Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter tend to market to consumers who are already familiar with the company and its products/services, and can potentially mix up the tone and content of their marketing messages. LinkedIn is a purely professional social network. LinkedIn concentrates on business networking by building useful contacts and leads which can influence their company and convert into paying customers.
Here are some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to get you to get your business started using LinkedIn:
Do: Create your company page in line with your brand. It should be an extension of your website in terms of how it looks and what you say.
Do: Ensure all employees have created their profile on LinkedIn. They should include details about their current role and how they help your company, complimentary references, job history and experience and a suitable photo. The summary part is very important and gives ‘outsiders’ an insight into the people behind the company, so ensure this is done with careful consideration.
Don’t: Blatant promotions will not go down well on LinkedIn. This is a professional platform which conforms better with exchanges of useful content and contacts.
Do: Use the search facility to your full advantage. This is the chance to find key individuals or companies who you wish to target. Even search by keywords relevant to your business to see who are connected or subjects being discussed.
Don’t: Marketing rules still apply, so don’t forget to follow the same etiquette when generating and nurturing leads. Think about how you wish to make contact and keep the messaging professional and relevant especially with the first email message. Think about the reasons for making the contact and include mutual benefits to encourage the connection.
Do: Invest time and effort updating your posts so that you are front of mind and staying part of topical issues and discussions.
Do: Plan who you wish to target. LinkedIn can open the doors to current and potential customers, stakeholders, industry bodies and associations. You can even target companies by type, size and market.
Don’t: Posting for the sake of posting is not the ideal plan. Quality content is what will help you stand out and position you as a voice of authority and with a good knowledge of your market.
Do: Make the most of the Groups either by following them or creating your own group. You can join groups of your target audience to follow their discussions and offer advice. You can join peer to peer groups to help each other and exchange opinions. Once you’ve been accepted as a member you can message other members which gives you the opportunity to connect with useful prospects and influencers. You can also invite these contacts to your own Group. By administering your own group, this is a great way of offering quality content, finding out thoughts on topics and targeting a key audience to its full potential.
Don’t: Don’t ignore what connections are saying about your company or market. Use LinkedIn to listen to what is being discussed on posts and group so that you are aware at all times. You can then join in and offer your view, acknowledge and challenge if necessary.
Do: Integrate LinkedIn as part of the overall marketing mix with other social media messaging. Be consistent with content across all platforms and monitor and measure response where applicable.
Don’t: Chances are that you can use LinkedIn to keep track on competitor activity. Don’t take your eye off what is being said or discussed about them so that you are aware of how they are being viewed and their influence within your market.
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