LinkedIn has always been the underdog of social media. However, over the last 2 years, it has risen rapidly in popularity and it now has over 610 million members, with 303 million active monthly users, 40% of which visit the site daily. 90 million users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are decision-makers. Finally, it has proven its worth as a powerful B2B marketing tool.
The power of LinkedIn over other social platforms is its specificity – meaning it empowers users to be hyper-targeted in their outreach and content marketing strategy. As a result, an effective LinkedIn campaign can have a very high return on investment.
The first step to any successful LinkedIn marketing campaign starts with setting goals and establishing your target audience. Are you looking for business leads? Do you want to hire a new employee? Do you need to find a new job? Define your goals and who you want to reach first.
Once you have established your goals and target audience, you need to address 3 different aspects of your LinkedIn marketing:
- Profile Optimisation – Ensure your personal and company profiles are up to date and that their full potential to achieve your goals is maximised.
- Content Marketing – Ensure you communicate and share quality and relevant mix-media content on the platform daily to appeal to your target audience.
- Sales Outreach – Ensure you are using effective tools and methods to reach out to potential customers, employees or employers.
Here is my top advice to maximise your business on LinkedIn according to the above 3 categories:
Before diving into content creation, it is paramount that you improve or even revamp your LinkedIn profile. Let’s start with the obvious, use a professional high-quality profile picture. If you’re running a company page and your logo is too big to be clearly visible, think about how you can scale down the design. Think of how Disney, Starbucks or Chanel do this.
Apart from your photo, the first thing viewers look at is your headline. Instead of just writing your job title – as most people do – showcase your speciality speaking directly to the audience you want to reach. Entice people to take a closer look at you by being specific and attention-grabbing. Go for “Reliable babysitter that will report on the mischievous acts of your kids” rather than “Babysitter at ….”. For company pages, make sure that besides specificity, you focus on reflecting your company values and mission in your headline. “Making the elderly smile since 1999” is way more alluring than “Elderly entertainment services”. Grab attention in your headline, there’s more room to elaborate on what exactly you do as a person or business in your summary.
Make sure that your summary doesn’t sound too academic either. Tell your story rather than laying out your resume. We’re all more interested in people than we are in plain facts. Let your audience get to know you or your business in an informative and engaging way. Another thing you should focus on is getting quality recommendations. They boost your credibility and give meaningful insights to your audience.
Lastly, let’s talk about SEO! Regardless of how you phrase your profile items, you should do these two things to improve your discoverability.
- Optimize your profile for keywords, especially your headline. How? Let’s say you’re looking for a job. Find 5-10 job ads for the position you’re interested in and get an online word cloud tool such as wordle or wordclouds up and running. See which words get commonly used and implement them across your profile! Other great tools to find out what keywords are great for your industry are Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush.
- Get your proprietary LinkedIn URL! Click on “View profile” and “Edit public profile & URL”.
There is more to LinkedIn than just having a fully optimised profile and company page. Like other social media platforms, sharing quality and relevant mix-media content on a regular basis and interacting with other people’s content is crucial. See it as an effective way of “warming up” potential new business leads.
Like other social platforms, hashtags are also important on LinkedIn (up to 5 hashtags per post is recommended). In particular, the mechanism to follow hashtags specific to your industry via your company page allows for trending industry content to show up as a notification. This empowers you to interact, monitor and share industry content in real-time.
Another overlooked factor of LinkedIn, especially with regards to your company page, is the power of employee advocacy. In order to increase the reach and impact of your company posts, it is crucial for your team to share your company updates on their personal profiles. They don’t have to share every single one but advocacy from your team members will boost brand awareness. LinkedIn has a functionality that allows you to notify employees when you post new content. Use it!
A fully optimised company profile page and a robust content marketing strategy are both key to effective sales outreach. However, it doesn’t end there. A highly targeted and personalised InMail campaign takes your sales strategy even further. The two LinkedIn tools that can help you with this are LinkedIn “Advanced Search Function” and their InMail messaging system. Remember you need to warm up your audience first before sending them sales message, however, personalised introductory email can be effective. If you are considering an InMail campaign then you may want to consider upgrading to a premium account.
There is so much to say about LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking for work or promoting your business, you need to focus on standing out from the crowd. LinkedIn’s user base is growing which means that there is more competition. Optimizing your profile and putting in the work to keep your page running takes time and effort, but is well worth it in the end. The magic is in the specific, and you wield the wand. There’s no time to waste! Get your profile in order and start exploring all features of LinkedIn such as LinkedIn Groups and InMail. Don’t wait for success to happen, you have to create and foster it. I hope these tips will help you warm up your leads and reach your goals!