When speaking of promotion in social media in Poland, it is usually Facebook, and in the USA – Twitter, that come to our mind. Next we mention Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc. It is very rarely that LinkedIn appears on the list. On the one hand, it’s a shame, while on the other, it’s actually a really good thing, since promotion (including “free” promotion) is still possible and exceptionally effective there.
Of course, everything depends on the target group, but if you have an offer for the business or for professionals, I have 9 valuable tips on how to promote your business in the largest, over 750-million network of experts.
With this article you will find out how to use LinkedIn first and foremost for “free” promotion. I’ve put free in quotation marks, since I value working time, and it is known that all that is “free” usually requires a certain workload/time, which also costs money. Hence, a better definition would be “self-earning”.
Let me also mention paid methods, but I will not delve into them for two reasons. First and foremost, since together with Jakub Bączek, I “go against the flow”. The second reason is the multitude of articles and presentations on paid methods of promotion which you can find on the web.
A side note – I begin with obvious methods, so if you’re already an old hand at LinkedIn, scroll down.
1. Build a contact network
First and foremost, make sure that the promotional content which you publish does not become poetry written to be locked in your sock drawer. Building a network is perhaps not the only, but surely the most effective method to captivate an audience or as others might want to phrase it, to reach it. First, invite all your friends. Next, you can expand your network with LinkedIn Networkers, or people who care about building the largest possible contact network. Such people openly declare that they accept everyone. Further on, you can start acquiring people from your target group.
I could write a whole separate article on building an official network and LinkedIn’s unofficial policy. If you want to have a minimum of a few thousand contacts for your potential clients within a few months, of if you are simply interested in building a network, be sure to write to me.
2. Make sure you have the perfect profile
Here we have a fundamental rule: on LinkedIn, we promote a business first and foremost through profiles of partners and employees. Of course, you can (and even must) have a company profile, but acquiring people who will follow it, and hence see what we publish as a business, is very challenging. A better method is to promote company content through private profiles.
Your profile must meet 3 objectives:
- build credibility. That’s obvious.
- attract the largest number of potential clients, encourage them to acceptance of contact or making contact themselves. Here what proves well is the right picture or an intriguing headline.
- convert well. Here, the most important is a good summary, headline, an article or projects linked to webpages.
If you need to check if your profile is ready for new customers, order one of our subscriptions containing profile audit.
3. Use the headline
There are 3 elements which are most visible on your profile. Your picture, first and last name and signature under the last name, which makes your headline. Your potential client may see it not only by entering your profile, but also:
- during searching people,
- in recommended contacts,
- on the “see also” list on other profiles,
- on the board after any publication (article, post, comment, citation, etc.).
The headline is therefore the perfect place to promote your page or brand. Of course, it’s important that the address or name of the brand are easy to remember and possibly “rewrite” or copy to the address bar.
From my own experience it results that after a change of this signature, the views of my pages skyrocketed by several dozen percent, at least for a few days. So, if you work in company XYZ and your company webpage is xyz.pl, instead of the company name write Xyz.pl in your headline.
If you don’t have time for it – just leave managing your profile to us.
4. Visit the profiles of your target group
That’s one of the “soft” methods. It does not require the building of contacts, but its effectiveness is rather limited. On the other hand, it offers the advantage of little invasiveness. LinkedIn allows to track visits on your profile. If you enter somebody’s profile, there is a chance that this person, out of curiosity, will also look at yours. Even if they don’t do it, they will see your headline which contains your web address and it’s very likely that they will visit it.
5. Use the board – publish appropriate posts.
Once you have enough people in your network, and hence people following your profile, it is worth using it wisely. From my experience it results that on average 40% of the network reads my publications. Hence, with 11,000 contacts, that makes 4,400 people. That’s quite a decent reach assuming that you’ve managed to build a network well.
The question is what to publish? Here, the approaches vary. For a portal publishing profiles of verified, tested coders – Goldenmelon.pl – we have created a simple campaign: once a day, an automat published a post with one of the TOP 20 of their currently best specialists. The effect was splendid: even several dozen entries to the profile of a given person every day.
Another approach is publication, citing, recommendations of posts related to our subject matter. Here we rather base on content marketing and building an image and trust.
Hence, we communicate to our contact network that we are interested in a given topic. Among such posts we may, once every few weeks, simply publish a link to the offer to interweave it “between the lines”. This method is significantly more time-consuming, but in the case of less desired services which require education, it will prove much better.
6. Publish articles – promotional and substantive
LinkedIn cares very much about the user staying with it. That’s why it has recently created its own “CMS” for publishing articles. What is more important for us – content published this way through LinkedIn is promoted in a very intense and free fashion. It would be a sin not to make advantage of it.
Of course, substantive content enjoys the largest popularity. My last article about sales has been viewed by over 1,700 people. Importantly, a major part of them was outside my contacts, hence we obtain an even larger reach than our network. However, writing such articles requires considerable time, and the promotional effects are spread in time. It also requires a well-designed conversion process. I can help you with this.
If you also publish articles on LinkedIn, be sure to share your experience.
7. Create your own promotional space
Another method of using LinkedIn’s system of articles for promotion is treating them as an advertising space. Well prepared contact can bring great results. The disadvantage of this solution, however, is that hardly anyone will recommend your article, and some people from our network will probably abandon following what we publish.
The perfect method usually lies in the middle. My method consists in publishing valuable content and interweaving into it advertising boxes and non-pushy suggestions in a place where it can actually help. But this is not a universal method.
For example, I managed a LinkedIn profile meant for recruitment purposes for one of my clients. Here, a system of articles used as a place for job offers worked perfectly, and the publication of valuable content did not make any sense, since the recruiter would usually not advise a coder on programming, and the topic of soft skills is rather not appealing to them.
I would appreciate it if you could share your experience on how you use articles on LinkedIn.
8. Increase your reach through remarketing
Remarketing is, in huge simplification, advertising which “follows the user”. If you manage to get the user to your webpage and at the same time verify his interest with your product, be sure to use remarketing. Not everyone spends the entire day on LinkedIn, and sometimes it’s worth reminding them about ourselves when they are on another webpage. B2B purchasing processes are long – make sure that your potential client remembers you.
9. Don’t let your contacts forget about you
Make sure that LinkedIn regularly sends notifications about your activity related to the profiles of your contacts from the target group. You can do this by:
- recommending and sharing their publications
- listing them in activities
- visiting their profiles
- direct contact
- and a few other ways which tell you about during the webinar
I hope that you will manage to promote your business effectively. If you have any questions or need help I encourage you to contact me. I will appreciate it if you send me private messsage on LinkedIn.