Are You Blowing It On LinkedIn? 11 Tips to Get More Out of the “In”
Take a moment to Google your company name right now. What’s the first result?
Now, Bing your company name. We’ll wait.
If your company is a small or medium-sized enterprise, and unless it has a better-than-average corporate website, there’s a very good chance that the very first search result for its exact name is not its website.
What else could it be, you ask? Simple: one of your company’s social media profiles, most likely Facebook or LinkedIn.
Even if your company’s LinkedIn profile isn’t the very first result searchers see, it probably appears in the top five, and certainly on the first page.
Naturally, this raises the stakes for your LinkedIn presence. As you well know from your experience with mediocre corporate and personal LinkedIn profiles, it’s extremely easy to phone it in on LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, for SMEs looking for any edge they can get over the competition, “phoning it in” isn’t a harmless triviality. It’s a potentially existential threat.
Don’t blow your opportunity to drive leads to your doorstep through LinkedIn. Follow these tried and true strategies to get more out of this vital social media platform.
- Put Up a Memorable Cover Photo
Make your LinkedIn profile’s cover photo a picture to remember, literally. If nothing jumps to mind right away, check out these tips to brand your LinkedIn cover photo from USA Today contributor Hannah Morgan. Thirty minutes of attention to the first image your profile’s visitors see could pay off big time down the line.
- Make Sure Your Contact Details and Corporate Information Are Up to Date
So, the last digit in your company phone number is incorrect on your LinkedIn profile. How big a deal could that possibly be?
If it prevents prospective customers from getting in touch with you — and it will, sooner or later — then it’s a very big deal indeed.
Don’t leave money on the table. The LinkedIn profile for Freeway Insurance, a leading insurance broker, makes clear just how easy it is to maintain accurate, up to date profile details. It’s not the only example, of course; don’t let your own LinkedIn profile become an example of the reverse.
- Include a High-Quality Visual With Every Post
LinkedIn isn’t known as a super-visual medium. As the importance of an eye-catching cover photo reminds us, though, it’s vital not to sleep on LinkedIn imagery. Make it a rule to include a high-resolution photo or video (more on that below) with every published post.
- Connect With All of Your Employees (And Get Laggards on LinkedIn)
Don’t be above instituting a company-wide rule that all employees must be on LinkedIn. Once their profiles are up and running, make sure they’re listing your organization as a current employer. Your prospects will be impressed by your employee count; for better or worse, numbers add credibility.
- Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
Not sure where to begin? Join the club. Review these tips on finding and joining LinkedIn groups; it’s not always as easy as it sounds. If you can’t find a suitable group to join, or the only options available to you are closed groups with strict membership requirements, consider starting your own; there’s no better way to burnish your credibility on LinkedIn without investing an arm and a leg in the process.
- Post at Least Three Times Per Week
Sounds like a lot, right? Not to your followers. You know from scrolling through your own LinkedIn feed that prolific publishers rise to the top, literally and figuratively. Don’t get left in the memory hole — drive the conversation.
- Vary Post Length
Your frequent LinkedIn posts shouldn’t merely be carbon copies of one another. For every two-sentence update announcing a new hire or teasing a product release, roll out a 1,000-word deep dive on an issue that’s come to your customer service team’s attention or a tutorial on a particular feature of your latest product or solution. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.
- Take Advantage of LinkedIn’s Publishing Tools
Some of your LinkedIn posts should be bona fide essays of the sort once reserved for your corporate blog. It’s easier than ever to create engaging multimedia content on LinkedIn, thanks to ever-improving publishing tools that rival those found on WordPress and Medium. With a captive audience waiting to lap up your insights, you can’t afford not to take advantage here.
- Run LinkedIn-Exclusive Promotions and Contests
Facebook, LinkedIn is not, nor will it ever be. But that’s not to say there’s no place on LinkedIn for a Facebook fixture: the social contest.
Delight your LinkedIn followers with giveaways and promotions that actually deliver value for end-users: a year’s subscription to your platinum solution, hundreds of dollars in product value, merchandise they’ll actually be proud to wear or display in the office, and so on.
- Invest in Sponsored Posts and Other Advertorial Initiatives, But Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
LinkedIn’s organic promotion tools are powerful, but they’re not enough for most serious marketers. To distinguish yourself from a crowded field, you’ll need to invest in sponsored messages, sponsored posts, LinkedIn ads, and other paid outreach initiatives. Just be cognizant of your marketing budget, and consider lightening up on social media promotion elsewhere as you turn up a sustained LinkedIn marketing effort.
- Master LinkedIn’s Native Video Tools
LinkedIn’s autoplay videos are quite literally eye-catching. Embed them literally using LinkedIn’s user-friendly video tools. If you’re not sure where to start, take a crash course in everything you need to know about LinkedIn video, courtesy of Hootsuite.
What Are You Waiting For? A Better LinkedIn Presence Awaits
If one thing is clear from your review of this list, it should be that improving your LinkedIn presence does not demand a wholesale reordering of your company’s priorities.
You don’t need to hire a new marketing lead (or make any changes to your marketing department at all). You don’t need to invest a dime in development or design. You need to make only modest adjustments to your marketing budget, and your net spend may remain the same after finding savings elsewhere.
In short, you’re out of excuses. Your campaign to improve your LinkedIn presence won’t be nearly as bad as you fear. There’s no reason not to begin today.