How to Leverage Your Brand through LinkedIn
When you think social sharing, you likely don’t think LinkedIn. That’s because the publishing option on this business professionals’ network has only been in effect since February 2014. Before last spring the site – mainly used as an online recruiting platform – didn’t allow users to create their own content. Now that the opportunity exists, it’s one that you should seriously consider in your own content marketing campaign.
First of all, LinkedIn users are unique.
59% of LinkedIn users don’t visit Twitter, meaning that your inclusion of this additional social avenue will help you to reach brand new consumers.
Second of all, LinkedIn users are active.
40% of LinkedIn users check the site daily, and 8.33% American users even do so from work. Meaning that your content has a higher likelihood of being viewed more frequently throughout the day.
Finally, LinkedIn users are affluent.
The average sales value for visitors referred to a company by LinkedIn is measured at $44.24, meaning a small investment (mainly of time) in this low cost marketing platform will have a high rate of return.
LinkedIn’s news feed offers a space to a) share updates, spreading what you believe in, and b) publish fresh content, further exploring those topics most meaningful to your brand.
Similar to Facebook, published content becomes a part of your personal profile, and gets shared with your network. In her breakdown of LinkedIn tactics, Margeaux Brooks refers to the networking site as the largest group of professionals ever assembled.
Sounds like a good group to start with. Which leads us to…
When it comes right down to it, leveraging your brand through LinkedIn requires a similar strategy to most social networks we’ve discussed before.
1. Photos first
According to Craig Smith, author of A Small Business Guide to Generating Leads on LinkedIn, having a profile picture on your LinkedIn account will increase the likelihood of views by 11x.
The same visual appeal applies to the content you post. Catchy photos are a strong way to inspire viewers’ initial engagement with your posts. Since they’re clearly so important, stop thinking of images as an afterthought and start making them a priority.
2. Headline Hunting
A good headline is right up there with a catchy picture when it comes to initial reader attraction. Not only do good titles have SEO strength, they inspire readers to want to learn more.
But don’t leave those who delve deeper disappointed. The content must add value, engage, entertain and encourage readers to click on internal links and hopefully “follow” you.
3. Move to Mobile
47% of LinkedIn visits are made via mobile devices. With push notifications drawing smartphone users back to the app and mobile sites, this should come as no surprise.
In fact, mobile use makes up for 26% of American users’ total time on LinkedIn. The ever-connected nature of mobile devices is a huge bonus when it comes to spreading your content as efficiently and effectively as possible — as long as you keep your content mobile-friendly.
4. Time it Right
There are no hard and fast rules on the best time to post content across all geographies, business and audience types. But 2014 data from AddThis suggests that Tuesday between 10-11 AM EST is when most LinkedIn users are active on the site.
I’m a little skeptical about bold statements like that, but it’s worth a try. But I also encourage you to experiment, measure, analyze and adapt your posting schedule to maximize engagement opportunities. There are a number of analytics tools available to help you, but they can be pricey. Start with LinkedIn’s analytics first; it’s probably all you really need if you’re a small business.
5. Conversation is Key
In this case, quality and quantity are both important. It takes 20 posts per month to reach just 60% of your entire LinkedIn audience.
The trick to efficiency? Write often, and respond to all comments to encourage conversation. If your next post is fueled from feedback you’ve already received, it’s that much more likely to strike a chord with other readers.
6. Write What you Know
That being said, a post about what you know combined with industry trends, news, some speculation, a little controversy perhaps and lots of questions encourages feedback from readers. The more feedback you receive, the more you will know about your audience, which is critical if you’re going to give them what they want.
7. Engagement in Everything
The opportunity to publish custom content on LinkedIn is a great way to leverage your brand and maximize your revenue potential with an affluent, educated and discerning market. And like most social networks, active engagement is your best bet for exposing compelling content to a wider audience to grow your market reach.
On LinkedIn, it has less to do with proving your relevance through a complicated algorithm (AKA Facebook), and more to do with viral sharing through your followers’ feeds.
Anytime someone likes, shares, or comments on something you’ve published, it is shared with their entire following.