Musings

Social Media Best Practices: The REAL Way to Use LinkedIn

Posted by BSG Team on Apr 13, 2016 3:00:00 PM

LINKEDIN-BEST-PRACTICES.pngYou know you are supposed to be on LinkedIn, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of work for very little return.  The key is to know the right tricks to make LinkedIn work for you. Are you taking advantage of all of LinkedIn’s content marketing features? What LinkedIn has to offer may surprise you.

With just a few small changes to how and what you post on LinkedIn, you can build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more revenue.

1.  Share From Your Company Page

Your LinkedIn company page is where you meet prospects and build relationships with clients. This is your opportunity to share content that is valuable to your audience, answer questions, and solve problems. You can build relationships with your followers and nurture brand awareness with your ideal prospects.

Ideally you should post three to four times a day and always respond to followers’ comments.

Here’s what you should share on your LinkedIn company page:

  • Links to your latest and best white papers
  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Bright visuals
  • Industry articles
  • Helpful how-to content

Quick Tip* Change your header image every six months to keep it fresh.

2. Post to SlideShare

Do you know what Slideshare is? If you don’t then you are missing a huge marketing opportunity. LinkedIn SlideShare has more than 70 million monthly unique visitors, and averages well over 4 million visitors a day.

Ideally, you should upload new content weekly. Also, highlight decks on profile pages, group content into playlists, and add lead forms to help achieve lead-generation goals. You can also link your SlideShare presentation to your website to gain a quality inbound link.

Here’s what you should post on SlideShare:

  • Company videos
  • Webinar and conference recordings
  • Product how-tos and tips
  • Company presentations
  • Infographics
  • Well-designed short and informative content
  • Webinar decks

Quick Tip* Use the clipping tool to highlight and share content you’ve produced with your networks.

3. Publish on Publisher

More than 1 million people have published more than 3 million posts on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. About 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries, including managers, VPs, and CEOs, the very people you want to network with.

Publish at least once a month, or even more if you feel inspired. You can get the LinkedIn Pulse app for Android or iOS to see what type of content is currently trending in your field. A few hours a month should be enough to see a marked improvement

Here is what you should publish on LinkedIn Publisher:

  • Professional expertise and experiences
  • Industry trends
  • Mistakes made and lessons learned

Quick Tip* Link images and keywords back to your company blog or eBooks to increase traffic back to your site.

4. Promote With Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn sponsored updates allow you to publish relevant content and connect with a targeted audience of professionals beyond your LinkedIn company page followers.

You can also use direct sponsored content, a type of sponsored update, to share content directly in the feed. This enables you to AB test content in real time without having to originate posts on your company page. You can create personalized messages to target specific audiences.

You can generate quality leads by sharing insights that professionals seek. Then watch that content spread via the peer sharing that occurs naturally on LinkedIn.

Here are a few suggestions for what types of content to sponsor:

  • Company news
  • Blog content
  • Industry news and research
  • Case studies
  • Webinars and content produced by business leaders (both within and outside of your company)
  • Eye-catching visuals and statistics

Quick Tip* Most engagement with sponsored updates comes via mobile devices, so ensure your website or landing page is mobile responsive.

LinkedIn sponsored updates and direct sponsored content should follow these basic rules:

  • Use a compelling visual (1200 x 627 pixel image).
  • Keep your captions short and sweet (under 150 characters).
  • Add URL tracking codes to measure post-click. You can track site visits and conversions.
  • Run 2-4 sponsored updates a week.
  • Run sponsored updates for about three weeks, test and retest.
  • Set up campaigns by audience. Target the audience with the highest engagement rate.

5. Join the Conversation

Companies often talk about “establishing thought leadership” online.  LinkedIn groups are a perfect way to join the conversation and engage your community.

Participating in groups can be very rewarding. But their success depends on the time, energy, and effort of the group moderators.

Here are some suggestions to find success with LinkedIn groups:

  • Create a group for your company and assign ownership and duties.
  • Ask for opinions and provide unique insights, but avoid self-promotion.
  • Keep your content focused.
  • Manage and monitor post submissions daily.
  • Highlight top contributors.
  • Promote your group across social media channels for increased membership.
  • Join other relevant industry groups. Start conversations about industry trends and challenges.
  • Ask questions!

Quick Tip* LinkedIn Groups: A Moderator’s Field Guide is a great resource to learn how to engage and grow your group.

There is so much more to LinkedIn than meets the eye. It offers a plethora of ways to get your content noticed. Properly used, it will help you develop brand awareness, build valuable relationships, and drive quality leads to your website.

Tell us what do you think. Are you using these LinkedIn content marketing tools? Do you have any tips to share? We would love to hear from you.

 

Topics: Social Media Best Practices