What is LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful online networking tool with about 562 million users. Using it to promote yourself and your business is not only about who you know, but about who your connections know!
It’s the new age ‘word of mouth’ which is one of the most successful forms of marketing there ever has been and ever will be.
LinkedIn is a thriving network of people sharing stuff about what they know to people that hopefully care about it. There are some basic things that you need to get right first with LinkedIn.
Do you have a LinkedIn account?
First of all, this is an absolute necessity to be able to manage a profile or business page going forward. If you haven’t already got one, you can set one up easily enough.
It is the perfect place to advertise your personal work experience, gain recommendations from ex colleagues and tell people about what you are up to professionally.
Once you have set up your Linkedin account, fill in all the fields that you possibly can& make sure you have a profile picture.
Having no profile picture is like walking into a networking event with a face mask on. You wouldn’t do it would you? Would you? A simple shot of just your face is sufficient and really important.
Evaluate whether you actually need a LinkedIn business page?
It can be really difficult to build a business page on LinkedIn if you are a new start up or one-man band. Building a following might be somewhat easier through your own personal profile and then switching to a business page once you have.
If you are a larger business with employees however, it makes more sense to have a business page so that your staff can link in with it and help you grow your brand as well.
If you do have a business page, make the most of your header and profile picture.
Using some of that killer imagery we talk about in chapter K. It is a good opportunity to briefly tell visitors what you do. Completing all the various parts of your business profile is a must in order to maximise chances of being found.
Get your employees onboard.
The more active your employees can be on LinkedIn the better it is for your business. If they can generate a following in their own right, with strategically placed posts about your business of course, then it all helps towards growing that all important reach on social media.
Employees that currently work for your business can get on board by using a company branded background image on their personal profile page, by liking and sharing all your business posts and by connecting to your business page as an employee. This show of pride in your business will do wonders for its reputation.
The LinkedIn algorithm.
People have been trying to figure this thing out for years and then LinkedIn go and update it. But what seems to be fairly consistent is that the LinkedIn algorithm (ie. the thing that decides who’s posts you see) tends to prefer posts that are relevant, original and encourage social interaction.
It gets a bit twitchy when you post links to other websites because you’re taking people away from them. But essentially if you are providing their users with interesting and valuable content, they’ll put you up there with the best of em!
So you’ve got your account, where do you start?
If you’ve decided to focus your content marketing primarily on LinkedIn, remember that LinkedIn likes authenticity, relevance, interaction and adding value for its users. If you can incorporate that into your posting style, you should be onto a winner.
If you’re not ‘at home’ with writing and find it difficult, the best piece of advice would be to focus on what you care about and know a lot about. You’ll find it a lot easier to write about those types of things.
Vary your post style between text, text and image, carousel style posts, video, sharing of other user content and start to generate high level subject lists. Sometimes the best post ideas come to you in the shower, so jot ideas down somewhere to revisit later when you’re, erm, dressed!
Don’t be afraid to share your personal work-related stories, inject some humour and personality into them but keep in mind that your customer is watching you. What would you feel comfortable talking about in front of them and how would they feel if you were dropping F bombs all over the place? If you think they’d be ok with it, go for it, but just be consistent.
On a more business level, the general rule of thumb is that only 25% of your posts should be salesy and the rest should be adding value to your LinkedIn audience in some way, whether that’s through providing tips to issues they may be facing or through stimulating conversation.
While the key to your engagement on LinkedIn is your content, that’s only half of it. LinkedIn is a social networking website, so akin to a real-life networking environment. You wouldn’t walk into a networking event, hand out a load of business cards and leave without so much as a conversation, so don’t do it on LinkedIn.
The most important thing about LinkedIn for business is building relationships, caring about other people’s posts and interacting with them. Guess what, this will encourage them to do the same for you. The more visible you are on LinkedIn, the more you will get noticed. Start liking and commenting on other people’s posts, the connection requests will come flooding in, your profile views will skyrocket and hey presto, you have organically grown your reach, just by being kind to people!
In summary, LinkedIn is a great way to generate awareness amongst a wide network of people and it provides a fantastic outlet for your content marketing strategy.