Using LinkedIn as a social media platform for businesses is often overlooked. Many view the site as useful only for job hunting and for growing your professional network. However, using LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for individuals and companies looking to make new connections, generate leads and build their brand exposure. These days LinkedIn is the main social media network for business to business marketers, with LinkedIn ranking as the number one social platform for 41% of B2B marketers according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry report.
Using a LinkedIn company page provides your business with the opportunity to tell your company’s story and engage with relevant people and followers in your industry. If you’re a business looking to find new customers then LinkedIn is probably the best place for you to start to find your ideal B2B customers. After all, 45 percent of its members are in upper management positions and the platform generates more leads for companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
In this blog post I’ll talk you through five vital reasons why your business should be using LinkedIn.
1. LinkedIn paints a positive picture of your company
The easier you are to find online, the easier it will be for your new customers to trust you. After all, who wants to buy from a company that doesn’t have any online presence?
When visitors land on your company page you want to impress them and position yourself as an industry expert, so it’s wise to have your page full of useful business and industry tips. Then visitors to your LinkedIn page will see that not only are you authoritative, but that you are contributing something of value.
So what sort of content should you be sharing on LinkedIn? Your content should give your connections a chance to get to know you and see that you have something of value to offer them. From there trust will form, leading to potential sales. It’s no use just sharing articles and expecting your connections to read them, add your own commentary and suggest why others should also read it.
Likewise, when you continually update your profile or company, you’re giving your connections current information about what you’re doing. Unlike other social media channels, LinkedIn is a professional way for companies to show people who they are without any face-to-face contact. What you share on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be all business news and articles but your content should also show that you have some personality. Below is an example from Liberis, who not only use their LinkedIn page for industry news, but also share updates for around their office. This helps to make social media feel a little more personal.
At Receptional we use our LinkedIn page to share our latest blog posts and industry news. By doing so we not only provide industry related news to our viewers, but also increase the number of referral traffic visits back to our blog.
2. LinkedIn can build your network
LinkedIn is all about creating and sustaining good business relationships: by using your business’ LinkedIn page you can extend your network and reach out to potential customers. As well as posting on your own company’s page, you should join groups that are related to your industry and spend some time looking at the level of participation and conversations.
There’s a variety of LinkedIn groups available, if you search for your industry you’ll find a selection of groups are suggested for you to join.
LinkedIn groups can give you access to people and discussions related to an industry, topic or even location. If you find you’ve joined a group with nothing but updates from other members promoting their own businesses move on and find another as this group will be of little benefit to you. You should look for a group where you can join in with topics and discussions with others and you might find you make some new connections as a result of this.
3. Improve your lead generation
LinkedIn isn’t just essential for expanding your social media presence it’s also perfect for generating leads. A previous study by Hubspot highlighted that LinkedIn results in 277% more lead generation than Facebook or Twitter so it’s a wise idea to take advantage of this platform.
By regularly interacting in the LinkedIn community you can offer useful content that could potentially help people answer queries and solve problems. Now that your connections can see that you know your stuff this can potentially lead to new clients or customers.
There are a variety of ways to generate new leads from LinkedIn, from producing content to using ad targeting, but one great way is through using clear calls to action. LinkedIn allows you to add custom banners to your company page for free and these banners are an ideal place to add a call to action. At Receptional we’ve used a phone number as a call to action on our employees’ profiles and we’ve used call tracking to see when a lead has come through from our LinkedIn page.
Another great way to generate new leads is to make smart connections. I don’t mean add everyone who comes up as a suggested connection, but start with connecting with your current clients and customers. It’s also wise to start connecting with those you’ve met or had a conversation with as they could be a potential LinkedIn connection. You never know they could become a potential client or even be connected to someone who is looking for the products or services you provide.
4. You can target the right audience
LinkedIn’s self-service ad platform often gets overlooked in favour of other social media networks and there are often a number of misconceptions about the platform. Many marketers think that as LinkedIn is focused on business connections that advertising would only work for B2B businesses.
Personally, I think LinkedIn is the best platform for social advertising for two main reasons:
- It provides great targeting options, including the ability to target by job title, employer, role, skills and interests
- LinkedIn profiles often contain more detailed and up-to-date ‘professional’ information in comparison with what people list on other social media networks such as Twitter or Facebook
With LinkedIn’s self-service advertising platform you can design different types of ads, create logical groupings, define bids for specific campaigns and measure performance with metrics such as impressions, clicks and conversions.
LinkedIn advertising offers targeting by job title which is perfect if you’re trying to target specific decision-makers within a company. This targeting method could also be used for a number of different purposes, for example you could use it for recruiting by targeting employees in a geographical area.
5. Improve your search rankings
Not only are there many ways you can improve your business with LinkedIn, but by keeping your business’ LinkedIn page up to date it can also improve your rankings in search engines. Google ranks LinkedIn company pages and posts highly in the search engine results pages, so adding updates to your company page and optimising posts for SEO helps to improve your performance in the search results pages. As a result, your website may see an increase in your visitor traffic, especially if links back to your company’s website are embedded in your posts.
There are a few things you can do to your LinkedIn page to optimise it for SEO purposes. For instance, you can optimise your page by adding the most important keywords to define your company as a quick summary of your expertise. LinkedIn also offers a ‘specialisation’ section which allows you to define your most highly performing keywords.
You should consider adding these company specialities as part of your LinkedIn SEO strategy. Now when people are searching for companies like yours on LinkedIn your business’ page will appear in the search terms.
Do you need some help with your social media? Get in touch with Receptional and we can see how we can help.