If your firm has a presence on LinkedIn in any capacity I’m sure you realize how powerful it is in terms of promoting your content and connecting you with a network of other businesses and individuals you can learn and gain support form. At Rattleback, even though we have a humble following on LinkedIn, we’ve found it to be one of the best places to connect with people who find our content to be valuable and who regularly engage with it — visitors to our site from LinkedIn frequently convert at a clip over 10%.
This post offers some ways you can better market your organization on LinkedIn and begin to harness more of the benefits it has to serve your firm. In this post we cover these three key areas:
- Becoming an Influencer
- Building a Community
- Paid Promotion
Are You Looking to Influence or Build a Community?
First off, when it comes to increasing your impact on LinkedIn it mainly comes down to two approaches:
- Are you looking to grow your firm’s influence?
- And/or are you looking to build a community?
Influencer: If you’re aiming to become an influencer you want to build a large follower base for your company or individual page. Your primary purpose is to get people to consume your content and look to you for guidance. The content you produce on LinkedIn is highly engaged with and shared and could also possibly be in Pulse. Learn more about how to get your content published in Pulse here.
Builder of a Community: On the other hand, if your goal is to build communities on LinkedIn, your aim is to lead the best LinkedIn groups. You facilitate and moderate topical discussions that are useful to people rather than being promotional. The communities you create allow thought-provoking discussions to happen among group of individuals with common interests.
Becoming an Influencer
One of the first steps in becoming an influencer on LinkedIn is creating the appropriate page to positions your company’s presence as an influencer on LinkedIn.
Positioning Your LinkedIn Company Page as an Influencer
The following are recommendations to position your company’s page as an influencer:
- Leverage header images and sliders to brand your page and promote key content that links back to your company’s website.
- Create a custom menu on your page that includes sections like Home, About Us, Events, Thoughts, etc.
- Use the update feed to promote all content that your company’s published on your website.
- Customize a sidebar with an ad for your company and also promote any groups your firm facilitates on LinkedIn in the sidebar.
- Build up “recommendations” by inviting your followers to recommend your content.
Build an Audience of Company Followers
After positioning your page as an influencer, there are several ways you can go about building your pool of followers on LinkedIn:
- Networking – Connect with the people you’ve collected business cards from and invite them to connect with you and follow your company on LinkedIn.
- Marketing – Get your firm’s content feed inside LinkedIn’s Pulse. Another marketing activity is to promote your firm’s presence on LinkedIn on your website or company newsletter by having a call-to-action asking people to follow your LinkedIn company page.
- Paid Promotion – There are several ways you can utilize paid promotion including sponsored company updates, LinkedIn pay-per-click ads, LinkedIn display ads, and sponsored InMail (described in further detail below under LinkedIn Paid Promotion Options).
Building a Community
The first step in building a community on LinkedIn is actually creating a group that your firm facilitates. Learn about an exemplary LinkedIn group KA Connect from our interview with the Founder, Chris Parsons.
Building and Facilitating a LinkedIn Group
Below are some general guidelines to follow when going about creating a group for your company to facilitate on LinkedIn:
- Commit – Commit to facilitating the group and monitoring it regularly, or don’t create a group at all.
- Brand It – Give your group a name that indicates what will be discussed or resonates with the type of people who will want to be a part of the group (e.g. A/E Firm Leader Insights).
- Stay Open – Create open groups that require pre-approval for the content being posted in the group. This allows you to have control over the type of content being posted in your group but also allows you to maintain SEO of the content within your group.
- Fuel Contribution – Create discussion in your group by asking topical questions of your own for members to answer or directly ask people in the group to contribute their thoughts.
- Moderate – Regularly check in on your group to post approved discussion topics and make sure the content posted in your group’s feed is appropriate and non-promotional.
Growing a Group’s Member Base
To increase the number of members in your firm’s LinkedIn group, there are several things you can do, similar to how you would build the following for you company page:
- Networking – Tell those you engage with at events that you will send them an invite to your firm’s LinkedIn group. Add any relevant conversations you have with people at events to your group’s feed to ask questions and facilitate further discussion.
- Marketing – Implement a call-to-action in your firm’s newsletter to encourage people to join your firm’s LinkedIn group. Promote your LinkedIn group on your website either as a sidebar element or as a link on your blog posts or articles.
LinkedIn Paid Promotion Options
There are several ways you can utilize paid promotion on LinkedIn including:
- Sponsored Company Updates – This promotes the content you add to your company page updates to a larger audience pool.
- LinkedIn Pay-Per-Click Ads – There is a low budget minimum to do this at $10/day. This option gives you a minimal branding opportunity; you can choose to have a text-only ad or an ad with your firm’s logo.
- LinkedIn Display Ads – This option gives your brand a better presence and has a separate placement from pay-per-click ads. There are four ad style options and requires a spend of $25k or more a quarter.
- Sponsored InMail – InMail gives you the option of more personalized and contextual ads with clear calls-to-action. You can pair InMail with display ad campaigns for even better branding.
LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for your firm. Whether you’re looking to become an influencer and drive people to consume your content or facilitate communities of meaningful discussion, LinkedIn provides ways for you to do it.