Using LinkedIn as part of your social media strategy is key for many B2B organisations. It’s a powerful community as demonstrated by these interesting stats: LinkedIn is a network with 65 million business professionals around the world; this year 43% of marketers have found a customer on LinkedIn; and 50% of LinkedIn members have decision-making authority for their companies, so it is an attractive social media platform to use when marketing your business. Since it offers everything from a free profile page to a selection of advertising and sponsorship opportunities, it is relatively inexpensive, so also provides a “lot of bang for your buck”.
For those who have never come across LinkedIn – first of all, where have you been for the past 12 years ☺ – and secondly, have no fear, as we’ve outlined below seven simple steps to successfully use LinkedIn to promote your business.
- Review your objectives
As with any new campaign, the first step has to be to review your business/marketing/PR objectives and then look at how LinkedIn can help you to deliver against your objectives. Business objectives that LinkedIn is ideal for delivering against include; finding new hires; positioning your business within an industry or new region; offering credibility, and expanding your business contacts and network. Whilst marketing objectives for LinkedIn could include; growing your network to raise brand awareness; conducting market research via one of the LinkedIn community groups; spotting industry trends and building online reviews to attract new customers.
- Set your KPIs
You need to understand exactly what LinkedIn success will look like for you and your business. To help you decide which metrics are most important, you should split the metrics into quantitative (for example total connections, profile views etc.) and qualitative (likes, shares and comments, group growth and recommendations).
LinkedIn provides an analytics tab on your company page, which offers a breakdown of your business’ page under three main categories: Updates, which lets you know how your posts are doing in engaging individuals; Followers, which shows how many new people are now following your business; and Visitors, which shows who has dropped in to take a look at your company profile. These analytics not only help you to gauge your page traffic but these “Visitors” are also potential leads so should always be followed up with.
- Develop a focused strategy that delivers
Before creating a LinkedIn campaign, assess what assets are required for you to succeed. Then, outline your strategy with a confirmed call to action, spokesperson and ongoing process. Identify what works for your target market create content that will engage your audience and build a strong company following, who will then give your company credibility by sharing your content.
- Ensure that your campaign can deliver results
Before posting content on any social media channel, ask yourself if the post meets any of your identified business objectives, for example expanding your business contacts and network and just as importantly is it interesting enough for your followers to share, comment on it or like – there is no point wasting time creating and posting something without a clear objective.
Timing is also key, ensure that now is the right time to post that content. If celebrities/politicians or journalists have been saying anything untoward that you might not want to have linked to your latest post then it makes sense to delay posting until a less controversial time as not all publicity is good publicity in the world of social media.
- Allocate time to manage your account
How much time does a person need to run LinkedIn for a business properly? A good guide is to create no more than twenty posts per month, so one post per weekday maximum. If you don’t have enough content to post every weekday, then you should aim for between two and three posts per week.
- Use LinkedIn promotion tools
Sponsorship options, like sponsored updates, allow you to target precise audiences and decision-makers, they’re less intrusive than banner ads, are easy to use and are more focused on business users who will be interested in the updates.
Advertising costs on LinkedIn are either cost per click (CPC) or cost per month (CPM). With CPC, you specify the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each click (for example, $3.00 per click) while with CPM, you pay a set cost for every 1,000 times your ad is shown, no matter how many clicks you get.
- Consider additional tools for success
Once you are familiar with LinkedIn and comfortable creating and posting content, there are some additional tools that can assist in your usage of LinkedIn for business. Use the Pulse tab to add articles to your profile and see a personalised selection of articles and news about topics related to your industry or share knowledge via SlideShare, the world’s largest community for sharing presentations.
To find out more about how a LinkedIn campaign could deliver results for your business call: 0121 242 8048 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org