Each social network has its own highlights, as does LinkedIn. For years, marketers have considered it an important part of building a brand, being the only business-focused social network.
You may have read material on LinkedIn marketing – tips, tactics and how-tos, but today we will discuss how the fundamental approach to LinkedIn marketing differs from marketing on other social media platforms. To delve into the details, I asked top marketing professionals the following questions.
How does your approach and strategy of marketing on LinkedIn differ from marketing on other social media platforms?
What social media marketing benefits are unique to LinkedIn and can’t be found on other social networks?
Many professionals spoke about LinkedIn as a publishing, content promotion and networking platform. Read further to explore what each of them said.
Marketing Coordinator, MBA and MS Programs
There’s a reason why LinkedIn advertising is the most expensive ad outlet – it gives you quality leads. Try and identify niche communities that your competitors haven’t tapped into yet, so you can target them on LinkedIn.
“Out of all platforms, LinkedIn is by far the most expensive outlet in terms of advertising. It makes sense- lead quality is better and users are highly engaged. This creates the perfect prospect pool, so it is only natural to prioritize digital spend in this sphere.
At the same time, because you’re reaching such an ideal group of engaged and qualified users, it is also extremely competitive in terms of marketing. You have to think strategically and look into niche industries in terms of targeting that competitors are not tapping into. On a greater scale, it means knowing your audience, and having the background knowledge and statistics needed to gauge and identify the interest of those one-off audiences.
LinkedIn marketing differs from that of other platforms, because it requires more thoughtful campaign strategy. Because of the advanced targeting aspect, it’s not uncommon to have multiple active campaigns with various ads and/or sponsored updates within each category. It may seem overwhelming at first, but the more you can relate specifically to your various audiences, the more likely they are to resonate with your product or service.”
Social Content Liaison
Pole Position Marketing
There are three main things that differentiate LinkedIn – the groups, the publishing platform and how it lets you share your professional story on your profile. You can use Pulse to syndicate content – post a short introduction with a link leading back to the rest of an article on your blog.
“For starters, LinkedIn is a business network. Everything you do should be professional. This isn’t really the place for silly memes, political discussions, or your best selfie. The pace is also different, particularly from Twitter. For instance, we post 10 times a day to Twitter and repeat posting links to each blog post. On LinkedIn, we only post twice a day and don’t repeat a post for at least a month because LinkedIn updates are seen for longer than Tweets.
There are three main things that I think differentiate LinkedIn. First, the Groups. Other networks have groups (or “chats” in the case of Twitter) but I feel like the groups in LinkedIn are more active, more professional, and more visible than those on other sites. These are great places to join conversations and build relationships. I participate often in Groups and have gained many connections I would not have had otherwise and have occasionally had the opportunity to take conversations outside the group and discuss my company’s services. The other big benefit to LinkedIn is the publishing platform. You can publish full articles there. In our case, we’ve chosen to syndicate articles, publishing part of our articles and then linking to the full article on our site. This provides another audience for your blog that may not otherwise see your posts.
Finally, LinkedIn really gives you the chance to tell your professional story through your profile. You can give your professional history, list skills, get recommendations from customers, and even showcase Slideshares. And of course, any posts you write on the LinkedIn platform appear on your profile as well. This is a great way to build your authority and illustrate your expertise.”
President & Founder
LinkedIn is particularly beneficial for B2B businesses. B2B brands can target prospects based on employer, job title, location, tenure, and other criteria via LinkedIn Ads. Also, look at Pulse as a free publishing platform with a preexisting audience that keeps growing – your personal network.
“As a career agency professional specializing in digital and owning my own agency for the past 16 years, I have a few thoughts on how to leverage Linkedin as a marketing platform. According to a Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 2016 study, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for B2B content marketing. LinkedIn leads all social platforms based on usage and effectiveness, which is no surprise. B2B brands can easily connect with partners, prospects, clients and peers to build their network and pipeline. B2B brands can also target prospects based on employer, job title, location, tenure, and other criteria via LinkedIn Ads. With 414 million active users globally (107 million in the US), There is no better platform for creating and nurturing a B2B presence.
LinkedIn has a free publishing platform (LinkedIn Pulse) that lets you build a presence without the need for design, development or hosting skills. It is fairly easy to use, far easier than WordPress or other blogging platforms. Also, it pulls from your personal network to make an already built readership that grows as your personal network grows. Over the years, I have made over 5,500 connections and my 16 Pulse posts have received 11,000+ impressions through that network.”
Don’t blind sight the one-to-one value of LinkedIn by looking at it only as a brand awareness platform. Focus on building relationships over social engagement (shares, likes and comments).
“I approach LinkedIn marketing differently from other social media marketing, in that I use the channel as a one-to-one versus a one-to-many social network. Most companies tend to use LinkedIn as a brand awareness channel, instead of using the platform to spark and nurture relationships with potential buyers and industry thought leaders. They post a company page update to their LinkedIn company page and consider their work done.
Instead, the savviest companies use LinkedIn strategically and focus on relationship building over social engagement (shares, likes, comments). The companies I work with are trying to reach people in specific companies through their personal LinkedIn profiles, and we create personalized strategies to help them authentically connect with and continue to engage with these prospects in their networks.
LinkedIn is the only professional social media network, as opposed to other social channels. This allows members to connect on a professional level and easily cut through the social noise. Building one-on-one relationships is simpler on LinkedIn due to its messaging capabilities—it’s tough to send spammy messages on LinkedIn and get away with it. B2B companies with a complex sales cycle should be using Sales Navigator, the ace in the hold for any serious LinkedIn social seller. No other social channel offers that level of access to its members.”
Henry P. Butler
Dedicate resources to community management. Assign an employee to the task of posting content in niche LinkedIn groups and drive targeted traffic back to your website.
“We use LinkedIn to generate targeted traffic to our website. We do this by sharing our content in community groups related to our industry. This means a person on our team joins relevant groups and promotes our blog posts after they are published. Unlike other social media channels, LinkedIn allows us to get our name and brand in front of individuals who are most likely to find our content marketing informative and share it with their professional network.”
Founder & CEO
Mod Girl Marketing
Connections can result in revenue, partnerships, collaboration opportunities, and more. Make the most of the features that let you reach and connect with people directly. Share helpful content that will help people further their knowledge, skills and careers and build powerful relationships on the platform.
“The LinkedIn platform has a reputation as a place for professionals — more so than the other social networking sites — so we tailor our marketing strategy to that particular audience. Rather than the more casual, fun tone we use on Facebook and Twitter, we keep things straightforward and professional on LinkedIn. We share helpful resources that will further people’s knowledge, skills, and career because people are on LinkedIn to grow professionally. For example, we recently shared a guide on how to build a marketing dream team as well as a blog post on 8 effective LinkedIn strategies for B2B marketing.
In addition to being a place where professionals hang out – more so than other social networking sites – LinkedIn also has a number of features that other social media platforms lack. Features that enable you to expand your reach and connect with people directly.
LinkedIn is also about making connections and creating relationships, not just posting content. For example, I make new connections on a daily basis. Many connections have resulted in revenue, partnerships, collaboration opportunities, and more. I also actively participate in groups and get involved in discussions to expand my reach and stay on top of the latest news in the marketing industry.”
The type of product or service a company offers should determine which social channel they allocate their marketing resources. Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the social platform for professional networking. Just the right platform to target people holding specific positions in certain companies.
“The type of product or service a company offers should determine which social channel they allocate their marketing resources. Everyone knows that LinkedIn is the social platform for professional networking.
For ENECON, a manufacturer of industry repair and maintenance materials, LinkedIn is a great channel that we use to reach our target audience. Our end users are typically seasoned professional that have an engineering/technical background. We publish content and images that highlight the various repair and maintenance solutions are products can provide. The content is shared by our salespeople to educate their direct and indirect network. Because we focus on a very specific target audience, LinkedIn is a great resource because you are able to select a certain location and a specific job title when advertising. As an example, ENECON held a customer event in Pennsylvania and we advertise/promote the event on LinkedIn. We were able to select the exact criteria in geographical location and the job titles in order to bring awareness of the event to people who would use our products.”
Digital Marketing Strategist
LinkedIn marketing is saturated with job postings and talent acquisition advertising – making it easier to stand out from the competition (in comparison to other social platforms) if you are posting about non-recruitment related topics. Plus, LinkedIn users are on the platform with the intention of gathering more information and digesting articles, industry news, etc – making it the perfect place to share non-advertorial, value adding content.
“LinkedIn Pulse offers a unique opportunity that other social channels do not; you can re-publish blog content from your website without being penalized for duplicate content, and reach users who do not follow you with messaging that might interest them. For example, at Blue Compass we encourage our employees to add a variation or a snippet of their blogs on LinkedIn Pulse to gain additional impressions from LinkedIn users who frequently read about similar articles.
LinkedIn marketing is saturated with job postings and talent acquisition advertising – making it easier to stand out from the competition (in comparison to other social platforms) if you are posting about non-recruitment related topics. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to perform a new product launch, announce new team members or organizational changes and place non-recruitment related advertising. One of the main things our team has noticed when placing LinkedIn ads is though we pay more per click, we can reach very specific individuals based on their job title, company affiliation, and other targeting options that are not available on other social platforms.
At Blue Compass, we have also noticed that website metrics from LinkedIn users (based on LinkedIn referral traffic) frequently has higher pages per session, average time on page and conversion rates. We attribute this to the fact that LinkedIn users are on the platform with the intention of gathering more information and digesting articles, industry news, etc. While on other social media platforms, users are more interested in pictures, what their family and friends are doing and the “social” aspect of the social media platforms.”
Don’t focus your LinkedIn efforts only on driving web traffic. The platform also gives you the unique ability to prospect and recruit. Explore LinkedIn Open Networks and groups to find the right people.
“LinkedIn is unique in comparison to other social media platforms due to the fact that the primary users are professionals and businesses. As a result, not only is LinkedIn valuable for driving web traffic, but it’s unique value comes from the ability to prospect and recruit. In particular, business professionals can become extremely accessible through LinkedIn LION profiles (LinkedIn Open Networkers). Users with LION profiles can be messaged directly even if they are not officially connected with the user sending the message, thus giving users the potential to initiate new professional relationships.
However, the way in which you share company and industry updates differs from how you would share the same information on other social media platforms, because unlike Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, LinkedIn does not rely on imagery, hashtags, and user tagging. Instead, LinkedIn allows you to join groups relevant to your job title, industry, and interests. These groups increase exposure to your company in the same way hashtags and user tagging would – it ensures your desired audience is being reached.
These varying features change the way in which content is phrased and shared. For example, rather than using hashtags to expose our content, SalesWarp typically shares recent blogs on topics like Order Management, or a recent media mention in Forbes, in a LinkedIn group pertaining to retail or technology.”
Founder & CEO
LinkedIn very likely affects users’ career and business decisions. Bear this in mind when building your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
“LinkedIn is important for our business because of all the major social media channels, it’s the most business focused. Users are most likely to make important career or business decisions when on LinkedIn vs. any other social media channel. For example, we have been successful sourcing talent, finding new clientele and establishing new partnerships via LinkedIn.”
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