If you started neglecting your LinkedIn profile the minute you were hired, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. As the most business-focused of the social media giants, LinkedIn’s 28-million monthly visitors view it as a credible source of product recommendations and industry news and trends. And if you’re still not seeing the potential marketing value here, our survey results on the topic (though now a bit dated) revealed LinkedIn as the social media channel most effective in generating leads.
Here are seven tips to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your LinkedIn, by optimizing your company page, effectively featuring your content, and participating in conversations.
To Optimize Your Company Page:
1. Take advantage of visuals. Over the course of 2012, all the major social networks became noticeably more visual, and LinkedIn is no exception. Create an attractive banner with your logo and value proposition for your company’s home page (for dimensions, check out our rebranding guide). Look for opportunities to incorporate video, such as a client testimonial or a brief tutorial on your product page.
2. Feature your employees. Whether they’re interested in a career or your product, visitors love to catch a glimpse of the people behind your brand, so make sure your employees have linked to your company page in their personal profiles. If you have a Careers page, you can also feature employee testimonials.
3. Use effective language. Our friends at Brainrider, the experts on creating customer-centric content, recently wrote their own post on using LinkedIn for B2B marketing with this advice: “make sure your positioning, key messages, and key words are included and telling your story.” Visitors looking for a career are interested in unique aspects of your company culture, those evaluating your product are interested in the benefits they will see from using it — and a long-winded explanation of what your company does is not going interest anyone. Make sure the description of your company is short, to-the-point, and focused around benefits for your clients and employees.
To Feature Your Content:
4. Explore plugins. It’s important to provide links back to your site and your content whenever possible, and LinkedIn has several plugins that allow you to do this without manual updates. The WordPress plugin, which features links to your five most recent blog posts, and the Slideshare plugin, which features three presentations of your choice, are great places to start.
5. Update statuses. Have a great new white paper or blog post that might be interesting to your LinkedIn followers? Update your status on your company page, personal page, or both. LinkedIn stopped automatically updating statuses based on Twitter posts (presumably to decrease clutter in activity feeds) meaning you’ll have to do this manually, but also meaning that your update will be more targeted and more likely to be seen.
To join the conversation:
6. Participate in groups. LinkedIn groups are a great place for keeping up with industry trends, picking up new ideas, and (most importantly for lead generation purposes) making and asking for product recommendations. A couple things to remember when joining conversations that involve your product:
- Be sure to be upfront that you work for the company (after all, that information is just a click away).
- Link to credible third-party sources that talk about your product.
- Offer a contact for more information instead of leaving a paragraph long pitch on a discussion board.
Not sure what groups to join? Our list of 10 LinkedIn groups for B2B marketers is a good place to start.
7. Create a users group. LinkedIn is all about creating a professionally-focused community, so why not create one of your own? Create a valuable resource for your current clients (and gather valuable feedback on your product) by establishing a forum for users to discuss best practices, obstacles, and new ideas amongst themselves. Monitor the conversation and jump in with advice when appropriate.
What’re some more ways that LinkedIn can be used as a B2B marketing tool? We’d love to hear from your in our comments section!