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How to engage your LinkedIn followers

LinkedIn marketing continues to pick up steam, as more and more businesses, particularly B2B businesses, realise the importance and value of creating a comprehensive strategy for one of the world’s largest social networks

Man in glasses looking at the Linkedin website

LinkedIn offers your company several ways to drive marketing results, discover leads, and close more sales. Photograph: Chris Batson / Alamy/Alamy

With a user base of over 200 million people in 200 countries, LinkedIn has emerged as the social network of choice for business professionals, who turn to the network for job hunting, recruiting, and business-centric content discovery. Beyond recruiting, however, LinkedIn marketing continues to pick up steam, as more and more businesses, particularly B2B businesses, realise the importance and value of creating a comprehensive strategy for one of the world’s largest social networks.

LinkedIn offers your company several ways to drive marketing results, discover leads, and close more sales. Here are some LinkedIn Marketing strategies and best practices for companies looking to leverage LinkedIn to drive business goals.

Be there

The first step in the process is to have a presence on LinkedIn. Company pages are fine but LinkedIn groups are the best places to get leads because you can create groups by topic or vertical and engage people. LinkedIn groups show you interacting and helping and having a positive impact on an established social community. Monitoring activity allows you to see how interested people are in you and your company.

Raise awareness

Implement the perpetual promotion machine, in which you re-market, re-message, and then re-target. By doing this, you reach people everywhere, appear bigger and more important, get people coming back to your content, remain number one in your potential customers’ minds and get the most of your dollars spent.

Those following your LinkedIn presence are likely to be interested in not only your latest product updates, but your thoughts on industry happenings. Content is a great way to market for leads. Your latest blog post, white paper, or ebook should be shared on LinkedIn so your business-centric audience can see it, establishing your brand as thought leaders in your arena. Be sure to include images in your updates to help them stand out, and feel free to make your updates more engaging by asking a question, or even running a poll.

Extend your reach with internal assets

There are a number of things that increase sharing of content and engage those who may end up being leads.

Employees

Your employees can be a great brand army. Get them on LinkedIn, actively grow their networks, and ask them to share news and content to their LinkedIn feeds. Your employees are visible, and can spend time in your groups to help foster relationships at all stages of the funnel. In particular, this is great for grabbing attention at the top of the funnel.

Customer recommendations

Under the Products tab of your company page, you’ll note that product recommendations are prominently featured in the right sidebar. Here is where your audience will see who in their professional network is endorsing your brand’s products and services.

Recommendations appear under “Product” on your LinkedIn Company page. These product recommendations are a great display of social proof for your brand.  We are highly influenced by what people we know are discussing and recommending, so don’t feel shy about reaching out to satisfied customers and brand advocates to ask for these valuable LinkedIn recommendations.

Extend your reach with LinkedIn tools

Advanced people search

Find new prospects with the Advanced People Search in LinkedIn. LinkedIn can help you get in the door, and the advanced search functionality allows you to search for granular groups of people such as CEOs at companies with more than 5,000 employees, or people who work in a specific industry with a certain job title, among a number of other search functionalities.

Inmail

LinkedIn’s InMail option gives companies the ability to send a direct message to any member of the network regardless of whether they are connected or not. The network maintains that the open rate on InMail messages reaches as much as 44%, far exceeding that of standard email efforts. It’s not a free option, but an Inmail campaign may be an option your company could use in order to fully take advantage of the network’s user base for lead generation.

Advertise

LinkedIn advertising is still an evolving product and it is mostly used by B2B companies, targeting job titles, companies, industries and LinkedIn groups. Some of the major metrics are more costly on LinkedIn versus Facebook and Google AdWords, but it is still quite affordable. It costs just seventy-five cents to reach 1,000 people advertising on LinkedIn. LinkedIn advertising allows you to narrow your targets on a platform where many of your prospects are spending time and, perhaps most importantly, keeping their profiles up-to-date.

LinkedIn allows company pages to better target their content with customised audience features. Based on the profile of the visiting user, this customisation allows you to use the most enticing language according to factors such as industry, job titles, geographic location, etc. Creating customised content for specific LinkedIn users will help send them more relevant landing pages and calls-to-action. This could be used to send job seekers to one area, potential buyers to another.

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