Unleash the Power of this Social Network
Back in the “old days” (like, five years ago), LinkedIn was simply a place to connect with people and look for jobs. But like all the other social media networks, it’s evolved a lot over the last several years, and with impressive results. Social Media Today cites a report from this past October showing that “LinkedIn drives significantly more traffic to corporate websites than all the other social platforms combined.”
So the question is this: are you getting the most out of LinkedIn for your business? Here are six things to consider.
1. Make sure you have a company profile and a personal profile. You should set up a keyword-rich company page for people to follow, but you and your employees should have individual profiles as well. Encourage your employees to spend some time on LinkedIn each week and ask them to like, comment, and share the updates you make on the company page. Even 10-15 minutes a day can be useful. Read more on rocking your LinkedIn company page here.
2. Encourage product reviews. On your company page, you can have a products and/or services tab. This is a great place to list your products/services and to ask your customers to recommend them and write reviews. Reviews and recommendations provide two benefits: first, the next time someone visits this tab, he or she will see the recommendations/reviews, which can be extremely compelling and persuasive. Second, when people recommend your product/service, the recommendation will be shared with their LinkedIn networks, which helps increase your reach.
Need more evidence that product reviews can help business? According to Wishpond, a company that provides social media marketing software, “87% of LinkedIn users trust the product-related information on LinkedIn.”
So how and when should you remind customers about the fact they can recommend your products on LinkedIn?
- Use your email newsletters. Create a “review us on LinkedIn” call to action button that you include in your monthly communications with customers.
- Don’t forget your website. Create a “Read and review our products on LinkedIn” call to action button on the products and services pages of your website.
- Ask people directly. If you have a satisfied customer, ask the person if she/he is on LinkedIn. If yes, ask the person to consider writing a review and then email the person a link to your LinkedIn company page.
3. Become a thought leader through your involvement in LinkedIn Groups. The key to success with LinkedIn Groups is to make it all about the other folks in the group, not yourself or your company. This is the place where you give back to the community. Give your advice, insights, and expertise without expecting anything in return.
The goal here is help others, and, in doing so, you’ll help solidify the fact that you’re an expert in your field. Do this long enough and people WILL notice—people who could potentially become customers down the road and/or people who might call on your expertise in some other way, like contributing a guest article to a publication, using you as a source in an article, or requesting that you deliver a keynote address at a conference. By hanging out in relevant groups, you’ll also find ideas and topics for your own content creation needs.
Here are four great resources on LinkedIn Groups:
- Groups – Getting Started – LinkedIn Help Center
- 5 Ways to Get Noticed by Joining LinkedIn Conversations – PayScale
- LinkedIn Redesigns Group Pages – Mashable
- 7 Things You Can Get Out of LinkedIn Groups When You Get Into ‘Em – Social Media Today
4. Share relevant, interesting content on your company page. If you build it, they might come. But if you want them to return and to stay, you need to feed them regularly with interesting, shareable content. How? Here are some ideas:
- Ask questions.
- Share interesting articles, along with an editorial comment from someone within your organization.
- Do shout-outs to team members, vendors, and customers.
- Quote an excerpt from a customer testimonial or product review.
- Share a white paper (or some other valuable content), right in the status update (you can attach a file).
- Engage, engage, engage. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, people expect you to “talk shop” on LinkedIn. You know your business and industry inside/out. Share this knowledge and get conversations started.
The goal with this is two-fold: you want to get people commenting and taking part in discussions right on your company page. And you want people to share your updates with their networks to expand your reach.
5. Use it for lead generation. Did you know you could add calls-to-action buttons on your LinkedIn page that point back to your site? Did you know you could do paid “InMail” campaigns that are extremely targeted? Well, you can, along with a bunch of other lead-gen strategies. This article from Social Media Examiner outlines everything you need to know.
6. Measure results. Of course, you need to make sure the effort you’re putting into LinkedIn is paying off, and one important way to do that is by measuring your page’s performance. This past summer, LinkedIn introduced its new company page analytics. See the video below for more info.
How do you use LinkedIn to market your business? Share in the comments!