LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking site, specifically for the use of people in professional occupations. The format of this platform allows users to upload documents such as CV's and portfolio of work to show to potential clients or employers using the site. As a professional networking site, LinkedIn allows users to contact each other by means of 'connections'. The invitation must be approved by the invitee before the connection can be made. This 'gated access approach' to building networks ensures trust between the users of the site.

There are a plethora of features within LinkedIn ranging form advertising to being a manager of a group. The following are various pages you may find useful:

Why use it?

LinkedIn provides users with a network of like-minded individuals and possible business associates on an online forum. Not only does it provide job opportunities, but LinkedIn provides potential revenue. With over 30 million users on the site, LinkedIn provides a network that would not otherwise be accessible to such a large audience of business professionals. User's contact network is built up of first degree connections (people you have invited to have a direct connection with), and second and third degree connections respectively. This network therefore consists only of people you have worked with, and their personal contacts.

LinkedIn VP of Marketing and Advertising, Patrick Crane writes, "The great thing about only connecting to people you know, trust, and have experience working with, is that when you need to find that expert, get that answer, reference check a potentially great hire, get that introduction, then the trusted network of people you’ve proactively created on LinkedIn can help you out."

Through this network users can find employment possibilities, learn more about brands through rich content, recommend people for positions or suggest connections for business opportunities. Employers can use the site to post job descriptions, and seek possible candidates. Similarly, job seekers can review the profile of the hiring managers of these jobs. LinkedIn stands apart from other social networking sites such as Facebook as the main objective of attaining a LinkedIn profile is for business, not social.

LinkedIn’s Formula for Success

1. Create a strong company presence

  • Use descriptive language that will help your customers comprehend your vision, purpose and unique selling point.
  • Include a powerful 1-2 paragraph description.
  • Use strong key words to generate traffic from search engines.

2. Gain followers

  • Learn about the type of people who follow the page, and how they are connected to one another.
  • Empower employees. Ensure that they have fully detailed profiles that are linked to your company page.
  • Include your company URL in newsletters or emails that are sent to followers.
  • Add in a simple 'Follow' button to generate new followers.
  • Increase traffic further by promoting the company URL in the company blog.
  • Contribute to relevant discussions in popular groups, so as to interest potential followers.

3. Keep followers interested

  • It is imperative to understand the audience visiting your page.
  • Consider what content they find engaging, and build upon that.
  • Take note of what material is drawing in the most traffic.
  • Include employees, who are 70% more likely to engage with posts.
  • Target 1-2 specific audiences to attain the most valued responses.
  • Engage with local consumers.
  • Ensure that the intended target audience is reached.
  • Share valuable marketing offers.

4. Amplify through networks

  • The process of a follower liking, sharing or commenting on a post is called 'amplification.'
  • E.G. by engaging with your company directly, a follower can amplify your message onto their own personal network.
  • Promote one post rather than multiple posts a day to increase likes, comments etc.
  • Through this process, other potential followers can find out more about your company through their own trusted networks.
  • This emphasizes the importance of 'word-of-mouth,' as potential consumers are more likely to use your product or service once they have a trusted recommendation.
  • Ensure that content is viral and interesting. Encourage employees to post about it.
  • Invite customers to write reviews, as amplifying positive feedback will create goodwill for your business.
  • Utilize 'YouTube' videos. Studies indicate that rich content generates more traffic, as consumers are likelier to be more interested in the visual imagery.
  • Popular posts are distributed in the LinkedIn Today emails and this can increase traffic to your page.
  • Engage with regular commenters to build relationships.

5. Refine these techniques

  • Take note of how much much a post is engaged with.
  • Measure how much amplification a post receives.
  • Understand the kind of audience that drives online traffic.
  • Establish goals to acquire potential followers.

LinkedIn Do's

  • DG: find new names, communicate with prospects, message in groups
  • CR: keep groups up to date on progress
  • EM: use groups to promote your blog/event
  • Ensure you have an updated company profile - keep the message consistent
  • As a professional, you are on show. Keep your profile clean and up to date
  • Add a photo, experience and skills that show the brand of you
  • Use discretion when choosing a profile picture
  • Monitor movers to new roles: you can refine searches on who has moved in a selected period of time
  • Connections can help establish professional credibility; think carefully about how to approach different connections
  • Gather intelligence on approaching connections by researching contacts and companies
  • Google Analytics: track how many people came from LinkedIn to your content/website
  • Link to your blog and Twitter accounts. To do this, simply start your conversation on LinkedIn. Compose your update, check the box with the Twitter icon, and click “Share.” This will automatically push your update to both your LinkedIn connections and your Twitter followers. In fact you can manage your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts simultaneously with the use of a social media monitoring tool. For more information click here
  • Some groups do have guidelines, use them to inform your engagement eg. If they don’t want any promo material

Catherine Carlock from The Business Journal suggests the most important tip is to, "Stay in touch: LinkedIn can also be useful to stay in touch with your network. Sending a quick congratulatory note to connections with new jobs, or to those who just got promoted, can help keep connections strong. You’ll also be able to share links and create events."

LinkedIn Dont's

  • LinkedIn advertising does not work - don't do it
  • Predominately used by recruiters, so marketers should be wary of this. Use only with genuine purpose
  • Don't assume all business contact will have LinkedIn. There is a generation gap - if your target market is older, they may not be on LinkedIn

LinkedIn suggest this list of things to avoid:

  1. Don't lie in your profile.
  2. Don't ask or endorse people you don't know.
  3. Don't buy or sell your contacts.
  4. Don't ask your connection to set up a job interview for you.
  5. Don't criticize your employer in groups.
  6. Don't publish profile pictures of your "wealth" when looking for a job.
  7. Don't create a group if you have no intention of moderating it.
  8. Don't copy your résumé from other profiles.
  9. Don't ask for contact information of others in somebody's network.

Company pages

Showcase your business with LinkedIn Company Pages so that your online community, in the form of LI members of your company page, can stay in the loop on your company news, products & services, business opportunities, and job openings.

Company pages enable you to post status updates, stay top of mind with your followers, build up product/service recommendations, and promote career opportunities through your LinkedIn Company Page.

  • Status updates allow you to engage directly with existing customers and prospects. Spread the word about company news or offers, start a conversation around a hot topic in your industry, or share an interesting article or video.
  • Customer recommendations provide an authentic endorsement of your products and services, making it easy for prospective customers to feel confident about doing business with you.
  • Career opportunities can be showcased, along with spotlighted employees and a view into your company's culture.

They also provide some useful analytics to help you find out who’s visiting your page, who’s attracted to your company, and what these visitors and followers are interested in learning about you. Use these insights to hone your messages, drive more traffic to your page, and create new leads & customers.

Promoting your Company Page

  • Create ad campaigns to entice new followers.
  • Add a clear ‘Follow’ button to the company website.
  • Invite potential candidates and employees to frequent your page.
  • Add your company page URL to any recruitment or outbound emails to increase traffic (E.G. http://www.linkedin.com/companies/mathmarketing)

Company Updates and Showcase Pages

On the 14th of April 2014 the Products & Services tab from all LinkedIn Company Pages was removed. There are now two alternatives that can be used for sharing products and services content that many companies are already using and benefiting from: your company’s updates and Showcase Pages.

Company Updates

There are three reasons why using company updates for your products and/or services content is beneficial:

1. Updates appear on your Company Page and in your followers’ feeds on every device. In addition, when followers interact with your updates, your content is shared with their connections, helping your message spread further faster.

2. Company updates enable you to share compelling visual content, including videos that play directly in the feed and direct members to customized landing pages rather than a one-size-fits-all destination.

3. The real-time nature of updates makes them perfect for sharing news about your offerings, so your content is relevant and timely.

Posting a Company Update

In order to post a Company Update, you must be an administrator of your Company Page.

  • Enter your update in the Share an update box on the Company Page Home tab.
  • Click the paper clip icon to attach a rich media file (this is optional)
  • Click Share

Adding a custom image for an update that includes a URL

When you include a URL in your update, you’ll usually see a preview with a thumbnail image, article title, and some text. If an image is not available, the preview area will have a No image found message. You can also upload a custom image file from your computer.

Uploading a Custom Image
  • Enter an update with a URL.
  • When the preview image appears, click the upload image icon (looks like a square with a plus sign) in the upper right of the image thumbnail.
  • Select the image file you want to upload. The file type should be JPG, GIF, or PNG, and max size of 100MB.
    • Your uploaded image will be automatically resized to fit the 180 x 110 pixel thumbnail space.
  • Click Share.

Showcase Pages

Showcase Pages enable you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated page for specific aspects of your business. Members who are interested can then follow your Showcase Page as they follow your Company Page. The aim of Showcase Pages are to build long-term relationships with those who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns. Showcase Pages are most useful when establishing a dedicated page to represent a brand, business unit, or company initiative. In order to gain the benefits listed below, companies need to ensure they have a plan for maintaining an active presence.

Showcase pages can be used to:

1. Let you highlight a particular brand or product line.

2. Assist in building and maintaining a dedicated community on LinkedIn and starting an ongoing conversation about the brand or product.

3. Make followers aware on current news about your product or service. Showcase Page updates work just like company updates.

Creating a Showcase Page

In order to create a Showcase Page, you must be a Company Page administrator. You will also need some additional information:

- Showcase Page Name - Showcase Page Description (75 – 200 characters) - Industry - Name of at least 1 Showcase Page administrator - Hero Image (this is recommended)

To create the Showcase Page follow these steps:

1. Click the down arrow next to the blue Edit button on the Company Page

2. Select Create a Showcase Page.

3. Enter a page name and assign administrators for the Showcase Page.

You must be a 1st degree connection in order to assign someone as a Showcase Page administrator.

4. Click Create.

The page exists and can be edited at this point, but won’t appear in search or in the linked pages shown for your Company Page yet.

5. Either you or the administrators you’ve assigned can finalize the page details, and then click Publish to make it public.

To get back to your Showcase page, you can search for it from the top of any LinkedIn Page or go to your parent Company Page and select the Showcase page in the page tree along the right rail.

Note: You can create up to 10 Showcase Pages through your Company Page.

LinkedIn tools

  • To export your LinkedIn contacts (for example, for importing into your email client or CRM), use LinkedIn's Address Book Export feature. This will export contact data for all your LinkedIn contacts including name, job title, company and email address.

Here are some how too videos: 1. Build a profile that your ideal customers will love

2. Use your existing contacts in other mediums like to send email nurturing.

3. Build segmented targeted lists that you can run every week or so with new names to follow up, research or connect with.

Use LinkedIn to generate leads

LinkedIn Announcements

LinkedIn’s visitor-to-lead conversion rate is four times higher than that of Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn Accouncements send messages straight to member’s inboxes and are a useful and effective way to grab someone’s attention and market your product or service.

Note *LinkedIn Announcements are only available for group owners.* Engage in groups and find a way to use one of the group announcements for your own marketing. You could start your own group, but you would need to establish a strong following to start upping your lead generation.

This is a valuable communication opportunity so to avoid making your message sound like spam, the announcement should have a well-thought strategy and a compelling message.

  • Ditch the default subject line and instead write something punchy and interesting that will make recipients want to open the message.
  • Catch and keep the reader’s attention by making sure the opening lines are interesting. Include some statistics in the message so the reader can visualize your business and your aim.
  • Include a link to your website or a referral to a special event. If you directly upload a link to LinkedIn, it is stripped of any tracking token. Use a link tracking service like Bit.ly which automatically shortens URLs and adds tracking tokens. Monitor the success of your lead generation from the LinkedIn Announcements and use this information to refine future messages.
  • Ask a question. The announcements will appear as featured discussions in your particular group, so pose a question about the message to encourage members to get involved and give their input after they’ve read your message.

Read the whole article here: mpdailyfix