By Mana Lonescu, Lightspan Digital
LinkedIn is one of those social networks that still gets the side-eye – “really, I should spend time there? Convince me!” Yet, when it comes to B2B marketing, Facebook gets the same level of scrutiny, although LinkedIn is supposed to be THE B2B social network. And truth be told, social media in general is under a lot of pressure to prove itself. So, should you spend time there?
Well, every social network is worth considering, as long as your audiences are there and you’re ready to give it what it takes to connect with them, in meaningful ways. And this year, LinkedIn is putting up quite a battle to keep you active on the network and keep up with the other social networks.
This year alone they launched:
- Regular insights, case studies and tutorials via email
- Native video (from mobile-only)
- Snapchat-like geofilters for events
This is a network that has shown value for a while, and here are some new tactics to implement:
1. Pick LinkedIn if you can be interested, or intrigued or at a minimum mildly excited at the idea.
Even if you have an agency, an intern and a will of iron, if you hate a social network, you’ll have to work extra hard to get value from it. As a wise business advisor of mine said, you’ll just have to get into it or out of it.
2. Don’t write your profile like a resume
This is social media. With emphasis on “social.” And just as when we build friendships it doesn’t start with resumes, when we look to build connections on LinkedIn it shouldn’t start with a dry, third person bullet list of skills.
Speak in first person, like you would to a business connection who is a human. In other words, a business person you’re trying to build a relationship with. And people build relationships based on mutual interests – be it hobbies or ways of looking at the world. Which implies, you have to start by sharing your hobbies and interests first. You’ll have to start by opening the door and letting people see a bit into your life. Why do you sacrifice so much to do what you do? What else drives you? Don’t just tell me where you volunteer. Tell me why!
3. It’s Social Media, so Be Social – Visit, Comment, Respond, Reach Out
To get followers, likes, clicks, leads you’ll have to be a good friend. You’ll have to follow, like, click, and have conversations. And do so publicly. So, visit your targets’ profiles but make sure you’re not visiting anonymously, or they’ll never know!
There is a reason why LinkedIn shows you the number of people who visited your profile, right off the bat, when you log on. They want you to go look and see who visited. And for you to visit. And for you two to connect!
4. Master the algorithm so your posts get views, likes, clicks and shares
There are many hypotheses on what pushes a post to the top of someone’s LinkedIn feed and it’s worth testing a number of them, to determine what works for you. Here are some hacks to try:
- Post short text and an image. If your post reaches a higher-than-average number of people, you can lengthen the post and add a link. The theory here is that LinkedIn wants to keep traffic within LinkedIn so the algorithm will give preference to posts without links.
- Post a regular sized post and an image, and post the link to your article in the comments.
- Publish your blog posts on LinkedIn publisher, and then link to those articles instead of your website. Again, the idea is that LinkedIn will favor these posts, to keep the traffic within LinkedIn.
- Create and join help pods. Some call these promotional pods. Get together with other content marketers and share posts with each other in a messenger stream, and encourage each other to like, comment and reshare each others’ posts. The engagement will boost your numbers and the LinkedIn algorithm will push your post further up in the Pulse stream.
5. Look to see who visited your profile and say, hello!
People say this is creepy. But they looked at your profile didn’t they? So you can send a simple, laid-back message saying, “thank you for reading my profile, how may I help?” Ideally you also look at their profile and personalize this first contact message to speak to something you two may have in common.
There are so many tricks and hacks – check out my session at Insights Marketing Day.