“Top of the mind means tip of the tongue.” I heard this recently in a webinar about why content and companies go viral. It’s true that it’s easier to quickly draw whatever’s most accessible to us to our minds. On the other hand - “out of sight, out of mind.”
When we think about social media usage as businesses, these are worthy - even if they are pithy - sayings to remember because they explain human behavior. When considering which social media outlets to spend our time using, it’s important to remember how people think and act. Whatever’s on their mind is right in front of them.
It’s logical to conclude that if you, as a business, want to be on your customers’ minds, you’ve got to be visible!
LinkedIn is a professional network that can establish your credibility, showcase your authority, and create meaningful opportunities to connect with your fans.
Should I be on LinkedIn?
With over 225 million users, LinkedIn is the second most utilized social media site by marketers after Facebook. According to a Duct Tape Marketing and Vocus study, 61 percent of marketers are using LinkedIn, compared to 73 percent who currently use Facebook. LinkedIn is also one of the top social media sites with regards to “helpfulness” to marketers, according to the same study.
Here are some benefits of LinkedIn usage for your business and website:
- Increased traffic to your website.
- More followers, fans, possible connections.
- Engagement with your content, updates, and news.
- Higher rankings in search engines.
- Greater brand recognition.
All of this helps increase your overall brand reputation, brand authority, sales, and conversions online.
So is it for you? With so many social networking sites out there, many businesses grow tired before they even begin. But let me encourage you, based on LinkedIn’s prominence, to just jump in the game. With millions of people on LinkedIn, you could be gaining new customers and leads every day just by being visible. So just stop worrying about whether or not it’s a worthwhile endeavor, because it is and it can be. What you have to determine is how willing you are to spend some time to use it effectively and get results.
How can you get in the LinkedIn game?
Here are 5 tips to have a successful LinkedIn experience
1. Take 30 minutes and fill out your profile to the max.
Fully fill out your company page, including keywords, pictures, videos, links to your social media accounts, links to your website, products and services, and whatever details LinkedIn asks you to fill in. The more the better! Don’t be chintzy!
Keep it updated, too. It can be helpful to schedule a time to update all of your social media platforms (for instance, has your office moved? Have you added services or updated keywords? Are you going with a new look and feel?) Don’t let your profile become outdated. It’s so easy to keep things updated online that you have no excuse to be flaunting inaccurate or old information.
2. Upload a banner image.
This is similar to a cover photo on Facebook. It’s a great idea to customize a banner image that includes important messages, your logo, or memorable images to attract the eyes of potential customers.
3. Share updates.
Be intentional, informational, helpful, regular, and creative with what you share.
Trader Joe’s: Surprisingly, they’re not doing the whole kit and caboodle on LinkedIn... but they are posting regularly with fun, engaging updates, which is gaining them a ton of regular interaction from fans. Like the post below:
Starbucks: The coffee king has chosen to target job searchers on its LinkedIn. Much of their content is tailored to job searchers and people who might be considering their company culture:
Hewlett Packard: Hewlett Packard was the first company to reach 1 million followers on LinkedIn. It’s easy to see why - they continually provide video and article updates on professional matters, their company, and doing better business. Their profile is full, with lots of links to connect on social. Appropriate to LinkedIn, they have information about careers that makes it easy for job searchers to view their openings. They do a good job keeping content interesting!
4. Try reverse psychology to get recommendations, give some!
Recommendations increase your credibility in others' eyes. As a culture, we assign more value to things with endorsements by people we know (just look at sponsored stories on Facebook) so if you can get some recommendations on LinkedIn, visitors will be more likely to be impressed with what you have to offer. But you can't force anyone to recommend you. Start by writing a recommendation for a company who you hope will recommend you. Give a genuine recommendation based on real experience. Make sure they, too, have experienced your products and services and aren’t just a friend who can make up a few nice things to say. Your kindness may result in a recommendation for you, too!
Then if people recommend your business send a thank you message.
5. Include free resources under your products/services page.
Hubspot is smart with this in that they link to free ebooks and resources, which gives people an incentive to visit their website. You may not have ebooks, but do you have a free consultation? An awesome blog with regular industry-leading content? Link to that! This is the spot to cajole people to come to your party.
A few helpful reminders about LinkedIn engagement
- You’re got to give people a reason to want to connect. No one will just like your page or engage out of the goodness of their heart. People are busy. Give them interesting updates and good content. Add value.
- LinkedIn will not be your be-all-end-all marketing strategy. Like everything else online, it’s a piece of the pie. View it as such and invest enough time to truly reap benefits - but don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
- Don’t spam your contacts with messages they don’t want or unwelcome direct contact. LinkedIn is a respectable, professional site with standards. Keep interactions clean and genuinely helpful!
What do you think - does LinkedIn have the potential to drive traffic and real business to company websites? To your website?