You may know LinkedIn as just a professional social networking site to post your resume and job hunt. But LinkedIn has really stepped up their game this last year and now offer so much more for individuals and businesses to connect and market. If you are not familiar with LinkedIn, here's six ways to market yourself and your business. In the next blog, I will get more specific on the steps to take to create a company page.
First, let's take a look at the 332 million people on LinkedIn. According to Pew Research, a quarter of online adults use LinkedIn and is especially popular among working-age adults, college graduates, and high household incomes. It is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30-49 year-olds than 18-29 year-olds.
1. Marketing Yourself
Your profile is the first thing that people see when they find you on LinkedIn. It's important to make your profile as professional and positive as possible. The more you include in your profile, the easier it is to find. Add your education, work history, volunteer experience, and skills. You definitely want to have a profile photo and make sure it's a professional representation of you. Leverage your headline and summary by highlighting your skills and current job title. When people are searching LinkedIn for job titles and skills, keywords you have listed in your headline and summary will be what's found. Include references to your work history by asking for recommendations. Did you work on a specific project, video, etc? You can now add multimedia to your work history to create an interactive resume and showcase your work. Keep in mind how your want to portray your personal brand when filling out your profile.
2. Networking with other Professionals
Once your profile is filled out thoroughly, you will want to establish connections with your peers: high school and college classmates, teachers, co-workers, employers, professional contacts, etc. Share business ideas, stay current with your industry, and establish yourself as the expert in your field. Join LinkedIn Groups. They are a significant source of information and opportunity to connect with professionals who share your industry and interests. If you offer helpful information and positive engagement with group members, your credibility goes up.
3. Looking for Jobs
You can job search on LinkedIn's job board or in a LinkedIn group. Search by title, keywords, company, and location. Save jobs you're interested in, create job alerts, or review your past job applications.
4. Recruiting Job Candidates
Is your company hiring? Post a job opening on LinkedIn Jobs and find quality candidates. Reach out to your connections and LinkedIn Groups to recruit strong hiring candidates.
5. Marketing Your Business
Linkedin offers many new options for marketing your business. Remember LinkedIn's core demographics? Affluent, educated, and influential professionals are here and they are interested in quality content about successful business practices. Amplify your social media presence by creating a LinkedIn Company Page, a page where your business has its own personal profile and outgoing news feed designed for effective content marketing. It's similar as a Facebook business page where as you can:
- Establish company presence
- Attract new followers
- Foster engaging relationships with followers
- Create "fans" and brand advocates
- Reach prospective followers that are not in your network
- Provide detailed analysis of page activity including number of followers, engagements, impressions, and click-throughs
Use LinkedIn's marketing tools to target specific demographics and subgroups. This is great for Business to Business marketing because you can target by job title, function, industry, company size, and seniority. You can sponsor your company updates or use display advertising to expand your awareness and reach with LinkedIn advertising. LinkedIn ads are right for you if you sell business-oriented products and services.
6. Generate Leads
People spend their time browsing and researching on social platforms. Most buying processes start there and your business should be there with them. Company updates are the key to growing your follower base and generating leads. Create compelling and engaging company updates that captivate your ideal customer, encourage them to click through to the body of your content and to appreciate that content enough to share it. A useful feature LinkedIn recently added is that once you have 100 followers, you can choose whether to publish an update to all followers or to a target group of followers based on filter criteria: company size, geography, seniority, etc. Create a posting schedule so you're consistently providing content that is relevant and helpful. Over time, your followers will begin to trust your company, its products, and its services.
As you can see, LinkedIn has updated their look and service to be more social networking friendly for individuals and businesses. Just like any other social media platform, you will need to invest some time to create a strategic marketing strategy for your target customer. What new LinkedIn features have you found to be useful? How does your company utilize LinkedIn?