After launching in 2003 and gaining momentum in 2006, LinkedIn initially entered the social networking scene as a business-oriented service, where users could post their resumes and search for jobs. Now, with over 100 million members, LinkedIn has emerged as the place for companies to spotlight products, customers and employees. Research shows that 50 percent of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from or do business with a company when they engage with it on LinkedIn. Whether it’s B2C or B2B that a small business is targeting, LinkedIn’s power can be leveraged to any marketing strategy’s advantage.
Let’s discuss some of the initial steps to optimizing a company’s presence on LinkedIn:
Carefully Crafted Copy
According to a study done by Search Metrics in 2013, some of the most important ranking factors in SEO are what they call “social signals.” Social signals include Facebook Likes, Google +1’s, LinkedIn Comments or Shares, Tweets, and more. Company pages are also very SEO-friendly, as Google previews up to 156 characters of a page’s text when a LinkedIn page appears in a search. As such, a small business should carefully craft its LinkedIn page description copy, as well as its social post copy, with these factors in mind. The goal is to include keywords or phrases that directly relate to a business, its expertise or its industry—in hopes that LinkedIn users may search for those terms and receive that particular company page, as a result.
Just like any other facet of a marketing strategy, content is king! LinkedIn is no different. It’s important to remember that LinkedIn users are on the network for professional purposes and therefore, are more receptive to business messages.
The following statistics are proven factors to a post’s success:
- Include images in posts—98 percent more likely to receive comments
- End posts with a question when applicable—receives 50 percent more comments
- Make content skimmable—“Top 5”-style posts receive 40 percent more shares
- Create linked posts (featured links)—45 percent higher engagement rates
- Share short video content—75 percent more shares than text
LinkedIn offers a powerful and free feature that serves content to a segmented audience within a company’s existing followers. Targeted company updates only appear to the intended audiences in both the member’s homepage feed and on the Company or Showcase Page.
LinkedIn’s targeting tool can come in handy when content may only be interesting to certain audiences within an industry. Targeted company update filters include company size, industry, function, seniority, geography and language preference. A business can also specifically reach non-employee followers with these same targeting parameters. Keep in mind, targeted audiences must include at least 100 followers.
Additionally, LinkedIn recently launched a paid targeting platform, intended to extend the number of existing followers a business reaches with its posts (also known as “organic reach”), as well as expand into new categories, increasing engagement and follower counts. In March 2015, Social Times reported that the organic reach of social media posts now totals at only 2.6 percent of a page’s followers. This means that unless a post is receiving a high volume of engagement (likes, shares, and comments), not all of a business’s followers will actually see its content. LinkedIn lets marketers target ads to users, using important B2B demographics such as job title, skills 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 (such as photography, music or home decor). Marketers can create an ad on LinkedIn with a minimum spend of $10/day that is structured using a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression bid.
Interested in learning more ways that you can take small business marketing to the next level on social media? Read our recent Facebook Best Practices and Twitter Best Practices articles to maximize on those platforms, as well.