As a digital marketer, I find that LinkedIn is one of the most misunderstood networks when it comes to social media marketing. I am often asked “how do I use LinkedIn to promote my business?” This can be a complicated question to answer. Most often people think it’s as simple as creating a company page. What they don’t realize is that, for a LinkedIn marketing strategy to work, you need talented and engaged employees who are willing to act as expert representatives for the company or organization.
Employees Are Your Brand
A recent survey found that 43% of users spend less than two hours on LinkedIn weekly. That’s not much, compared to Facebook and other networks. And when people do log on, they’re checking in to see what their connections are up to first. This is why employees play such a big role in a company’s brand visibility and awareness. Personal interactions are opportunities for company page connections.
Company Pages Support Your Brand
Company pages are similar to Facebook brand pages. They can be branded and optimized for search. Employees can link to the company page on their own profiles. Company pages can post updates that are visible on LinkedIn’s home page (think Facebook Newsfeed). But here’s the thing: Only about 20% of followers will see company posts. This goes back to how people use LinkedIn. It’s more about who’s doing what and who knows what. Company pages serve as an important landing place for those who have discovered your company through an individual.
Your Secret Weapon: Industry Experts
In addition to being a social network, LinkedIn has two features that make it a thought leadership-building tool: Groups and Pulse. Only individuals can utilize these features. Both features offer the opportunity for members to show they are knowledgeable in their field. And when your employees look good, your company looks good.
Groups can be likened to industry topic forums. Anyone can create a group. Members can share relevant articles and resources, start conversations, and pose and answer questions.
Pulse is a place where members can access the most popular articles and insights from industry experts. At first, only “influencers” as chosen by LinkedIn were able to publish articles. LinkedIn recently opened this up to all members. If an individual writes an article that gets a lot of views and engagement, it could show in Pulse.
You may already have employees on staff who interact on LinkedIn as industry experts, or you may have some who have the potential to become influencers. Finding these people and engaging them is the key to really growing your presence on LinkedIn and speaking to potential clients.
Want to learn more? The following slide deck talks more about optimizing your LinkedIn presence, utilizing features and engaging potential industry experts.