Social media was once a new phenomenon. Now it is an every-day norm.
LinkedIn too was once a way to publish your CV and experience online. Now it’s a way of communicating, socialising and networking with other professionals online.
This change hasn’t gone unnoticed amongst marketers…
Why is LinkedIn important?
Around 50% of the UK are active on social media every day.
True; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter make up the bulk of this, with everyone from young teenagers to octogenarians keeping up with events and each other. However, one social media platform appeals exclusively to working age adults – LinkedIn.
Whilst other platforms are focused on what we do with our home lives and leisure time, LinkedIn is firmly focused on what we do for work. LinkedIn is social media for the 9-to-5. And that makes it fertile ground for successful marketing.
Users of LinkedIn are varied but it is typically engaged with most by office-based workers and those who might consider themselves career-builders or professionals. There are exceptions but those most active on LinkedIn are often senior decision-makers (such as managers and directors). For most companies who provide their goods to other organisations (business-to-business or B2B), these senior managers and decision-makers represent their ideal target audience for marketing.
That’s makes LinkedIn an important part of the B2B marketing mix.
LinkedIn company profile
There are broadly two ways to post on LinkedIn; as an individual and as a business. It’s best to harness both.
Establishing a company profile page allows you to name and brand it to represent your business and then post appropriate updates. These posts will then go organically into the LinkedIn news feed of those following your company profile.
As this following starts at zero – and a company profile cannot itself ask people to follow it – there are tactics you can employ to encourage followers.
Like any marketing, its best to identify your objectives and tactics before jumping into LinkedIn marketing.
These objectives are typically:
- To increase awareness of your company amongst decision-makers and influencers within target organisations (i.e. to encourage enquiries and sales)
- To communicate your company’s capabilities, strengths and persona
- To demonstrate your company’s industry leadership in terms expertise and innovation
What should you post on LinkedIn?
So, what type of updates and information should you post on your LinkedIn company profile to achieve these social media marketing objectives?
Reach (the number of people who see your posts) is increased through engaging content. The more people who read, like, comment or share a post, the further it will spread organically through other user’s feeds.
The most successful social media posts typically report on something which has ‘happened’. These might include:
- New customers, case studies or complete projects
- New products, services or innovations
- New staff and existing staff profiles
- Achievements (awards and quality standards)
- Events or meetings attended (post-Covid)
- Other developments within the business such as new equipment, facilities or staff initiatives
- Charity or community involvement
- Press releases and blogs (especially if they have been published by a third party)
Posting is easy. Coming up with engaging content is more of a challenge.
‘To sell or not to sell’ on LinkedIn
The temptation is to use LinkedIn simply as a place to advertise what you do – posting updates which detail and promote what you sell.
However, it’s important to ask how often you yourself read sales posts from other companies? Looking at your own LinkedIn feed, how often do purely promotional posts (other than those ‘sponsored’) organically appear in your feed?
Whilst traditional sales messages have their place and are useful to maintain regular posting when inspiration runs low, they are less engaging than genuine updates.
As mentioned in the objectives above, the greatest results are typically achieved by raising your business’s profile by posting interesting and engaging updates and establishing your company as leaders within your sector. When customers are ready to buy what you deliver, it is likely your company’s name that will first pop into their minds!
How can you boost social media engagement with your LinkedIn posts?
If you’ve run out of news to report, engaging social media posts can also be created by sharing updates or articles written or published by others. By commenting upon them, you can also demonstrate your expertise and leadership within your sector.
For example, you can share articles related to your sector or on subjects which impact your particular customer base. You could feature blogs or articles from others on industry developments, innovations or trends.
How often should you post on LinkedIn?
There is no limit to how frequently you can post on LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn’s own algorithm controls how frequently they appear in your follower’s feeds, based on competition, levels of engagement and the user’s own behaviour.
Once a week is the minimum needed to show users you are active on LinkedIn. However, twice or three times a week is best. Unlike Twitter, which requires much greater regularity, any higher frequency is not guaranteed to increase impressions.
As LinkedIn is a professional network, it is most effective to post within office hours and on weekdays.
Supporting images for LinkedIn
Let’s face it, social media is a visual medium – it’s the images which accompany posts which are seen first and encourage users to read further.
As such, all social media posts need to be accompanied by an image and genuine pictures are often most effective. Those taken landscape and wide (1.91:1) display best across LinkedIn and most other social media platforms.
Remember, the updates and images you post reflect on your business, so ensure they are suitably well taken and represent the qualities you want to communicate (e.g. professional, creative, modern).
To boost brand awareness, consider using the same branding, fonts or templates across the images you post so they are immediately identifiable with your company.
Increasing the odds in your favour
There are a couple of actions you can take to boost the engagement and impressions of your business’s posts on LinkedIn:
Ensuring more people see your company’s LinkedIn posts
If a user likes or shares your company’s update, it is more likely to appear in the feeds of their own connections.
This can be used to your company’s advantage:
- Ask your colleagues to regularly like and/or share your company’s posts. This will then show them to their connections
- Each month, key members of your team can grow their connections in LinkedIn by proactively asking appropriate individuals within target organisations to connect with them. They can use the search function to identify job roles or companies and invite up to 100 people per month to connect
- Once connected, you can also now directly invite your existing contacts to follow your company page
Increasing your return-on-investment from LinkedIn marketing
As social media has matured, so the level of free exposure it provides has declined. This is particularly evident on Facebook where any business with a reasonable size following will see it’s posts go organically into fewer and fewer user’s feeds.
LinkedIn is similar. Following LinkedIn’s acquisition by Microsoft, the number of organic impressions which any post receives appeared to drop significantly. Regular posts are unlikely to display to users other than your existing followers or those connections closest to you and your employees.
In relative terms, LinkedIn is possibly the most expensive platform to pay to advertise upon or boost posts. However, this needs to be considered in context.
On Facebook, you might advertise to a broad range of consumers to promote something of relatively modest value – like a restaurant meal, hotel stay or snack food. The cost-per-click may be low.
On LinkedIn, you’re more likely to be promoting a high value service or product to key decision-makers in large or established businesses. The costs-per-click may be much higher but so is the potential return-on-investment.
If you want to quickly and successful increase awareness of your business on LinkedIn, paid activity may be a wise investment within your social media marketing strategy.
‘Full Mix’ Social Media Marketing
The results of LinkedIn social media marketing have been transformative for many of our clients.
At Full Mix Marketing, we manage and deliver social media marketing for a wide range of B2B businesses, in sectors including manufacturing, engineering, IT, logistics, technology and business services. As well as regular creative posting, we proactively grow their followings and deliver highly effective social media advertising campaigns.
If you need to help to exploit LinkedIn for your business, get in touch: https://www.fullmixmarketing.co.uk/social-media/