LinkedIn is the secret weapon that has the power to push your B2B social media strategy into high gear — and we have the LinkedIn best practices to help you use it to its fullest potential.
What started as a simple networking and job search tool has blossomed into much more. Now we use LinkedIn for research, marketing, and thought leadership — with phenomenal results.
Why Use LinkedIn for Your B2B Business
LinkedIn is a powerhouse of opportunity that helps your business reach its goals. At last count, LinkedIn had more than 467 million users, many of whom are business owners and other professionals. Using LinkedIn puts your brand on their radar.
But do professionals and executives really use this network? According to one study, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn in their purchase decisions. Another 70% of professionals viewed LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of content.
Users are very engaged on LinkedIn. And because of the business-centric atmosphere that is promoted on LinkedIn, around 92% of B2B businesses market themselves on LinkedIn
Clearly, if your business is not active on this network, you’re missing out!
How do you get the most out of LinkedIn? Let’s look into some of the best practices on LinkedIn that will fuel your progress and help you reach your business goals.
10 B2B LinkedIn Best Practices That Will Give You a Jumpstart
1. Beef Up Your Profile
Your company profile is the welcome mat for your LinkedIn account — and if that doesn’t put your company in the best light, it may turn some people away before they look at anything else.
A few useful tips to get you started include:
- Take the time to write a riveting summary that engages your audience.
- Include your company logo so people know they’re in the right place.
- Use keywords that will make your page easy to find.
- List your most important products and services
- Ask for reviews and testimonials — third party reviews can encourage more interaction.
Once you have your company profile set up and ready to receive visitors, you can move comfortably onto creating content and engaging your audience.
2. Focus on Education
LinkedIn’s platform makes it easy to publish your own articles. But a word of caution: this is not a place to promote your company or sell your products. The most successful content on LinkedIn is educational in nature.
Answer common questions that arise in your industry. Address problems and concerns that your audience faces on a regular basis.
Bottom line: The main purpose of your content should be to help your audience.
Take, for example, Hubspot, a company that has gained massive popularity in the field of inbound marketing largely due to its strong base of educational content. And Hubspot follows that same pattern on social media, which is why they rock their LinkedIn presence.
This kind of educational content works to build your brand’s credibility. As your audience witnesses for themselves your industry expertise and helpfulness, they will be more inclined to work with your brand in the future.
3. Include Visuals
It has been proven time and again: humans are visual creatures! Studies have shown that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Add to this the fact that content with visuals gets 94% more views than content without and that 65% of people are visual learners — the importance of visual content becomes crystal clear.
LinkedIn is no different.
Articles with images, charts, and other visuals are more appealing than those without. It makes it easier to digest the information and remember it. Use as much visual content as you can. This could include charts, infographics, slideshares, and more.
Visuals shouldn’t be limited to LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Use visuals to liven up your profile. Instead of a long list of text to describe you, incorporate video, infographic, or images that will engage the reader.
In fact, video is growing so fast in popularity that we’ve decided to talk about it as a separate point entirely…
4. Create Videos
Video is no longer just for Facebook! It is gaining speed as a must-have component of LinkedIn
There are so many ways to use video on LinkedIn that your audience will never get bored. For starters, you could create a video to
- tell your brand’s story — give your brand a voice that humanizes it.
- address some of your frequently asked questions.
- interview a leading figure within your industry.
- show customer testimonials of how your brand has helped other clients.
- Enhance your profile with real-life examples of your expertise
And video creation has become so easy that virtually anyone with a smartphone can make one in a matter of seconds. Choose from any number of video creation and editing tools. A few of the tools that we enjoy include:
Take the following example from Dennis Koutoudis, a renowned LinkedIn expert and public speaker. He strategically uses video to underscore his skills. For example, he speaks of his ability as a keynote speaker. Rather than taking him at his word or scouring the internet for an example, he provides a video example of one of his speeches right at the end of his summary.
5. Publish Consistently
Nothing will turn off an audience quicker than stale content. Keep your content fresh. Aim to publish content 1-2 times per week on LinkedIn to keep your audience engaged. If not, they’ll get bored and look elsewhere for content — and most likely they won’t come back.
As soon as new developments hit the industry, be the first to offer your perspective on it. Audiences will start to turn to you for fresh insights and advice.
6. Tag Strategically
Tagging, when done strategically, can draw attention to your posts in a positive way. If done too much, however, it can quickly become annoying.
How does it work? Simply place the “@” symbol in front of someone’s name. This will notify them and place your content in their news feed. And you don’t have to be connected to the person to tag them.
If you quote or mention an influential person in your content, tag the person. He or she may repost your content. Not only does this give your content — and brand — more exposure, but it also helps to reinforce the influencer’s reputation. It’s a win-win.
Note: The tagging feature works only if you’re sharing or posting a comment. It doesn’t work on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform.
7. Use Your Employees
Posting on LinkedIn should not be a one-person job. Instead, encourage others on your team to create content to post. This serves several purposes. It gives you more content to post and also humanizes your brand, showing tthe faces behind your brand.
It’s great to have everyone contribute their own point of view and areas of expertise to the content pool. But not everyone is a born writer. That’s why it’s helpful to have an editor on hand to make sure every piece is ready for the public eye.
8. Pay to Amplify Great Content
Now, admittedly, this isn’t a financially sound strategy for every piece of content you create. But if you have a particularly high-quality piece of content that will fill a vital need for your audience, consider investing some money to get it in front of a few more eyeballs.
If you notice that your audience really enjoys a certain piece of content, it’s a pretty sure bet that others will too. Pay to reach a wider audience and ultimately draw attention back to your brand.
9. Create a Group
Get your audience right where you want them by creating a LinkedIn group that draws them into your audience.
We should mention, though, that starting a LinkedIngroup is not for everyone. Before you start your own group, ask yourself if you have the following:
- A strong group of followers that will create a solid foundation — People look for social proof. They often reason that if a group already has many followers, it must be worth their time.
- A special topic — There are so many groups vying for people’s attention on LinkedIn. Just check out the number of groups under “marketing,” and you’ll see what we mean. Don’t create a new group if you can’t bring a new idea to the table.
If you decide that you have what it takes to create a successful group on LinkedIn,here are a few best practices to follow:
- First things first: create a catchy name. By now, LinkedIn has many groups, and sometimes they can get redundant. Stand out with an engaging and different name.
- Keep the group up-to-date. Share the latest information with your group’s audience — this doesn’t have to be solely content that you’ve created. Share anything that will benefit your audience.
- Encourage your employees to support the group. This can help it feel more alive and inclusive, which will encourage others to participate.
And a warning: Don’t post purely self-promotional content. Share content that helps your group memebers get the latest information.
10. Use Analytics
From your company page, you will see a tab that says Analytics. This powerful tool helps you see how your content is doing and where you can improve.
Here are few important metrics that will maximize how you use LinkedIn:
- Engagement — This is how much your audiences engage with your content, from clicks to likes and shares. When you see that your audiences engage with certain topics or types of content more than others, you can create more of it.
- Follower demographics — This is the makeup of your audience. Analyze the data to determine who you’re reaching and help you hone your content to appeal to a certain demographic.
- Competitor comparison — See how your metrics compare with those of your competitors. It’s always good to keep an eye on the competition.
You can use this information in a few different ways. For starters, see what pieces of content are most popular and create more of the same. Second, you determine who comprises your audience and modify your approach based on those results.
If you find that you need more precision in your analytics, you can pay for a premium tool, such as Hootsuite to provide a more comprehensive report on your LinkedIn progress.
Whatever you do, one thing is clear: Monitoring your metrics will help you to improve on your LinkedIn strategy.
Key Points to Remember…
- Create educational content
- Include visuals in your articles as well as your profile.
- Post video content as much as possible.
- Publish consistently
- Tag strategically when you quote or talk about an influential person in your content.
- Use employees to create content that will humanize your brand.
- Monitor your progress with LinkedIn analytics
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that has the power to boost your brand. I hope these LinkedIn best practices help you to use it to its fullest potential.
Read More: 6 Myths about LinkedIn for Business