I have had to build my fair share of social strategies and it’s no walk in the park. Social Media channels are growing and ever-changing, not to mention that new channels are emerging every day. These changes are daunting and present just as many new business opportunities as challenges.
Why should LinkedIn be a part of your digital marketing strategy?
By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence; two new members will have joined LinkedIn. With over 313 million members worldwide and growing – it’s the largest social network for professionals. With LinkedIn’s growing global presence in a world consumed by social networking, it simply can’t be ignored.
High impact, low resource requirements
It’s difficult and equally important – to carefully choose which social channels will be a part of your digital strategy. This is more of an art than a science, which requires you to evaluate the potential ROI of each social channel and choose channels that compliment your available resources.
For example, have you ever asked yourself if it makes sense to build a company page on Facebook? If you aren’t equipped with a huge budget or a boss that encourages the “Post and Pray” method, chances are it won’t have the impact you are looking for. With Facebook’s new (and often changing) algorithms they are finding ways to make organic engagement more and more difficult.
For the companies who seek to thrive on organic content and who are interested in measuring their engagement it would be a huge missed opportunity to ignore LinkedIn as a key piece of your digital marketing strategy.
Check out these 4 tips that will get you on the right track to building an All-Star LinkedIn presence for your business…
1. Build a Company Page Now!
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn Company Page- get one.
A LinkedIn Company Page provides an opportunity for you to:
- Showcase your brand and tell your story
- Share rich, relevant content through status updates
- Engage with followers
- Leverage robust targeting capabilities
- Measure your results through the built in engagement analytics dashboard
- Be searchable by LinkedIn members (make sure you optimize your page content)
2. Get an All-Star Profile
Every employee profile linked to your company page is an extension of your brand. In some cases employee profiles may even be the first point of contact with your brand. To maximize your LinkedIn presence and build credibility for your brand it is important that you and your employees have an All-Star Profile. How can you get an All-Star Profile?
- Use a professional photo (No selfies or duck faces) you’re 11x more likely to be viewed than a profile that has no photo
- Use a professional headline-branding is critical and support it in your summary
- Optimize your location, your title, your interests, skills, content carefully consider every word on your profile
- Customize your profile URL and share it like a business card
- Share company status updates and content relevant to your area of expertise (give people a reason to want to connect with you)
- Build credible recommendations
- Build your online network from real relationships
3. Encourage your employees to be your brand advocates.
According to Forbes, a 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer survey that collected data from more than 30,000 people found “that regular rank-and-file company employees have more credibility than executives.” This means your employees are your best brand advocates and will have more success when engaging with your target audience. It is imperative that your employees indicate that they work for you on their profile so that they can automatically become followers (see all company updates on their news feed) and can like, comment on, and share your company updates to help expand your reach.
Nurture brand advocates by:
- Encouraging your employees to grow their professional network (this is a win-win for employees and companies)
- Asking them to share company updates and add value by writing comments
- Encourage Subject Matter Experts to write their own LinkedIn long form posts A.K.A Blogs (with guidance and support from your marketing team)
- Encourage them to engage with prospective clients through in-mails and adding existing clients
4. Build and nurture your relationships.
The art of social media marketing is based on a simple concept, don’t just sell, build relationships. Professionals using LinkedIn want to engage with companies that provide relevant content, share their expertise and are thought leaders.
You have the ability to generate business leads and nurture customer relationships through relevant content, targeted by geography, industry, function, language, seniority, group members etc. Feed your audience content that makes sense for them and they will be more likely to engage with you via LinkedIn. Connect with your audience through:
- Company Status updates– choose your images wisely and always make sure to target to the appropriate audience (this will allow for accurate engagement metrics). Be sure to check out Pulse for articles and content on LinkedIn that might be worth sharing through your company page (make sure you read the article first and it is credible)
- Long form posts-use LinkedIn as a blogging platform to share content in your industry of expertise and showcase your company’s value-add
- Engage in Group conversations-join groups related to your industry or target market (i.e. if you sell engineering software join groups with a large professional engineer membership) and engage in conversations just make sure you don’t self-promo your content to the point that people feel you’re controlling
- Follow Influencers in your industry- add influencers in your industry because they are recognized thought leaders that generate great content. Share their blogs by linking it in company status update but be sure to add-value by providing context as to why you shared it.
Join the LinkedIn conversation in person!
Be sure to register for the Marketing Copilot workshop on “How to make social media a useful business tool” February 5th in Richmond Hill or February 6th in Toronto. We will further discuss how to build an All-Star LinkedIn presence for your business and I will share some social insights and experiences.
About the Author: Ashley Mayhew is a Social Media Coordinator in Employee Experience at TD Bank Group. After completing a Masters of Industrial Relations and Human Resources Ashley became experienced in Social Media Marketing through creating digital strategies in the B2B space, and Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding. She has had the pleasure to work closely with LinkedIn and has tested many of these LinkedIn strategies in different environments, which she recommends here with outstanding results. All ideas in this post are her own.