LinkedIn Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide
When we hear the words ‘social media marketing’ we often think of using Facebook pages for news and press releases, Instagram to unveil new products, and Twitter for coupons and promotional codes. Rarely if ever does LinkedIn come to mind, which is strange as it’s a hub of idea exchange, skill development, and growth opportunities. Why not use it in your marketing endeavors too?
It’s not just about the utilization of the platform either. LinkedIn is home to almost 800 million users in over 200 countries and territories across the planet. So even if it wasn’t the virtual meeting space for professionals from countless industries worldwide, it’s still a substantial number of people that you could be sharing your brand and messaging with. The question of course becomes, how can LinkedIn be used for social media marketing?
It’s not ad heavy the way Facebook is, nor does it have the same visual media and marketing potential as Instagram. And it certainly doesn’t have the monstrous influence that TikTok is proving to have. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it doesn’t need any of those things (and let’s be honest, the world can barely handle one TikTok, we don’t need something similar). Rather, because LinkedIn was created to cater to professionals looking to make meaningful connections and find new career opportunities. In other words, it was designed to help people market themselves. Could there be a better place to introduce, promote, and fortify your brand than a platform devoted to strengthening one’s professional image and capabilities?
Not only are people using LinkedIn for their own professional endeavors, but so they can find others in their industry or with similar objectives. This means there are people on LinkedIn looking for companies just like your own – and until you establish a presence there, those people will either continue looking or settle for your competitors. If you’re ready to step up your marketing game then keep reading and we’ll tell you exactly how to use LinkedIn as part of your unbeatable marketing strategy.
1. Pages vs Profiles
There are two types of accounts that people can connect with on LinkedIn, pages and profiles. Profiles are no different than social media profiles on any other platform, belonging to one user and often private. Pages on LinkedIn, much like on Facebook, are public and belong to an entity such as a business, non-profit organization, or charity. Both have their advantages when it comes to social media marketing.
First, let’s look at pages. Anyone can follow a page on LinkedIn without needing approval from the owner. Immediate access translates to immediate engagement. When people don’t need to wait to get the OK they are free to pursue your business page as much as they please. Pages include a link to your website, other contact information, allow you to highlight your products, share pictures of your team hard at work (or play), and even show which hashtags your content is trending in. You can also have written content on your page that are functionally blog posts. These posts are where you’re going to work on your content creation. They can be new posts or recycled from successful blog posts on your own website.
Profiles are what you’re going to use to connect one-on-one. It’s where you share your academic and career background, list your skills, and let people know if you’re available for consultations, interviews, and so on. If you have your profile set to private then people will need your permission to see the bulk of this information. You can, however, have private conversations with other users before you connect with them.
It’s possible to have a LinkedIn marketing strategy that only uses a profile if you work in consulting or direct sales, but the two can easily be used together. The page for a business also shows any current employees who have LinkedIn pages, so if you have both you can connect them together. That way anyone who sees the business page can still find your personal profile and vice versa – just make sure you have your work information set to ‘public’.
You’re on LinkedIn. Now what? Now it’s time to start posting content. No matter what you post though, you’ll want to take advantage of using hashtags. Like other social media platforms, hashtags are used to organize content and help people easily find what they want rather than having to sift through a mountain of posts. They can be used in status updates and descriptions of articles.
A good rule of thumb on LinkedIn is to use three to five per post. Otherwise your posts can become diluted and interfere with your reach – it’s the same way that Google uses keywords for indexing pages. The hashtags that you use should be a combination of relevant and popular, i.e. it categorizes your content properly and capitalizes off of whatever is trending. You can easily find how many followers a hashtag has simply by typing it into the search bar. Just remember not to focus too heavily on using the hashtags with the most followers. Those with fewer followers are likely to have a devoted niche audience, whereas broader terms are being followed by anyone with even the tiniest bit of interest in the subject (but not necessarily the desire to read more about it).
3. Experiment With Content Length
We’ve encouraged people to do this with content creation on their websites. Short blogs, e-books, and everything in between, so long as it’s engaging and relevant someone will want to read it. Sticking to one length will cause your content to get stale very quickly, no matter how interesting it is. And if your content is stale then your brand is no longer interesting. Consistency in subject matter is key for content creation, and it’s how you draw people in. Variety in other variables like length or adding by video and images is what keeps them coming back for more.
Smaller posts are great for sharing something short and memorable, while longer posts should be reserved for more substantial content. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your own blog or other social media accounts and see what people have interacted with the most.
4. Share External Content
LinkedIn’s algorithm supports links to other sites and blogs, so you can easily share relevant content from other sources to help solidify your place as an authority figure. Adding your voice to the conversation demonstrates your familiarity with the industry, and being able to share your thoughts and opinions shows how well you understand the ins and outs. Any comments you add to external content is just another opportunity for content creation, so don’t be shy. You can write a line or two to sum up your feelings, or you can write paragraphs on the matter.
If authority of the original content is on LinkedIn, you can in the post that you create. While it’s not necessary to explicitly credit the originator, it will give them a notification that links directly back to you.
5. Market Research
As you craft and share new content you’re going to learn more about your industry, your market, and marketing in general. Be sure to take notes and stay mindful of any trends that you notice. What are people talking about these days? What’s the next big thing that the experts are anticipating? What’s the most controversial topic, and how do you feel about it?
Just remember that you’re not only connecting with your peers on LinkedIn. There’s also plenty of potential for lead generation and closing customers there as well. Take a look at what your competitors are doing to engage with them. Do they use their account to promote anything like calls for user-generated content, or contests and giveaways being run on their own site? It doesn’t have to be stuffy and white collared all the time, just professional.
6. Leverage All Connections
LinkedIn was created for one primary purpose- networking. It’s the go-to for finding peers, identifying warm leads, connecting with existing clients, etc, all in one place. While it’s a goldmine for market research, you should never forget the power of networking in real life. Growth partners can help you identify the best strategies for marketing on LinkedIn, and handle social networks management in general. You’ll have more time to focus on what matters most- running your business.
Are you ready to create a long-term relationship with a growth partner who cares about your needs, without all of the marketing gimmicks? Then it’s time to get in touch with Gold Lion Technologies. Let’s create your very own gold star strategy, together.