With about 400 million users and spread over 200 countries, LinkedIn is more than just a resume-displaying platform so utilizing LinkedIn marketing tips is eseential. In fact, it is an often overlooked but powerful marketing avenue for businesses, be it small, big, B2B, B2C, startup, or lifestyle.
The amount of money a LinkedIn user makes per household is close to $109,000, which is higher than any of the other social media networks.
Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers – Bryan Weiner.
LinkedIn is especially ideal for small business as it offers quite some cost-effective ways to market and promote your business.
Here are a few LinkedIn marketing tips to help small businesses turn their LinkedIn accounts into a power marketing tool:
1. Use LinkedIn Recommendations
Did you know that 86% of US consumers are influenced by recommendations? There is nothing quite as powerful as word-of-mouth marketing, especially for a small business.
LinkedIn allows you to get recommendations from your customers. Their recommendation will be visible on your company/personal page and hence – is visible to everyone in your network. Not only does it give you more exposure, but, you get a validation badge every single time a customer recommends you.
If your budget allows for it, you can take it a step further by using LinkedIn recommendation ads which let you place your recommendations at a strategic position on your profile page.
2. Encourage Employees to Post Content
Most companies forget to tap into their employees’ potential to produce great content.
Consider this: Your employees have the knowledge to provide excellent insights, the experience to speak regarding functionality and not just technicalities, and are (hopefully) loyal to the company. Even though they might need help with writing skills, it can be easily learnt, plus you could always hire an editor.
“Content marketing is not that hard. It’s simply about answering your customers’ questions.” – Michael Brenner, head of strategy, Newscred.
Besides, by posting insightful articles in both their name and the company’s name, they are not only bringing leads but also creating a name for themselves, and you don’t have to invest loads of money on some freelancer who can’t really capture the essence of your company. Now that’s what I call a Win-Win!
3. Targeted Content Generation on LinkedIn Pulse
Small businesses cannot afford to spend too much time and money on content generation, and hence, probably cannot post frequently. In that case, one of the LinkedIn marketing tips is to make every single post count.
You can do that by researching and providing exactly what your target market needs. You can start by joining groups where your target customers actively participate. Look for problems and challenges they are facing and directly address these problems; offer your advice and solutions to them.
This way, even if you don’t invest too much of your time and effort in content generation for LinkedIn, you are still making every post count and bringing in leads.
Remember that there are more than 1 million post publishers on LinkedIn, and to distinguish yourself, you have to make quality and targeted content your key weapons.
4. Look Beyond Just a Well-Crafted LinkedIn Profile
Did you know that there are 1 billion searches at least on LinkedIn every year, and 87% of purchases start with a search engine? This tells us that it is not just enough to have a well-crafted profile and that it is important to make sure that your personal profile, or business/company profile is search-friendly and has good exposure.
If your budget allows for it, using pay per click option for you, profile can get you more exposure. Another important tip is to use keywords in your summary, job description, posts, etc.
Using LinkedIn’s premium accounts can also throw more spotlight on you, increasing your visibility to your target markets.
5. Sponsor Not All But Your Game-Changing Updates
Another hot LinkedIn marketing tip that marketers use on LinkedIn is to sponsor their updates. For small businesses, though, it is not very practical to sponsor every small update, as it is going to cost you too much. So, what you can do is strategically pick your game-changing updates.
For example, you added a new feature to your product that takes it to a whole new level. In fact, this new feature allows you to expand your target market to salespeople. Now, that is a game-changing update and you need as much exposure as you can get. Using LinkedIn sponsored updates can do that for you.
Another practical way is to collectively promote multiple updates at the same time. For example, at Hiver when we first added new features such as scheduled emails and shared notes, we decided to introduce all these features in less than a month’s gap, and promote them together using the sponsored update feature. This way, we were able to throw a spotlight on all of our updates – small and big, in one go.
Like they say, one shot – two birds!
6. Undertake Well-Informed Non-Promotional Engagement in LinkedIn Groups
“Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one.” – David Beebe, VP of global creative and content marketing, Marriott International
Another useful tip for small businesses is to build and expand your presence on LinkedIn without making obvious promotions. I am talking about inbound marketing where you establish your expertise and value and leads automatically run towards you.
Here are some ideas:
- Join active and relevant LinkedIn groups – groups that get new members every day. Participating in and contributing actively to such communities can establish expertise.
- Always find new contacts and do extensive online social networking. Since LinkedIn is more of a professional platform, it’s okay to approach strangers who make business sense, as opposed to Facebook which is more personal.
- Post thoughtful comments on other posts, and maybe some well-established suggestions too.
- When posting, don’t be afraid to put forth your opinion as is. It’s okay if it stirs up some commotion. Neutral arguments and posts will get you nowhere!
- Moreover, when you do post an article or thought, make sure to check actively for comments and reply quickly with well-informed answers.
7. Make Use of Advanced LinkedIn Marketing Apps
Linkedin gives you the option of adding advanced applications to your profile or company profile to boost your business, create brand awareness, get more leads, expand your network, etc.
There is a multitude of apps you can choose from, and take advantage of.
For example, when you post a video through the slideshare.net application, the video will get an added autoplay feature; when a customer lands on your page, the video will start playing automatically. Another feature known as Amazon reading list helps you promote a book you have written.
LinkedIn also gives you the option to create event-based posts; you can create a post if you are interested in attending, or will be attending that event. You can invite all your connections to such events and well, it is a great way to meet your connections face-to-face and establish a more personal connection; plus, creating events relevant to your product/expertise is another great way to market yourself.
8. Tag Connections in Your Content for More Exposure
Did you know that you can tag your connections in your articles and posts? Tagging ensures that they are notified of the post and they get a short email letting them know of the same. All you need to do is type @ and the name of your connection.
But, it is is important to note that you have to use this strategically and sparingly – notify one of your connections about something only when it is absolutely relevant to them. Tagging too much and unnecessarily can be very annoying.
The advantage of this is that when you tag one of your connections, the rest of your connections can also see it in their news feed section, thereby giving you more exposure.
Finally, I would like to mention a small but crucial point – don’t forget to design your websites to include LinkedIn buttons on the landing page, home page, beneath the articles you post on your blog etc. so that visitors have the access to your LinkedIn profile right away.
Given that it is the largest business networking site, successful marketing on LinkedIn may be the game-changer you are looking for. LinkedIn is now far more than just a resume-displaying tool; it gives small businesses the chance to grow their business despite their budget and influence limitations. Thereofre, utlizing these LinkedIn marketing tips are beneficial ways to market and promote your business.
“These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.” – Aaron Lee
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Niraj Ranjan Rout
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- 8 Uncommon LinkedIn Marketing Tips for Small Businesses - April 18, 2016