Rethink LinkedIn

By | April 3, 2013

Like many others, you may have thought of LinkedIn as a place meant for posting resumes and searching for jobs. Think again.

LinkedIn just may be the best online marketing venue in the business – especially if you have a business-to-business company.

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has recently emerged as a bonafide marketing behemoth within the social media landscape. It surpassed both Twitter and Facebook as a platform for posting marketing content, according the Content Marketing Institute report, 2013 Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

LinkedIn has recently amassed an astounding 200 million members. Plus, it acquires 172,800 new members every day. LinkedIn also generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate — 2.74% — nearly three times more than Twitter and Facebook, according to a 2012 HubSpot study.

If you’re like other business owners, you know that you need to build an online brand presence. But, like many, your eyes glaze over at the infinite number of social media options.

So, let’s simplify this. If you had to choose just one social network for marketing your business online, LinkedIn would be a pretty good place to start. It’s easy to set up. It’s free, unless you spring for the Premium plan, and it won’t take up your entire workday to follow or maintain. Here are some simple action items:

  1. Sign up. If you haven’t already done so, stop everything and set up a LinkedIn account for your company. By the way, a newer, sleeker LinkedIn Company Pages, launched last year, makes it easier to connect your business with those 200 million other users.
  2. Introduce yourself. Write a company profile with strong, relevant keywords. Let people know who you are, what you do, and how to reach you. Maintain your page with regular company updates and news.
  3. Join LinkedIn groups. (FYI: My favorite LinkedIn feature.) Join LinkedIn groups — either within your industry or in those you’re targeting to grow your business. See what people are talking about and sharing.
  4. Build contacts. LinkedIn is ultimately a great place to network. Invite people you know to be “contacts” and, likewise, accept invitations from others to join their contact list. LinkedIn etiquette generally frowns on asking complete strangers to be contacts, but you may ask existing contacts for referrals to their connections.
  5. Contribute. While LinkedIn is generally a promotion-free zone, it nonetheless encourages you to share and respond to relevant news, trends, observation and opinion with your groups and contacts. It’s a great way to build brand awareness for you and your company and widen your network of professional connections.

So, thinking about giving LinkedIn a try?  Good call. May be the best thing you do today for your company.

Editor’s Note: Bob Boucher is President of Boucher Communications. A communications professional for 30 years, Bob is an experienced marketer, copywriter, journalist and content generator for enterprises and agencies. He has spent much of the past 20 years in the graphic arts and digital printing industries.

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6 thoughts on “Rethink LinkedIn

  1. John Kauffman

    Does it make sense to advertise on LinkedIn? If so what is the strategy behind adverting on LinkedIn to get the biggest bang for your buck?


  2. Bob Boucher

    Hi John. Good question. It’s always worth testing new ad environments. In general, however, the overall effectiveness of any marketing tactic depends on your underlying strategy, i.e., are you delivering the most compelling message to the right target audience via the right channel at the best time.

    Anything you do should also be integrated with your other marketing tactics. You want to make sure that your ad or marketing tactics have a clear call to actionand link to a landing page that addresses the reader’s specific inquiry or
    interest. It goes without saying that your LinkedIn profile, as well as
    your website, need to be up to date, informative, and easy to navigate.

  3. Heath Cajandig

    As you make clear, LinkedIn is a great resource. However, one of the most annoying things are people who join and instantly start trying to sell or pitch products into Groups and other areas. Just like face to face interaction, it is a venue for building relationships that lead to connecting services and offerings. Don’t be that guy/gal that answer nearly every question with a pitch for your product or services :-).

  4. Nicole Schappert

    Great post, Bob! Nice to have your perspective on The Digital Nirvana.

  5. Bob Boucher Post author

    Hi Heath. Copy that. Someone wrote recently that hard-selling products in a LinkedIn group discussion is like walking up to a stranger at a party and launching right into a sales pitch. Wrong time. Wrong place.

  6. Elaine Neiss

    Thanks for the post. Couldn’t agree more. LinkedIn has been a wonderful vehicle to get a message out and then watch it grow as it gets shared, etc… I find its value has increased tremendously in the past year.

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