Most businesses will now be familiar with the assets a Facebook page and company Twitter account can afford. However, the ‘social’ aspect of these social networks can often restrict the promotional motivations that a business effectively wants to use these platforms for. Sectors such as finance and law for example, may find it difficult to get clients to interact with them, through a method which they designate for their down time. Enter LinkedIn, the professional social network.
LinkedIn is essentially a social network that people utilise to aid their career. Each personal profile is designed around an individual’s professional life and education history. You are afforded the opportunity to display what skills you have and discuss issues relevant to your chosen industry.
At first glance to a business, it may only seem useful as a database of potential employees, however there is a lot more that a company can gain from utilising its many features. Akin to Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn allows you to create a company page. This is where LinkedIn can become a marketing tool too, with the added benefit that you are immediately marketing to people who are already engaging on a professional level.
Creating your page
To create a company page, sign into LinkedIn and select ‘add a company’. You must have an email address registered to your company domain. LinkedIn will not accept ‘[email protected]’ or other such free services. The first steps to consider are filling in your basic information. You can enter your company name, a description, number of employees, website and industry. These are the areas which users of LinkedIn will be most likely to see if they come across your page indirectly. Whenever employees list you as their employer, or if your company is tagged in a post on the network; a pop up of this data will appear which links back to your page.
Think carefully about what you want to say as this is one of the main ways to drive traffic. You can include additional details about your brand in the company overview. This can display what your company specialises in and any relevant LinkedIn groups you are involved in.
What to include on your page
The fantastic thing about LinkedIn pages is that they allow multiple tabs. The homepage is where you can publish real time updates to increase traffic and engagement; similar to a Facebook news feed. The additional tabs are where you can really focus on generating ROI.
Product and Services Tab
At the top of this tab, you can create a banner which is a visual link back to your website; fantastic for promoting special offers or trials. Below this, you can feature whatever products or services you have to offer. Each product or service allows a link back to the relevant page on your website, a YouTube video, links to relevant sales representatives, and a space for clients to leave reviews.
In addition to this you can even create multiple versions of the page which target different demographics. You can create these to target location, company size or even job role. This may be somewhat time-consuming, but is great for increasing your click-through-rate (CTR) and ultimately sales. Individuals will feel more inclined to interact with content, when it feels like it has been specifically created for them. It will also give you a figure on how many people you will reach so you can ensure that you do not waste time by making your criteria too narrow.
Public Insights Tab
Another useful tab is the public insights. This is a collection of data about your company employees, their top skills and expertise, their previous employment and the most recommended individuals who work for you. This may not immediately seem like a marketing feature however, if you get your employees to be actively involved in this network, it can be. The fact that where they used to work is listed on your page means that where they now work will be listed on the previous companies; making it an additional traffic source. Also, seeing individuals which have been highly recommended boosts consumer trust in your brand.
Promoting your page
Like Twitter and Facebook, users can opt to ‘follow’ your company page. As such, driving more traffic can be done through similar tactics to your other social networks.
Creating interesting, engaging content for your homepage is a must; it is primarily this that users will see as an incentive to follow you. Ask questions, raise debates, think about what trends are currently affecting people in your sector. These sorts of status updates are the ones which are likely to generate engagement. The more engagement, the more your brand will naturally become visible on this network. Other strategies could include running offers and keeping certain announcements exclusive to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Groups are a great place to get people to talk about issues relevant to your sector. Your group should be less sales driven, and more conversational. Firstly, do not name the group after your company; make it something focused towards your industry. For example, a promotional gifts company could choose something like ‘Cost Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Budgets’. The group can be linked to your page and features a similar style news feed, so you can use this to discreetly encourage users to follow you. It also allows you to send out a group email each week, which you can also use to drive traffic and increase brand awareness.
As which all of your digital marketing strategy, you should aim for it to be cohesive. Use your website and other social networks to drive traffic between them. You can add a follow button to your homepage, a share button to your blog posts and even a recommendation button on your website which asks people to recommend your products and services on LinkedIn.
To access Admin Insights, you need to go onto your page and click the edit button. You will then be able to view insights on follower, page and employee statistics. You will be able to track the demographic of followers and what content is receiving the best CTR and engagement. Use these to tailor your strategy to what works and what does not.
Advertising your page
LinkedIn has a range of advertising options if your budget can afford it. It is generally more expensive than Twitter and Facebook, but with the potential for a better ROI. You have the choice to direct your advert to either a LinkedIn page or profile, or your website itself. They also offer very specific targeting, so you can choose from location, skills, school, job title, gender, company and age. With over 200 million members and rapidly increasing; it is definitely something worth considering.
Are you using LinkedIn pages yet? What success have you had or what problems have you encountered?
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