What are others doing you ask?
According to a 2014 research report from the Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn is 4th on the popularity list with business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers and has grown from 51% last year to 71% this year:
While noting that LinkedIn has long been used by B2B marketers, they suggest that the increased adoption of LinkedIn is because brands feel they need to have a presence there to be competitive. They also point to LinkedIn’s increased emphasis on non-promotional editorial content through its Influencer program, and add that SlideShare integration makes LinkedIn ideal for sharing market research.
In additional to the typical job search and background check functions, a Forbes article titled Five LinkedIn Strategies You Haven’t Thought Of Before mentions using LinkedIn for scoping out the competition, and using LinkedIn polls to do market research and get product or service feedback. Their included infographic points to LinkedIn’s power to help forge relationships with new customers and to increase brand awareness:
PR Daily Europe state that more and more valuable content is being published straight to LinkedIn and have an informative 10 tips for LinkedIn publishing based on an analysis of the 3,000 most successful posts.
What might you do?
Social Media Examiner’s marketing plan for LinkedIn provides some useful pointers:
- Build a LinkedIn company page as a logical extension of your website. You should link from your website and other social media presences to your LinkedIn profile and you should promote your business site or blog from within LinkedIn.
- Launch a company or industry-specific LinkedIn Group.
- Get your employees actively involved and provide the content that they can edit and share. Ask them to create a LinkedIn profile and link to each other – it’s a logical way to extend your network.
- Consider paid ads or sponsored updates.
- Analyse and adjust. Use LinkedIn’s insights and statistics and also your own website analytics to track referred traffic.
Here’s a brief 90 second video from LinkedIn themselves:
On LinkedIn’s marketing solutions blog a HubSpot guest blogger states that in 2013, 43% of marketers found a customer via LinkedIn, and that in their experience LinkedIn generated a much better visitor-to-lead conversion rate than either Twitter or Facebook. They go on to offer the following recommendations:
- Use analytics, including what LinkedIn has provided, to track impressions and actions, to check which content results in the most activity and which posts end in click-throughs and conversions.
- Use thoughtful content to start conversations.
- Target posts using the options available and consider using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates feature.
- Mix in lead generation content.
- Make the most of the products and services section including recommendations and testimonials.
- Use your reviews and recognise recommenders.
On Hubspot’s own blog, under Inbound Marketing, they have an informative post on using LinkedIn for lead generation.
Social Media Marketing provide LinkedIn marketing tips for small business under the following headings:
- Boosting your SEO.
- Promoting your blog.
- Creating ad campaigns.
- Using LinkedIn event planning.
- Using groups to connect with others.
- Getting recommendations to attract new customers.
Numerous additional links to websites and blogs offering LinkedIn marketing advice are provided in this Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Marketing blog post.
Parting Thoughts: A Little Time & Effort
Taking advantage of most LinkedIn functionality does not require a financial investment but you do need to consider the amount of time that will be required to properly set up and maintain your profile and company page. You also need to start building your network using your existing list of contacts from current and former jobs, and potential contacts from the larger LinkedIn community.