As a busy marketing manager, you only have only so many hours in a day to make an impact on prospects. By creating a strong presence on social media networks, you have the opportunity to tell your story, position yourself as an expert and nurture connections that can lead to long-lasting client relationships.
Where does LinkedIn fit into your digital marketing funnel? Building relationships organically via social posting is a great way to connect with new prospects or move leads down the sales funnel while being conscious of your marketing dollars.
And, connecting via LinkedIn can lead to additional engagement with potential clients and opportunities to sell. Among social media platforms, it’s the most effective at driving prospects to your site; generating 46% of all social media traffic to company websites.1
Here’s why LinkedIn can be one of the best places to create online community connections that lead to sales success.
1.It’s Important to Be Where Your Target Audience Is
According to LinkedIn’s Organic + Paid Playbook for 2019, digital is slated to pass TV as the leading advertising medium in the U.S. this year — after hitting 33.9% of market share in 2018 — and that share is expected to grow to 47.9% by 2022.
Your target audience is spending their time on digital platforms like LinkedIn. They use LinkedIn to research companies that interest them, and to directly connect with professionals who may offer solutions to their needs.
Research shows us that your customers want to have access to socially qualified information about products and services that benefit them, and about companies they’re interested in doing business with. In fact, 90% of customers want to access online social content like reviews as part of their pre-purchase research. The preference for online feedback and social recommendations is strong; these customers look to their online connections for advice, even if they choose to make their actual product purchase through a salesperson or at a physical location.
LinkedIn is one of the key sources they’re using to do this research, as members are connecting with content via the platform at increasingly high rates. More than 130,000 articles are created per week and LinkedIn feed views have increased 60% over 2018.
2. LinkedIn Engagement Values People Over Companies
While you probably have an official company profile on LinkedIn, it’s important to bring your entire team on board and encourage members to connect and build relationships on this social media platform.
LinkedIn has made it known that it gives preference to influencers and company leaders when determining content visibility, so it’s important to make sure you’re creating a culture of personal connections as well as providing information via your official company page.
For example, GE encourages its executives to share content and publish long-form articles on LinkedIn regularly. By building a robust presence and interacting from personal and company pages, they’re able to position themselves as thought leaders and experts in the field.
If you don’t have the resources to create long-form content on a regular basis, you can still use your network of people to connect and communicate. Focus on curating content relevant to your industry or areas of expertise, then offering your own insights on the content.
Also, encouraging employees to cross promote each other’s posts can allow you to get more bang for your buck on content creation. When they have a wider pool of content to share, they can leverage each other’s networks to grow followers and increase engagement.
3. Posting and Curating Content Creates Relationships
One of the easiest ways to increase engagement on your LinkedIn profile is to ensure your information is complete and you’re giving viewers a full picture of the person they’re connecting with.
For example, just including a profile photo can boost your engagement; LinkedIn users with a professional profile image receive 21 times the page views as those without a photo. (Read our post on fully optimizing your profile to perfect your LinkedIn presence.)
As you begin creating and sharing content on LinkedIn, the following tips can help you increase engagement and build relationships:
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Including images and videos in the messages you share can boost your engagement.
- Use links to boost likes. Posts with links to additional useful content (articles, videos, webinars, etc.) can contribute to a 45% higher follower engagement.
- Follow hashtags to increase awareness. Follow hashtags for topics related to your industry to get a better understanding of what your prospects care about, and find beneficial content to curate. For example, if you work in HR recruiting, following #careers can expose you to content from industry thought leaders, which you can then share on your feed as appropriate.
- Engage with others’ content. If you see something a connection might be interested in, @ mention them. They’ll appreciate the information, and you’ll make your profile visible to others interested in the topic as well. The same feedback applies to commenting; focus on being a good community member and sharing value as opposed to simply targeting sales prospects.
Sharing useful content and creating engagement isn’t just about building a good image for yourself; these efforts create credibility in the minds of your potential buyers. Buyers are more likely to engage if they see you can offer new insights or information related to products or goods that spark their interest.
4. A Little Social Connectivity Can Go a Long Way
When it comes to LinkedIn engagement, more is not necessarily better. You can maximize your social posting efficiency with these tips:
- Post quality over quantity. A recent report from CoSchedule indicates you can post as little as once a day and still see results.
- Thoughtfully curate content. Sharing or curating others’ content can be added into the mix as well, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
- Experiment. Testing out different types of posts and noting their level of engagement will help you get a better understanding of your audience — the time of day they’re online, the types of content they like to consume, etc.
- Use social management tools to support your efforts. You can plan out posts a week or a month in advance, then use a scheduling tool like CoSchedule, Hootsuite or Buffer to auto-post for you. Your responsibility then is to manage the engagement that comes from the posts, responding to comments and building community.
- Cross-promote to increase visibility and engagement. Getting your employees to post and engage authentically with each others’ posts will multiply the effectiveness of your efforts. You can also draft content for your sales team to post as a way to get the ball rolling.
Consistent and relevant posting is key to success on LinkedIn. Start using some of these tips and building connections; you’ll soon find yourself growing a healthy follower base and using social media as a tool to extend your marketing reach.
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