Every major social site has a niche for professional services firms, but LinkedIn is the only social network built specifically for skilled professionals. Just as importantly, LinkedIn has made a major push as a content marketing destination in recent years, with great success.
Much like Hubspot, LinkedIn has become a place where professionals of all stripes go to learn the latest innovations and tactics from their peers, keep up with industry trends, and spend time with others who speak their professional language.
Setting Up Your LinkedIn Company Page
Your LinkedIn company page is basically a profile page for your business. Hubspot has some solid examples of effective LinkedIn company pages, and you'll notice that all of them use images in addition to text to tell their company's story. The examples come mostly from major corporations like Coca Cola and L'Oréal, but the same concepts scale to small and mid-sized businesses, as well.
- You'll start by entering some basic details about your business. Use SEO-friendly terms when possible, and be sure to update your company page promptly when key information changes.
- If you have a logo, your company page is a great place to show it off. Social media is very visual as a marketing platform, so you want people who visit your page to have an image that's easily associated with your brand.
- Your LinkedIn company page should be anything but static, so you'll want a steady supply of content to share. We'll cover LinkedIn content – including sponsored updates – in the next section.
- Use LinkedIn groups to find conversations, content, and connections relevant to your business. LinkedIn made the switch to private groups in 2015, so conversations within each group are only accessible by group members. That privacy has actually helped spur more conversation within groups.
Content Marketing and Building Relationships Your LinkedIn Audience
With LinkedIn's credibility as a content hub firmly established, you've already got a template for building your audience. Content is more than just an advertisement. It's a way to show your expertise, build trust with your audience, and generate the type of qualified leads that make social media marketing such an appealing tool. Even if content marketing is a new tactic for your firm, you've likely got some corporate communications materials that can be repurposed into your first wave of LinkedIn content.
- If you haven't established a blog, now is the time to take the plunge. Until then, though, you can repurpose old whitepapers, how-to videos, webinars, slideshows, and print marketing materials – anything that has resonated with your audience.
- Sharing content from other companies or influencers is another effective way to “generate” content when you don't have much of your own to work with. Sharing content from others also shows that you're part of the community, and will help you build mutually beneficial relationships with the people whose content you share.
- Ultimately, producing your own content is the name of the game, so you'll want to start your own blog or hire someone to do it for you. Above all, your audience wants valuable information and insight, so this is the place to leverage your industry expertise.
- Your blog and social media pages should work hand-in-hand to grow your audience. Be sure to embed social sharing buttons in all of your content, to maximize your reach.
- Looking to get more eyes on your content? Try LinkedIn sponsored updates. Sponsored updates allow you to target specific segments of your audience (or the whole thing), with tailored content. It's similar to the way that pay-per-click advertising works as a complement to on-page SEO. Targeting updates allows you to engage your audience on the topics that matter most to them, and helps fast track the relationship-building process.
- LinkedIn has earned its place as a content hub in part thanks to the conversation around the content, so commenting on the content of others is an easy, effective way to involve yourself in the community.
- When someone makes the effort to engage with your business – or your content – come back with a prompt, personalized reply. If the company or connection is new to you, visit their profile page to look for common ground.
- LinkedIn allows you to endorse the professional skills of your connections, and lets them do the same for you. This is an effective way to strengthen relationships, but it's best to avoid endorsing the skills of someone whose work you haven't seen first-hand.
Taking Advantage of LinkedIn Analytics
In May of 2015, LinkedIn launched some new analytics tools for published content, which allow you to see who has viewed your content, including which industries and job titles your readers list on their LinkedIn pages. This is huge, and it's a great example of how the LinkedIn team always keeps professionals in mind when updating its platform. The new publishing analytics also provide geographical information, and allow you to track the online sources of traffic to your LinkedIn page.
Digging a little deeper, you can even see which LinkedIn members, specifically, liked, shared, or commented on your content. If the reader is already part of your network, you can send them a message directly from your analytics dashboard. If you haven't connected with them yet, just click their photo in your analytics dashboard and you can head straight to their profile page. While the deeper demographic data is only available for people who were logged in to LinkedIn when they viewed your content, this is still incredibly valuable information.
And that's just for publishing. LinkedIn also offers analytics to track engagement with your updates, the evolution of your audience, and the demographics of people who visit your company page. No matter what you want to learn about your audience and page performance, there's a good chance you'll find it with LinkedIn's analytics. Experiment, dive into the numbers, and find out which metrics are most important to your social media success.
LinkedIn presents a huge opportunity to establish an effective social presence for your professional services firm, so it's no surprise it's the most popular network for professional services marketing. Apply the principles outlined above consistently and you will see business results.