There is no point debating why LinkedIn remains to be the No. 1 social media platform for B2B marketing and content distribution.
They’ve been constantly updating their features to meet the industry’s growing demand—from content, to lead generation, and sales.
It’s up to the B2B marketers now to maximize the potential of this platform—that is, with specific objectives and content strategy in mind.
To apply the best social media practices, including LinkedIn, organizations need to first establish a strategic, objective-based content marketing approach.
For B2B companies, having a documented content marketing strategy is imperative.
Once put in place, LinkedIn’s services can provide specific solutions to boost business growth, visibility, and reach.
Recently, LinkedIn released an article enumerating seven reasons on why they need to be part of your business organization’s content strategy:
- LinkedIn has the widest reach of targeted customers, with users reaching to 575 million professionals.
- LinkedIn helps you reach the right people in the right context by providing relevant and useful content. E.g. Thought Leadership
- LinkedIn allows you to put in different styles of content (text, videos, infographics, and more) to drive social media engagement.
- LinkedIn helps you gain insights and access information provided by a vast range of professionals and businesses.
- LinkedIn can position your business to a prime spot where more users can reach and interact with you, or you interact. E.g. Company Page
- LinkedIn promotes relationship-building across the network through commenting, content sharing, and instant messaging.
- LinkedIn gives you access to analytical tools that test your content based on user interactions.
Along with these seven imperatives and to make the most out of your LinkedIn experience, here are ways companies can use LinkedIn well.
5 LinkedIn best practices tips that you can implement now
# 1. OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE
LinkedIn puts it this way: your Company Page is your biggest piece of real estate. It has to be set up in such a way that it’d stand out to compete with 19 million (!) others.
You can optimize your Company Page by intentionally setting it up as a lead generator.
Choose a striking header image that will appeal to your market, provide a two-liner description about your company that will state your services, your value proposition, and your target audience, and regularly post updates meant for information-seekers.
Some of the best LinkedIn Company Pages don’t just capitalize on compelling, thought-provoking content. They also work on attracting top talent by sharing remarkable experiences from employees. The company’s mission, vision, and culture is not just read but experienced by visitors and followers.
For businesses with smaller brands/units as extensions, there’s LinkedIn’s Showcase Page. You can use this page to develop long-term relationships with a specific target audience.
My LinkedIn Best Practice Tip: There may be instances when you won’t need the Company page or the Showcase page at all. This all goes back to why you are on LinkedIn.
# 2 USE A VARIETY OF MULTIMEDIA GENRES
There are different content styles that can work to your advantage.
Posts with texts can easily be spiced up with eye-catching images, but texts only can do wonders if the right words are used.
Videos with relevant content (not the kind that causes video fatigue) can also be used.
My LinkedIn Best Practice Tip: LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content. It also proves to be the best conversation starter among members.
If you produce podcasts or if you have been a guest of one, post it to showcase thought leadership.
Also, don’t overuse hashtags; use three to four of it in your post. This is a very common industry practice for hashtags.
One of the most underrated forms of content yet still effective to date is a PDF document which can showcase training, value, and interactivity. You can also post articles and presentations on SlideShare, both file types are indexed by Google.
# 3 FIND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE BY USING THE SEARCH OPTION
Aside from generating the best leads from your current connections on LinkedIn, you can use the Search option on LinkedIn to that.
In LinkedIn search, you have the option to use either of these filters for a more refined result:
- Connections of (a person you know),
- Current Company (+ add a current company),
- Past companies (+ add a previous company),
- Industries (+ add other industries not in your default),
- And, you can also search using what LinkedIn calls as keywords: first name, last name, title, company and school.
These filters will help narrow down search results to a manageable number of prospects.
The goal is not just to find the right people, but to connect and start a relationship with them.
My LinkedIn Best Practice Tip: Build on your network, as this will give you more chances of finding people related to your niche.
Avoid the urge to sell on your first private message to them. PLEASE.
# 4 FOCUS ON A MIX OF CONTENT
Experiment with any of these different content topics:
- case studies,
- showcase statistics from case studies and surveys,
- product launches,
- product enhancements and updates,
- celebrations of company wins,
- company milestones,
- company leader highlights,
- registration drive for sponsored, or hosted, events,
- eBook promotion,
- third party content,
- thought leadership blog posts,
- and your original research/data.
As in any social media platform, be consistent.
On LinkedIn, pages with weekly updates receive 2x more engagement.
My LinkedIn Best Practice Tip: Follow the 3-2-1 formula: three pieces of industry-related content, two pieces of “proud” content (positive post for your employees or community), and one piece promoting your brand or solutions.
# 5 UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE AND MEASURE SUCCESS THROUGH PAGE ANALYTICS
LinkedIn’s Page Analytics can help you gain insights regarding your page visitors and followers and the content they engage with.
Analytics has three categories:
- Visitor Analytics will track the number of visitors and the sections of your page they are visiting.
- Update Analytics filter your content by date, performance and post type and export the data for analysis.
- Follower Analytics analyzes the demographics of your followers based on location, job function, seniority, company size, and industry.
My LinkedIn Best Practice Tip: By understanding your follower demographics, you don’t just get to know your audience, but you may discover a new audience to engage!
Examples of best practices from companies that rock LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not just a source of leads, but of inspiration for strategies.
Learning the best practices of other B2B companies will help you gain fresh ideas for your page.
LinkedIn shared some best practices from these Company pages that are worth emulating:
- Engage and feature your employees on your page! PwC’s content focuses on company culture and consistently highlights reasons they are recognized by Fortune as a Top 100 Company to Work For in 15 straight years.
- Strike a balance in your content. ePac uses this strategy by maintaining a cohesive flow between third-party articles, reports they share, and their own first-party content.
- Maintain a strong position of thought leadership with your followers by posting evergreen and relevant content. Hays, one of the largest recruiting firms in the world, uses short, compelling videos featuring influencers and business leaders to achieve this.
As LinkedIn continues to innovate features and systems to make B2B marketing easier and profitable, we can all work towards the same direction.
Never stop testing and reinventing your social media marketing strategies, including LinkedIn best practices, until you reach your objectives.
It’s a wrap!
This LinkedIn advice serves as a guiding principle:
A well defined B2B content marketing strategy enables you to deliver it.
Find out what works and move on from what doesn’t, use these LinkedIn best practices guide.
Any LinkedIn best practice tip you like to share? Chime in!