How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing
Today I would like to talk about a social media platform that I believe not a lot of people are leveraging off especially in terms of marketing and brand awareness. Most people when they get into social media marketing focus on the big three social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with Pinterest now coming into the marketing mix. But I truly believe that one of the most powerful social networks out there is LinkedIn! In a nutshell, LinkedIn is like Facebook but for professionals who can list their education details, current and past employment details and connect with other professionals. It’s great for recruiters because you can search for people with specific skills and it’s great for people looking for a job because jobs are posted regularly. Morevoer, one of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn is the fact that you can connect with CEOs, CTOs, high level management and other thought leaders in your niche who would not normally be as accessible.
But I’m not going to talk about how to use LinkedIn to get a job or to find an employee. I’m going to share some of my tips for marketing your brand on LinkedIn and for finding potential clients and perhaps forming joint ventures with other like minded people. So here are my tips on how to use LinkedIn for marketing:
1. Start with Your Profile
This is LinkedIn 101 – the very basics that you must do. Not might do, must do! Fill out your profile completely so that LinkedIn tells you that your profile is 100% complete. LinkedIn will guide you through this process of what you need to add in order for your profile to be complete. For example, one thing LinkedIn requires you to do for a complete profile are recommendations from other people. Send off a couple of recommendation invites to people on your list of connections.
Secondly, add skills to your profile. Don’t hold back. List your skills and expertise that make you, you. Your brand is you and your business so make it count. Next, add in your social networks where people can connect with you. For example, if you see my profile below, I have my twitter account there.
Also customize your URL links. For example, do NOT do this:
But see below where I have customized my URL links. For example, I have customized my blog URL as a call to action with “Become a Social Media SEO Guru” and instead of naming my company by its name I have customized it to read “My Web Design Company”.
Also be descriptive in your summary section and add a bit of personality there. Remember when you are using social media you want your brand message to come through. Everything needs to have specific intent. Are you a B2B business or are you a thought leader in your niche? Think about what your brand is and align your profile with it.
2. Connect with Others
Now that you have set up a pretty cool profile, the next step is to connect with others. LinkedIn has an import function where you can import new connections from your email account such as gmail. Start building up your network. Why is a network important? Well as Seth Godin talks about in a book called “Tribes” having a network or tribe of people going in the same direction is unstoppable. Add colleagues, clients, friends, family you name it. Network exactly how you would if you were networking offline in a conference or coffee shop.
3. Join Groups
This is massive. Find groups in your niche and join them. Join them all if you can. For example, one group I’ve joined has 172,000 members!! That’s absolutely massive. The next part is super important. Read on.
4. Post Quality Content and Participate in Discussions
Post quality content to your groups. Do not spam them, but share your content with the group. Make sure it adds value to the group. Imagine having a conversion rate of 5% of people that saw your post who then clicked on your link and read your content. Using the above group as an example, let’s say 20% of the group saw your post which equates to 34,400 people. Then 5% of these people clicked on your link, that equates to 1,720 people visiting your website! This is why I love social media, you can drive a lot of traffic to your website without relying on Google and search engine traffic. Also you know that the content will generate interest because you are posting to a targeted demographic who are in your niche. The other great thing about LinkedIn is that by default unless you turn it off, LinkedIn sends all members of a group an email with new discussions which opens the door for more people to see your content.
Also give back as well and participate in discussions that people post in the group. It is a community and it’s all about relationships and building a network or tribe of like minded people. This is where your connections will increase because you will meet great individuals in some of these groups. I’ve met some great people in these groups whom I feel very fortunate to have connected with.
4. Make a Group
Next thing you can do is make a group! Imagine building a group of thousands of professionals. It is a marketer’s dream because you can then send everyone in that group an email with whatever marketing you want in it. Liken it to email marketing and building an email list. LinkedIn makes creating a group easy because you can also invite your connections to join your new group.
6. Answer Questions
There is also an “Answers” area in LinkedIn where you can post a question and also answer other people’s questions. It is broken up into different sections as per the image below. This is where you can position yourself as an expert in your niche because the person asking the question can mark your answer as the best answer. It’s also great for networking with others.
7. LinkedIn Ads
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn provides paying ad space. If you’ve read through my blog, I’m a big fan of Facebook ads and have used them alot. But I haven’t tried LinkedIn ads as of yet. But from speaking with other social media enthusiasts I hear LinkedIn ads have terrible conversion rates. I could be wrong though. Do let me know your experiences with LinkedIn ads in the comments below. I have added it in here though because it is still a viable source of traffic to your website.
8. Integrate your LinkedIn Account with Twitter
Under your Account & Settings, there is a setting to “Manage Your Twitter Settings”. Enable this and hook up your Twitter account with this so that all your tweets get posted to LinkedIn. It’s great for leveraging your tweet to make sure it gets maximum exposure.
9. Allow People to Know that You Have Viewed their Profile
By allowing people to know that you have viewed their profile, you can then see who has viewed your profile. I’ve made connections with many professionals through this way. If you turn this option off, then you won’t be able to see who has viewed your profile. Some people are very private about this and that’s fine. But if you really want to network then I recommend doing this.
That’s it – these 9 tips are what I do on LinkedIn as part of my social media strategy. Have you got any other LinkedIn tips? Then please share your thoughts in the comments below. It’s midnight over here so off to bed I go!
About The Author
@Douglas.... It was a very nice and simple article describing the power of Linked In as a tool which I believe still is very much under-utilised. So, this is the way to move forward. One of the finest thing I like about Linked In is the ability to connect to several people from different cultures, continent and hence helping build a larger community.
@Dhaval K Thanks for the great comment! I agree with you. It is very much under utilized and it's a great tool for connecting with other like minded individuals in so many different niches.
hi Douglas, can i please call you Douggie? :) Im niki and its very nice to meet you!
Now as i have just read about Linked In, i realized something. I have not been on my Linked In account for months. lol.
To me, Linked In just wasn't Helping me achieve what i hope to achieve with social media.
After reading this article my eyes are wide open to new possibilities with Linked In. I failed your "STEP 1" lol.
No wonder it wasn't working for me, plus i dont have many email contacts as i am on facebook all the time.
I only check emails that i know i am expecting lol.
I have learnt alot from you, i followed you on twitter and can see you have followed me back :) so thank you very much for sharing your tips. Alot i already knew, and some of it is common sense, however, im reading between the lines of what you say and how your creativity and personality had delivered a very happy new #DougieFan
#angelniki is #proud to be a #DouggieFan #1love