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LinkedIn: The Complete Guide for Marketers

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LinkedIn, the leading employment and professional social media network, may not be the first channel of choice for digital marketers, but it certainly should be considered a vital part of any company’s social media strategy.

This popular channel, now leading in popularity scores over Twitter by 6% and currently hosting an astonishing 450 million users, is rich in opportunities for businesses, marketers, and individuals alike.

At an individual, personal account level, users may; search for new opportunities, catch up with the latest happenings in their network, shares external content or their own, engage in groups, and build their digital resume. Businesses, likewise, have the opportunity to; define their image to their liking on their company page, share content, attract and hire new talent and build relationships with customers, employees, vendors, partners, etc.

How should B2C Marketers approach LinkedIn?

Before you toss LinkedIn to the side as a professional social network only, consider this: according to comScore’s 2013 Buying Power Index, LinkedIn members not only have 2x more buying power than Facebook users, but members are also two times more likely to trust information on Linkedin than any other social network. This is a huge advantage for both B2B and B2C Marketers, but how should B2C Marketers approach the platform?

In fact, eConsultancy found that LinkedIn blows it’s competitors away with referral traffic to corporate websites from social media platforms, accounting for a jaw-dropping 60%. Whereas Facebook and Twitter come in at just 17% and 16%.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn users typically hold themselves to a higher standard of content, that is to say, food pics and personal anecdotes are usually not shared on this network. But rather, news on innovations, professional development, industry updates and company culture. So Marketers, when in Rome LinkedIn, right?

To understand how B2C organizations have established their presence and found success on LinkedIn, we’ve gathered a few examples:

Industry Insights & Company news

What major trends are influencing the market? What are industry or organizational best practices? Are there any professional events or networking opportunities that those in your field or your target audience might be interested in? Take the opportunity to add quality content to your stream.

LinkedIn SlideShare, a built-in slideshow host, allows marketers to convert information into bitesize visual presentations that are widely consumed on and off the platform. In fact, all slideshows hosted on this helpful tool are indexed by Google and receive 80% of traffic from organic searches thus increasing visibility and reach.

Company Culture

What makes your company tick? Who is at the heart of your operations? And what does your organization really value? Simple displays of company culture communicate what lies behind your logo. Organizations such as amazon use LinkedIn to give a behind the scenes look at their initiatives at the Amazon Campus, and even go one step further with a cross-channel campaign that focuses on the lives of their employees, in conjunction with their Instagram account @insideamazon. This is an interesting initiative in which employees get the chance to share a bit about their lives both in and out of the office.

linkedin post on employee

Company culture is something all businesses should invest in. It is not only the difference between a true slogan and an empty promise, but it can also be the difference between a lost or won lead. From an outsider’s point of view, strong company culture communicates happy employees, productivity, and support that prospective customers can trust.

Community Involvement

When a company gives back to their community, they have the opportunity to not only volunteer their time, resources, and energy, but they are also able to communicate and display their underlying values.

allstate community involvement on linkedin

Support Important Causes

Does your organize strive to support equality in the workplace, sustain natural resources or promote a healthy work-life balance? Whatever it is, LinkedIn is a good place to share your story, ‘How To’ guides, or examples of where your actions have made the world a better place, one company initiative at a time. American Express, for example, shared a report on their approach to their Corporate Social Responsibility which outlines the steps they take towards protecting the environment. Hilton also does its part to support positive social change, according to a Boston Consulting Group report in which they are recognized for their policies on paid family leave.

hilton linkedin

Media Recognition

Was your brand recognized in a study or the media? Don’t be afraid to share it. Whether you’ve been named as great company to work for, trustworthy eCommerce platform, or one of your new products has a stellar consumer review, share it with your network. Consumers are likely to gain trust with your brand when they come across positive media.

best buy linkedin

Content Guidelines

To summarize the examples above, below are some  simple guidelines on what to share and what to save for another channel (or not at all!)l:

What to post on:

  • Industry Insights
  • Company news
  • Products and service offerings (in moderation)
  • Professional advice
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • How-to guides
  • Shortform “snackable” insights or content
  • Company Culture (community outreach, lifestyle, etc)
  • Ask thoughtful questions to evoke conversation

LinkedIn SlideShare:

  • Webinar slideshows
  • How-to guides
  • Industry news or statistics
  • Informational content

Avoid posting:

  • Political, religious, controversial content
  • Food!
  • Direct sales pitches
  • Constant product highlights

Basically, if it can’t be considered professional, it should most likely be saved for another channel or simply scrapped altogether. Remember, you’re building a relationship and in order to convert your followers into customers, it is best to build a relationship by providing them with useful content and fostering trust.

When to Post:

Whereas your audience might be inclined to start the day on social media platforms, odds are they are most likely tuning into their LinkedIn feed on a more professional schedule. So to match LinkedIn’s highest traffic hours, Social Media experts at Buffer suggests posting once a day, Monday-Friday in the morning up until midday.

In addition to marketing to potential clients, you’ll be able to use LinkedIn to

  • Recruit and hire new talent
  • Build relationships (customers, employees, vendors, partners, etc.)
  • Showcase employees
  • Highlight the company’s journey
  • Create brand advocates

Company Page

top shop linkedin page

You may have noticed already, but LinkedIn Company pages are undergoing a makeover. The new design now features a clean and visually appealing interface and is divided into three sections: Overview, jobs and life.

Overview:

The overview tab contains basic information on the organization, the company description, shared content and updates. Likewise, lists of similar company profiles and showcase pages (pages built for specific brands within a company) will also be available from this tab.

Jobs:

In order to attract new talent and share job openings, LinkedIn’s redesigned Jobs tab allows brands to post positions as well as share Employee Insights, which are great for job seekers hoping to find the right fit.

company jobs on linkedin

Life:

A brand new addition to LinkedIn Company Pages, Life, allows brands to really show off their company culture and build relationships with employees, clients, job seekers, partners, vendors and prospects. This inside look into the heart of a business has the potential to humanize brands while also highlighting what’s most important to them.

Here organizations may opt to share videos to tell their story. This section even aggregates data from employees to include cultural insights such as languages spoken and causes they employees care about.

life on linkedin

Showcase Page:

If your organization has specific brands or services that you’d like to recognize outside of the main company page, you have the option to create showcase pages which are extensions of your main page. Showcase pages have an independent follower base and updates. This allows marketers to segment their target audience and curate content by page.

Companies like Microsoft use showcase pages to highlight elements within their  product lineup including Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics.

Sponsored Content & Ads

LinkedIn offers a variety of different advertising opportunities for marketers. Read on to figure out which solutions are right for your organization:

Sponsored Content: extend your reach beyond your followers with sponsored updates. Engage prospects with meaningful content through LinkedIn’s specialized targeting options. HSBC partnered with LinkedIn to build their brand and grow followers by sharing content on international business. Although their target audience was very specific, sponsored ads helped them reach an even greater level of success than expected, with their follower base increasing to 33,000 followers who actively interact with the brand.


Sponsored InMail: LinkedIn’s InMail option allows marketers to deliver messages directly to their target audience’s inbox. Unlike email campaigns, InMail is 100% reliable and marketers won’t face the risk of email bounces. Utah State University experienced a 20 to 1 return on investment when they used a mix of InMail and Display Ads to drive prospective students towards joining their MBA program

Ads:

  • Text: text ads can be highly effective for marketers who would like to get their message in front of customers who are already engaged in a professional environment, irrespective of whether the advertiser is a B2B or B2C company. Text ads are easy to create and manage and do not require a long term advertising commitment with LinkedIn, making it an ideal option for marketers who are testing the waters.
  • Display: Alternatively, marketers can use display ads to captivate and reel in potential clients. Ads are bought programmatically and therefore come with the same perks of highly specialized targeting.
  • Dynamic: personalize your ads with dynamically generated images from LinkedIn profiles. These Ads are great for delivering a more personalized experience, growing leads and building your relationship with your target audience.  

Measuring Success

Network growth: how much, as well as how fast, your follower base is growing

Follower & visitor demographics: Would you like to know if you’re reaching your target persona and who is connecting with your brand and content? LinkedIn provides demographics on seniority, industry, company size, function and employment status.

Reach: The amount of time your content is seen both organically and paid

Engagement: Total number of times your content was either clicked on, liked, commented on or shared for both organic and paid content

Post Popularity: Break down your engagement and reach by post to figure out which content is the most popular among your audience

Site traffic: how many people are going to your website from LinkedIn? Compare this to traffic from other social sources to figure out which channel attracts the most visitors and track how long visitors are staying on your site to measure engagement.

Cost per lead (CPL): Are your marketing dollars paying off? Find out the number of qualified leads and total leads coming from LinkedIn, and break those numbers down by the price per lead to better target cost-efficient leads.

 

How successful has your organization been at marketing on LinkedIn? We’d love to hear your story!

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Holly McKendry

Sweetspot Marketing Executive, dedicated to event planning & partnerships. Wakeboarder & travel enthusiast. Communication Studies graduate of Texas State University, San Marcos.


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