Hello everyone – we’re back with Part 2 of our LinkedIn exploration where we’re going to talk about promoting your business, making meaningful connections, and more.
For anyone joining us who is a LinkedIn expert or for those who are just starting out, I welcome all comments and questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it the chat icon to ensure your audio is connected.
As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, please visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.
Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.
We’re going to start with how to promote your company on LinkedIn and using LinkedIn groups. We’ll also go into making meaningful connections and review some LinkedIn terminology too. After that, we’ll do our regular review and talk about next week’s topic.
Ready? Let’s go!
We ended off last week talking about personal profiles, but I wanted to open up today by talking about company pages as they are very pivotal on LinkedIn.
This is where you take all the steps from above and do it again to promote your business on LinkedIn,
You can add your company using the Add a Company form or if you work for a company, you can find them by searching them the same as you would a person.
Whether you’re building your own company page, or if you are maintaining one, be sure to take advantage of different sections of the LinkedIn company profile including the following:
Overview – The company page overview allows you to add your company logo, description, website address, company industry, type, size, locations, specialties, and company blog RSS feed so your page will be updated with your latest blog posts.
Careers – Take advantage of the top social network of professionals by posting your current job listings on your company page. This option is not free so keep that in mind. Pricing varies based on the location of your job posting.
Life – Looking to attract talent? Want to show off your corporate culture? You can create a Life section that is dedicated to providing prospective employees the benefits they gain from joining your company, your company’s commitment to causes, and more. Just like the Career section, this option is not free.
Products & Services – The products and services section of your company page allows you to showcase the top products and services your business has to offer. Each product and service description can include a link to its page on your website, a YouTube video, and additional details. Be sure to use the new Company Follow Button on your website as well to boost your number of followers. With one click, logged in LinkedIn members will be able to start following your company updates. For example, you can click on the following button on SimplyCast.com to follow SimplyCast on LinkedIn.
Showcase Pages – Have a part of your brand you want to show off? Perhaps it’s an off-shoot, an initiative, or a new project. With Showcase pages, you can create mini-company pages that are designed to give more information on significant offerings or services you provide that make up the bulk of your business (or is a new sector of your business)
Once your page is set up, you gain access to new options and ways to promote your business across LinkedIn (and beyond.)
You can update your company’s with the latest information such as announcements, blogs, or news releases. If you have employees, they can update their own account to show their connection to your business and have it present on the main page. Others on LinkedIn can also like and follow your organization to say up to date, be notified when you’ve posted new jobs, and more.
Still looking for ways to get more out of LinkedIn? Well, there is a great way to connect with hundreds, even thousands of professionals at once – and that’s by joining LinkedIn Groups.
Your first stop for marketing on LinkedIn should be LinkedIn Groups. It breaks down your connections and potential new connections into targeted groups or forums. You can find groups within your niche or industry two ways. You can use the Group Directory to search for keywords related to your industry or use the Skills Page to see top groups recommended for each skill. In minutes you will find a handful of engaged groups that discuss everything in the niche you are looking for.
Once you find some groups that fit your interests and industry, click on the Join button to become a member. Some groups will automatically accept you, while others require administrator approval. When you become a member of a group, take a look at the recent group activity. This is how you will find out what the rules are in the group. Just take a moment to read some of the activity so you know what you can get away with.
While some groups have tough moderation in place to remove spam, other groups allow free posting by group members of any discussions they choose. Get a feel for your group before posting freely. You don’t want to be “that person”, who is new to the party and can’t stop talking. So you are probably wondering how groups help with marketing?
This will depend on the level of moderation in the group as just mentioned. The groups that allow you to post anything (related to the group topic) will allow you to link to your latest website content. This is a prime way to promote your blog posts, informational articles, infographics, whitepapers or videos. You can post links to your latest content in LinkedIn groups by going to the group, starting a discussion and attaching a link. Alternatively, you can share a link on your profile, then click on the Share link beneath that to Post to Groups. Select all of the groups that might be interested in your content by typing their name into the box, add a subject & details, then click Share.
If you share a link on your LinkedIn profile, it will be potentially seen by only your connections. But if you share a link on your LinkedIn profile and within relevant groups, it will be potentially seen by your connections and members of the group. This will increase your exposure (and traffic) exponentially. This is a great way to connect with new people as well as extend the reach and life of your content.
But you can’t just post and run. You need to participate. Many fail with LinkedIn groups because they don’t build up a reputation of someone who is real and truly interested. When you post a link in a LinkedIn group, be sure to keep up with any comments on your link. This will show group members that you are not just promoting yourself. So share content that is not necessarily from you but maybe a post from a blog you follow. Another benefit of being active in groups is that you get the chance to be listed on the group’s homepage as a Top Influencer of the Week. This is big for LinkedIn credibility.
There you have it, all the basics to getting your LinkedIn profile up and running whether it is for personal or company reasons.
Now you’re probably going to start making connections – we’ve discussed the many ways you can do that, but I wanted to offer some tips to ensure you make a good first impression:
1. Send a personalized message – want to get to know someone on LinkedIn? Send a personalized message asking for you to add them, and outlining who you are.
2. Industry Interest – looking to break into a certain industry or sector? Reach out to people in positions you one day want to be in seeking advice, and offering them a cup of coffee for their time.
3. Stay up-to-date – did an old colleague recently get a promotion? Did a company you follow recently launch a new product? Congratulate them with a personal message or comment (not just a ‘Like’!)
4. Write Article – While this may seem like a roundabout way to make connections, but creating original content can put your skills and professionalism on display. By writing about issues or trends in your industry or other industries you are interested in, you can catch the eye of other professionals who want to hear from you.
It’s easy to see why LinkedIn is considered the world’s largest audience of influential, affluent professionals in one place. Like other forms of Internet marketing, marketing yourself, or a small business on LinkedIn is relatively inexpensive and provides a lot of bang for the buck. If that’s the market you are trying to reach, you need to get in the game.
Establish a strong presence for free first and then boost your reach by adding PPC and sponsored posts to the mix.
Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy is a great idea, especially if you are moving towards customer flow communication and marketing automation to connect with your audience. It might not work for every type of business in a one-size-fits-all way, but it can work for establishing a presence at the very least and should be given full consideration if you want your business to grow.
Results will be slow at first, but just like any other social media channel, as you build your network and become more active, you will see success.
Now that you’ve been working with LinkedIn, you may have come across some terms that you may or may not know. Just like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform, there are terms used on the platform that are specific to it. I’ve collected a few to review, but if you’ve found any you don’t know, feel free to ask!
Update – Status updates and content that you post.
Profile – Similar to a resume, you add information about you and your job history.
Company Page – A place for businesses to include information about their business and create updates about their business and their industry.
Mention – Just like Facebook and Twitter, you can mention others in your LinkedIn updates.
Connection – An indicator that you and a person are connected to each other.
Degrees – This acts like 6 degrees of separation by showing you how you are connected to a person even if it’s through a number of people.
Invitation – Invite someone to join your network and connect with you.
Introduction – A way to introduce yourself to those you are not currently connected to.
Groups – These can be public or private, and can be created by an individual or company. It allows users to come together and talk about a specific subject on one page.
Network – Your connections which also includes the connections of your connections.
Recommendation – A way to recommend a friend/colleague, based on their professional experience, to anyone who views their profile.
Influencers – Key and influential people in your industry that can provide you with great content.
LinkedIn Today – A source for all of your industry news in one place.
That does it for today, tomorrow we’ll be recapping this week to make sure you’re ‘LinkedIn’ all of today’s content!
Now, let’s review.
1. A great way to promote your business is by creating a LinkedIn page outlining your products, services, available jobs, corporate culture and more. Your page and can be a living embodiment of your brand and serve as a digital ambassador for those seeking to learn more about you. You can even create showcase pages to promote initiatives and broad product offerings.
2. LinkedIn groups are a valuable resource for meeting other colleagues and promoting your brand or business – the key is to participate and not just post and run. While there are a variety of groups with different levels of moderation, check to see what other have posted, and if you want to promote content, ask for critiques or advice. Pointless promotion will get you nowhere, but others enjoy helping you succeed.
3. When it comes to make meaningful connections, it’s about being personable and personalized messages. Congratulate people on accomplishments, share articles, and create original content, and don’t be afraid to connect with other professionals to learn about industries or jobs you are interested in.
Next week we’re to talk to you about omni-channel marketing, why it’s different from multi-channel marketing, and how you can integrate it into your existing strategy.