If LinkedIn marketing is something you haven’t really ‘got into’ yet when it comes to your business, don’t worry.
It’s never too late to start.
But I’ve got an immediate piece of information that will help you become successful on LinkedIn today.
Here it is.
There are over 500 million professional people on LinkedIn.
However, most of them don’t have very active accounts.
Why is that important?
Accounts that look ‘inactive’ or ‘stale’ are skipped over quickly by searchers. Accounts that are optimised get tons of attention.
An inactive account, by the way, has:
- No more than 1-200 connections
- Missing photos on the profile
- Absence of work experience details
- No skills endorsements
- Missing contact details
The simple truth is that an optimised profile is perhaps the biggest thing you can immediately do to make your LinkedIn stand out among those 500 million (and counting) people.
But we’ll get to the profile stuff in a minute.
Why use LinkedIn marketing in the first place?
Most business owners and professionals start thinking about using LinkedIn in a serious way because something has happened to change their behaviour or thinking.
You might be growing, and needing new staff, and see LinkedIn as the perfect place to find that one professional that can add value to your team.
You might just be in need of better understanding of your market, your competitors, or your industry.
Whatever your aim with LinkedIn marketing, it’s important to remember a few tips on how to behave and interact on the platform.
How you should interact with LinkedIn marketing
LinkedIn lets you make connections on behalf of a company or on your own.
Taking on a business persona when posting to forums or comments lets you maintain balance between your personal opinions and those of the company.
Your profile should always be your own and, although some companies ask you to emphasise that your views are yours alone, you have the right to express them.
If you are speaking on behalf of a company, however, you should follow the company’s social media policies and uphold the tone of voice.
LinkedIn enables you to post content on your company and product pages, as well as join groups and participate in discussions. This helps your brand achieve a wider reach.
Facebook, meanwhile, focuses more on interaction as an individual. You can set up a business page, but some groups won’t accept business pages, so you can only participate as an individual. This makes it harder to promote your company and increase brand visibility.
When you start out, you may have a personal profile on LinkedIn. However, if you’re an entrepreneur or in marketing, I recommend setting up a company profile. If this seems daunting to you, don’t worry – I have some help for you here.
Building a great personal profile for LinkedIn marketing
The saying ‘first impressions count’ still rings true today. If you scanned a selection of LinkedIn profiles you would most certainly form opinions on them; it’s how we’re made, right?
So, it’s important to consider your first impression, when enhancing your profile. Consider the following at a minimum before you start LinkedIn marketing activity.
1. Make sure your profile photo is professional (and not one taken on vacation eating ice cream).
2. Build over 200 contacts before you start outreach
3. Complete your resume without any gaps
4. Seek out recommendations from people you’ve worked with.
5. Write a compelling ‘About’ section which describes your passions and skillset.
Creating a business page for LinkedIn marketing
Once you’ve got your personal page ready, you need to create your business page, if you don’t already have one.
You can also create individual product pages if you want to create targeted content around each.
Your business page is where you’ll share content, news, and updates.
Where to start with your LinkedIn marketing activity
We recommend beginning with LinkedIn marketing by building connections.
The more connections you have, the greater the chance that your profile will be viewed. This is true for both your personal as well as your business profile.
LinkedIn rewards popular content by pushing posts with more interactions up the feed. Each of your updates will appear in the feed of your connections and followers. So, the more connections you have, the more feeds your content will appear in. This makes it more likely to gain popularity with likes and comments.
Building your connections therefore helps you to gain greater visibility. And here’s my first neat growth hacking trick:
You can automate connection requests for free, with high success rates.
Dux-Soup offers a free LinkedIn marketing automation tool that allows users to carry out a LinkedIn search, look up members of a group, or upload a list of contacts from their CRM system.
Watch the video on how to send automated LinkedIn Connection requests to find out how easy this is.
And here’s the second neat hack:
You can ask connections to follow your company page.
Dux-Soup can send automated personalized messages asking your friends to follow your company page. This simple action gets the best results from minimal effort.
Joining (and leaving) Groups
Once you’ve started developing your connections, you should join groups to extend your organic (non-paid) reach.
Look for active groups with like-minded individuals, and conversations that you can contribute to. Join groups that are moderated to reduce spam and have active participants, not those full of spammers.
We recommend that you monitor the group discussions for a couple of weeks and then leave any groups that don’t offer relevant discussions. It’s better to be engaged in three groups than not engaged in ten.
Another good reason to join groups is to have access to the group members list. With Dux-Soup, you can view the members list and engage with them – whether this is sharing content, connecting with them or messaging them with special offers.
That leads me to the next neat growth hack:
You can connect with members of groups even if you’re not a member
You may find it hard to get access to a group that you want to engage with. Well, the good news is that Sales Navigator will help, if you have it.
It’s worth it if you can’t get access to your target market.
Basics of LinkedIn Feeds
When you’ve got your profile, business pages and groups up and running, you can start doing some basic things. Here I explain some of the things you can do with LinkedIn and what technical terms mean.
LinkedIn populates your home page with content from people you follow, along with sponsored content. There is a science behind which posts surface at the top of your page, based on how much engagement they’ve had, and how well liked they are.
Therefore, your own content gets more exposure when you share it in groups and on your personal feed. High quality content also boosts visibility.
LinkedIn ads that are paid for should contain the word ‘Promoted’ as you can see in the example below. Usually there will be a call to action such as ‘Sign Up’ or in this case ‘See More’. You can click through to learn more.
Like /Comment /Share /Send Options
You can like, comment, share, and forward other people’s content. While this helps them to promote their content, it can also help you gain visibility as the company will start to pay attention to you.
Every time you comment or share someone else’s content, they receive a notification of this that acts as a complement and can be seen as part of the ‘courting’ process.
You ought to be aware of the fact that you will generally only be interacting with the LinkedIn users who manage business accounts. So, if you want to engage with a specific person, then you should follow them personally and comment on their personal posts rather than their business posts.
When making a comment on a post, it will be displayed underneath, making the comment visible to everyone reading it. This offers a good opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership with your LinkedIn marketing and even share some relevant content in relation to the topic that could point people to your website or blog.
Just be careful not to appear too salesy as this comment will only appear to the content curator’s audience, which may not be your target market.
LinkedIn marketing: sharing a post to your feed
If you share a post to your feed, it will be added to your feed. You can also select just to share it with your personal connections or public by posting it to a group feed. If you comment on this post, you will offer up your thoughts and visibility within your target market.
When sending a post, you can message someone directly on LinkedIn with the content, and you can also share your message. This is great for your own blog posts, to ensure they reach specific prospects or clients. When working on a customer communication strategy this is a powerful tool for account managers to have.
With every social media activity you engage in, you are likely to get more support for yourself if you are generous in your interactions. For example, have you ever noticed that the most engaging posts often offer kindness and encouragement?
Once you start LinkedIn marketing you’ll find you’ll use searches quite a lot. These help you find people that match certain criteria.
You can start a search by typing something in the search bar above the home page. Then on the results page, you can refine your search.
Your results can be narrowed down by criteria such as industry, company size, location, and many others to make them more highly targeted.
The word ‘Boolean’ may seem foreign to you but it can help you to narrow your searches even further by adding a variety of job titles, etc. to make them more relevant.
This leads into our fourth growth hacking trick:
You can tag your lists using Dux-Soup for easy targeting.
Imagine you have built a really targeted list for your LinkedIn marketing, then you want to run a multiple touch strategy to them. Tagging allows you to easily find all contacts in a list and automate an outreach sequence.
I realise we’re getting ahead of ourselves here with automation, but for now the ability to segment LinkedIn searches means we can find them easily.
In order to automate the tagging of profiles (where you run a LinkedIn search and then results are all tagged automatically) you’ll need Dux-Soup’s Professional version, but with the free version you can manually tag 100 profiles a day (this is fine if you have small lists but can become time consuming for larger lists).
Once your profiles have been tagged, you can also use Boolean search to target multiple tags with the same campaign.
Pretty neat, right?
Just so you know, I’m an affiliate for Dux-Soup. I only work as an affiliate for companies and products I actually use.