Among social media platforms, LinkedIn is typically seen as the most professional one.
The site boasts more than 380 million users spread out across 200 countries and territories. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, this platform is strictly business for most members. LinkedIn users see a business’s or individual’s profile as a Web-based resume.
With this in mind, as well as LinkedIn’s goal of connecting professionals, your branding strategy for the site has unique demands. So how can you use LinkedIn to build business relationships across the world without the stepping outside your office?
LinkedIn is your company’s resume
Like your business credit report, a LinkedIn profile can tell potential customers and partners a lot about your company. For business-to-business organizations, it is particularly important to keep an updated company profile and succinct descriptions amongst your employees — this will signal to potential customers that your company is well organized and worth considering.
The site allows for the creation of company pages for free, which can include basic information about the business — such as location, founding date and website — as well as different modules for posting content and status updates. Once your company page is active, employees can include a link in their personal profile to the company one, indicating that they work for your organization. Through your employee’s connections, you can further build your audience and connect other professionals with your business.
Lead and They Will Follow
Increasing brand awareness involves acquiring “followers”. These followers will become your company advocates and will play a key role in spreading your content as a means of online word-of-mouth marketing. Here are two simple ways to utilize tools you already have to boost your follower count:
- Leverage your employees. Encourage your employees to post to their network about your business, linking back to the business’s profile page.
- Add a “follow” button to your website. Your best LinkedIn advocates will likely be the ones who already love your brand. Let your frequent website visitors know that you are on LinkedIn by adding a simple follow button to your website.
LinkedIn has a paid advertising service that can be used to gain these followers or promote any content you post to your company page. If your business can spare room in the budget, these ads can allow you to target campaigns to individuals in specific industries and job functions. The site includes a number of packages that are priced based on the level of engagement you want to drive for your business.
Social Media Branding in the Professional Sphere
After you’ve done what you can to convert your employees and current brand advocates on LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn to connect with various other professionals. This is particularly useful if you sell to B2B clients. Here are some tips for engaging with these companies:
- Join LinkedIn groups. This social media platform has various groups that are networks of users with similar interests and career experiences. For example, if you own a marketing agency, join the digital marketing group. Find ones that relate to your business and join to connect with other users.
- Start, join and respond to discussions. Users engage in discussions in the groups they join. Take an active role in these conversations. Doing so presents an opportunity to show your subject-matter expertise and give possible connections a view into your company’s mission and goals.
- Post content. There are various ways to create posts on LinkedIn, from embedded slide presentations to links. Consider posting pictures and short videos of day-to-day operations at your business so users can have a virtual tour. You can also post job openings and company news.
- Publish content. In addition to posting content to your LinkedIn page, you can also publish articles that will show up in LinkedIn Pulse. Check out the content channels for LinkedIn Pulse to see if any of them relate to your business, and target those audiences.
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