It was recently announced that LinkedIn reached 200 million users. LinkedIn’s blog reported that the United States had 74 million users, Canadians had 7 million and the United Kingdom had 11 million. LinkedIn is expected to continue to grow globally and is a great social media tool for marketing and generating leads.
Here are Ten Tips on how to use LinkedIn for Marketing and Lead Generation
1) Create a Company Profile
Creating a company profile is the first essential step to marketing your business online. By having a company profile you can fill out a ton of information about the type of products or services that you provide, and share updates about your company with potential leads. Fill out as much information as possible so that people that do visit the page don’t think of it as a ghost town.
Sitepoint does a great job of explaining in detail what needs to be done to set up a company profile on LinkedIn.
2) Ask Questions on LinkedIn
(UPDATE) Linkedin just sent me an e-mail stating that on Jan 31st, 2013, they will be ending their Answers/Questions section).
Depending on the nature of your business, you may not want to ask questions that potentially hurt your company’s brand, but if you ask questions that are beneficial to your target audience or to the industry community as a whole, then you’ll have people recognize your curious mind.
Asking questions such as “Where do you see LinkedIn marketing going for the next three years?” can stimulate some interesting conversation.
And to encourage people to answer questions and help recognize you as a personality on LinkedIn, let people know that you are planning on publishing some of the best answers on an upcoming blog and are happy to link to their website.
3) Answer Questions on LinkedIn
The opposite side of the coin is to answer questions on LinkedIn that are relevant to your target audience or community.
One of the great things about answering questions is that you can actually search for key terms for the types of questions that you want to answer. Or a practice that I do myself is that I try to answer questions that are organized by date so that I can answer the newest and freshest questions first.
When you start to answer more questions and give valuable and thoughtful answers you will become more an authority on LinkedIn and you’ll find that people will want to add you more and message you about your services.
The goal of answering questions isn’t for it to become a numbers game, but to do it in a way that provides meaningful content relevant to the actual user. Educational content is one of the best ways to use LinkedIn for inbound marketing.
4) Get Your Employees on LinkedIn
There is no greater marketing power than great employees who love your work place and brag about it. When you have a great work place, kindly remind employees to update their LinkedIn profile to state that they work at your company.
If each user profile is connected to 100 people, then a company with 25 employees means that there’s a potential reach of 2500 when those employees post updates.
While posting on your company LinkedIn profile may draw the attention of your followers, having your employees update their status regarding what’s happening at work can give that extra marketing reach that’s needed and help raise the profile of the company.
Status updates can be about recent awards that the company has won, a great blog article that was written on the company business page, or exciting news about expanding operations in a new country.
5) Use LinkedIn Ads to Choose a specific Target
I find that a lot of marketers talk about Facebook Ads because Facebook has over a billion users. And it definitely is a great for marketing directly to consumers. But LinkedIn has some great marketing tools to help you target ads to specific industries and to the level of leadership that people hold within a company.
For more details of what the ads offer you can visit LinkedIn’s official advertising site.
It’s not surprising that many companies find that their conversion rates are actually higher on LinkedIn than compared to other social media channels. I would imagine that the psychographics of users on LinkedIn are those that are more serious about their business, are older, and are interested in learning more about marketing and business development.
6) Change your Name to Make it Search Friendly
What I encourage all senior level staff at any company to do is to change their “name” on their LinkedIn profile. When I first started LinkedIn I just put my own name on it, Vincent Ng.
But what I soon realized was that you could add on more characters to the name to give your “name” a great description of what you do or what you want to be personally branded as.
I changed my Linked in profile to say Vincent Ng | Digital Marketer and Speaker. There’s twofold to this. It tells people right away what you do, and if your connections search for the term such as “Digital Marketer” you’re more likely to show up in search before the search button is clicked. (LinkedIn goes to a default list of people, companies and groups that they believe are most relevant to your search.)
7) Write Recommendations For Other People
We all like to be praised and one of the best things that you can do is to write recommendations for some of the awesome people that you’ve worked with in your previous work experiences or in your current company.
Most likely your recommendation is going to be approved, and guess what happens when it does? It means that your name and the company that your name is associated with is going stay on their profile as long as it’s up.
This can be especially powerful when people write recommendations for each other within the company to show the supportive culture that is there. Many companies talk about praise, but many are not likely to demonstrate it.
If searchers of LinkedIn profiles keep seeing recommendations from other co-workers from within the company it peaks a sense of curiousity about what makes this company internally great. And great internal culture is awesome for branding.
8) Include Keywords You Want to be Known for in Your Profile
If there are certain keywords that you want to be searched for on LinkedIn, you can use keyword optimization to help you rank better for them in LinkedIn. It works the same way as some of the principles of search engine optimization (SEO).
Below your name entry you can edit your profile to have that maximized for the type of words you want to be searched for. On my profile I want to be searched keyword terms like, social media marketer, so I put in profile description as “President of MCNG Marketing, Social Media and Online Marketer in Vancouver, Angel Investor at RewardMe and BlueBat Games.”
You can also add keywords that you want to be searched for on LinkedIn in your summary section. The first 100 words, in my opinion, are the most important, but you also have to remember that no matter what type of keywords you are trying to aim fohttp://www.seomoz.org/ugc/optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-best-results-howtor, you need to make sure that it’s a profile that has flow to it.
In your summary you can aim for several keywords such as, “LinkedIn Marketing, LinkedIn Marketer, LinkedIn training, or LinkedIn Courses.” It’s recommended that you try to put these terms 2 or 3 times.
You can also optimize your profile for search by listing those words in your specialties section.
9) Rearrange Your Profile to Highlight what’s Important First
This is something that’s uncommonly done, but you can actually rearrange your LinkedIn profile so that certain sections come before others. Let’s say that you believe it’s more important to highlight the awards that you have won for your company. You can move the Honours and awards section first. This can create a stronger impression and lead to higher curiosity for people wanting to know more about you and what your company does.
10) Tell People How to Contact You
Under the Additional Info tab on your profile on LinkedIn you can add information on the best way to reach you. This may seem trivial, but if there is a potential prospect that is interested in working with your business, chances are they don’t want to fuss about how to best contact you and go to your website or to use InMail to contact you.
I make it easy for people to contact me on LinkedIn by giving my e-mail out on it under the section
“Advice for Contacting Vincent.”
What do you think are some great ways to use LinkedIn for marketing or lead generation? Feel free to chime in with comments.
For more information on how to market your business through social media marketing, contact us at MCNG Marketing.