworkers to practice this too.
7. Create a Showcase Page
The purpose of your company page is to focus on your company and industry. The purpose of showcase pages are to focus on your company’s product(s) - new features, updates, related stories, etc. It’s a chance to let you get a little more self promotional about your product and what it offers, as well as opening up a discussion area for talking product specifics. It also creates another entry point for new audiences to find your company.
8. Create a Discussion Group
Creating a discussion group is an awesome way to bring in new audiences without advertising yourself. Especially if your company is defining a new category in your industry, this is a huge opportunity to help people recognize their pain points surrounding your product. Sometimes they have a need for your product and they aren’t even aware of it. Check out social media coach Janet Fouts’ post on LinkedIn discussion group best practices. Also, having it’s good to have the manager of the discussion group be the “maker” of your product or company - it helps add a sense of legitimacy to the group.
9. Post on Schedule
Create consistency with the timing of your posts. Ideally, posting between noon and early evening is best for all social media platforms. As Chron.com writes, “Early evening, starting between 5 P.M. to 6 P.M. is another great time of the day to publish content to LinkedIn, because you are catching users at the end of their work day.” Developing a schedule helps your audience know what to expect from you, which builds trust.
10. Publish Posts
LinkedIn recently changed its settings so that anyone can publish articles on to Pulse. Previously, only LinkedIn Influencers or thought leaders had the ability to post. Consider using your already-existing blog posts or articles (or better yet, create new ones) to publish on your personal LinkedIn account. Then, share that post onto your company page. This helps build your personal authority on LinkedIn and gives your company page fresh content to post.
Looking to optimize more of your social media presence? Check out our 10 Tips for Twitter Business Marketing.