LinkedIn has grown steadily since it was launched in 2003. It has nearly 800m members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, with 29m in the UK alone.
For businesses, LinkedIn is by far the most important social media platform for reaching other professional users. Over 80% of business-to-business leads gained via social media come from LinkedIn, versus 13% from Twitter and 7% from Facebook.
LinkedIn is set to remain vital. As a method for sharing content (e.g. new videos and blog posts), advertising jobs and providing a window into the broader skills, qualifications and interests of your staff, it is unsurpassed. So, here are our five tips to help your company continue to make the most of LinkedIn:
1. Create strong profiles – and keep them updated
Ensure your profile and those of all your team members are presented as effectively as possible and are up to date. No doubt you “check out” people out on LinkedIn and others will do the same, so ensure the information you provide is up to date and comprehensive. Remember prospective employers may review your profile page, so include details about your career and education, and ensure awards and qualifications are kept up to date too. Since LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 21x more views (and 36x more messages), it pays to use a good quality photograph taken in a professional situation.
2. Make the most of your company page
Your company page is very important, so make sure it creates the right impression. Check the profile picture and cover photo are scaled to fit so they look professional. Your company description should give an insight into the business and succinctly summarise what makes it different. Don’t forget to include any awards you have won.
3. Post content
Keep your network updated about your company and its achievements. Post the links to any positive press coverage you earn and do the same for blog posts on your own website. You could also share useful tips or comment on industry news. LinkedIn encourages you to post content directly to its pages, but we prefer clients to post blogs on their site and share them through LinkedIn. This drives readers back to your website and, if you have good embedded links in the content and well set-up blog pages, hopefully encourages them to explore further and engage with your brand. Try to include photos, videos and infographics – they will make your content stand out and increase engagement. Keep your content professional and save personal material for Facebook. It is worth creating a version of your story for Twitter, though, as the platform is a popular source of inspiration for journalists.
A key challenge is maintaining a consistent flow of content. Instead of posting ‘once in a blue moon’ with long gaps between posts, try to schedule them at regular intervals. A social media calendar will help ensure that posts are well spaced and cover a range of topics and contributors.
Encourage staff to share content from your company page to their LinkedIn contacts as this will amplify the messaging (and employees are 14x more likely to share content from their employer than any other source). However, there are implications for Financial Services companies and you may need a social media policy in place. Staff should be aware of the FCA rules that forbid promotions without appropriate risk warnings.
4. Join groups
Joining relevant professional groups on LinkedIn can help to raise your company’s profile. It can also allow you to keep up to date with issues in your industry and provide an opportunity to join the debate by commenting on posts – or contributing your own. You can look for suitable groups to join by using the search box at the top of the LinkedIn page. Alternatively, place your cursor over the ‘Interests’ tab below the search box. Select ‘Groups’, then click ‘Discover’ and LinkedIn will suggest groups you may be interested in.
5. Grow your network
The more connections you have, the more people will see your content. You may be able to import your email address book and connect with those in it, but we don’t recommend you ‘accept all’. Go through the list manually – you’ll probably find plenty of people you don’t want to connect with! Review old business cards as well, as LinkedIn can provide an opportunity to reconnect with someone useful. Then use phone calls (followed by conferences and meetings as they start to take place again) as ways to make new connections.
To encourage people to follow your company make sure your website includes a LinkedIn icon button. Don’t accept connections from anyone unless you know them or want to know them. When you come to post content you want to know it will reach people that matter to your business and not a bunch of recruitment consultants who asked you to connect.
Managing your LinkedIn account doesn’t need to be very time consuming. If you get the LinkedIn app on your phone you can check content shared by other people when you’re on the train (or bored in a meeting). Adding contacts can be done over weeks, rather than all in one go, and only needs to take a few minutes a day.To discuss how we can help with your content marketing strategy please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0115 907 8414.