LinkedIn is more than a social media platform for posting your latest achievements. It’s a valuable resource for sharing industry information and connecting with other industry members. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to grow your customer base with tactics beyond simple paid ads. The platform is about creating connections and building a relationship with your audience. In this article we will take a look at Linkedin marketing strategies to help you improve your connections and make lasting impressions.
Profiles are how you and your brand make a first impression on LinkedIn. Potential employees, customers, and professional contacts could be discovering you and your brand on LinkedIn. You want the first impression from your LinkedIn profiles to be just as professional and impressive as if they’d stumbled upon your website.
Consider LinkedIn profiles to be their introduction to you and your brand. While some LinkedIn marketing strategies are more time-consuming and may seem more important, don’t underestimate the power of profiles to make a lasting impression. LinkedIn does make it easy with a sliding scale that shows you the completeness of your profile. You’ll want to complete your profile so the scale reads “All Star,” which is the highest level.
The first and also simplest task you can work on is completing your personal profile. Make sure you have a profile and banner picture and your past and current employers are listed with descriptions for each position. You should also have at least 5-10 skills listed. The Accomplishment section should be filled out to the best of your ability.
While it might be tempting, don’t make your personal profile photo a picture of a logo. It should be a high-quality, high-resolution headshot. The background of the photo can be a professional solid color or neutral background. You don’t want a background that’s unprofessional, like one taken from the inside of a car, or too busy that it distracts from your face.
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For the skills section, at a minimum you should have at least five skills listed. At least 10 or more skills listed would be ideal. This is the perfect place to list the different software and social media platforms you’re proficient in, as well as your qualitative and quantitative skills. Examples include adaptability, collaboration, creativity, affiliate marketing, and video editing.
The Accomplishment section is a great place to list projects you’ve completed. This can include both individual and team projects. The description of each project should illustrate how you’ve put your skills into action.
If this is applicable to you and your brand, encourage employees to complete their LinkedIn profiles just as you’ve completed yours. Employee profiles also can make a first impression and they contribute to the overall reputation of the brand.
Depending on the budget and circumstances, consider booking a photographer to take professional headshots for your entire staff. This can help further motivate and give your employees a feeling of pride in building their profiles. It will also convey consistent messaging across your brand.
Like your personal profile, your business profile should also include a banner and profile picture. However for business profiles, the profile image can be of your company’s logo. The banner photo should further tell the story of your brand and coincide with your other messaging. If you’re lacking inspiration, look at the banner images on your company’s website and design from there.
Your “About” section should be informative but also concise. This could potentially be someone’s introduction to your company, and the explanation of what your company offers. You don’t want your introduction to be too lengthy and potentially bore your audience.
The content you post on LinkedIn should be thoughtful and provide value. Don’t think of a LinkedIn post as an advertisement. Your content shouldn’t be shouting a message at a large audience, it should be providing value to your connections.
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Visual content tends to be more engaging, especially on LinkedIn. Including at least one picture in a post is great for interaction, but a slide deck of 3-5 pictures is even better. As more and more of your connections engage with your posts, their engagement starts showing up on their connections’ feeds, thus furthering your reach.
Keep in mind, valuable content doesn’t always have to be your own original content. Sometimes valuable news articles, infographics, and videos will come from other industry sources. Sharing valuable content from other credible sources shows your knowledge of the industry and also boosts your credibility.
LinkedIn InMail is only available to users with Premium accounts. Depending on your position, the cost of Premium accounts ranges from $29.99 to $119.95/month with yearly discounts available. You are only able to send an InMail if you’ve upgraded to a Premium account, however the recipients of InMails don’t need to have a Premium account.
With a Basic account, if you don’t already have a network connection with a person’s profile, you’re blocked from sending them a message. Through InMail, you are able to message people who aren’t in your network. With a Premium account, you would be able to send this potential new connection an InMail.
This paid feature now allows you to easily message and potentially connect with people you might’ve been barred from communicating with before. These messages are labeled “InMail,” which separates them from other messages people receive from Basic accounts. This feature provides you an opportunity to start a conversation with people you might not have been able to find email addresses or phone numbers for through your other searches.
InMail Analytics allows you to see what messages are most successful, allowing you to improve and spend your marketing budget wisely. Also the more timely responses you receive to your messages, you receive credits towards the cost of future messages. This is truly a performance incentive.
LinkedIn Groups present another opportunity for you to share your expertise and to create connections with audiences that have similar interests. Groups are basically online forums for people to share information, discuss, and learn more on certain topics. Public groups can be joined automatically, while private groups require an accepted invitation in order to gain access to its content.
Find groups by typing keywords in the search bar at the top of the page. After you search your various keywords, click on the “Groups” bubble at the top of the page. This will bring up all groups that align with the keywords. A few examples of keywords to search are graphic design, real estate, and affiliate marketing.
LinkedIn Groups Membership - Overview
Grow your presence in your various LinkedIn Groups by engaging with the content being posted by answering questions and having conversations. Once you feel confident about your involvement in the group, post your own content and facilitate discussions with thought-provoking prompts. After you’ve become familiar with certain group members, send them a message or a request to connect so you can build the relationship further.
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that provides an opportunity to connect with other business professionals. The first and easiest step you can take is to update your personal and company profiles, and to have your employees update their profiles too. Consider upgrading to a Premium LinkedIn account so you can send InMail to people not currently in your network. Find groups that coincide with your interests, and grow your audience by sharing well thought-out content that provides value.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is meant for creating connections with your audience by having valuable and thoughtful interactions. Look at what areas of your brand’s LinkedIn marketing efforts you might be lacking, and see which strategies you can start implementing today.
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