How Marketers Are Using LinkedIn to Gain More Than a New Job

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:

B2C Marketers Social Media

Source: Content Marketing Institute

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:

How Has LinkedIn Helped You

Source: power+formula 2013 LinkedIn User Survey

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.

    LinkedIn Company Pages

    Source: power+formula 2013 LinkedIn User Survey

  • 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.

Linked In Group

Source: Pixabay

Top 10 Tips for Using Twitter to Market Your Irish SME

Congratulations! Apparently, along with roughly 27% of Irish people and some 61% of Irish businesses, you are now tweeting.


Source: Pixabay

Now how do you take off?

Twitter has a nice site for small businesses which contains several informative short videos:

and a dedicated blog.

Might I suggest…

  1. Fill in the basics
    Choose a Twitter account name and images that are consistent with your brand and have the same look and feel as your other online presences. Some small businesses use the business name for their account and then a personal profile photo. Your Twitter profile header is a larger background image where you can tell your business story, include a logo etc.
  2. Then add the detail
    Complete your Twitter account profile. Tell people where they can find you by including location info. Share a website address. Complete the 160 character bio.
  3. Follow others
    Be selective but there should be obvious choices and some opportunities for networking – customers, colleagues, suppliers, contractors, trade or professional organisations, other local businesses, and businesses run by people you know.
  4. Then tweet
    Listen first. Then retweet, reply and finally start tweeting. Avoid the hard sell. Give people useful info and answer their questions. Focus on how your product or service can benefit them. With only 140 characters to work with every word should count. Read up on hashtags – they identify a common topic or theme in tweets – and consider creating a hashtag unique to what you do.
  5. Push traffic to your website 
    Create a tweet around a link to your website with a message that compels people to click. Twitter’s link shortener will reduce your URL to a manageable length.
  6. Then integrate
    Make sure your Twitter account is included with all other social media info on your website – Twitter has a Follow button you can add. They also provide a widget which allows you to share a tweet timeline with website visitors. You can add a Tweet This button to a blog post or web page. You can even embed a tweet in a post.
  7. Add photos and videos
    You don’t need to be a professional photographer with a fancy camera – your phone will do. People like visuals so get into the habit of taking photos of business activities that you can share. You cannot add video directly from Twitter – upload it to another service like YouTube first and then link to it in a tweet.
  8. Then go mobile
    Android and iOS apps allow you to easily send and receive tweets. You can set up Twitter push notifications on your smartphone so you know when people mention you, someone retweets you or you get a new follower.
  9. Use lists
    As the number of people you follow grows you may want to separate them into groups. That’s where Twitter lists come in. Lists allow you to see tweets from list members as a separate Twitter timeline. You can make a list public (people know when they’ve been added or deleted and they can follow your list) or private (people don’t know they’re on it and only you can see the list timeline). Consider separate lists for customers, nearby businesses, people you talk with most often etc.
  10. And think local
    Twitter connects you globally but don’t neglect those right beside you. Most businesses need local customers – people who live and/or work near you. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find them and the Places box to identify your location. Then add them to a ‘potential customer’ list and start engaging with them.

Then it’s time to dig deeper – here’s an article from Social Media Examiner on 6 analytics tools to help you improve your marketing.

Parting Thoughts: Twitter Advertising

Promoted Tweets Promoted Accounts


Twitter’s ad setup is straightforward. There are two categories: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.

Promoted tweets are ideal when you want to target an upcoming event, new product, deal or contest. On the other hand, if your goal is building an audience, promoting your account may be the most efficient method as you’ll pay only when you add new followers. It’s probably worth testing whether promoting a specific message or having more followers (who may then of course see multiple tweets) is more advantageous for your business.

You can opt to target by keyword, which allows you to focus on those who search, tweet about or otherwise reference a specific term. You can also target by interests and followers, thereby reaching those who fall into specific interest groups (like current affairs or football) or those who follow specific accounts — a perfume brand might want to target users who in turn follow accounts that tweet about beauty. You can also target by gender or geography.

And Twitter’s ad products are equipped with analytics so you can know how your campaigns are doing.

Facebook – Playing by Their Rules Matters

First off relax and take a deep breath. There are millions of pages on Facebook and being banned is a rare occurrence. That said, there are rules. Claiming you were unaware of their existence is a feeble excuse. Hoping nobody ever reports a violation is wishful thinking. Assuming that Facebook hasn’t the resources to monitor every page is taking an unnecessary risk.

CautionCaution: in researching this topic I came across multiple blog entries on Facebook rules which were out of date – understandable perhaps given that those rules are changed frequently – so I do strongly recommend that you periodically refer back to Facebook’s own published pages terms.

Promotion Guidelines

On August 27, 2013, Facebook published an article on their ‘Facebook for Business’ site titled It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook, outlining a significant relaxation of their rules.

Previously there were 7 rules. Now there are just 4:

  1. You are responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion, including the official rules, any offer terms and eligibility requirements, and compliance with applicable regulations.
  2. Promotions must include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant and acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook.
  3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps. Personal Timelines must not be used to run promotions (e.g. ‘share on your Timeline to enter’).
  4. Facebook will not assist in promotion administration and if you use their service to run a promotion you do so at your own risk.

Facebook released a video explaining their new terms:

and made available a short Promotion Guidelines document.

Cover Photo Rules

According to, on July 1, 2013 Facebook scrapped its rule that cover images on pages could not contain more than 20% text, a rule which had caused a lot of confusion amongst page administrators as it was hard to measure.


Source: AllFacebook

The previous changes, which had come March 19, 2013, had greatly reduced the number of rules related to cover images but the 20% language was included. Prior to that March update, cover images could not contain price or purchase information, contact information, references to Facebook features, or calls to action.

The 20% rule may be gone but there are still things you should not do with your Facebook cover photo:

  • Overcrowd the 851 pixel x 315 pixel space – any text should be understandable and legible.
  • Overdo the sales pitch.
  • Forget the power of a picture.

Parting Thoughts: Just Some Suggestions


Source: Pixabay

  1. Professionalism
    Everyone can see your business page so make a good impression – personal anecdotes might be ok, personal complaints probably not.
  2. Consistency
    Plan to post at similar times and with similar frequency – readers are creatures of habit.
  3. Topicality
    Post about things that are happening – especially if they relate to your business, your industry or your particular demographic.
  4. Variety
    Keep your content fresh, don’t just post about yourself and inject some humour – reposting the same text, image or link is boring and readers will switch off.
  5. Consideration
    Over-posting is the number one reason readers ‘unlike’ a page – 2 to 3 posts a day should typically be enough.
  6. Responsiveness
    Talk to your readers – if they post on your wall acknowledge them, if they message you through the page reply to them, if they comment on your posts answer them.

The Future of Social Media Marketing is Mobile

Actually mobile represents both the present and future of social media but I’ll return to that momentarily.

The presumption inferred by the title is that your company has already begun to integrate social media into your broader marketing strategy. If not, I feel compelled to ask why not ? Numerous articles, such as 3 Ways Social Media Is Driving A Business Revolution from Forbes, have been written outlining how social media is fundamentally altering the way business, and in particular marketing, is conducted.

Social Media Explained

Source: Doug Ray/Three Ships Media

Ok, so explaining the current social media landscape using donuts is done somewhat tongue-in-cheek but th

    ere are many good overviews of the major social media platforms available (and how consumers and brands use them), such as this informative Social Platform Cheat Sheet from 360i, a digital marketing agency in the U.K.

    If you are perhaps still a little skeptical of the potential of social media it may be worth listening to Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, in a brief TED Talk, describe how to make a splash, both literally and figuratively:

    Let’s assume that after further research you have overcome your doubts and chosen 2 of the bigger names – Facebook and Twitter – as the initial platforms for your fledgling social media marketing efforts. If you are an Irish company the Social Media Statistics Ireland infographic from eightytwenty should provide further support for your choices.

    So what about mobile ?

    As the graphic below from Statista indicates, most social media networks are now mobile-first networks with, perhaps unsurprisingly given the nature of the content, Twitter and Instagram even more mobile-centric than Facebook.

    Infographic: How Mobile Are Social Networks? | Statista

    Again if you are an Irish company, an FCR Media blog, The State of Digital in Ireland as of April 2014, should be of interest. Among many interesting stats the blog notes that 70% per cent of all Facebook activity is now on mobile, with 1.7 million Irish people using smartphones to access the social network.

    In addition GlobalWebIndex’s Social Summary for Q2 of 2014 notes that the percentage of internet users accessing social networks via mobile phones rose to 38% over the last year, a 5% year-on-year increase while tablet usage is up from 10% in late 2012 to 16% in early 2014.

    Parting Thoughts: Responsive Web Design

    Responsive Web Design

    Source: Todaymade

    Make sure your website is properly formatted for display on various mobile devices, be they tablets or phones. This is commonly referred to as responsive web design and is quite easily accomplished with modern content management systems such as WordPress. After all users are likely to see your website first on their mobile devices, especially if their introduction to your company is via a social media platform.