When it comes to reaching potential customers through social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter are probably the first channels that come to mind. But if you’re forgetting LinkedIn in your marketing plan, you may be missing out on big opportunities. LinkedIn is the third most visited social networking site and in a recent study, HubSpot found that LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of the top social networks, almost 3 times higher than both Twitter and Facebook. For inbound marketers, LinkedIn is more than just another social network – it’s a crucial component of an inbound marketing plan.
If you’re new to the social network, here are some tips to enhance your LinkedIn strategy and increase your social reach:
1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page
Use industry-related keywords in your company page description to get found by business-minded folks who are searching for information. Make a positive and professional first impression with those that find you by using high quality images that are appropriately sized and consistent with the branding on your website and other social network profiles.
2. Share Content Your Ideal Audience Is Interested In
Content that is helpful and interesting to your audience will get noticed and, in turn, get you noticed. Mix it up between insightful advice, engaging or thought-provoking questions and entertaining (but relevant) posts. Schedule out your content ahead of time to help plan out your mix of topics. Watch for industry news and trends that are getting a lot of attention with your audience and let that guide your focus.
3. Target Your Posts and Updates using LinkedIn Target Filters
LinkedIn allows you to target who sees your updates and you can narrow the scope of your audience by their company size, industry, function, seniority, geography and language preference. As you define your target audience, the tool shows you the size of the audience you’ll reach with that message. Of course, by targeting your audience you’re limiting your social reach, but if you have a specific audience in mind when writing posts and updates you can tailor the messages and segment the audience to see if it resonates more and drives more qualified prospects to your content.
4. Post and Update Your Company LinkedIn Page Frequently
Quality is more important than quantity–especially when it comes to social media activity, but if you’re not posting to LinkedIn consistently then you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your audience more often. The more you post on LinkedIn, the more people will find and visit your content. Posting more often (and linking back to your site) results in more traffic to your site. This not only increases your immediate reach, it can improve SEO for the pages you’re linking to. If you’re having trouble finding enough content to post – referring back to the previous tips – you can schedule out your posting ahead of time or watch for relevant news and trends to help ensure that you have enough content to reach people on a frequent basis.
5. Optimize Your Posts and Updates
It’s important to share interesting content with the right people on a frequent basis, but what’s also important is how and when you share it. If attaching links to your update, use attention-grabbing headlines and enticing captions that will make people want to click. Use images and video to increase engagement. Timing is also important and probably somewhat specific to your audience so experiment with posting on different days and at different times to identify patterns in engagement and clicks. Once you identify the content that your followers want and the times they are more likely to engage with it, you can fine tune your content and timing of posts to get your most optimal results.
6. Join/Start Conversations
Social media is a channel to drive conversation. On LinkedIn, the conversations are typically about personal and professional growth, finding and keeping your motivation, business and industry insights. If you’re trying to grow your brand exposure and reach by introducing your audience to information that helps them identify and solve their personal or business problems, LinkedIn is a great place to get the conversation started. Be proactive and interact with your audience by asking thought-provoking questions relevant to their business or profession. Share tips and advice then ask for your audience for their input.
7. Interact with Industry Groups
When considering places to start a conversation about your industry, think beyond your company page. There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn for like-minded professionals who share similar goals, motives and pain points. Find groups that are relevant to your industry and become an influencer within those groups by sharing your helpful insight and content. You can also follow the other conversations to learn more about your audience and the topics they find useful and interesting. Use this information to guide the content you write about.
8. Create an Industry Group
Can’t find a specific group for your expertise? You can create your own group. Begin by browsing commonly searched keywords for your group name and include them in your description so your audience will find your new group. Once you’ve set up the group, be sure to publish a variety of content that helps solve your audience’s common problems and concerns. . One of the best advantages of creating your own LinkedIn group is that you can email every group member. Once your audience matures and you have a large group membership, your LinkedIn group will become a powerful medium for you to reach out and connect with your audience.
9. Try LinkedIn Pulse
Take blog articles from your company website or blog and post the articles on LinkedIn Pulse to expand your reach to a new audience. LinkedIn Pulse readers enjoy reading trending stories and articles in their field. If you include links back to your website inside your LinkedIn Pulse article, you’ll drive more users back to your site where they can review all of your insights.
10. Track Your Analytics
It’s important to review and analyze LinkedIn analytics. By looking at the data, you’ll determine if your strategy is effective in creating sales and leads any by driving visitors to your website . You’ll quickly get insights on how many people are new to your site and how many are return visitors.
What other ideas do you have or use regularly to enhance your company’s LinkedIn page?