I had the wonderful fortune of participating in a panel at New England Direct Marketing Association’s (NEDMA) Annual Marketing Conference at Bentley University this week. The conference’s focus was What’s New! What’s Now! What’s Next! bringing participants the latest and greatest direct marketing strategies, tactics and technologies. During my session on Social Media Marketing, I gave advice on leveraging the new LinkedIn for B2B marketers and wanted to share:
#1: UPDATE YOUR PROFILES
The stronger profiles get more views. Take a look at LinkedIn's recommendations and optimize your profile. Add a LinkedIn Follow Button to your company website and blog, and link to your Page on other social sites you're using.
If you’re a B2B marketer, the new ‘Life’ tab on the company pages shows an inside look at what it’s like to work at a particular company. Right below in this tab, you will see your company’s executives’ pages. So executives should keep updated and well-written profiles and be active with updates and content shares since they are apt to get clicks on their profiles.
#2: CREATE MORE POSTS AND HIGH-QUALITY ARTICLES
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $125B late last year, and early this year we started to see the effects of this with the largest desktop overhaul since the company’s inception. The new interface resembles Facebook with a cleaner look. It’s more social and casual, and with the main news feed, it’s easier for you to see others’ content, they can also see yours. This means posting regularly on LinkedIn is more beneficial than ever before. So as you visit other social channels such as Facebook every day, start making LinkedIn part of your daily routine. Keep your status updates short, concise and then link to more. LinkedIn’s finding that status updates with 150 characters or fewer have an 18% higher engagement rate.
What type of content works well with LinkedIn? Thought leadership, work, productivity pieces, industry and brand updates, lists, and statistics. Also, long-form articles (around 2,000 words) are more likely to be shared and indexed by Google. Also, don’t forget to have at least one visual in your posts.
3: INCREASE ENGAGEMENT WITH CONNECTIONS’ POSTS AND IN GROUPS
With over 100,000 articles published every week, LinkedIn has become the fast-growing social network as total shares of content published more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. This gives B2B marketers a huge opportunity if they jump in now and create smart marketing campaigns to reach targeted audiences.
When someone likes, comments on and shares your posts, the new algorithm has the content appear on their personal feed. It also is more predictive and with its Trending Storylines shows you content that it thinks you will be interested in. Take advantage of this and engage in conversation with those who have interacted with your post.
With LinkedIn’s updated tagging and distribution, users can now find status updates by people outside of their networks and search keywords, so hashtags matter now! This new change opens up new ways to network and share content with potential decision-makers.
#4: USE EMPLOYEES TO AMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE
Employees' networks are collectively 10x larger than your company's followers. And when employees share content, they typically see a click-through rate that is 2x higher than when their company shares the same content. If you want to get the highest amount of impressions, clicks and conversions, it's critical that you your most well-connected team members to like and share your content out to their LinkedIn social network. Not only will it help grow the reach of the content, but it can create a trending effect on LinkedIn. So encourage employees to share your company's content and their own expertise.
HINT: Try to share early in the morning and middle of the week. LinkedIn has more traffic at this time.
#5: REQUEST RECOMMENDATIONS FROM HAPPY CUSTOMERS
Just as you want to have recommendations on your personal profile, a company gets the benefit of having quotes from happy customers to endorse their products and services. Timing is everything so when a client tells you how happy they are in working with you, ask for the recommendation. Make it easy and write a draft for them to edit. After the quote is finalized, use the Recommendations Dashboard and ask for them to include on LinkedIn.
#6: DON’T FORGET THE 80/20 RULE
The 80/20 rule is as follows: spend 20% of your time crafting content and 80% of your time promoting it. Make sure you share your original LinkedIn content on your various social platforms. If you can create alternate versions (presentations, video), share on Slideshare and Youtube, and this collectively will help boost visibility and ensure success.
#7: CONSIDER NEW ADVERTISING OPTIONS
LinkedIn relied on two self-service ad options for years – sponsored updates and text ads. Now using LinkedIn’s new ad options such as Matched Audiences (launched end of April), marketers can target very specific users based on web browsing, website visits, etc. to create ad campaigns and promote bog posts, e-books, and other offers.
#8: OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE
58% of LinkedIn users access the site via the mobile app. LinkedIn not only has revamped its mobile app this week but also has integrated (Job Search, Lookup, Learning, Slideshare, Groups, and Pulse. Ensure your content and images are optimized for the mobile app and consider dabbling in some of their most recently introduced pilot programs around sponsored mobile content as the number of eyeballs are growing!
#9: USE METRICS TO MEASURE AND ADJUST YOUR LINKEDIN EFFORTS
LinkedIn’s new analytics features enable users to see how other users have interacted with the content they’ve shared. LinkedIn provides insights into the performance of your Company Page or University Page with rich analytics to gauge trends across metrics and time periods. You can see Engagement data, measure referral traffic and analyze your competitors’ performance
This week LinkedIn announced even more analytics capabilities around its InMail to allow companies to see which spotlights get the highest response rates, as well as understand which candidates at what companies are responding better than others. So take some time to figure out which metrics matter to your marketing efforts and dig into the platform to start measuring and adjust as often as necessary to score big wins with this fabulous B2B marketing and networking platform.
For more tips on reaching your audience through LinkedIn and other social media platforms download our free ebook, "The Beginner's Guide to Social Media" today.