Nov 02 2015 | by SONYA FRY
If you still only see LinkedIn as a social network for job hunters and recruitment companies, then think again. As well as being a fantastic way to grow your professional network as an individual, the twelve-year-old social platform should also be seen as a gateway for showcasing your business and a great tool for business to business online marketing.
LinkedIn has a signing up rate of two new members per second, and out of the 300 million plus members, the UK has over 19 million. So although social media can take up a lot of time and the number of different channels is growing every day, LinkedIn is definitely worth the investment of your time, especially if your products or services are aimed at other businesses.
Just like other social network channels, having a profile or business page on LinkedIn takes commitment in order to be beneficial. You must be willing to add relevant and useful content on a regular basis and post as many engaging status updates as possible in order to keep extending your reach and subsequently your influence. LinkedIn recommend companies post at least twenty times a month, with quality, engaging material that is relevant to your sector - anything that looks like spam will have a negative effect on your level of followers.
Advertising with LinkedIn.
Did you know that businesses can also advertise on LinkedIn via text advertisements and sponsored In-Mail advertising? The text advertisements are similar to Google PPC in that you have a 25 character headline and 75 characters for the ad copy. However on LinkedIn you also get the added bonus of adding a small image of your company logo or product. These appear on the right hand side of most pages across LinkedIn, and they can also be expanded to contain a 20 second video, which appears once the advert has been clicked by the user. Like most advertising platforms, you are able to schedule your ads and set your budgets so it doesn’t have to cost a lot!
The reason why LinkedIn is so good for business to business marketing, is not only that it is a social network for professionals, but also because of the targeting options that LinkedIn have incorporated within their ad settings.
You have the ability to target aspects as broad as business sectors and size of business all the way down to specifics, such as job title. This means you can segment your advertising to specific levels of the staff hierarchy within a certain type of business, which should make your B2B advertising more efficient compared to other platforms. For example if you know that your products are usually bought by the accounts department, then you can target your advertising to just show to professionals working within that area of the business. And if you know that you generally don’t deal with companies that have over 1,000 employees, then you can target based on that too.
The In-Mail advertising option is a service you can take advantage of once your have upgraded to a premium account. Depending on what plan you choose, you will get a number of credits to use for In-Mail adverts to send a mailshot about a vacancy, company update, or useful article that will reach professionals outside your current connections helping to expand your reach.
A huge benefit of using LinkedIn for your business that differentiates it from other social media networks, is the amount of information you can add to your profile or company page. On Twitter you only have the option to add a very short description, a link to your website, and any information you can squeeze into a tweet. On Facebook you can add similar information with the addition of the ‘about’ page where you can add slightly more company information into the fields available. However with LinkedIn, you can add much more information, which allows you to treat it like an extension of your website. Your company page shows an overview of your company, any updates e.g. blog posts, as well as links to affiliate partners and showcase pages. You can also add careers to your profile, but this is a paid-for feature.
Showcase your company.
Showcase pages are a great way of extending your company profile and separating out brands or products. You can create up to ten showcase pages for free where, along with your logo, you can also add hero images, a page name of up to 100 characters and a description of 75-200 characters. These showcase pages and the content you can post to your LinkedIn profile will all have SEO benefits, just as long as you make sure to include those all-important keywords and links to your website.
Overall, there is probably a lot more to LinkedIn than you first thought and hopefully the information provided has given you a good idea for the potential of your business’ performance on LinkedIn. Just remember to give your LinkedIn profile enough attention and time to allow it to benefit your business, as no social media channel is worth joining if the profile will not be maintained and updated with useful & relevant content.
Is your business LinkedIn?