"The medium is the message" - Marshall McLuhan introduced the world to this phrase in 1964. Since the emergence of social media, the phrase has become a critical guiding factor for those who want to leverage social channels for business benefits. Your message is as important as the medium you choose to convey it. Every medium has a certain audience as well as personality. It is this context which has allowed LinkedIn to develop itself as preferred medium for businesses and B2B marketers.
If you have identified LinkedIn as a medium that can be beneficial for your marketing efforts, think again before you jump into the pool. Identify what’s your brand personality - is it playful or mindful? In his famous Ted talk, Morgan Spurlock hilariously explains the two distinct identities under which you can categorize your brand.
LinkedIn is mostly recognized as a medium friendly to those who have a mindful brand personality; which in no way is a restriction for brands with a playful personality. In fact, playful brands can capture more eyeballs as they have a larger scope for innovation. Nonetheless, marketers need to keep in mind that LinkedIn is going to remain a professional network and some prudence is required to maintain its integrity. In the following article we will discuss best practices to be a LinkedIn marketing Pro.
Identify your Target AudienceLinkedIn connects the highest number of CXOs, Managers, Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Freelancers and IT experts. Though, it used to be for adults, now younger students can also be a part of this extensive network; (in the US, the minimum age for LinkedIn membership is now 14 years). Who among this is your Target Audience? The first step is to identify this audience, the region you want to target and eventually the related groups already present on LinkedIn. You should join these groups and become an active member by increasing your participation in group activities (posts, discussions etc). It is important to follow a balanced approach; you want to be identified as a contributor and not a spammer.
Develop Quality ContentBoring content is boring to create and boring to read. People who know how to create a website can tell you the importance of website content. The same principles of understanding the user intent work elsewhere on the internet. To make your content shareable, it must either be resourceful and inspiring or it must be funny (remember LinkedIn funny is different from 9GAG funny). If your content doesn’t meet the above two criteria, then it will be ignored. Alternatively, you might try out adding a bit of controversy to your marketing campaigns - but do it only when you have 100% of marketing stakeholders convinced with your idea.
Bank on the LatestBe Agile. The best time to comment or share your views on latest industry happenings is as soon as they occur. If you are creating a social media calendar and using Hootsuite to schedule your posts weeks/months in advance, then you have no idea what’s social media is all about. Most events and happenings have a limited buzz cycle and you need to make most of the opportunity at hand. You can continue using the Hootsuite for regularity, but don’t miss out on live opportunities.
Leverage LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform – PulsePulse is available as an App download for users and it can help you amplify your content reach. This has obvious SEO benefits - backlinks from LinkedIn and indexable content. Further, it can be a huge success if your article gets viral. Pulse Shares and Likes are highly valuable because a majority of these are likely to come from your qualified audience.
Track your AudienceMake effective use of LinkedIn analytics dashboard. If you are not tracking your progress then you will not be able to drive your marketing campaigns in any direction. Following LinkedIn metrics are most hopeful in this respect:
Unique Visitors: This excludes multiple visits from a single user.
Visitor Demographics: LinkedIn gives you unique advantage as in addition to readers’ location, you can find out their industry, job title, seniority level, company size and other useful information.
Audience: This shows if your post was sent to all your followers or a targeted group.
Invest in LinkedIn Marketing SolutionsOnce you are better acquainted to LinkedIn, explore the marketing solutions offered by the company. With these solutions, you can run very targeted campaigns and connect with your audience by reaching directly to their LinkedIn inbox. Alternatively, you can try out Display and Dynamic Ads which follow the PPC model like elsewhere on the internet. If you have an extensive content market strategy, you might also explore the sponsored content feature.
LinkedIn continues to grow as a network of choice for professionals across the world. Despite Russia banning it in the recent times, you can rest assured that its popularity is only likely to rise. Give a boost to your marketing campaigns and start connecting with your audience now.
5 LinkedIn Best Practices for Marketing Professionals
Kunjal Panchal is a Digital Strategist, having 5+ years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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