While B2C marketers focus on Facebook, LinkedIn is consistently cited as the top social network for B2B marketing. Part of the reasoning is that while Facebook is good for sharing coupons, promoting events, and showcasing corporate culture to potential employees, LinkedIn is powerful at generating web traffic and leads. LinkedIn now has more than 100 million 150 million members including executives from every one of the Fortune 500 companies; 80% of them influence their companies’ purchasing decisions, and those professionals have a significantly higher level of trust in the business-related information they see on LinkedIn than on other popular social networks.
And while LinkedIn’s features remain focused primarily on activity at the individual professional level, the network has added several features for enterprises over the past year, including most recently the Follow Company button for business websites.
So how can companies most successfully use LinkedIn to generate more leads and sales? What’s the best way to start and grow a LinkedIn group? How can you maximize the visibility and impact of your LinkedIn company page? How can you optimize results from LinkedIn advertising?
Find the answers to these questions and more here in 22 of the best LinkedIn guides of the past year.
LinkedIn Tips, Tactics and Best Practices
5 Tips to Get More Sales from Linkedin by Better Closer
Recommended for YouWebcast: Build a Powerful Network and Accelerate your Growth
In this concise but useful post, Bill Rice presents five tips for sales (and marketing) pros to take advantage of the capabilities of LinkedIn, from creating a clear profile (“More than boasting about the benefits of any particular company, a LinkedIn profile should make it clear what service it provides to its clients or customers. It should go on to explain what results you can provide for your clients, and how things will improve for them if they work with you”) to asking, politely, for recommendations.
LinkedIn Adds Job Title, Company Names To Text Ad Targeting by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh reports on the expanded options for audience targeting introduced in LinkedIn ads early last year, how LinkedIn ads work, how the enhanced options help marketers, and how they are likely to be received by LinkedIn users.
How LinkedIn Apps Can Promote Your Business by Social Media Examiner
Lewis Howes reveals, in his words, “the top apps you can leverage to get more leads, traffic, product sales, brand awareness, ticket sales, investors, sponsors, consulting engagements and more” including the WordPress app (which enables you to add a blog to LinkedIn), video autoplay, syncing with Twitter, and featuring events on LinkedIn.
How To Maximize LinkedIn For Your Small Business by Sanera People Development Company
Jason Seiden, the guy who trained the LinkedIn sales team on how to use LinkedIn (how’s that for a nice line to have on your resume?) details the process of using LinkedIn for business development by small business owners/managers, from setting clear goals and developing a simple plan to reaching out and never spamming.
10 Tips for LinkedIn Social Networking by Online Social Networking
Larry Brauner shares 10 tips for maximizing LinkedIn social networking success, among them: put significant time and thought into your profile, utilize keywords, “join every relevant LinkedIn group,” comment when you have something valuable to add, and most importantly (for any social network)–keep at it.
How to Grow Your LinkedIn Group Numbers by Flyte Blog
Rich Brooks supplies several tips for growing the membership in a LinkedIn group, from sending out invitations (even to contacts who aren’t yet on LinkedIn) to promoting the group through your newsletter or blog, along with ideas to increase group member engagement.
10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn by Business Insider
Writing that “LinkedIn has been adding more and more social features that make sharing news and links with professionals in a specific industry easier than ever,” Steve Kovach walks through LinkedIn’s social sharing features, like the “LinkedIn Today” daily news digest, searching for updates on your favorite topics, and search-optimizing your company page and personal profile.
Advanced LinkedIn strategies for marketers by iMedia Connection
Kent Lewis examines “advanced strategies for optimizing your personal and company profiles” such as optimizing all of the elements of your profile, incorporating the Recommend API on your company bio page, using LinkedIn’s resume builder, creating a personalized LinkedIn home page, and using LinkedIn Q&A to conduct polls.
Charlie White shares an infographic loaded with facts and statistics about LinkedIn use, for example: 61% of curvey respondents said that LinkedIn was their primary social networking site used for professional networking (versus 22% who said Facebook and 4% Twitter). 81% of LinkedIn members belong to at least one group. And 37% of users say they update their profile picture frequently—while 12% have had the same picture since they joined.
Noting that LinkedIn users don’t use the site to browse through photos of friends, share 140-character status updates or watch videos of talking dogs, Lewis Howes (again) explains how to use LinkedIn for business: from optimizing your personal headline (it doesn’t have to be merely your current job title) to utilizing social proof to providing a compelling call to action (what do you want someone to do after viewing your profile?).
Will LinkedIn Replace Your Resume? by Market My Career
Interesting question, particularly considering that as this post reports, “LinkedIn (has) announced a product called Talent Pipeline which will allow hiring managers and recruiters to track all passive and active candidates directly via LinkedIn. So whether a recruiter finds your profile on LinkedIn or someone passes along your resume, it will be stored, managed and share via LinkedIn.”
Tips for LinkedIn Company Pages
8 New LinkedIn Features Worth Exploration by Social Media Examiner
Linda Coles steps through some of the key changes made by LinkedIn early last year, such as support for company pages (and if you jumped on this right away, note that this area has been more recently enhanced, particularly in the product listing area), banner images, video support and blog post feeds.
How to Make the Most from LinkedIn Company Pages by Gloria Rand’s Blog
Gloria Rand offers an overview of LinkedIn company pages and how they differ from Facebook pages, with banner images, integrated YouTube videos, and most importantly, customer recommendations: “the real power of Company Pages is the fact that LinkedIn members who recommend a product or service on a company profile, will have those recommendations surface on their own personal profiles as well.”
11 Sales Attributes of a Company LinkedIn Page by Find and Convert
Contending that “If you are a B2B company, your LinkedIn company page could be as valuable (at least as requisite) as your website,” Bernie Borges serves up tips on optimizing each element of LinkedIn company pages, from the company overview and product/service descriptions through promotions, videos and your company blog RSS feed.
Recommendations: LinkedIn’s Customer Reference Program for B2B Brands by iMedia Connection
Ryan Derousseau believes that LinkedIn can function as a consumer/buyer recommendation platform for B2B enterprises much the way Facebook does for B2C brands, and provides several suggestions for capitalizing on this. One of the more interesting recommendations: “Add the recommendation button to your company’s product page on the company website. This allows people to click on the recommendation button, and share with their network that they suggest purchasing this good or service. This plugin will live on the site for other customers to see.”
How To Use LinkedIn To Improve Organic Visibility by Search Engine Land
George Aspland explains how to set up and search-optimize a company profile page. Great stuff, but be careful with recommendations that rely on employee involvement (e.g., asking employees to optimize their public profiles with your keywords and share company updates). This is an area where training and having a social media policy in place can be valuable.
Benefits of LinkedIn Company Pages by LeahBaade.com
Leah Baade reviews what LinkedIn company pages are, how they work, why they are beneficial, how to set up a company page, how to interpret LinkedIn’s analytics, and most importantly, what to watch out for, such as “The Latest News works a lot like Google Alerts – in that it’s not always accurate. Unless your company has a very unique name, or it’s frequently making top headlines, this may not be the best feature to enable. Try monitoring the company name or keywords for a day or two and see what comes up.”
5 Tips for Using the New LinkedIn Company Pages by Social Media Examiner
Stephanie Sammons reviews updates that LinkedIn made to company pages late last year, then offers five tips for optimizing use of company pages, such as posting “a ‘call to action’ to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups” to build up followers for your LinkedIn page and providing “interesting and value-added company page updates”—not just company news and job openings.
LinkedIn “Company” Pages: An (Undervalued) Gem for Organizations of All Types by Social Media in Organizations
***** 5 STARS
Courtney Shelton Hunt explains why “organizations of all types and sizes should establish and manage their Company Pages (organizational profiles) on LinkedIn,” outlines a three-phase approach to creating company pages, lists several examples of well-crafted company profiles, and presents survey results showing that LinkedIn is overwhelmingly the preferred social network people use when they want to engage with a company professionally.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Advertising
5 Steps to Successful LinkedIn Advertising by Social Media Examiner
Pointing out that “LinkedIn lets marketers target ads to users by important B2B demographics such as job title or industry or even focusing on members of particular LinkedIn groups. This is different—and arguably better-suited for B2B—than Facebook ads, which typically target users by lifestyle interests…(and) marketers can create an ad on LinkedIn in just minutes with a minimum spend of $10/day,” Janet Aronica covers the basics of LinkedIn advertising along with five steps to LinkedIn advertising success (such as split-testing different ad variations).
Relevancy Is Key to Reaching Professionals With LinkedIn PPC Ads by ClickZ
**** 5 STARS
Lisa Raehsler compiles a few LinkedIn advertising best practices and tips here, in terms of targeting (“Job function enables you to loosen the targeting criteria a bit and select users within a specific job function such as ‘accounting,’ ‘creative,’ or ‘marketing’”), ads (“It’s common for the CTR of your ad to decline if you continue to display the same ad week after week. A best practice is to refresh your ads at least once per month with new ad text or images”), bidding and budgeting.
A Starter Guide for Advertising on LinkedIn by PPC Hero
Jessica Cates outlines the process of setting up a business account (so you can keep LinkedIn advertising access separate from your personal account) and an advertising campaign on LinkedIn, from rotation and targeting through bidding and tracking conversion data.