Simply put, LinkedIn is a professional social media network. It can be a great asset to your company, providing a glimpse of your overall market, prospective employees through recruiting efforts as well as new business opportunities. The potential LinkedIn possesses to help your company is limitless, but if you’re just getting started on the site – it might seem overwhelming. Below you’ll find the steps to take to get started on LinkedIn. Use the platform as part of your social media marketing strategy and use its many tools to build a successful business.
#1 Start with Your Own LinkedIn Profile
Yes, the goal of this article is to utilize LinkedIn for your B2B marketing strategy, but it’s important to first establish your own professional presence. People do business with people. Those who are searching out your company should be able to see the faces that lead and run it.
With the results of that initial search, the user forms a first impression. To boost your profile, post status updates, share articles, provide recommendations and highlight your company’s achievements.
Some LinkedIn users hesitate about adding connections other than those they already know and trust. This is understandable because no one wants spam. However, how do you expect to expand your opportunities and options when you shut off communication to over 85 million LinkedIn users?
Growing connections takes more than just sending out invitations. There are a variety of ways to grow your network using LinkedIn, such as groups, endorsements and recommendations.
- Groups: Take a close look at what your competition is doing. Look specifically at what groups have they joined on LinkedIn, the frequency of their posts and if they’re securing business. You can also use LinkedIn’s searchable group directory to explore target keywords, based on location and industry relevance.
- Endorsements: By endorsing your connections’ skills, they will, in turn, return the favor and increase your credibility.
- Recommendations/Introductions: By recommending people, companies and products, you provide value to the LinkedIn community. This can, in turn, benefit you as others recommend you to potential customers.
When you do send out invitations, add a personalized note. In it, include why you want to connect in order to add some value to making that connection and starting a conversation.
#3 Create a Company Page
Now that you’ve established your personal page, it’s time to attack your company profile. This page is a place to tell your company’s story, values and mission. It’s also an area where you can highlight how your company can help others with your products and services. Some elements of this page should include:
- Banner Image: Make sure this is a high-quality image that represents your business and the image you want to portray. This image will serve as a first impression as users click onto your page.
- Status Updates: Just like your own page, this is an opportunity for you to highlight updates happening in your company, personnel changes and prove your credibility within your industry.
- Company Culture: LinkedIn is a great place to show off the culture you’ve created within your company. Videos and photos can serve as great representations.
Read more about optimizing your company’s page here.
#4 LinkedIn Marketing
An integrated marketing plan and growth strategy should involve both inbound and outbound efforts. LinkedIn provides the best of both worlds with this endeavor. There are several components to consider when integrating LinkedIn into your plan:
- Optimize for SEO: LinkedIn is a search engine that functions similar to Google. Use keywords to ensure your company is found before your competitors in the search results.Wondering what keywords to use? Check out this article.
- Advanced search: The advanced search function on LinkedIn can help you discover the people and organizations you should be connecting with. While premium account holders have multiple options available to them, free users still have extensive access to refined searches which enable them to narrow their efforts and find exactly who they’re looking for. Watch this video to make LinkedIn’s advanced search work for you.
- Call-to-Action: One of the most overlooked elements of an optimized profile is a clear call-to-action. This creates an easy and clear next step outlined for visitors on your page. Typically, this action is a way to get in contact with your company.
- LinkedIn Premium: These plans are offered for a monthly fee, ranging from $64.99 per month for sales professionals and $99.95 per month for recruiters. With this membership, you have the opportunity to generate more leads for your business using LinkedIn Sales Solutions, which can help drive leads and increase sales. Its effectiveness has been frequently debated, so ultimately it comes down to whether or not you feel it would benefit your business.
Social media and online marketing continue to impact B2B businesses. It’s crucial to invest in these strategies with not just money, but time as well. A strong presence, with credible and quality content, will do wonders for your business. For more social marketing tips, check out our blog on social care.