So, what are your thoughts about using LinkedIn as a marketing opportunity for your small business? What, you say, isn’t that mostly for people who are job-hunting or businesses that want to implement B2B marketing? While all that was probably true at one point, LinkedIn is undergoing a quiet revolution which could be of great use to your marketing plans.
After buying the online empire in 2016, Microsoft has slowly been adding new capabilities and strategies to bolster LinkedIn’s marketing effectiveness. Its changes have resulted in LinkedIn placing second among major social platforms (after Facebook) in providing the best return on investment (ROI). Companies now spend four times as many marketing dollars on LinkedIn as they do on Instagram.
LinkedIn has over 500 million users who might be interested in utilizing your services, and most of them access the platform daily. While some social media sites are building a reputation as a great way to waste time, LinkedIn is focused instead on ways to boost productivity. It has become a great way to exchange business information and connect with potential customers.
The question, of course, is how to best use this powerful content marketing platform to make your business stand out. Here are some steps you can take to get LinkedIn on your side:
• Get on the site: As with any social media site, the first step is getting your business established there. This means creating LinkedIn personal and business profile pages. Use lots of photos and descriptive phrases that potential customers might look for when searching for the product or service you provide. You can use this space to build your company’s brand by completing the story of your evolution. Finally, make sure all of your contact information is correct and provide a working link to your company’s website.
• If you build it, use it: Here again, the more current your LinkedIn page is, the better it will be for you. This is not the place to be intensely sales-oriented; it is the site to show off your knowledge and expertise. Take time to curate it closely, update it regularly, and be sure to post useful and interesting information. LinkedIn posts with images can really catch attention – much better than text-only. They earn comments and build engagement with your audience. Post status updates that are of interest to potential customers, participate in groups where you can share your expertise, and be sure to add your LinkedIn page to your website to make it easier for visitors to get there.
• Connect carefully: The site helps you go through your email list so you can select possible connections. From there, you can branch out to other opportunities for similar people based on their connections and social networks. Join appropriate industry groups to gather information, and also to provide input that will show off your expertise. You can also reach out to other professionals in your industry to seek guidance and advice. Once you have established a network, be sure to engage with it on a regular basis.
• Ask for recommendations: LinkedIn has built a good reputation for having quality recommendations and endorsements so, if you have any customers who are particularly pleased with your services, be sure to ask them to sign in and give you a recommendation regarding your overall capabilities or an endorsement of a particular skill. This gives others a sense of confidence about you and your business.
One of the latest additions to the LinkedIn marketing arsenal is the introduction of LinkedIn Live. Currently finishing its beta phase, this dynamic new communications opportunity will soon allow all users to broadcast of-the-moment footage. While waiting for its wide roll-out, use the time to brainstorm ways you can take advantage of the power of video and LinkedIn to communicate to and educate your target audience, in order to motivate them to try your business.
Being a small business is no reason to rely on small marketing ideas. Look at what your larger competitors are doing on LinkedIn and adapt their winning strategies for your own marketing purposes.