7 Powerful Tips for Promoting Your Business on LinkedIn

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While Twitter’s chock full of celebrities and everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn has quietly built up an impressive network of 200 million people. It’s the “real” aspect of LinkedIn — refreshingly void of incessant virtual poker invites and photos of Internet cats — that sets it apart from other social sites. “While other networks are busy searching for more ways to gamify and monetize your membership,” says Sam Fiorella, author of Influence Marketing, “LinkedIn has continued to do what it does best: connect real people in a real way.”

Businesses who want to get the most out of LinkedIn need to adjust their marketing and ad campaigns for this unique social network. The following tips can help marketers optimize their LinkedIn engagement efforts:

 

 

1.     Filter Your Audience
Advertising on LinkedIn is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution — it’s geared heavily toward B2B. Filter your ads to hit exactly the right audience, whether that’s by job title, industry, or group.

 2.    Create Ad Campaigns & Track Progress
Angela West of PCWorld recommends starting off by paying for clicks, and then — once you’ve narrowed down your “most effective ads and targeting techniques” — moving on to impressions, which “help to reinforce your brand.” LinkedIn gives you basic information about ad clicks, but it’s better to track clicks and impressions on an outside ROI tracker like Google Analytics, so you can get in-depth statistics and tweak campaigns accordingly.

 3.     Eye-Catching Publishing Options
Ads with images get noticed first. LinkedIn’s Optimization Team says photos of a woman next to ad text get the most buzz — but go with what fits your business best. Of course, your ad headlines need to be short and punchy. And as one online marketing strategy expert recently suggested, “Using the title of the people you’re targeting can be very effective.”

 4.     Sell Yourself
Most businesses use their logo, visual shorthand for their brand, on their profile picture. But the first thing people see once they’re on your page? Your banner — so make sure it’s attractive and interesting. For a good example, check out GE’s page. Don’t forget to update and proofread meticulously. Misspellings on a LinkedIn page are unforgiveable.

 5.     Be Useful
You’ll need to provide quality content, especially if you’re a company that’s trying to spur discussion. Aim to act as a thought leader in your realm of expertise and ask questions that other professionals might ask. “Tips for Attracting Customers to your Company Page” was recently a popular article on the official LinkedIn page. If there’s an article or post from another site you think your followers would be interested in, use the LinkedIn Sharing Bookmarklet to quickly “pin” things to your wall.

 6.     Be Courteous
Companies have the advantage of being able to shoot their followers targeted emails.  Use this sparingly for maximum efficiency — and to avoid ending up in the spam filter.

 7.     Be Social
LinkedIn has children’s publishing groups, college groups, job posting groups, and on and on. These groups can be really great ways to make new connections while forging a strong presence on the site. If your company is multifaceted, start multiple groups, then simultaneously broadcast messages to each of them (go here to learn how). Tread carefully, as you risk sounding repetitive if you have lots of user overlap.

Bottom line? LinkedIn requires you to get social in an authentic way. Your followers need more than a quick status update and recycled Twitter content. It’s a tough(er) crowd, but LinkedIn can pay off in a big way if you know how to use it.

 

Leanna Kelly

Leanna Kelly is a writer and editor from California, currently living in NYC.