LinkedIn is no longer simply a place for posting your resume, networking with headhunters or searching for a new job. With more than half a billion business professional members worldwide (and two new members joining every second), LinkedIn has become a great business-to-customer and business-to-business social network to help you promote your organization to potential clients. Thus, it should be a vital part of the social media marketing strategy for every business owner.
InsideSales found that “social media is overused when we consider how many leads it actually gains.” However, as the only social networking platform solely focused on business, LinkedIn is an ideal platform on which to focus marketing efforts. The numbers for this social network site are astounding: LinkedIn is responsible for more than 80 percent of a business’s social media leads. All other social media platforms combined only contribute 19.67 percent of leads. LinkedIn is therefore overwhelmingly the most effective platform for lead generation and sales for B2B marketers.
Before you start working on your company’s profile page, make sure you have made any necessary updates to your personal LinkedIn profile. If you do not have a professional profile picture, add one. Then, create a company page for your business. This will be a pipeline to your company website as well as a representation of your brand, so make sure it is attractive and professional. Here are a few tips to help ensure your LinkedIn company page will be a powerful conversion tool for potential clients.
- Use an attention-grabbing header image.
- Create a compelling pitch in the description field; speak directly to your target audience.
- Do not clutter the description with general information about your company, such as office locations.
- Remember: The first two lines of the description should hook the reader.
- Be sure to add your company website link in the appropriate section so it can be easily accessed.
- Under the specialties tab, use keywords that people are likely to use when looking for a business such as yours in the LinkedIn search engine.
While a basic LinkedIn account is beneficial, a premium account offers a fuller range of benefits. To get all of the advantages from this social media platform, consider upgrading to a premium account. Forbes reports that, “Even at its new, higher rates, LinkedIn’s premium subscription offerings are relative bargains, compared to traditional business data sold by the likes of Dun & Bradstreet or consumer-credit agencies.” Premium business owner LinkedIn accounts currently come in three flavors: Business, Business Plus, and Pro.
- The Business account costs $29.95 per month and allows you to send three InMails per month, 300 profiles per search and five folders in the Profile Organizer.
- Business Plus costs $49.95 and allows you to send 10 InMails per month, 500 profiles per search and 25 folders in the Profile Organizer.
- The Pro account costs $499.95 per month, allows you to send 50 InMails per month, 700 profiles per search and 25 folders in the Profile Organizer.
Putting search to work
Your company page is a great tool to gain conversions from your followers. Utilizing the advanced search options provided by LinkedIn can help you locate additional prospects. Even if you do not purchase the upgraded membership, LinkedIn provides a great filter for narrowing down a search. In the right-hand drop-down menu, filter your search by connections, keywords, location, current company, industry, past company, school, profile language or nonprofit interests. With the results, it is possible to immediately gain insight into a particular company that may be a better target for your prospecting.
Of course, the bigger your personal network is, the greater your opportunities for finding relevant prospects. According to LinkedIn, the average CEO has 930 connections. Typically, the best lead generation comes from people to whom you are already connected. If you have been selective about who you are linked with and ensure that you have some kind of relationship with your first-degree contacts, they can be most beneficial in helping you find and engage with potential customers.
Having a gym membership is not helpful to your well-being if you never use it. The same is true of LinkedIn. If you join but fail to participate, it will not help you to achieve the growth you hope to see through the social media tool. One of the easiest ways to actively engage is to connect to a number of users at once by joining LinkedIn Groups. Here, you can engage in discussions and relevant conversations with audience members.
One little-known advantage of LinkedIn Groups is that moderators can directly email group members once per week. Users are less prone to check in for the latest status update on LinkedIn than they are on other social network sites. Hence they are more likely to appreciate it if you share a weekly briefing of high-quality, relevant content, even if it is directly from your company blog. In doing so, you avoid the high costs of email marketing while sending your message directly to highly targeted potential customers.
Another way to remain active is to utilize LinkedIn’s content publishing platform to become a thought leader in your industry. According to a Hootsuite blog post, an overwhelming majority – 94 percent – of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. Freely share any relevant information, such as a company blog post or infographic, that showcases your business and your brand.
Like other content marketing, this is a cost-free way to distribute your knowledge, build trust, position your brand within your industry and help your followers stay up-to-date on your business and its sector. Through publishing efforts, you can gain a following from users not currently in your network, eventually converting them into new prospects.
The LinkedIn social media platform is constantly evolving. Already this year, LinkedIn updates have reintroduced hashtags to the platform. The network added native video capability, revamped advertising campaign options and launched lead generation ads. In this fast-changing environment, you may find it difficult to keep up. For help creating and managing your own effective content marketing campaign, contact Tempaesta Media today.
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