When you think of LinkedIn, you may think of a social network for professionals and prospective employees. What you may not be aware of, however, is how practical LinkedIn is for growing your business. While LinkedIn is not as popular as Facebook or Instagram for business marketing, it’s actually a great way to establish your brand and make real business connections. Here are some strategies for how to use LinkedIn as an online marketing tool.
The primary function of a social network is to make connections with real people. LinkedIn is no different. The site allows you to establish a network of business people, entrepreneurs, and influencers. It can also allow you to reach into other social media sites to promote your business. Gail Gardener of Growmap likes to use LinkedIn to connect with social media influencers; following them, sharing their content, and interacting with them. These influencers can potentially give a business thousands of followers instead of building from the ground up.
LinkedIn can also significantly grow your email marketing list. Send personalized or mass messages that are well-written and informative, inviting them to join your email marketing list. Be straightforward; let them know what they will receive from your list, and offer to look over something of theirs. Implementing email marketing can grow your client base massively in a small time frame.
LinkedIn helps you give your business a face, and the ability to represent your individual workers in a professional environment. Customers and fellow businesspeople are more receptive to companies that seem human, and LinkedIn’s photos, events, and customizable profiles allow you to humanize your employees. Getting your employees to complete their LinkedIn profiles will unify your business, as well as benefit them in the future.
One of LinkedIn’s most useful features is the ability to join groups. These groups connect you and your business with like-minded businesses in the same or similar markets. Connect with others, have discussions, ask questions, and interact with practical, pertinent information from real people. Can’t find the group that you want? Make one! Curating a group can help you reach your target demographic. Most importantly, you don’t have to be connected with someone to message them if they are in the same group as you.
Finding Your Audience
Linkedin allows you to specify the audience you want to pursue. The site’s functionality allows a business to narrow the exact industry, company size, and job role of the groups that they are looking for. Engaging with your target is easy on LinkedIn. Kristi Hines, a freelance writer and certified marketing professional asserts that businesses and individuals should “Find LinkedIn groups that have actual discussions going on in your niche and participate in them!” It is imperative that you engage with your audience online, and LinkedIn provides the perfect medium to do this. Groups take you directly to those interested in your topic, and the ways to reach them are simple: posting.
While direct messages are fine, the best way to reach your audience, share your thoughts with others, and even go viral, is posting. “Posting 20 posts a month (1x a weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience,” says Kevan Lee, Vice President of marketing at Buffer. With these numbers, creating quality content is important, as it reaches your target audience. The better the content, the more likely it will be shared, further growing your audience.
Establishing your Brand
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, from startups to an established mogul. Businesses that stay on top of branding look and feel refreshing and relevant for good reason. They understand the current market and can adapt to it like a chameleon changing colors. This is why companies change their logos every few years, or why their websites undergo maintenance and come back with new themes. Establishing your brand is not just as simple as nice aesthetics, however. The best branding comes from consistent and quality marketing and outreach to your customers.
If Adam Connel, founder of Funnel Overload, could have a catchphrase for marketing through LinkedIn, it would be, “Help first, sell later. Create a customer for life.” Marketing on LinkedIn should not be a sales pitch, it should be helping. Answering questions on forums, posting useful information, and messaging people with thoughtful, helpful feedback builds trust, and in turn, brand loyalty. LinkedIn also allows you to stay on customer’s radar with daily status updates and weekly blog posts. It’s simple, cost-effective, and can generate leads quickly and easily.
To take your branding to the next level, LinkedIn allows your business to make sponsored updates. Businesses can select their payment options, ranging from “pay-per-click,” “pay-per-1000-impressions,” to “cost-per-send,” which will all only charge when your ad is interacted with. Use these ads to show your insights and thoughts with strong calls-to-action. Promote your own content in ads, avoiding simply selling. Utilize LinkedIn’s many customization tools to add to your ad’s appeal, as well as your own page. And take the next step; claim your own URL. These will include your name, (e.g., http://linkedin.com/in/JohnDoe), and will make it easier for search engines to find you online.
Skigital’s social media marketing is designed to maximize business development and create online relationships with potential clients. Skigital represents a diverse variety of industries and can assist in creating a digital marketing strategy that can increase exposure on LinkedIn and other social platforms. To see the services we provide, click here for our social media marketing options.