If you're just getting started with LinkedIn for business you may be a little lost. Like any social media platform it is its own beast, with unique best practices and audience expectations. Even if you've already been using LinkedIn for promoting your business, there are probably opportunities for you to improve your efforts.
These 5 top tips will help you make the most out of LinkedIn for your business!
1. Take Advantage of LinkedIn's Super Detailed Ad Targeting
One of LinkedIn's greatest strengths for brands is its ad targeting, which allows you to target your ads by industry, specific companies, job title, seniority, education level, specific schools, skills added to LinkedIn profiles, and much more. LinkedIn is fairly transparent about the methodology behind how someone ends up in a specific audience within each of these options too, making it much easier for you to understand what you're really targeting when you use each option.
These options are very powerful for B2B brands, but there's also a lot of opportunity for B2C brands on LinkedIn using these targeting options as well.
Get a quick head start on your LinkedIn advertising efforts with my blog post that teaches you how to map your persona to a LinkedIn target audience that will drive results for your business.
2. Make Use of SlideShare Decks on LinkedIn
People are always looking for the latest stats, benchmarks, industry trends, and industry metrics that are relevant to them. When they aren't looking for that data, they're looking for great slides they can borrow from for their own decks and presentations.
You can meet both of these needs and grab some exposure to a new audience (for free!) by curating your existing content (from blog posts, video, excerpts from podcasts, etc) into Power Point decks and PDFs and then uploading them to SlideShare. SlideShare was purchased by LinkedIn in May of 2012, and has since become very well integrated into LinkedIn platform. Your SlideShare uploads will automatically be shared with all of your connections, giving them a bit of an added boost early on.
SlideShare gets 60 million views a month and receives 500x the amount of traffic from business owners as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Jake Wengroff of Frost & Sullivan claims to have driven thousands of qualified leads a year and a 50x ROI from SlideShare. If you sell B2B, then SlideShare is a wonderful opportunity for your business that you shouldn't be missing out on.
3. Keep it Professional and Add Immediate Value
Blindly cross posting without considering the differences in the communities you've cultivated across multiple social media platforms is never a good idea, but it can be especially bad on LinkedIn.
While you may have great success with some "sillier" content on other channels, you'll want to make sure you're posting only your most high value content on LinkedIn. Users visit the site less often than other social media sites, meaning that you have fewer opportunities to leave them with a good impression when you show up in their feeds. Make sure your LinkedIn content will grab their attention and will be useful to them in an actionable way.
That doesn't mean that your content can't also have some humor in it, but avoid posting memes, funny pictures, and other similar content if you can't tie it into content that also adds immediate value for your readers. Funny for the sake of funny, without any further value, goes against the overall tone of the site and what most users expect. People follow brands that share valuable insights, tips, news, and trends that are relevant to them, they're not looking for a laugh when they visit LinkedIn.
As you can see from Buzzsumo's analysis of the top performing content on LinkedIn, linking to long form content (2,000 - 3,000 words on average), providing practical advice for success, and content focused on trends and strategy all perform well, while shorter soundbites and infographics do poorly.
4. Post Your Blog Content On LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse gives you the opportunity to port your blog posts to a native platform on LinkedIn, with it's own free added reach. You can even include your images and CTA images with links to your downloadable content offers. Your posts will appear under your own name, not under a brand name, lending your personal credibility to your content.
It's a great opportunity to promote yourself, it costs you nothing, and it also only takes a few minutes of your time to copy content from your blog post to a new post on LinkedIn Pulse.
Not only that, but your connections will receive a notification by default when you post new content on LinkedIn Pulse. As long as you're making smart connections that are truly relevant to you, this gives you an opportunity to get free, relevant exposure for all of your blog content.
Be sure to always add a short bio with a link to learn more about you and find more of your content so that you can have another opportunity to direct traffic back to your website.
5. Connect with Your Top Leads on LinkedIn
If you already have lead capture in place on your website and some method of lead scoring in your CRM, then you already know who your most engaged leads are. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to start a dialogue with them by reaching out and connecting.
I'm not suggesting that you send them a salesy private message on LinkedIn, don't do that. I'm saying you should reach out there to connect, ask them about their thoughts on specific content that you've already posted, whether it was helpful, and what you could include to make your content more useful/actionable. The more specific your questions are and the smaller the scope, the easier it is for them to answer them. Avoid open ended questions, as answering them requires more time and thought, and people are much less likely to respond. Lead with finding out how you can be more useful to them, rather than with what they can do for you.
Rather than going for a hard sell, you're establishing a higher level connection with your best leads. Two of these 5 recommendations mention that your personal LinkedIn connections will be notified of your new content, that becomes really useful when your top leads are among those connections, and you need another opportunity to stay top of mind and continue building that relationship.