LinkedIn for Brands: How to Make Friends and Influence Buyers [SLIDESHARE]
A few essential ways your business can put LinkedIn to good use
Why bother with LinkedIn?
If you see LinkedIn as simply an online CV, then it’s time to take another look.
The ‘professional social network’ counts over 119 million users, and is growing.
And LinkedIn’s business potential is good news for brands. A study of lead generation in social media found that the network easily trumps Facebook and Twitter.
It found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at converting users into business leads.
Using LinkedIn allows you to reach a targeted, engaged and business-oriented audience. Here are some essential tips to help you give your brand a boost, using the professional network.
#1 Optimise your company profile page
Late in 2011, LinkedIn launched the company profile page. If you’re not using it already, why not?
The profile page has to fulfil all kinds of functions. This is where you summarise the essence of your brand. It should appeal to your existing customers, attract new prospects, inspire current employees and impress potential applicants.
You should also optimise your company profile with the relevant keywords, helping to drive more traffic from people searching in your industry.
#2 Hang out in groups
LinkedIn groups are not like Facebook groups. Instead of ‘We Love Cats’, you’re more likely to come across something niche and professional, like ‘UK Feline Healthcare Group.’
Joining groups like this is a good idea — when they are relevant to your sector. So in this example, an employee at a pharmaceutical company supplying pet medicines could request to join the group.
Once in, he or she would start to listen to conversations, make meaningful (and non-salesy!) contributions to discussions, and generally get to know this highly relevant community.
Listening to your customer base on LinkedIn will help you create more effective content and solutions for them.
#3 Create and share content
Give back to your community on LinkedIn by sharing useful content on your company page and in the groups you are a member of. It doesn’t have to be your own.
Reciprocity is an important part of social media, so don’t be averse to posting links from other sites as well. As long as they are relevant and interesting, it’s all building your reputation as a good source of knowledge within your industry.
Remember, keep it professional and thought-provoking. So for our pet pharmaceutical marketer, sharing a study of the effects of catnip on different breeds would be a good idea. A video of a cat playing a guitar, not so much.
#4 Don’t ‘post-and-run’!
LinkedIn is a potentially rich resource, a place to learn from people with expert knowledge and opinions. Don’t blow the opportunity by adopting the ‘post-and-run’ approach.
It’s very easy to dump content, whether it’s a blog post or a status update, and then leave it there. But what you really want is conversation.
Create status updates that invite discussion, ask questions when you share content in groups, and then respond to responses promptly and intelligently.
Deep engagement helps to position your brand as friendly and on-the-ball. When people come to making a purchasing decision, you will have already built a foundation of recognition and trust.
#5 Use the little extras
Once you’ve covered the basics, there are a whole raft of extra features you can use to boost your brand on LinkedIn:
Asking and answering industry-relevant questions is a good way to quickly build up an expert reputation in your field
Gather data from your community by inviting them to share their opinion on a key question
A range of LinkedIn applications, including SlideShare and BlogLink, make it easier to share your content and enhance your company profile
They’re not just for personal profiles. Satisfied customers can now use LinkedIn to recommend your company’s products and services, providing powerful organic PR value.