Overlooked LinkedIn can showcase your business’s expertise

Think of the platform as a great tool for telling your company’s story

LinkedIn Business

As LinkedIn has matured, businesses are increasingly seeing the social media platform as a powerful tool for engaging with customers and promoting their brands. But if you find the prospect of marketing on LinkedIn daunting, you’re not alone.

Retailers are unlikely to promote their companies on LinkedIn in the same way that they would on Instagram or Facebook, where they might launch or highlight specific products or offer discounts and other deals. But what should your LinkedIn presence look like?

“I believe LinkedIn is a really underutilized network,” said Thea Joselow, a D.C.-based digital media strategist. “It’s a great place to showcase your expertise through short articles. You can write about how you’ve streamlined a part of your business to make a better customer experience, how your sales team works together or shares information successfully to help your customers. These are all opportunities to tell the story behind the storefront and build your professional reputation and that of your company. Also, organic content still performs well on LinkedIn, so you don’t have to pay to play.”

Joselow suggests your organization’s social media gurus should keep an eye out for ways to tell your company’s story and offers examples: “How you’re committed to responsibly sourcing materials and why that’s important,” she said, “why you added a new wellness benefit, what you look for in new hires, what makes a successful manager on the sales floor, how you think about technology investments. Feature your natural stars from all levels of the company, not just the C-suite, but maybe that talented HR person with their own following.”

In part, your LinkedIn strategy shouldn’t mirror the way you market on, say, Twitter, because they attract different audiences, said Jason Myers, senior account executive for The Content Factory, a digital marketing firm.

“LinkedIn attracts a more affluent, educated audience than most social networks,” Myers said. “This is important to consider when you’re marketing high-end products like furniture. While we don’t market on LinkedIn the same way we would on Facebook — we’d not be likely to push things like giveaway contests, coupons or memes — we do find it offers one of the best places to promote to specific communities via LinkedIn groups.”

Myers said customers aren’t looking to LinkedIn for product information, but he does offer some tips on making sure your presence there is a success.

“You want to ensure that your company profile is up to date, optimized with correctly sized photos and links and that your employees also have professional, uniform profiles,” he says. “This comes in handy when using the platform to solicit new business partners or talent. The other advantage of continually updating your brand’s LI profile is that you’ll have less competition for attention on that channel, so your posts are more likely to show up in followers’ feeds by default.”

According to research firm IDC, 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level/vice president (VP) executives surveyed use social media to make purchasing decisions. And half of B2B buyers use LinkedIn before they make purchases.

“Be present in the right way,” advises the IDC report. “Buyers will want to get to know a sales professional in advance of a deeper relationship, and people who may serve as possible references will also be looking. Manage a professional identity (trusted personal brand). Be credible, authentic, accurate, information rich, and service oriented.”

Get more insights and share new ideas on using social media to attract customers at the NEXT Conference Sept. 24-26 in Austin, Texas. For more information and to register, visit www.pbmnext.com



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