Tips for Using LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

When LinkedIn was first founded in 2003, its initial features were limited and most people, especially adults, had not yet embraced social media. Facebook would soon introduce the masses to the world of social media, in turn revolutionizing the social behavior of an estimated 200 million Americans. People started consulting Facebook for all their needs and answers to their questions – leading businesses to capitalize on the social media craze by creating Facebook pages for their companies. LinkedIn benefited considerably from Facebook’s success, as people had – by the time of LinkedIn’s surge in popularity – developed literacy in social media. Most significant, however, was that Facebook illustrated the enormous amount of untapped potential social media had yet to seize.

While LinkedIn’s original purpose as a professional networking site still stands as its primary use, it has grown into a viable marketing tool, equipped to manage public relations just as capably as any social media platform. Regarding corporate social media, Facebook and Twitter have the biggest audiences, but LinkedIn has some clear-cut advantages over the two. First, you’re reaching a different audience with LinkedIn than you are with either Facebook or Twitter. When people browse Facebook and Twitter, they aren’t in a necessarily business-oriented mindset. They’re most likely seeking entertainment and are otherwise – let’s face it – probably mindlessly browsing. On LinkedIn, however, business is at the front of users’ minds. If a certain user is checking out a business’ page, they may be interested in working with said business.

This means companies’ LinkedIn pages should undergo routine maintenance. Pages lacking content are not going to entice potential customers – it may draw red flags and could even ruin potential business opportunities. Companies should post blogs, status updates and news links on a regular basis. This way, potential customers see certain companies are in operation and approachable. People will be more inclined to interact with companies that are posting on a daily basis because it shows these companies are investing time in making their company sociable.

Another advantage LinkedIn has over other social media platforms, is its ability to connect anyone to CEO’s and other high-ranking employees. For instance, if a blogger is looking to write a story for their popular blog about the benefits of wearing gel-soled sneakers, the blogger can message the CEO of a gel-sole producing company directly via LinkedIn to set up an interview. When the blog is eventually published, said company’s name will be brought to a wide audience and the blog will essentially behave as  free advertising.

This makes it important for each employee, especially those in high-ranking positions, to remain active on all social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter make it difficult to find employees on company web pages. For LinkedIn, employees will (ideally) link their company’s website on each of their profiles. Employees should therefore maintain their pages with the same attentiveness businesses do for theirs.

As you see, maintaining your company’s LinkedIn page requires time. The overall most important quality in your company’s LinkedIn page is in its ability to be found. Be sure to provide links on your website to all of your social media pages. Regularly post on your pages and remember to connect with as many people as possible. Employees should additionally connect/follow your pages to build up your audience. More connections will mean more exposure, and ultimately, more business.

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