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While you could’ve called LinkedIN “the Facebook of business” several years ago, the platform has evolved to become far more than a simple networking website. Unfortunately, most people (especially us marketers) seem to still treat LinkedIN like a standard social media site. When you start to unwrap LinkedIn it becomes immediately clear that it’s so much more than that.

In this article we’d like to unpack all the recent updates and features LinkedIN has added. We’ll show you how marketers and small business owners can get ahead of the curve and fully utilize the powerful tools that LinkedIN has placed at their fingertips.

You Can Establish A Stronger Brand Presence On LinkedIN

LinkedIn is the place – particularly if you are a small company – where you can go establish yourself as an expert in your space – Shane Vaughn, President of Ecommerce at Agri Beef

Unlike most social media sites, which are more focused on personal communication, LinkedIN is all about your business. A well-crafted Company Page can really capture your brand image and demonstrates your expertise. Be sure to link to this page from any other existing online platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • Company website/blog
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Funnel those who are generally interested in you and your content to your LinkedIN page. Here they can follow you and connect. People crave meaningful interaction, and sometimes reading a blog post or commenting on a Facebook status isn’t as fulfilling as communicating in a community space.

An often underutilized feature of LinkedIn is the Discussion Forum. It’s an excellent way to engage with customers by having them share their opinions on your forum. While reviewing a transaction or discussing your service’s quality, they’ll have the chance to view your content. If you have a lively content stream up and running, you increase the likelihood of converting your customers into followers and eventually advocates for your business.

Just like everything else these days, “build it and they will come” doesn’t always apply. Having a beautiful Company Page and a healthy content stream won’t do anything if no one knows it exists! Luckily, LinkedIN provides a plethora of tools to reach your target audience, get involved in industry-relevant communities, and easily share your content with interested users.

Build A Robust Audience With LinkedIN’s Networking And Sharing Features

Unlike Facebook or the blogosphere, LinkedIN users are engaged in your industry. These aren’t casual browsers or accidental page visitors. These are people on a mission. They’re looking for up-to-date news, quality content, and to find the people at the forefront of their passions.

After you’ve established a strong image, built a company page that’s crisp and informative, and begun to meaningfully engage with your followers, you’ll start to draw the attention of your target audience. These people are far more likely to become followers of your business and attract both attention and expertise to your space.

Employees are a powerful means of promoting your company and building brand trust. Prospective customers are three times more likely to trust information employees have shared instead of that shared by businesses themselves. Employees also tend to have far more connections than business pages have followers, opening your content up to a wider audience.

You can have employees disseminate high quality blog posts your marketing team created. Or, have them create content themselves. Both strategies draw in a substantial readership and foster the kind of trust that builds relationships with your followers.

LinkedIN’s group feature lets you join in on the conversation and build brand awareness. Real professionals with real expertise constantly discuss news and trends in your industry, what better way to increase your visibility and authority than by contributing to an established group?

Similarly to Facebook, LinkedIN uses targeted ads to promote business, products, and people. The targeting criteria includes:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Experience
  • Position/Role

This precision raises brand awareness among the exact kind of professionals you want to be talking about your business. LinkedIN also features an analytics function to track what kinds of followers you’re attracting and who’s reading your content.

LinkedIN Allows You To Share Quality Content With Industry Insiders

LinkedIN is a platform not only for sharing content, but creating it too. You can go beyond the latest company news and create a variety of content that provides real value to your followers. This demonstrates credibility while promoting your business at the same time.

As followers engage with your content, your network grows. When followers like, share, or comment on your posts, their networks are exposed to your brand. Couple that with direct interaction in the comments to get the newcomers involved.

Marketers preach content saturation, but they haven’t begun to tap the potential of LinkedIN for content sharing, networking, and converting customers into brand advocates. If you have questions about how to optimize your LinkedIN, get in touch. We’d love to help.

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