Originally a professional career network for individuals, LinkedIn has evolved into a versatile marketing tool for companies of all sizes, with functions added on a regular basis. Some say it's the new Facebook, but for business.
Jean-Marie Dru, best-selling author and chairman of advertising giant TBWA Worldwide, recently noted that LinkedIn is THE platform for you AND your employees.
In my opinion, marketing via LinkedIn should be a key component of any company's social media activities, whether you run a small or large company, or work as a coach or consultant.
In this blog, we'll examine nine ways to expand your reach on Linkedin.
1. Optimize your personal and company page
Make sure you use a custom URL for your LinkedIn site as an alternative to the usual sequence of numbers that's automatically assigned when you create a profile or company page, both for your profile page (see this example) and for your company page (see this example).
Also, use keywords in your profile, company page, articles, and posts, and provide a clear follow button on your company page that leads to your website, a landing page, or an appointment booking page. Double-check the email address shown in your contact information—often we find private Gmail, Apple, or Hotmail addresses in our client’s profile.
2. Ensure a consistent brand image in your team
You can also give your company a stronger presence by asking your team members to use a single banner (with branding and contact information) on their personal pages. If you haven't already done so, this is a good opportunity to organize a team photo shoot. It also helps you to bring your team's profiles to the same professional level.
3. Let your team buy in
Your greatest potential for expanding your reach on LinkedIn could be right under your nose. Encourage your team members to exchange articles, share your events or trade show appearances with their followers, and post relevant content in LinkedIn groups.
(Note: Don't send unsolicited emails to group members and allow the group moderator to kick you out of the group.)
To make sure that everything is used professionally, let team members be trained and guided with LinkedIn do’s and don’ts according to your company's philosophy and values.
4. Build relationships with local experts
To get the most out of LinkedIn, make sure that you and your team members are part of expert groups near you. If you do, there's a good chance you'll get information about local activities and some exceptional recommendations for your business. But don't sell yourself or your company to the experts. Instead, establish long-lasting relationships both sides can benefit from. Ask yourself what you can bring to the table that might be interesting or helpful for them.
5. Use LinkedIn groups to network with your ideal clients
The LinkedIn users in your company must be part of LinkedIn groups that are related to the strengths of your company and, more importantly, the interests of your target audience. Join groups in which your potential customers communicate with each other, and use these groups as a discussion forum to learn more about your customers and get involved in the conversations. Comment, offer solutions, reply to posts—just don't use groups to sell. After all, LinkedIn is a social media platform.
6. Competition-free LinkedIn group
Starting your own LinkedIn group is a great way to reach new users in your immediate area and region. Moderating a group is extra work, but it yields some nice benefits, such as you can dictate the topic, scope, group rules, and more. You can also organize and moderate posts, assuring there are no posts from your competitors.
7. Stand out with your content
A company can use LinkedIn to reach more followers by loosening up the LinkedIn feed. Help your business stand out by posting content that sets it apart while providing something valuable to readers. Give them a reason to click through your content.
Videos, infographics, and SlideShare shows are brilliant, differentiating types of content that can help you shine among competitors.
8. Benefit from content of industry leaders
Share content from opinion leaders in your industry to diversify your content and add value to your followers' feed.
The more interesting the shared content is, the better for you, as long as it brings added value to your followers. And don’t forget to tag the person you shared content from and use proper keywords. You can also add your opinion.
9. Different target groups, different content
Manage your content by target and interest groups (e.g. languages, if you run your business in multiple languages). Posts from company pages can be sent to specific target groups: If the group of contacts with this language is large enough, you can address them specifically.
This is only possible for posts from company pages, not for personal posts (from your personal profile). The restriction: To select a target group, you must have at least 300 followers with this criterion.
For example, if you want to communicate in three languages, you need at least 300 followers with the respective language or the criterion you have chosen.
About the author
Oliver Meier is an international speaker and business coach. He has 20+ years of experience in sales and marketing, and strong expertise in LinkedIn. He has worked with major brands like Vodafone, Amazon, Samsung, and more. He is also the founder of Get More Academy, the company that makes the strategies of the big brands suitable and affordable for small companies.
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