LinkedIn has emerged as the social network of choice for business professionals, with a user base now reaching over 200 million registered users turning to the network for job hunting, recruiting, and business-centric content discovery.
Beyond recruiting, however, LinkedIn offers your company several ways to drive marketing results, discover leads, and close more sales. Let’s look at a few best practices for companies looking to leverage LinkedIn to drive business goals.
Share Original Content and Thought Leadership
Those following your LinkedIn presence are likely to be interested in not only your latest product updates, but your thoughts on industry happenings. Your latest blog post, white paper, or ebook should be shared on LinkedIn so your business-centric audience can see it, establishing your brand as thought leaders in your arena. Be sure to include images in your updates to help them stand out, and feel free to make your updates more engaging by asking a question, or even running a poll.
Target Your Content and Calls to Action
LinkedIn allows company pages to better target their content with customized audience features. Based on the profile of the visiting user, this customization allows you to use the most enticing language according to factors such as industry, job titles, geographic location, etc. Creating customized content for specific LinkedIn users will help send them more relevant landing pages and calls-to-action. This could be used to send job seekers to one area, potential buyers to another.
Generate Social Proof
Under the Products tab of your company page, you’ll note that product recommendations are prominently featured in the right sidebar. Here is where your audience will see who in their professional network is endorsing your brand’s products and services.
These product recommendations are a great display of social proof for your brand. We are highly influenced by what people we know are discussing and recommending, so don’t feel shy about reaching out to satisfied customers and brand advocates to ask for these valuable LinkedIn recommendations.
Drive More Leads
LinkedIn’s InMail option gives companies the ability to send a direct message to any member of the network regardless of whether they are connected or not. The network maintains that the open rate on InMail messages reaches as much as 44%, far exceeding that of standard email efforts. It’s not a free option, but an InMail campaign may be an option your company could use in order to fully take advantage of the network’s user base for lead generation.
In a free webinar today (Edit:May 16, 2013) at 2pm EST with author Brian Carter, we’ll cover seven major tips for LinkedIn Marketing including how to overcome the network’s biggest challenges, making new and valuable contacts, finding the right mix between engagement and sales, and how content marketing helps fuel LinkedIn results.
Brian Carter is author of The Like Economy, Facebook Marketing, and LinkedIn For Business. He has been featured on Mashable, Bloomberg TV, ABC News and is a social media speaker and trainer. Learn more about Brian at http://BrianCarterYeah.com.
(Note: This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog on May 16, 2013.)