Welcome to the second instalment of our B2B social media masterclass. In our previous blog we looked at leveraging Twitter, which has been adapted by businesses for B2B, marketing and networking purposes.
Today we will look at LinkedIn, specifically developed to offer powerful B2B and professional networking opportunities. With a new profile created every second, LinkedIn has become an essential resource for businesses today and its influence is likely to increase following the recent news that LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft in a $26.2 billion deal.
Given its value to the professional world, it’s vital for all businesses to know how to get the most out of LinkedIn. Here are 10 tips to help maximise your LinkedIn potential.
1. Complete your profile and make it attractive
As with any website or social media channel, visuals are everything. As key influencers will be visiting your page, it is crucial to make sure both your own profile and company business contain attractive images and branding, as well as up-to-date and complete content. It may seem like common sense, but you’d be amazed by the amount of people who miss this basic step.
You should also add in links to some of your web pages and blog content before venturing out to find the people you want to target.
2. Begin from within
Before you go out head-hunting for those key influencers and potential business contacts, promote LinkedIn within your own organisation. Encourage all staff to link in with the company page if and ask them to like and share content. This will help build up interested followers and demonstrates an engaged staff base.
3. Tailor your content
Once your profile is complete, you can now search for key contacts that may be of strategic importance to your organisation. Connect with them and produce content that is specifically created to appeal to their interests. This will increase the likelihood of them reading and sharing your content, therefore increasing the reach of your posts.
4. Add that personal touch
Consider using your own personal LinkedIn page to boost your company’s visibility. Look to make links with key influencers within your industry, especially those you would like to do business with. You can like and share content from the company page, as well as links to the website.
5. Feel the Pulse
The LinkedIn Pulse platform is a publishing tool that delivers your content directly to followers and notifies them of new posts. It’s a fantastic opportunity to add blog content from your site, modified to suit the style of LinkedIn Pulse. ‘How to’ posts and ‘listicles’ work very well.
The feature is not available on company pages, however, if your personal account is linked to your business account through your bio, your posts will raise the profile of your company, too.
Make sure you use some good, high quality images and plenty of links to your own website and external articles throughout the piece. Finally, add relevant tags at the bottom so it reaches the correct target audience.
To add a blog, visit the LinkedIn.com/pulse home page and click on the ‘Publish a post’ button in the top right corner.
6. Post well, post often
Try not to bombard your followers with content. Instead, aim for one or two well thought-out, good quality posts per day. Make sure posts are rich with relevant keywords and that they are published at optimum times. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite can help; its ‘auto schedule’ function analyses when your previous LinkedIn posts gained the most engagement and schedules future posts accordingly.
7. It’s best to come recommended
We all know just how powerful client or customer recommendation can be. If you receive any sort of testimonial, ask if the person providing it would be happy to post it on LinkedIn, too. The more positive reflections you have on your LinkedIn page, the more likely it is that companies will want to network with you as you’ll be seen as a trustworthy place to do business with.
8. The power of groups
Company pages cannot join groups, but there’s nothing stopping you or your employees from doing so with your branding attached to profiles. Identify and apply to join relevant groups, then share your blog content and discuss issues relating to your industry. If there isn’t a group set up that you feel would be relevant to your organisation, set it up yourself and own it.
9. Share useful content
Bombarding followers with constant sales pitches will ultimately alienate them and your page will lose effectiveness as a result. Instead, create content that will be seen as helpful and insightful. Followers will start to view your company as an industry ‘thought leader’, thus increasing your brand’s credibility.
10. Engage with others and spread their word
When you have identified other businesses you wish to build a relationship with, it’s worth liking and sharing their content from your company page. Your engagement will be visible to them and their followers and they’re more likely to share and engage with your LinkedIn posts as a result.
If you have any queries or comments regarding our LinkedIn Masterclass, or if you would like us to tackle any other PR/Communications subjects in our blog, please let us know via the comments section below.