In business, it’s about who you know. In today’s business, it’s about who you know on the Internet.
Making company connections is no longer as simple as shaking hands after a golf game, or exchanging calling cards over a beer. Everyone and everything is online, and businesses are rushing to keep up on every available platform.
One such platform is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is now the largest professional network in the world. From employers to job hunters, this social networking app allows its members to make online profiles to create and build business relationships. It’s great for finding employees, growing your brand and making connections.
Through the use of websites and mobile apps, it has grown into a network that has 660 million registered members in more than 200 countries across the globe.
Now wouldn’t it be great if you could use those numbers to your company’s advantage?
In this article, that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss.
Before anything else, go to your Company Page. How does it look? Would you want to do business with your company if you didn’t work there already? If the answer is even slightly less than a resounding yes, then you’ve got work to do.
Update Your Company Page
Simple enough, right? But you’d be surprised how many companies actually fail to do this. Most businesses have an out-of-date company page with very little information, or don’t even have a company page at all.
A complete company page is far more likely to get meaningful views than an incomplete one. If you go to a fast food website with an incomplete menu, chances are you’d order somewhere else. The same principle applies here. No one wants to do business with a company that doesn’t paint a complete picture. Fill your page with as much detailed information as possible.
When you’re done with this step, make sure to announce that you have a Company page on all your other platforms. Link to it in the footer of your marketing emails and newsletters, release it on social media and embed a Company Follow button onto your website.
What do you want your company to achieve?
You wouldn’t want all your time and effort to be spent working on a LinkedIn profile that doesn’t align with your business goals.
Are you looking to hire new talent? Are you trying to find more clients? Are you trying to improve your inbound marketing for social selling?
Having a clear picture of what your business hopes to gain from LinkedIn will help you determine which of its features to utilize.
Come up with a marketing strategy that will help you work towards a specific target. Then explore LinkedIn’s marketing tools and select the ones that will benefit your company the most.
Know Your Audience
Once you’ve established goals, think about who you set the goals for.
Think of your ideal audience, and target your use of LinkedIn specifically to them. Use profile data to search for members and decision-makers based on factors like industry, company size, geographic location, and even connections.
You can also check your other social media platforms to determine what kind of audience you already have. Find out where they are and how they are connecting with you. Knowing who you’re trying to target will help you create the message that will most appeal to them.
Based on your user research, you can then create your client/customer persona. This will allow you to get to know your audience better, and to shape your brand for the right market.
Use Your Assets
Employees and Colleagues are some of your company’s biggest assets.
Each person on your team has a network of his/her own. By simply asking them to link their profiles to your company page, you can expand your businesses’ reach easily.
According to LinkedIn, employees have 10 times more first-degree connections than a company has followers. Use the connections you already have to your advantage.
Social networking is nothing if not relevant.
If you cannot keep up with trends on social media, there’s no reason to be on it at all. With the average human’s attention span being shorter than ever, companies need to work harder to create interesting content across screens.
The best way to do this is to post regularly and relevantly. The key is to post high quality, original company content at least once a day to make sure that your posts appear on your network’s news feeds.
Also, remember to always keep your audience engaged. One way you can do this is by leveraging rich media. Add photos and videos to your content, i.e. linking to your YouTube channel if you have one.
Another way to aid engagement is by using a strong call to action which leads your users into downloading your content.
Lastly, make sure you always respond to comments and encourage conversations relevant to your company or industry. It’s important to boost engagement and to keep up regular communication on your company page.
THE NEXT STEP
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s dive deeper into LinkedIn’s functions. Specifically, we’ll look at how you can use the platform to find those vital new clients. The clients that will help your agency grow and propel you to the next level.
Get to Know LinkedIn
LinkedIn is very generous with information on how its algorithm works. Its research shows you when posts get the most engagement, what your demographics are, and even what kind of content your followers like.
Explore your Page Analytics to track your company’s progress on the network. This will allow you to focus your resources on where it needs the most work.
Source: Foundation Marketing
By assessing your LinkedIn performance you can make the best of the time you spend on the platform. If you find that particular content is great for engaging those new leads that may become clients, you’ll know that’s what to focus on moving forward.
Participate in LinkedIn groups. Search for the ones with the same interests and goals as your business, or check LinkedIn’s Group Discover page. And if you can’t find any that suit you, you can always create your own.
It’s a social networking platform, so make sure to constantly find ways to communicate with people outside your current circle. You never know which connection could lead to your next client.
By being active on LinkedIn, you show your network that you’re engaged as well as knowledgeable. They’ll come to think of you as an authority in your field. It’s a small step from there, for them to consider you as an agency to work with.
Share Other Content
Utilize LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Instead of linking to your website or other networks alone, have members of your company post directly from their LinkedIn profiles. This can help strengthen your company’s presence socially.
Furthermore, when it comes to posting, you don’t need to stick to your content alone. By sharing blog posts, ebooks, news articles, and videos from other companies and starting valuable conversations, this could jumpstart your connections with them as well. Any relevant business contact is a potential source for new clients.
Reach Specific Markets
Make use of Showcase Pages. According to LinkedIn, showcase pages are extensions of your main page. They are designed to highlight individual brands and business units, as well as help meet your company’s growth objectives.
Showcase pages have a lower follower count than company pages. They can still, however, help target members and leads who may be interested in specific branches of your business. That can help you foster valuable relationships with them. That’s all part of the crucial lead generation process.
Use Self-Service Advertising
Go back to your business goals and customer persona, this is always a vital first step for an effective marketing strategy. Use them to clearly define how you’re looking to find clients and nurture leads through LinkedIn. Then, consider the different ad formats that the platform provides to help you grow your company:
- Sponsored content: This format helps your content reach a wider audience than you would have organically. You can use sponsored content to distribute your digital works like e-books and articles, and directly target specific professionals.
- Text Ads: Text-ads, which can function on cost-per-impression (CPI) or pay-per-click (PPC) can also be useful to increase the visibility of your company to specific users. These ads will appear on the LinkedIn homepage, group pages, and search results, among others.
- Sponsored InMail: Sponsored InMail allows you to speak directly to targeted members with personalized ads. You are able to send a personalized message and send it to their LinkedIn inbox much like a regular email marketing, but through the LinkedIn platform.
A case study by Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business offered some useful insights. Researchers used Sponsored InMail ads to find qualified candidates for their MBA program. Using precise targeting, they achieved a 27.5 percent open rate on its Sponsored InMail messages and a 71 percent conversion rate for requests for information.
LinkedIn self-service advertising can help target your ideal audience more efficiently. You’re not merely reaching out to a general audience that may be harder to sift through.
If you would like to take LinkedIn Ads a step further, you can also look into purchasing advertising products through LinkedIn’s ad platform or a marketing partner.
Relevant content, targeted connections, and company information must always be updated, and all of LinkedIn’s evolving functions should be regularly explored.
All these steps will help you leverage LinkedIn to your company’s advantage. However, this is an ongoing process, not a one-time solution. Take time to find what’s right for your agency by analyzing what works and what doesn’t. Remember there’s always a fix, if your promotion isn’t working. As your business grows, your LinkedIn network must also grow with you.
LinkedIn – A Networking Tool for the Digital Age
Modern agencies must explore all channels to find those crucial new clients. LinkedIn can be a superb lead generation channel, if used correctly. It’s a platform specifically designed to connect professionals and foster business relationships. Treat it with respect and you can reap the rewards.
It’s critical to get the fundamentals of LinkedIn correct. Keep your presence and content up-to-date and relevant to your audience. Then, utilize your existing business connections to build a wider network. From there, you can set yourself up as an authority in your field. That, together with smart use of LinkedIn’s many functions, may just see those new clients start rolling in.