9 LinkedIn Marketing Tips From the Pros

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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.

9 linkedin marketing tips

Find out what’s working in LinkedIn marketing today.

#1: Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

melonie dodaro twitter pic

Melonie Dodaro

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.

target your sponsored update

Target your sponsored update by location, company name, company category, job title, job category, schools attended and LinkedIn groups.

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:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • 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:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Interactions
  • Followers acquired
  • Engagement
how sponsored updates perform

Determine how much better your sponsored updates perform than your non-sponsored updates.

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

donna moritz twitter pic

Donna Moritz

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 wheatlands linkedin summary

Add visuals to your LinkedIn Summary section.

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

stephanie sammons pic

Stephanie Sammons

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.

young woman holding social network balloon

Nurture your connections within your LinkedIn network. Image: Shutterstock

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:

  1. You’ll stand out from your competitors because you’re doing something different than they are.
  2. You’ll become more memorable and valuable to your network members because you show that you’re listening and that you care.
  3. You’ll potentially trigger the rule of reciprocity because your network members will want to return the favor.
  4. 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

mark lerner twitter pic

Mark Lerner

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.

no self promotion in linkedin discussion groups

LinkedIn discussion groups can be a great source for marketers.

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

jon rognerud

Jon Rognerud

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.

jon rognerud linkedin profile

Use keywords in your LinkedIn personal profile.

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!
  • Attention-grabbing.
  • 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

linda coles twitter bio

Linda Coles

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.

linkedin replies

Use the @replies function to make sure you reach the right person.

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

brenda bernstein twitter pic

Brenda Bernstein

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.

linkedin business connections search

Focus your efforts on local groups.

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

julia borgini twitter pic

Julia Borgini

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.

smiling crowd

Connect emotionally to build lasting relationships. Image source: iStockphoto

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

john nemo bio pic

John Nemo

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.

a red and white sign with the words how can i help you isolated on a white background how can i

Reframe your profile so people know what you can do for them. Image: Shutterstock

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 iStockPhotoSocial Network Balloon photo and How can I help you? photo from Shutterstock.

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About the Author, Cindy King

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 from scratch by using social business networking. Other posts by »




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  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great post… thanks for the ideas!

    I think it may pay to have someone else create your LinkedIn profile, especially if you’re a writer. You’re too close to the subject matter — YOU! I’m seriously considering hiring someone to re-work my profile. After all, an objective viewpoint can open your eyes. You may discover something you’ve missed or never considered.

  • http://www.LinkedInRiches.com/ John Nemo

    @AmandahBlackwell:disqus – great point. Having rewritten a lot of people’s profiles that is one of the key reasons/benefits. Whether you do your own profile overhaul yourself or use an outside person, you have to be able to step back and understand what makes you unique/different/better than similar people in your space, and how to best convey that information in a way that engages people looking at your profile and helps them QUICKLY figure out whether or not your services/etc. would be the ideal fit for their job, project or whatever else.

    Thanks for the comment and I agree, great tips here. Cindy King did a great job (per usual) of rounding them up! :)

  • AmandahBlackwell

    @john_nemo:disqus As a writer, I find it easier to write bios and profiles for others than it is for me. There’s something weird about having write about myself.

  • http://www.christiankonline.com Christian Karasiewicz

    Another great post @CindyKing:disqus. Lots of valuable tips – and I learned about a few new people to connect with.

  • http://www.LinkedMediaGroup.com Linked Media Group, Inc.

    Stellar content and well done. Premium account is well worth the $200-300. per year. The profile view (customized properly) alone is well worth the cost – making any/all profiles stand out from the crowd.

  • Glauber Couto

    Great Tips. I also just read a book from @Melonie Dodaro:disqus which has good sources of improvement for LinkedIn profile. I would like to know if is interesting to have different profiles according who you want to target. For example use my english profile for networking and my portuguese profile to target my audience offering my services.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Cool! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Great point, Amadah! I definitely think it’s worth while to invest either the time or the money to craft a strong LinkedIn profile today.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Aren’t these cool tips, Christian? We’re lucky (and grateful) to have these LinkedIn pros share their wisdom here :)

  • Melonie Dodaro

    You are actually only able to have one LinkedIn profile based on LinkedIn’s terms and conditions. Not to mention two profiles would be double the work!

  • http://www.TheEssayExpert.com Brenda Bernstein

    I agree Amandah. As an intermediate step you can also look at some sample profiles on line and read books on writing great LinkedIn profiles. I like to see each person’s personality and message come out on LinkedIn in a unique way… so make sure you choose a writer who will draw out what makes you *stand out*!

  • http://www.TheEssayExpert.com Brenda Bernstein

    Actually LinkedIn allows you to have profiles in two languages, as long as they have the same content!

  • http://www.TheEssayExpert.com Brenda Bernstein

    Great tips from an all-star cast Cindy. Thanks so much!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Yes exactly Brenda.

  • http://zilliondesigns.com/ Janil Jean

    Great ideas and tips! Never knew so many things I need to do to complete my profile. Thanks!

  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    I like all of these tips because they get to the heart of what marketing is: everything you do or say that your ideal target customer sees and hears. When you have a marketing process in place this expands to – getting ideal customers, who see and hear you, to know, like, trust, contact and refer you.

  • Antonio Zafiroski

    Great post. My tip for all you people: Use the post platform if you don’t have already a blog, it’s great way to get you find by other user

  • http://www.likebulbs.com/ Eugene Than

    Good one, thanks : )
    LinkedIn ads seems another great area to explorer, as is the only platform everyone updated with positions and title and you can specifically target them.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Great tip Antonio, I almost made my tip about LinkedIn’s Publisher Platform. I agree that you can and should use it whether you have a blog or not. It’s just one more way to increase your exposure.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Janil there are a lot of things to do to complete your profile so it looks great and you stand out HOWEVER the good news is you only have to do it once. Although you may want to do the odd tweak after that.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    I completely agree Amandah. I have several professional writers and copywriters that have actually hired me to do this because it’s hard to get out of your own stuff some times. Even for me it can be a challenge writing something for my own, meanwhile in 30 seconds I’ll have a brilliant idea for a client.

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Thank you Brenda for the tips.

  • AmandahBlackwell

    I agree.

    It’s one of the reasons why I hired an editor for Book One of my children’s picture book series. I’m too close to the project. Plus, I’ve learned more about the publishing industry.

  • Antonio Zafiroski

    It’s nice way. I agree with you that you should use LinkedIn’s Publisher Platform either way. Maybe it’s better to post a few things of your blog post to the publisher platform and refer it to your blog from there. However, in the both ways you will increase your exposure

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    I see more and more social marketers talking about LinkedIn but I just can’t get into the site. I signed up for Li long before Facebook, but it’s so drab and dull I can’t make myself go over there. I’ll Buffer posts to it so I seem active and hop on the mobile app to accept connection requests, but other than that I can’t stand it. Seems way too stuffy for me..

    But I don’t own a suit and tie either… (and I had to Google what “My USP” meant!)

  • http://www.TheEssayExpert.com Brenda Bernstein

    That’s funny Melonie, I almost wrote about that as well. I will be posting an article on my blog next week about the LinkedIn publishing platform though!

  • http://www.TheEssayExpert.com Brenda Bernstein

    I think LinkedIn has become a lot less drab and dull – at rapid speed, no less, requiring new editions to my e-book every few months! Scott, have you really checked out LinkedIn lately?

  • Linda MacDonald

    Great overview and as a LinkedIn Profile writer, I agree that writing your own profile is a challenge – this is a perfect checklist!

  • Carla Deter

    As all the comments before me stated these tips are spot on! As a LinkedIn Profile Writer for a service here in DC we many times have experienced the need for a fresh eye when optimizing profiles. The key words are so important as you’ve stated here, Cindy. I absolutely love LinkedIn and daily find little hidden treasures I hadn’t known about. Carla Deter

  • Carla Deter

    Absolutely. A fresh eye is the best when optimizing a profile.

  • http://www.jsallette.com JSallette

    Great Article with lots of useful and practical advice…. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.digytouch.com Konrad W. Gorak

    Now, the last one – #9, outperforms all the rest. People will not want to connect with you if your bio looks like million of others. It just not gonna happen. When you take a look at #2 on this list you’ll see terrible example of how you shouldn’t optimize your LinkedIn profile. Visual content is one thing, but the written part is just not connecting with people.

    I like to look at professional profiles as they were a beginning of an intimate relationship. Would you make a list of your achievements and read them to your future wife or husband out loud? You wouldn’t. It would be a massive mistake that could end that relationship. When I help my clients set up their profiles, i always make sure their bios’ are emotionally engaging.

    Every single bio needs a great story behind it. I’ve spent 7 years studying human behaviours, social psychology, neurolinguistics, emotions & body language. Learning to understand what we’re attracted to when surfing online. And it’s not a list of achievements that people enjoy the most and interact with ;)

  • http://zilliondesigns.com/ Janil Jean

    thanks @meloniedodaro:disqus! :)

  • Kerry Simpson

    Thank you that was incredibly helpful.. have definitely saved this one

  • http://www.brianschoedel.com Brian Schoedel

    Your sample summary was really helpful. Many times you see a super boring summary overloaded with keywords & lacks inspiration. I agree with the connection approach of what can I do for you. Thanks for the useful tips!

  • http://www.sahiwala.com Khozem Sahiwala

    Great one and the sixth point is very good to tag the people to draw more attention to them

  • Nevra Yagmur

    Thank you for this great post! I totally agree on all the points and favorite so far is providing a valuable content and engaging the audience on local discussion groups









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