9 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing

Steve Rayson
Steve Rayson Director, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

Posted on July 22nd 2013

9 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn best practicesLinkedIn is known as a networking and recruitment site; however, the unique nature of LinkedIn makes it a very attractive platform for B2B marketers. For example, a Hubspot research study found that more companies had acquired a customer through LinkedIn than any other social media channel. There are now over 225m registered LinkedIn members, including 77m in the US and 50m in Europe.

In my view LinkedIn should be a cornerstone platform in any B2B marketing strategy. Below are 9 ways you can use LinkedIn to improve your B2B marketing.

1. Actively use your company page

You probably already have a company page on LinkedIn, if not, you should create one.  The company page is more than a nice visual page with banners. The company page allows you to:

  • produce targeted status updates
  • display slide presentation content
  • promote your services and products
  • create brand ambassadors from your employees
  • customise your company page for specific audiences
  • build an audience of followers

HP has attracted over 1 million LinkedIn followers and are a good case study of how to leverage followers and extend your marketing reach. See the HP LinkedIn marketing case study for more details.

2. Join Groups

Where do your customers hang out? Join groups where your customers are present and try to be a helpful member of the group and respond to questions. This takes time so don’t spread yourself too thin.

3. Share content that adds value

As with all of your content marketing, share all forms of interesting content and make sure it will be valuable to people in your industry. Share content regularly and vary your content, including pictures, videos and links.

4. Encourage your friends and colleagues to share and like content

People can be reluctant to be the first to comment in a discussion but once you have a discussion going it can be hard to stop people. One simple way to get things going is to encourage your friends and colleagues to share your content and to comment on it. Another way to engage your audience is to ask questions when you post content. A number of studies have found more interaction when the post starts with a question.

5. Listen and participate

Make sure you listen and participate in the groups you have decide to focus on. This is essential if it is your own group, see next item, but it also important if you want to actively participate in other groups. 

6. Set up your own Group

Setting up your own group on LinkedIn can:

  • help establish you as a thought leader in your industry
  • enable you as moderator to develop a very focused group without the spam that can afflict many groups on LinkedIn
  • highlight and showcase your own content as you wish
  • be a more select group as you can control membership
  • develop relationships through interactions
  • potentially generate interest and enquiries about your services

If you establish a Group remember it is your responsibility to lead it. Post regular content, encourage discussions and comment on discussions. It is hard work and takes time but it is your responsibility. 

ProjectManager.com is a great case study of how to build a LinkedIn Group.

7. Ask for recommendations

It may seem obvious but ask people to recommend you or your company on LinkedIn. Recommendations are still one of the most powerful ways to establish your credibility.

8. Use LinkedIn Services

The LinkedIn sales solutions team a mine of useful information and advice. There are many paid services from premium membership to ads which may help you. Many people use Google Ads but LinkedIn ads can be equally as effective as LinkedIn allows you to focus on people rather than keywords. You can decide the level of executive you want to target in specific industries and sectors, you can place an ad directly on their pages. 

9. Monitor your performance

As part of your LinkedIn strategy you should set yourself performance targets. The targets to monitor might include:

  • the number of followers of your company
  • the number of people joining your group
  • how often your posts are shared
  • the level of engagement through comments, discussions and polls
  • number of  click throughs to your website or landing pages from LinkedIn
  • number of leads, track where your leads come from and be sure to have a lead category for LinkedIn in your CRM
  • conversions achieved

With the purchase of Pulse and Slideshare, LinkedIn is going to grow in importance as a marketing platform. Take your time now to fine tune your LinkedIn marketing strategy. 

Steve Rayson

Steve Rayson

Director, BuzzSumo, Anders Pink

Passionate about growing businesses, social media, learning and technology. Addicted to espressos.

Director of BuzzSumo, a content marketing tool that finds the most shared content for any topic, provides insights into the content that works and the influencers that amplify content. It also provides content alerts every time a keyword or brand is mentioned, when new content is published by a domain or when content links to a domain.

I also write as a columnist for Social Media Today and Anders Pink. Regular G+ user at Steve Rayson

 

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Comments

rwhunni
Posted on July 23rd 2013 at 3:59AM

Very helpful for the customers and you can convince the audiences on how to improve the social media through this guidelines. Establish good company in LinkedIn.

Clifford Patterson
Posted on July 25th 2013 at 2:13PM

Very interesting. I am sold if we are going to grow our business we better get involved quickly.

Warren Whitlock
Posted on July 28th 2013 at 5:46AM

Some good ideas on improving your Linkedin use. One trick that can't be over emphasized is to actaully network and communicate with Linkedin users. They aren't there to play games or waste their time. Give the help they are looking for and they (and other watching) will be drawn to you and seek engagment.

susantatum
Posted on July 28th 2013 at 3:10PM

Hi Steve,

Our company uses content marketing and LinkedIn to generate leads for IT/Software companies. I agree with all of your suggestions except the first one. We have not found company pages to be of any real value. I think that's because buyers go to LinkedIn to connect with people - not with companies. 

Do you have any data or case studies to support the value of LinkedIn company pages from a lead generation perspective? If so, I'd love to see them. 

I agree that the concept of company pages makes sense. And certainly a strong company presence would be good for recruiting. But given that few companies can afford to pump unlimited resources into LinkedIn, we've found it's much more important to focus on individual profiles and groups - including, as you mentioned, creating custom groups.

Susan

Steve Rayson
Posted on August 3rd 2013 at 9:29AM

Hi Susan,

Sorry for the delay in replying, summer holiday time here in the UK. My experience is similar to your own, we find our LinkedIn community group generates more leads than the company page itself. However, there are many published examples of others that have benefited strongly from company pages. HP is one of the better known examples as they have over 1m followers. There is a LinkedIn case study on HP and also articles on the HP experience like this one http://marketing.linkedin.com/blog/what-hps-1-million-linkedin-followers... on how they segment and do targeted updates to followers.

I still think LinkedIn groups are potentially better for lead generation as by their nature there is a higher level of engagement through questions and discussions.

Steve

 

Steve Rayson
Posted on October 21st 2013 at 8:43PM

Hi Susan

Further to my earleir note I think the latest research that more visits to corporate websites are from LinkedIn than other social sites is evidence of the potential of LinkedIn for lead gen. 

See recent article here http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-rayson/1841146/linkedin-drives-more-tr...

Steve

Luke Vaughn
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 10:33PM

Thanks for the article! Definitely interesting and helpful. LinkedIn is definitely becoming an important B2B tool for marketers. For all of my professional interactions I prefer LinkedIn over Facebook for sure.

giahuynhdecor
Posted on June 26th 2014 at 9:36AM

Thanks so much. I will follow your guidelines to my profile.