Why, and how, you should consider using LinkedIn to market your business
5th November 2011
Once dismissed as a recruitment site, LinkedIn is now looking increasingly relevant as a B2B marketing tool and many organisations are making use of LinkedIn to increase their reach, engage their audiences and generate new business. Despite this many more organisations are failing to exploit the opportunities it offers. Here’s a few thoughts on why, and how, you should consider using LinkedIn to market your business.
Who is using LinkedIn and why?
LinkedIn continues to be known for job seeking and networking but now, thanks to a number of improvements, there is also a substantial professional audience using it to access content, look up information on clients and suppliers and engage in discussions with industry peer groups.
According to Vincenzo Cosenza “the most represented industries are hi-tech (17%), finance (14%) and manufacturing (10%), while sales (12%), academics (10%), administrative (10%) are the most common job functions.” May 2011
LinkedIn’s growth has been impressive. It has left competitors in the shade with a global expansion programme that has seen membership reach over 100 million. With roughly one third of these users accessing the site in any given month, the evidence suggests that LinkedIn offers rich territory for marketers.
Five Tips to help your business make the most of LinkedIn
If you look at your LinkedIn page analytics (available when you log in) you may well be pleasantly surprised. If you are seeing traffic then it’s worth investing a little time and effort and giving your profile a spring-clean to make sure that your information is up to date. You could also try one of the following tactics:
1. Promote your Products or Services and generate leads
Products and Services pages offer a simple way of exposing greater detail about your company offering so if you have not created one yet don’t waste time as this is a quick and simple win. Once you have completed your product and service profile you will also have the capability to add a promotional carousel too – using graphic banners you can signpost users to other social platforms or to your website or blog. See how Linked In use theirs.
2. Use Company Status Updates to engage your audience
We’re all familiar with idea of using Twitter and Facebook to engage with our audiences but now you can update your company followers on LinkedIn in the same way. It’s early days yet but given the targeted nature of the audience we expect increasingly distinctive uses of the LinkedIn company status. More on Company Status Updates
3. Promote your digital and social marketing activity through your page
There’s a lot you can do with your profile page. You can connect your profile with a Twitter feed, add Youtube videos and install apps that display your blogs, portfolios and presentations. With just a few minutes work you can give your visitors a much fuller picture of your brand and personality. More on company pages
4. Start a discussion group and get people talking
Managed and moderated effectively LinkedIn discussion groups offer a great way to engage with your audience. This is especially relevant if you run events and want to maintain dialogue between times. Alternatively create a user forum or encourage debate on hot industry topics, the possibilities are endless. You don’t need to worry about privacy either, you can opt to make your group open to all or choose a closed discussion to keep recruiters and competitors at bay. Connecting a Twitter feed or a #tag is a great way of connecting your discussion with what’s going on elsewhere. More on discussion groups
5. Incorporate LinkedIn in your advertising campaigns
Similarly to Facebook, LinkedIn now offers a self-serve advertising platform. Following the principles of Pay Per Click advertising you can effectively target professional segments using selections like location, income, job title and industry. Given the limitations of email and the competitiveness of Adwords; LinkedIn offers a useful and highly targeted alternative. What’s more if you are campaigning at scale LinkedIn offer a number of enhanced ad products including one that leverages the power of customer recommendations. More on LinkedIn advertising
So what are you waiting for, your audience is waiting for you…