LinkedIn is more than a handy way to sort through connections and make introductions — it’s also a powerful platform to supercharge your content marketing efforts (even if you’re not a LinkedIn Influencer just yet).
To find out exactly how other founders are using the network to get more eyeballs on their content, we asked a panel of successful entrepreneurs to share their best tips and tricks. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Join Discussions in LinkedIn Groups
Every time I write an article that is relevant to a specific audience, I start a conversation around the article in a LinkedIn group I’m associated with. I make sure to ask a question or pose a discussion topic with the article and not simply link to an article.
2. Engage Employees With Email
LinkedIn is a person-to-person network. The key to an effective LinkedIn strategy is engaging your employees to share your content. Want to know how to get your employees to share to LinkedIn? Email them. Most of the working day (and night), they stare at computer screens and smartphones looking at emails that come in. If you can make an email that is simple and has a strong call to action, professionals are likely to share it. Since launching employee engagement programs for companies like PwC and Sun Life Financial, we’ve seen employees average five to 25 clicks every time they share to LinkedIn, with many popular employees averaging 50 to 180 clicks. Ask your advertising team how much they pay for cost-per-click ads on LinkedIn, and you can count the value (hint: it’s $2 per click).
3. Use LinkedIn Product and Service Pages
LinkedIn company pages all have built-in product and services pages that will amplify your business content. Within the pages, you can list details about all of your specific offerings, highlight customer recommendations for the product and add images to make these products really stand out. LinkedIn has also built in the number of impressions these products and services pages receive, so you can see how many people are researching your company and what your most popular services are.
4. Promote Your Brand With Groups
Dr. Seuss reminded us, “There is no one alive who is you-er than you.” LinkedIn helps you promote the you-er in you! One way we self-promote is by joining groups. By joining them — up to 50 at a time — you can expand your reach while sharing your expertise. For example, there are 746 groups under our target keyword “writer.” One group has more than 13,000 members with more than 230 discussions happening. Joining several of these conversations helps strengthen your brand and boost your expertise. It’s a great way to network!
5. Simply Create a LinkedIn Page
When I launched a networking event in my city, I started all of the obvious social networking groups. To my surprise, the one that has picked up the most traction in members (almost 3,000) and poignant posts from users was the LinkedIn group. This has helped draw more people to the page, the event company, and it has helped create content for our other social media platforms.
6. Capitalize With Status Updates
LinkedIn is often thought of as that place you go when you’re looking for a job. Savvy business professionals are now using it as a place to establish themselves as experts within their fields by creating and sharing authoritative content. One way to do this is to capitalize on LinkedIn’s content sharing ability. Through status updates, users can upload their business content to be shared to their networks and further establish the brand voice they’ve worked hard to build on their LinkedIn company and professional pages. By using LinkedIn to amplify their business content through their sharing platform, they can get content in front of the business professionals who find it most relevant and useful. When it’s useful, they gain clout and authority in their industry.
7. Share Content and Measure Engagement
I share one to two pieces of content on LinkedIn, and the engagement rates vary wildly. Most will receive one to two interactions, while a recent post received over 20 interactions. I’d peg LinkedIn’s ability to amplify content below Facebook, slightly higher than Twitter and dramatically higher than Google+.
8. Gain Deeper Connections With Others
A person spends 10 to 14 percent of his lifetime working. Seeing how you spend those many hours helps you connect on a more personal level. Because my company is all about personalized interactions, I’m a careful study of the experiences and interests implicit in that old curriculum vitae. And, when I express that depth of interest in others, they respond in kind towards my business. For example, I once found an early story written by a contact through LinkedIn. It revealed her dreams and fears about pursuing writing as a career. She is now an editor. Because I followed her career and was able to share appreciation for her early work, I was able to get published, and a press hit followed.
9. Update Your Status on LinkedIn Rather Than Facebook
People often forget that LinkedIn is a social network that can be leveraged just as much as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. For my company, we receive higher quality visitors to our website from a status update on LinkedIn than from other social networks because of the various groups and connections we’ve established.