9 LinkedIn Marketing Tips From the Pros
Would you like to improve your LinkedIn marketing?
Are you wondering what LinkedIn marketing tips the pros like to use?
We asked top social media pros to share their hottest LinkedIn marketing tactics.
In this article you’ll discover strategies the pros use to boost their LinkedIn marketing.
#1: Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
One of my hottest LinkedIn tips for marketers would be to make use of LinkedIn sponsored updates.
Sponsored updates provide a better way to put your content in front of key influencers and decision makers on LinkedIn, which will ultimately help you build your credibility as an expert in your niche and increase your exposure to people who are not in your network.
Because of the ability to narrowly limit the audience for the update, you’re able to make the best use of the investment you choose to allocate to sponsored updates.
You’ll be able to determine just how effective these paid updates are with the help of the detailed analytics provided by LinkedIn. Metrics found in the Campaign Manager include:
- CTR (click-through rate)
- CPC (cost per click)
- Total spent
- Social actions by campaign
- Audience demographics by campaign
You can also compare the effectiveness of your sponsored versus non-sponsored updates on your company page’s analytics page.
Here you can see a number of metrics that will allow you to determine how the sponsored updates are measuring up against those that aren’t sponsored. Metrics that are tracked and shown include:
- Followers acquired
Make sure that you only sponsor posts that will be of the greatest perceived value to your target market to ensure a positive return on investment. Keep in mind that your market will not be forgiving if you waste their time with poor or pitchy content.
With some good planning and great content, you can use sponsored updates to greatly increase the reach of your company page and establish yourself or your company as a subject matter expert in your industry.
Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media and author of the #1 international bestseller The LinkedIn Code.
#2: Add Rich Visual Content to Your LinkedIn Profile
Did you know that you can visually enhance your LinkedIn profile by using the Professional Portfolio feature to add photos, videos, linked articles with images, screenshots or even infographics and SlideShare presentations?
The surprising thing is that many people still aren’t using this feature, so it’s great timing for you to stand out now and get noticed with visuals on LinkedIn.
Take a look at the Summary section of SlideShare expert Todd Wheatland’s profile below:
Todd uses visuals to showcase his new book, a recent SlideShare presentation, articles he’s been featured in and videos highlighting his speaking skills.
But don’t just set and forget your new “visual” profile. Some of the best visual content to establish and update regularly on your profile include:
- Speaker videos
- Latest slide decks from speaking engagements
- Launches and special projects such as books and programs
- Recent articles or features in the press
- Work samples and client work
- Screenshots of social proof (for example, tweets from your speaking engagements)
What are you waiting for? Give your profile a makeover and add some current, rich, visual content. You’ll be amazed at how much great content you can add by setting aside just an hour.
Donna Moritz, founder of Socially Sorted.
#3: Implement Influence Networking
Part of building your digital influence on LinkedIn is spending time on developing real relationships with your connections. While everyone else is blasting out one-size-fits-all content to LinkedIn, you can stand out as a more valued connection with the members of your network. I call this influence networking.
When you do the work of influence networking, your connections will be much more receptive to the content that you do share on LinkedIn. Instead of marketing at your LinkedIn network, nurture your connection with your network members, which will also potentially foster an actual client or referral-based relationship.
Influence networking is when you bring that “human” touch to your LinkedIn marketing efforts by finding ways to personalize the experience of engaging with your network on a deeper level.
Identify your network MVPs (most valuable people) and review their profiles to gather intelligence about what’s important to them and what their needs and goals are. You can then find ways to help, acknowledge, congratulate, promote and even connect your connections on an individual level within your LinkedIn network.
Leveraging LinkedIn personal messaging, using @mentions and the Introductions feature and deliberately promoting the ideas (content) from your MVPs are examples of influence networking in action.
When you focus on influence networking, you accomplish four things:
- You’ll stand out from your competitors because you’re doing something different than they are.
- You’ll become more memorable and valuable to your network members because you show that you’re listening and that you care.
- You’ll potentially trigger the rule of reciprocity because your network members will want to return the favor.
- You’ll more easily engage your network members in the content that you do create and share.
Influence networking on LinkedIn is a subtle, yet very effective, approach to moving a connection to a valued relationship. If you focus on this process, it will undoubtedly help you grow your business!
Stephanie Sammons, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, where she teaches financial advisors and business professionals how to build digital influence to win clients.
#4: Offer Value in Discussion Groups
The rules of content marketing state that a marketer should provide value to a prospective customer via quality content.
The goal of this type of marketing is to establish thought leadership so when it comes time to purchase, the reader will remember that your company knows how to address their particular pain point. These rules apply to social media as well, particularly in LinkedIn discussion groups.
Many marketers either spam such groups with links to overtly promotional blog posts or shy away from them all together for fear of the dreaded SWAM, LinkedIn’s Site-Wide Automatic Moderation policy.
However, when you enrich the content you’re sharing with equally valuable social content, LinkedIn discussion groups can be the biggest single source of leads for a marketer.
Social content refers to the message that is included when sharing a piece of content. In terms of LinkedIn discussion groups, you are far more likely to get positive feedback, not to mention generate leads, from a post that includes a question in it. We have actually proven this fact to be true.
Mark Lerner, director of marketing at Oktopost.
#5: Optimize Your Personal Profile
LinkedIn marketing offers business professionals a terrific opportunity to build new connections and contacts while expanding their professional business network through search, group discussions, direct email (InMail), premium paid features, targeted advertising and much more.
There are many ways to create traffic and leads from LinkedIn. My most successful and consistent results have come from building a personal profile that has been optimized with related keywords, action-oriented engaging copy (not a sales pitch) and rich media content from videos, presentations, documents and more.
The content should focus on relationship-building and show you as an authority for your market.
HOT TIP: Get your personal profile done right—today!
Make sure your profile is:
- Personal, professional and not a “business logo.” People examine you first, not the business.
- Relevant, with direct copy and clear “next steps” to find out more about you.
- The real you, with no fake or “over-optimized” keywords. However, do use keywords in the profile heading, description and summary.
- Targeted towards your “perfect” audience. Don’t try to be everything to everybody!
- Different; you should stand out. Get ideas from similar profiles and your competition.
- Filled with recommendations from others
- Complete; use all available fields and values… and keep adding things when new content is available.
Do this and your profile will stand out and help drive more business to you.
Jon Rognerud is a recognized authority on SEO and founder of Chaosmap.com.
#6: Tag Your Connections in Posts
Do you know you can tag your connections in your posts? This ensures that they see your post, so even if they haven’t visited LinkedIn for a while, they get a short email saying they’ve been tagged, which includes a link back to see what they’ve been tagged in.
To tag a connection in your post, simply type “@” followed by your connection’s name. Only the connection you tag will get a notification of your post.
Don’t be tempted to tag your connections continually and annoy them. Use it strategically to inform a connection of something important or specifically of interest to that person that you don’t want him or her to miss.
While you could also send them a message, if you post and tag as described above, the rest of your connections will also see the post in their news feed, so it kills two birds with one stone.
Linda Coles of Blue Banana is a sought-after speaker and LinkedIn influencer.
#7: Focus on Small, Local Discussion Groups
As online marketers, we all know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide valuable content. The problem is that the secret’s out—everybody’s doing it! That means even your most educational posts might get lost in the sea of marketing materials now populating group discussions on LinkedIn.
One way to truly stand out, especially if you’re not Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki, is by focusing your efforts on local, small groups rather than targeting larger ones. They’re more likely to read your posts and respond to them if they feel a local connection.
When I look at the comments I’ve received on my LinkedIn postings in the last month, I see that most come from members of groups such as Ivy League Alumni, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Link Up Wisconsin, and Linking You in Madison, WI. None of these groups come anywhere near the behemoth status of TopLinked or LION.
One big advantage of being active in smaller groups is that you are more likely to appear prominently in the Discussions tab and to stay in the top-listed discussions for a longer time. This staying power makes it more likely that anyone visiting the group page will view and/or comment on your discussion and keep your company top of mind.
Brenda Bernstein is a LinkedIn expert and author of the best-selling ebook, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile.
#8: Develop Relationships Instead of Adding Connections
Decide which of your contacts you’d like to get to know better, and start reaching out to them periodically from your personal profile. Share information, ask them questions and learn more about them.
You can do the same with a company page, too. Check out who’s sharing your content and who’s visiting your page, then see how you’re connecting emotionally with them.
The key to this tip is figuring out how you’re connecting emotionally with people or groups. It’s the basis of a good relationship, and when done right, you create a long-term bond between marketer and connection. It becomes a two-way street of sharing, collaborating, talking and yes, even buying and selling.
Developing relationships on LinkedIn is useful to marketers because it essentially “pre-qualifies” them with their connections for everything. You become a trusted advisor to each other, so if there’s an opportunity to help each other out, answer a question, buy a product, etc., you’re the first person they turn to.
You’ve got an expert to answer your questions on a topic, a person to collaborate with on projects that are too big to tackle on your own, and in turn, you become the same for your connections. When done right, it truly becomes a give-and-take relationship that can develop into much more.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to develop relationships that turn into so much more: friendship, partnership, collaboration and even new business.
Julia Borgini is a freelance writer and online content strategist for B2B technology companies at Spacebarpress.
#9: Don’t Treat LinkedIn Like an Online Version of Your Résumé
The single biggest tip I can give any marketer on LinkedIn is this: Stop treating LinkedIn like an online version of your résumé (“I went to college here, I work at this company, I do this for a job”) and instead make your entire profile what I call client-facing.
For instance, use the template below (including the ALL CAPS areas!) for your LinkedIn profile’s summary text:
WHAT I DO: I help [My Target Audience] achieve [Their Desired Outcome] by providing [My product, skill or service offering].
WHY I’M DIFFERENT: [My USP: What makes me different/better/unique than others who offer similar skills, products or services.]
WHAT OTHERS SAY: [Insert text from a happy client singing your praises in a specific way that will appeal to your target market.]
Instead of bringing a bullhorn to the virtual cocktail party that is LinkedIn and talking all about yourself, instead mimic the approach of Fix-It Felix from the hit Disney animated movie Wreck-it Ralph.
In the movie, Felix is everyone’s favorite because he carries around a golden hammer and fixes his customers’ biggest problems. If you reframe your profile in the same way, you’ll make it clear/easy/fast for your ideal audience to understand who you are and what you can do for them.
In fact, extend the same approach throughout your entire LinkedIn profile—even with your job titles! For instance, what appeals more to a small business owner in need of marketing help who’s never heard of your company but stumbled across your profile on LinkedIn?
“CMO at [Company Name]” or “Small Business Marketing Consultant | Small Business Marketing Solutions | Small Business Marketing Tips”?
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, your audience doesn’t care about you. They only care about themselves—morning, noon and after supper!
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is reflecting that timeless marketing truth!
John Nemo is a LinkedIn marketing consultant and business coach from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What do you think? Have you used any of these tactics? What’s working in your LinkedIn marketing today? Please share your comments below.
Image from iStockPhoto. Social Network Balloon photo and How can I help you? photo from Shutterstock.
Cindy King is the director of editorial for Social Media Examiner. She spent 25 years abroad in international business development and then built her own international business using social business networking. Other posts by Cindy King »