When it comes to business, not all social media platforms are created equal. While Facebook and Twitter are mainstays for small businesses, and Instagram is popular among design- and image-centric brands, Microsoft’s LinkedIn has carved out its own niche as the place for professional and business connections.
LinkedIn now counts a global user base of more than 700 million people. While that pales in comparison to Facebook’s 2.75 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn’s user base is much more focused. Four out of five users on the platform are in a position to “drive business decisions,” according to the platform, while marketers now rank it as the No. 1 generator of B2B sales leaders.
It’s clear: If you're marketing to businesses and professionals, you need to be on LinkedIn. Here are three ways to build your LinkedIn business presence, whether you're new to the platform or already a power user.
LinkedIn Company Pages & Posts
LinkedIn's Company Pages are your home base on the platform, and a place to showcase the people, products and expertise that make your company an industry leader. That's why it's important for your LinkedIn page administrators to fully complete your company's page profile, and post fresh content often.
As “the world's most viewed professional news feed," there are certain types of posts that tend to work best on LinkedIn. Those include:
- Product updates
- Job openings
- Industry trends or developments
- Cultural/value-based content
- Company news
Like other social platforms, posts with engaging graphics, videos or links do the best. LinkedIn recommends that updates be “relevant, short and authentic,” and provide “clear value oriented towards helping professionals be more productive and successful.”
Admins can also re-share employees’ best posts and mentions on the company page, building your brand with the power of authentic employee voices. If your team members aren’t already sharing this kind of content on the platform, discuss with them the marketing benefits of doing so, and give them the tools and time to experiment with the platform.
When you’re ready to progress to the next level of targeting effectiveness, LinkedIn offers tools for analyzing and tailoring your content. The platform’s Content Marketing Score recommendation engine quantifies your audience’s engagement and how your content stacks up against competitors, while its Trending Content function ranks the topics that are resonating with your desired audiences the most. You can read more about those tools here.
Once you have your LinkedIn Company Page set up and the content flowing, you may want to experiment with ads to reach professionals more directly on the platform.
LinkedIn advertising campaigns are created and managed through the platform's Campaign Manager dashboard, and focus on one of three broad objectives and various sub-goals:
- Awareness: Brand awareness
- Consideration: Website visits, engagement, video views
- Conversation: Lead generation, website conversions, job applicants and talent leads
Available ad formats include:
- Sponsored Content: Content that appears directly in the LinkedIn feeds of targeted professionals or demographics
- Message Ads: Direct messages sent to prospects with a single, focused call to action
- Dynamic Ads: Personalized ads that populate based on an individual’s profile data
- Text Ads: Pay-per-click text adds that appear in LinkedIn’s desktop version
The most effective LinkedIn campaigns use a combination or all of those ad formats; it takes experimentation and a deep understanding of your audience and industry to find out what works best for your brand.
LinkedIn Live & Stories
If you’re already a LinkedIn super user and are looking for more impactful ways to reach your audience, consider the platform's new video options, such as LinkedIn Live or LinkedIn Stories.
Video can supercharge your marketing ROI, with marketers on the platform reporting 24 times the comments and 7 times the reactions on their LinkedIn Live video versus uploading a native video.
LinkedIn Live is a new feature allows brands to stream live video to their followers. The possibilities for harnessing LinkedIn Live are virtually endless, and include:
- “Ask me anything” sessions with executives or team members
- Interactive interviews with influencers
- Streaming live events or panels
- New product demos
- Employee spotlights and honors
- Live company news or announcements
All it takes is a third-party broadcaster tool like Socialive or Restream, and a willingness to experiment. For more on LinkedIn Live, check out the company’s best practices document.
LinkedIn Stories are an even newer feature, and function much like Instagram Stories. These are short video clips that are shared for 24 hours. The company bills them as a great way to "start lightweight conversations related to your work-life," and could include a unique perspective, a question for your network or a walk-through of a new product. It's also a good way to post content that you wouldn't normally want associated with your brand over the long-term.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for business, despite its smaller size compared to the other social media giants. If you’re looking for help polishing your company’s LinkedIn presence, or just have questions about the platform, reach out to the digital marketing experts at Informatics—we know B2B.