When you think of creating a social media marketing strategy, what platforms do you automatically think of first? Our guess is that you thought of Facebook and Instagram. However, while these two platforms are still considered king for social media marketing, there is another platform that often gets left out.
With over 722 million registered users, LinkedIn is the most significant resource for B2B marketers to tap into. But, many businesses are forgoing LinkedIn for the more ‘popular’ platforms, leaving a wealth of untapped potential on the sidelines.
It’s easy to feel intimidated by LinkedIn’s seemingly endless CEO’s and marketing professionals showing up with their success stories and business wins. While this space is uniquely designed to share those wins, don’t think that it’s all business agreements and suits and ties.
LinkedIn has been and always will be human first. But, just like any other social media platform, the people and businesses who ‘win’ are the ones who show up consistently and authentically.
Although the main reason most of the 722 million users are on LinkedIn is to strengthen their professional network, for businesses, it’s an opportunity to build credibility, create a meaningful network, gather insider expertise from established experts in your industry, and connect your products or services with the right people.
So, whether you’re a small business, a B2C, or a B2B, LinkedIn has a place in all marketing strategies.
But the question remains.
How do you build an effective social media marketing strategy on LinkedIn?
Let’s break it down.
Optimize Your Profile
Before starting any marketing strategy, you need to make sure that the profile you’ll be working from is fully optimized. It may seem like a basic step, but we cannot stress enough how important this step is. Whether you plan on marketing through a personal account or a business account, there are some simple things you should do to optimize your page.
Start this step by using a high-quality profile photo that is relevant to your brand. According to LinkedIn, a clear and high-quality profile photo on your page gives you 21 times more profile views. For example, the photo could be a recent headshot of yourself if you’re working from a personal page or a company logo if you’re working from a business page.
Other ways to optimize your profile page include adding business contact information, a slogan, a short breakdown of who/what you do, and an updated job history and skills (for a personal page).
Define Your LinkedIn Marketing Goals
Like any other social marketing, you need to have clear, defined marketing goals for LinkedIn. Begin by asking you and even other members of your team what goals or outcomes are desired for your marketing campaign. Then, how could LinkedIn help you achieve those goals?
Remember the acronym SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely during this step. Keeping SMART in mind when defining your goals will help throughout the stages of your campaign and make measuring metrics easier.
If you’re not sure what goals are best for you, here are a few examples to help you get started:
- Selling your product or services
- Engaging with your target audience
- Building leads
- Growing your audience
- Increasing brand awareness
- Encouraging authentic conversations
Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Consider this. If your business sells books about taxes, you wouldn’t want your posts or ads to only be seen by teenagers, right? Instead, you would want your posts and ads to be seen by older individuals who have actively searched for tax information online. This is what we mean by knowing who your target audience is.
Narrowing down your target audience and intricately knowing their tastes and preferences is a critical step to social media marketing success.
To make this step easier to grasp, think of your audience as one or two people. Who are they? What do they like? Outline elements of these people through different parameters such as job titles, geographic locations, industry, tastes, interests, etc. Once you have a clearly defined target audience, you can curate your content to fit that profile.
It’s also important when defining your target audience to understand your current audience. A successful LinkedIn social media marketing strategy focuses not only on who you want to reach but also on understanding who your audience is right now.
Consider Platform Content Preferences
Unlike Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, LinkedIn is not the platform to share your thoughts on the latest Netflix series or photos of your freshly baked sourdough bread. Instead, the user intent for LinkedIn is mainly within the professional realm, and your messaging and content should reflect this.
We don’t mean that your content can’t be fun, interesting, or engaging. But, when building out your content, make sure that its foundation is based within the professional realm. LinkedIn is the space where business leaders and professionals spend most of their online time on, so considering that, these types of content tend to perform the best on this platform:
- Case studies
- Industry-related news
- Behind the scenes clips/photos of a day in the life of you or your business
- Long-form content, like articles
- Marketing event highlights
- Webinar wrap-ups
- Research-based findings
- Industry insights and tips
While the list above is in no way exhaustive, it gives you an idea of what works on LinkedIn and how to structure your content.
Promote Your Page
Again, this step may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in creating content that your page, itself, is forgotten.
Never let an opportunity to share and promote your page go by. This can be as simple as linking your LinkedIn profile to your website and other social accounts, linking the page in places like your email signature and newsletters, encouraging people to follow your page, and sharing the page on other posts where your page could be relevant or helpful.
Another easy way to promote your page is by asking your employees, friends, existing customers/clients, and family to follow the page and share it on their social accounts.
When creating your LinkedIn marketing strategy, don’t forget that sharing your page can be a part of that strategy.
Create Relevant And Engaging Content
Marketing on LinkedIn is less about being sales-y and more about adding value to the lives of your audience. When creating content for LinkedIn, it should serve a purpose, whether the purpose is to educate, inform, guide, inspire, or entertain. By creating user-focused content and putting your audience’s informational needs before your promotional needs, you’ll gain and keep loyal followers who genuinely want to engage with you and your brand.
You also don’t have to only create original content either. LinkedIn is full of people and businesses sharing content from other sources. Don’t hesitate to share insightful and informative content that is relevant to your industry or campaign, even if it’s from a third party. By sharing content that isn’t always your own, this shows that you’re a go-to source for valuable information and insights.
Remember, the overall goal of marketing on LinkedIn is to be of use to your specific target audience, and collating other relevant content can achieve this as well as original content can.
Use Images And Other Media
Unlike Instagram or Youtube, LinkedIn is not as reliant on visual media, but it’s still crucial to include visual elements in your content. A good visual will always lead to better engagement vs. text only. For example, posts with images often result in a 2x higher comment rate, while posts with videos get 5x more engagement, and live video gets 24x more!
Text-only posts on LinkedIn are widely accepted compared to other social media platforms. Still, there is a lot of proof that your content will perform better when you utilize multimedia than if it is text-only.
Don’t Forget The Hashtags
Like any other social media platform, hashtags are an important part of your content. When choosing hashtags for your posts, it’s best to look for the top trending hashtags on LinkedIn within the specific industry of your business niche or the topic of your post/campaign. Once you’ve created a list of those popular hashtags, utilize them for posts, moving forward.
Like all other platforms, hashtag usage is a big trial and error test that is continuously changing. The best way to utilize hashtags on LinkedIn is to try out popular hashtags on posts and begin to watch how they impact your post reach and engagement – both good and bad – and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Create A Content Calendar
Repeat after us: Consistency is key.
If you want your content to resonate with your audience and keep them hooked to your LinkedIn page, consistency will help achieve that. It’s an essential part of any successful LinkedIn social media marketing strategy. The best way to achieve consistency is by creating a content calendar.
Depending on your bandwidth, resources, and business calendar, you can create a content calendar for as little as a week to as long as a year out.
Start by establishing a timeline for content posting and the different types of content you plan to create. Then, note any relevant holidays, sales, special deals, new products or services, etc., to create a general outline for your content.
Once you have the more general updates listed out, start to plan for your unique or special campaigns and focuses.
Maybe you want to highlight tips that tie back to your business or industry. You could include #TipTuesdays every Tuesday. Or maybe you drop a new product every month. You could plan out some posts leading up to the new drop to garner some excitement and anticipation for the new product.
There are endless ways you can utilize content to help market your business on LinkedIn. But it’s best to plan as much as you can to create a consistent road map for your social media content.
Analytics are your friend. And LinkedIn’s platform has built-in analytics for business pages that allows you to track progress, see what is or is not working, and identify areas of improvement.
Remember the SMART analogy? One of the requirements for that is your goals need to be Measurable. This is where analytics come into play.
You should be evaluating your analytics regularly to ensure the content you are posting is resonating with your audience.
By evaluating your analytics, you will be able to refine your strategy and create content that is more likely to resonate and receive more traction from your audience.
Build An Effective LinkedIn Social Media Marketing Strategy
The benefits of having a LinkedIn social media marketing strategy are undeniable. It can enhance your brand’s name, build your audience, garner more trust, improve your sales funnel, and keep your audience informed, inspired, and engaged.