As vitamin B5 is essential to all forms of life, LinkedIn is essential to marketing. Even if you are on LinkedIn, you may be under-utilizing it as a visibility-expanding, traffic-driving, lead-generating marketing tool for your business.
Kicking your marketing up a notch using LinkedIn is easy. Below, I share 5 of our favorite LinkedIn usage tips to help inject energy into your company (and personal) marketing efforts.
1. Your Company Page: A Business Welcome Mat
LinkedIn is built around individual profiles, but don’t ignore your company page – it provides a crucial first impression. By completing your company’s profile, uploading your branded cover image, and sharing important news, it becomes the welcome mat to your services, your website, and to potential leads.
A great component of the company page is its built-in measurement tools showing activity and engagement insight. You can see the efficacy of your shared updates (likes, shares, comments) along with the reach of your shared posts.
Your employees can also act as company ambassadors, sharing your company page updates. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Sync Up With Your Employees
Your company page is all set up and you’re ready to share news and updates, but there’s more. Visitors to your page want to see who works for your company. When your employees connect themselves with your company, it demonstrates loyalty, establishes optical credibility to visitors, and begins to shape a corporate culture that prospective recruits can assess.
Employees associated with your company should be encouraged to share company updates. According to Forbes, people are more likely to like your company’s feed if the updates are shared by your employees.
When someone visits a company page, a list of associated employees also shows up on the right, lending an added layer of legitimacy. And you don’t want your company of 50+ employees to look like a one-man show.
When your employees associate with your company, a link from their profile to yours exists. Their profile will then direct traffic to the company page, and ultimately to your website. And this is a beautiful thing.
How To Do It:
Craft an email to your employees explaining that they have an opportunity to be company ambassadors who can help strengthen the visibility of the company. Include the following quick instructions on how they can connect their profile with your company:
If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, we encourage you to make sure you’re correctly associating your profile with [COMPANY NAME]. Here’s how:
- Move your cursor over Profile in the navigation bar and select Edit Profile.
- Scroll down to the Experience section and click a position to edit.
- Click the Change Company link next to existing company name.
- Begin typing in [COMPANY NAME] – you will then see the company automatically appear as an option in a drop-down list. SELECT IT.
- Click Save.
3. Thought Leadership DIY: Your Own Library Shelf
In my previous post “5 Key Tips for Consistent Content Marketing”, I mentioned that good content consists of both trending content AND evergreen content, which has a longer shelf life.
Your personal LinkedIn profile comes with a great self-publishing marketing tool called Pulse; a personal “library shelf” where you can quickly publish evergreen thought leadership content that will be visible in the “Posts” section of your profile. Your posts act as an extension of your resume, show your writing abilities, and reflect your company’s brand.
In terms of content avoid the hard-sell and instead focus on taking a unique perspective to inform your readers on a specific topic with a longer shelf life.
Be sure to include a call-to-action in each post (e.g. an invite for a free consultation or a link to special resources on your website). Pulse posts are readily measurable, shareable, and, if the content is evergreen – re-shareable.
Pulse Post Tips:
- Create an attention-getting headline geared to attract your target audience.
- Include an interesting header image (that you can legitimately use).
- Keep posts to a reasonable length (under 1,200 words).
- Include links to other posts as well as a clear call-to-action.
- Include a synopsis of who you are, your title, company, and website URL.
- Recommended posting frequency: once a week, bi-weekly, or monthly.
4. Your Custom URL = Legit Street Cred
If you haven’t claimed your custom URL, you’ll want to do so, and ensure that it includes your name (e.g. http://linkedin.com/in/sarahmcnabb). If you come in contact with a lot of leads, especially in a B2B role, this is important. Perhaps you’re planning a meeting with a potential client who has not yet met you – you’ll want to make it easy for them to learn about you before your meeting. While many potential clients will simply Google your name, by having a custom LinkedIn URL that actually contains your name, there is a greater chance that your LinkedIn profile will rank higher in Google search results.
How To Do It:
- From the Profile header click “Edit Profile”
- Under your photo, hover your mouse over your gray LinkedIn URL – a small gear icon should be visible to the right of this URL. Click this gear icon.
- On the upper right section of the next screen is a Public Profile URL box.
- Follow prompts to claim your custom URL.
5. Be a Groupie
LinkedIn offers you the ability to market yourself in numerous ways. One way is by joining highly targeted LinkedIn Groups. Join groups to strengthen your network, participate in relevant business conversations, and see what your peers are discussing.
Groups offer private and exclusive forums and can be open (accepting your request to join immediately) or closed (requiring permission). You can also send members of the group direct messages as well as initiate discussions within the group page.
Additionally, you can start your own LinkedIn Group on behalf of an industry organization or company, thus demonstrating your leadership by moderating a space for the thoughtful exchange of ideas.
Tips for Starting a LinkedIn Group
- Incorporate branding into your group profile and include a brand logo.
- Create a mission statement that outlines why the group exists.
- Use targeted keywords in the group title to boost organic search rankings.
- Create clear guidelines and rules.
To ensure that your personal and company brand marketing engines are running up to speed it’s necessary to include LinkedIn as one of your mechanisms. Of the many ways to reap marketing benefits from LinkedIn, we find these 5 to be the quickest to accomplish in order to provide a more immediate boost your marketing power.
Does your marketing need booster shot? Contact us today!
Sarah McNabb is Chief Marketing Officer at Gate 39 Media, a financial services marketing firm providing online marketing and application development for financial services across futures, equities, alternative investments and insurance.
Follow Sarah on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahMcNabb2016