“Social Media is getting tougher to crack day by day” You might have heard this statement time and again from many of your colleagues in the Digital space. It’s true to a certain extent. Consider Facebook for example; The organic reach has hit an all time low thanks to it’s new news feed algorithm update. Even paid advertising hasn’t been spared in this regard. It’s costlier than ever to advertise on this platform.
Every time the word “Social Media” is mentioned you’ll probably have Facebook at the top of your head. But with the recent data breach controversy surrounding Facebook, it high time we marketers started leveraging other social platforms as well.
If you’re in the B2B space LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft) is without a doubt the go-to platform. It’s algorithm is super friendly( High organic reach) and the level of professionalism on this network is second to none.
Here are some facts about LinkedIn to get you started: Did you know?
1) 41% of millionaires use this network.
2) 59% of users on this platform don’t visit Twitter.
3) You can increase your LinkedIn views by 11x by including an Image.
4) One is three professionals across the globe are on this B2B network.
In this article I’m going to demystify nearly all aspects (features) of this network in a crisp and concise manner. Now let’s get started!
#1: Profile setup and Personal branding
1)Profile and cover/background Image
Use a clear headshot as your profile Image. Don’t use passport photographs, group photos or low quality images. Profile Image is the first element that grabs people’s attention while viewing your profile. So make sure that it looks professional.
This is a key factor to appear in the relevant search results. Use keywords related to your niche/industry. To spice things up, achievements can also be added here. Keep it short and relevant. Headline and Image are two primary factors people look into before sending you a connection request.
This is the section wherein you give a detailed description about yourself. Make sure to use keywords here as well. Convert your summary into a story to keep it interesting. Links to other social accounts can also be included.
Also, you can use a background image relevant to your niche. Connect with people who are active on this platform. You can see the activities section to know how active a person is.
4) Personalize your URL
This is a complete nobrainer. Adding a custom url makes yourself look professional and easy to find. Afterall, LinkedIn is a search engine.
5) Add relevant skills
LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills. However I’d recommend adding 8 to 10 core skills. It looks neat and elegant.
This is a great way to increase your profile strength and appear higher in search results. Having more endorsements is directly correlated to higher rankings in LinkedIn search results. Sort your skills in the descending order of number of endorsements received.
Receiving recommendations from past/present employers/colleagues adds social proof and credibility to your profile. Don’t forget to give recommendations to the relevant people.
8) Work Experience and Education
Add a detailed description about the companies you’ve worked at and also mention roles and responsibilities undertaken. Keep it in pointers. Also add the projects undertaken with the relevant documents attached.
#2: How to add connections?
Add the usual suspects( friends, family and colleagues). Make sure that you add only active users in your niche. You can do this by viewing the activities section. Also follow relevant influencers and thought leaders.
Here’s a brief explanation about the various degrees of connections:
1st degree: People who are directly connected to you.
2nd degree: People who are connected to your 1st degree connections.
3rd degree: People who are connected to your 2nd degree connections.
Those who don’t fall under any of these categories are considered to be out of network.
#3: What and when to share (posts/articles)?
LinkedIn is a professional platform. Only post valuable industry related content. Guides, FAQs and product descriptions are a big hit on this platform. Post different types of content (Videos, articles, competitor posts, quotes..)
A study found that people are most active from 9 to 5 on this B2B platform. If you’re a company/business post 2 to 3 times a day with 3 hours gap between each post.
Posts have a higher organic reach when compared to articles. Write articles only when you gain a lot of followers. Articles showcase your knowledge expertise and can be used to establish authority.
#4: LinkedIn groups
Unlike Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups generally lack engagement. It’s one of the major drawbacks of this network. However you should still leverage it to gain so some amount of traction. LinkedIn allows you to join upto 50 groups.
Find relevant and active groups to amplify your content. Your main goal should be to give value and not become a spammer. You can also start your own group to position yourself as an authority in your niche.
#5: LinkedIn ads
This is one of the best features of this B2B platform. There are three types of ads on linkedIn:
1) Sponsored/Promoted posts
Having a company page is a pre requisite to run a sponsored ad. This is aka native ad. It appears in the news feed and blends in with the other content. So it becomes difficult for users to ignore them. Native ads have a higher level of engagement and click through rate when compared to it’s traditional counterpart.
Follow the guidelines mentioned below while making a sponsored post:
1) Post the content on your company page and then give it a boost.
2) Youtube videos can be used as content.
3)Use a proper title, description and call to action.
4)A/B test your sponsored post on relevant LinkedIn groups.
2) Sponsored Inmail
As the name suggests, it involves sending a mail who may or may not be your connection. You will be charged only when the recipient opens the mail.
3) Text ads
These are the ads that appear on the RHS of the screen.Text Advertisement
What sets LinkedIn ads apart from rest of the crowd is the fact that it allows hyper-specific targeting of audience. The narrower your target down higher is the price and vice versa. The key is to find the right balance in segmentation of audience.
#6: LinkedIn learning
This is one of the USP of LinkedIn. All the latest in-demand skills can be learnt here by an expert-led course. LinkedIn learning is a freemium feature and comes with a 1 month free trial. It is a large repository of high quality resources to help you stay industry updated.
This is another unique platform to establish authority and repurpose your content. As the name suggests, content is consumed in the form of slides. Slideshare is extensively used by corporate professionals to deliver presentations and market their content.
#8: How to use hashtags?
Hashtags are a great way to improve discoverability. Here are some guidelines to ace the #tag game on LinkedIn:1) Make your public profile visible to everyone.
2)Use relevant hashtags and 4 to 6 max for each post. Overdoing it makes you look unprofessional.
3)Use hashtags while commenting.
4)Use hashtags in summary section of your profile(optional).
5)Hashtags in the commentary section of an article can’t be edited after posting. So use it carefully.
It’s high time you started leveraging LinkedIn for your business, particularly if you’re in the B2B niche. There are tons of features on this professional network and it’s a great place to establish thought leadership. So hop on board and get started right away.
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