(Blog by Ian Hainey, CEO of marketing agency, iHC, with parts extracted from his Amazon bestseller, Promoting Your Business)
Social media fatigue. Our brains are getting overworked thanks to all the various platforms vying for the hourly input from our consciousness. Whether B2B or B2C, there’s a growing opinion both consumers and marketers are at a point of exhaustion.
While one of the fastest-growing, distinctive and robust social platforms around, LinkedIn might not be as attractive to browse as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, but it has long since cornered the corporate market. LinkedIn is continually being improved as the slick channel to push out your business-related content to a network that actually wants to see it – providing the opportunity to communicate with your bullseye target audience.
With a reported 310 million active monthly users and a massive 40% accessing it daily – this really is the only show in town for business social networking. When you consider LinkedIn claims over 100 million of the users are senior-level influencers or hold decision-making positions, and over 90% of executives rate it ‘high’ on value gained from marketing initiatives, its importance cannot be underestimated.
(Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn)
To take a step back, have a look at the graph below, which shows social media shouldn’t be solely relied on for your lead generation, but it is one of the top sources across the various marketing channels and simply must be in place as part of your overall strategy.
The struggle is real for brands to perform well on various social media channels, and achieve milestones, such as reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram unlocking the swipe up feature in Stories, allowing users to steer traffic off of Instagram. However, stats such as the below, show the importance – particularly for B2B lead generation – of LinkedIn, from where the vast majority of our clients’ social media-derived B2B leads come. And remember, this is from hard work put in on a consistent basis developing the brands of both people and businesses.
(Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn)
It’s important to create and share regular, engaging content for both personal and company brands on LinkedIn to remain in the consciousness of your business ecosystem. Furthermore, when someone is researching you and your company’s activity, it doesn’t reflect well on its dynamism if there’s been nothing added for three months.
Providing value is always a winning mantra when producing content for LinkedIn to help people do their jobs better or demonstrate how a company or product services a need, such as tutorials, expert opinions, interviews, guides and tips.
However, just because it’s a professional network, that doesn’t mean everyone is just waiting for you to pitch them. On the contrary, it’s still a social media platform, so treat it like a conversation, not a form of direct sales. And always remember to keep your unique selling points and key messages at hand to weave into your content.
A recent example of the power of LinkedIn in action is a global project management company we represent. The regional director called me to excitedly explain how he had just had an extraordinary moment in a meeting when a key decision-maker from one of the country’s main developers approached him to say he had enjoyed reading his magazine article about ‘choosing a project manager’ on LinkedIn. The article, which featured the regional director, had been published in a key trade magazine through work by our PR team, then the social media team had posted the link to the article on the client’s company LinkedIn page, before advertising it on a pay-per-click basis to the client’s target audience. This key decision-maker, who had never engaged with him before (never mind thanked him for putting together an interesting thought leadership piece) had been one of the people the article had been advertised to reach. Fast forward six months and the client landed the office’s biggest-ever contract worth millions of dollars with, you’ve guessed it, the very same developer.
So, how can you start making LinkedIn work better for you today? It’s not as hard as you may think. Here are a few tips to help you make more of the extensive opportunities LinkedIn offers:
- Practice company AND personal branding: LinkedIn should play a big part in communicating both your knowledge and your company’s capabilities. Through delivering regular, useful content on your personal page you can showcase your experience, build relationships, and stand out from the crowd. The company you work for is no different, so ensure the person or agency responsible for maintaining your company’s page is doing it justice – or it could be holding back your related success. Be proactive in contributing ideas towards the company page’s content, as it is all working towards a common goal.
- Contribute valuable content: Nobody likes advertisements, so ensure your content is either educational or entertaining. You won’t close business directly from a post, but, over time, you will build trust and likely be remembered when the right time comes along. Do ensure your content includes a call-to-action
- Engage and interact: Tag, hashtag and communicate with your content, as the reactions and comments maintain the momentum and further the content’s reach. There’s also no rule against posting the content again in future, if still relevant. Videos are rewarded by more prominence on LinkedIn feeds and easily generate the most engagement, followed by real pictures with faces, rather than stock photography. Videos are also highly likely to be shared – especially if they are current and interesting. Below is an example of a clip we recorded for the mega-technology exhibition, GITEX, which was shared by the exhibition itself – massively extending the reach of the content invested in and bringing the brand fully to life:
- Maintain consistency: Building a brand requires consistent effort. Not only does posting content on a regular basis help you to stay on the top of people’s minds, but the LinkedIn algorithm rewards people who consistently post high-quality content.
- Impart your personality: Yes – be authentic and focus on the areas you specialise in, but it’s okay to generate your own personal content. Even within your professional network, success can often be found when you share some of your own personality, whether a selfie-shot industry opinion, or a professionally produced video clip.
Did you find this interesting? If so, you are welcome to connect with me at email@example.com
We manage and create LinkedIn and social media content for busy executives and top brands – to learn more click here
We also provide LinkedIn workshops for teams – to learn more click here
Did you read my last blog about using PR to build awareness? If not, click here