I recently read an article about LinkedIn in Entrepreneur magazine, and I wanted to share it with you here.
In this article, author Ann Handley calls LinkedIn the "workhorse" of social media for B2B businesses and professionals of all stripes and sizes. We couldn't agree more.
And while LinkedIn offers a range of excellent features for engaging your business community, here are three tips you can put into action now to generate better social media results from this valuable business networking platform.
We all know how LinkedIn has become a resource for our individual professional pursuits. These are our favorite ways to use LinkedIn for business development, networking, and lead generation:
LinkedIn: B2B Marketing's Workhorse of Social Networks
1. Sharing Content on LinkedIn Pulse
As the "definitive professional publishing platform" LinkedIn is a way to share content that helps viewers become more visible with their professional peers, advancing their professional pursuits.
You can do this in several ways. You could curate and share relevant and meaningful content in the news feed. You could engage in group conversations, and when applicable, share helpful content there as well. And our newest favorite -- you could publish your thought leadership on LinkedIn Pulse, for all the world to see.
Our best advice is to create (or curate!) content that your business colleagues may find valuable instead of salesy pitches for your products or business. Otherwise, Linkedin will become another spammy, hammy pain in the rear. (Note: if you violate this best practice in groups, your posts in LinkedIn groups could be designated for "moderation" -- where all your group contributions get held for review -- so just don't!)
2. LinkedIn Analytics
LinkedIn now has a pretty simple analytics tool to measure the impact that targeted content is having on your audience. You can see how much your content gets liked and shared. That's a good thing since we don't want to waste anyone's time. The golden rule is to value the time and experience of your audience on LinkedIn the way you hope they will value yours.
Consider taking a moment to see who's been checking out your profile. Here's a simple suggestion to engage folks who view your profile. Reach out with the following conversation starter:
"I see you've been looking at my profile on LInkedIn. What brought you by?"
In our experience, this is a great business networking and early stage biz dev strategy.
3. LinkedIn Advertising and Sponsored Updates
Now about advertising: Yes, LinkedIn offers your company the ability to create very targeted ads.
You can sponsor - or promote - your LinkedIn posts. Always maintain the high road: sponsor posts that you know viewers have appreciated; post content that has been widely read, liked and shared. Not the junk. Just the good stuff.
Another way to spread worthy content around, once you know your audience has found it relevant and meaningful, is to run a highly targeted PPC ad campaign to an audience chosen by job title, group membership, geography, and many other targeting factors. We find this to be a very useful way to drive leads from LinkedIn to your website. Just set a daily budget, and track leads with a URL tracking code to see how this channel converts.
What are your favorite ways of using LinkedIn to take your business networking to the next level? Let us know in the comments!