Sure enough, when it comes to social media, LinkedIn is undisputedly the biggest professional network. With 106 million unique monthly visitors; a figure that continues to rise – as a B2B professional, you know that your brand ought to get more out of LinkedIn, but maybe you’re not entirely sure how.
Whether you’re the Managing Director of a company, their Marketing Manager or Social Media Assistant, you’ll know that LinkedIn is a gold mine of opportunities – or is it?
Other professionals assure you that LinkedIn should be your go-to channel, but you’re here either because you don’t know where or how to start utilising LinkedIn, or you have already started, but struggled to see the platform generate any substantial leads or results for your business.
Like all aspects of digital marketing, achieving business results through LinkedIn are almost never instantaneous, and viral content is irrelevant without the foundation of an optimised LinkedIn profile. Albeit, the sooner you start tapping into the potential of LinkedIn, the sooner you will begin to reap the rewards for your social media efforts.
1. Set your strategy
If you’re actively using LinkedIn right now, stop. Before proceeding, the questions you should be asking yourself are:
- Who do we want to target on LinkedIn?
- What do we want to achieve from LinkedIn?
Firstly, create a user persona, or a profile of your ‘typical’ customer. From your experience, you’ll probably understand them quite well – so get inside of their head for 30 minutes, understand their character, their frustrations and their goals, then write them down. This should form the core of your entire Social Media and Content Marketing strategies going forward, helping you to create content that genuinely resonates with those target customers.
Related: Tips on writing B2B blogs that attract customers
Secondly, your social media goals should align with your overall business goals. Don’t measure the success of your social media strategy by how many ‘likes’, ‘followers’ or ‘shares’ you’ve had. Measure it in accordance with how much of this engagement has produced real-life results for your business. How many enquiries have you received directly through LinkedIn, or how much of your website traffic can be attributed to social media?
Set SMART goals:
Another crucial element to consider when devising a LinkedIn strategy should be your brand’s tone of voice. Create a blueprint social media guidelines document and share it with your staff before granting them access to your company’s accounts. Outline the do’s and don’ts, along with a clear, established tone of voice for your company. You may want to reflect yourselves as national, global market leaders in your industry – or you may want your tone of voice simply to reflect the customers’ friendly and down-to-earth experience of your service.
2. Optimise your profile
Take the time to optimise your company’s LinkedIn profile. Ensure that you’ve populated all fields accurately. Establish your branding, with consistent imagery for your logo and cover photo. Choose a category that closely describes the nature of your business and a location. LinkedIn allows its users to make incredibly targetted searches, and empty or incorrect fields will harm your company’s visibility in LinkedIn search results, or generate poor or irrelevant leads.
3. Build your empire
Start growing your LinkedIn network in order to maximise the impressions (reach) of your post. Utilise your employees’ profiles by getting them to follow your company page, share and engage with your content. Encourage them to optimise their own profiles, ensuring that their employment information is appropriately linked and that their imagery is in line with your branding, where possible.
Engage and connect with old clients, existing clients and potential future clients alike, along with other industry professionals, and make sure that social media icons in the footer of your website or email marketing campaigns are linking correctly to your LinkedIn page.
4. Manage your community
What’s the difference between social media management and community management? Community management is about creating a social persona, or personas, to encourage and manage engagement on your company’s posts. You might already be doing this subconsciously, but for those that aren’t, “what’s the point in community management?”
Community management allows you to:
- Increase the reach of your posts
- Influence the direction of replies/debate
- Advocate your brand’s products, services and core messaging
- Encourage more people to get involved in the discussion (people tend to be more conversational and insightful when they are under the impression that they are speaking to an actual person!)
For examples of community management, see below:
5. Consider your authenticity
Social media strategies in 2017 are now more authentic than ever. The days of scheduling over analysed posts, infused with sales ‘speak’ and accompanied by stock imagery are long gone. If you really want someone to hit the ‘like’ or ‘share’ button, it’s simply not enough!
In order to really resonate with your audience, tap into their emotions – subtly remind them that there’s a human being behind the posts.
To help your brand appear more authentic;
- Listen to the user
- Personalise your response, i.e “Thanks Beth!”
- Respond with real emotions; humour, empathy and opinions
More than skin-deep, authenticity is also about the nature of the content you are posting. LinkedIn users want real stories, experience, knowledge and insights, and often, these posts are closer to home than you might expect. What is your business up to this week? Do you have someone to congratulate? An opinion, or experience to share? Perhaps most importantly, what have you learnt lately?
6. Keep your consistency
Content is king, but consistency is key. In order to create a strong LinkedIn presence, your company page should be regularly updated with quality fresh content. Whilst we would recommend keeping LinkedIn posts as ‘real-time’ as possible for authenticity, we also understand that we all have slow news days (or weeks). If you’re in dire need of content inspiration, having a calendar outlining events, ideas or topics you’d like to discuss can help to you to form the basis of your next LinkedIn post.
Optimise your LinkedIn
We understand that social media marketing can be overwhelming, particularly to in-house teams who simply don’t have the time or resources. If it’s time to refine your LinkedIn strategy, get in touch with a digital expert on 01772 591100 to enquire about our social media workshops.