LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking, job search, and employee recruitment tool. Whether you are searching for a job yourself, building a business, or looking to hire new talent, knowing how to use LinkedIn for marketing is key.
Both personal and professional users can benefit from marketing on LinkedIn, and there’s some impressive research to back that up.
According to LinkedIn, there are currently more than 800 million users from 200 countries on the platform. Fifty-seven million companies are represented on LinkedIn, and six people are hired per minute based on their LinkedIn presence.
When it comes to reach and conversion, there’s plenty of data that reveals LinkedIn’s effectiveness. A recent Hubspot study revealed that LinkedIn is actually 277% more effective at lead generation than Twitter or Facebook. Its conversion rate evens out to around 2.74%, as opposed to Facebook (0.77%) and Twitter (0.69%).
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to use LinkedIn for marketing purposes so you can market your own social media marketing agency and your clients’ businesses, too.
1. Invest in Personal Profiles (& Treat Them As Client-Facing)
A simple way to get started with LinkedIn marketing is to invest in a personal profile and treat it as though it’s client-facing... because it is. That means even if the profile is “private,” you want to build it like it’s public from the beginning. Build it out strategically, as though you’re presenting it to potential employers, clients, or customers.
When pulling together a professional profile, be sure to fill in as many of the available sections as you can. Providing plenty of information about yourself and the work you do will help other professionals who are looking to connect with people like you. Even better, using LinkedIn well could potentially help you land clients.
When it comes to building an effective LinkedIn profile, the key is to never treat it like a resume. Instead, you’ll need to make sure it reflects who you are, both as a personal and professional. A resume is part of that, but your personality needs to shine and you want to explain what you have to offer that's unique. Even if you're focused on marketing a business overall, having strong employee accounts promoting what you're doing can be the way to go.
If you’re establishing your own personal brand, great. LinkedIn will help you position yourself to make a lasting impression on potential clients.
In addition to listing your experience and education, build a robust summary that communicates the value you offer. Share samples of your work in the Featured section so visitors to your profile can see the quality for themselves. And of course, post relevant content and interact with other professionals you’d like to get to know.
When your profile is ready, setting it to public from private won’t be a painful process. If you’ve built it as client-facing from the beginning, then making the switch will be easy.
If you’re working with a company, position these private accounts to help them grow their LinkedIn presence. For example, you could approach the CEO and ask whether they’re open to having you ghostwrite posts for their personal accounts, or for key team members as part of the package. These are the posts that will often get the most traction on social media, even more so than many Company Pages.
And remember that it's important to keep your LinkedIn profile consistent with your brand voice. Speak directly to your target audience, keeping in mind that you want to connect on a personal level.
The reality is that people are connecting more with individuals than businesses on a regular basis; it feels more real and personal. If your LinkedIn profile feels generic or sterile, it will be more difficult to make authentic connections.
2. Have a LinkedIn Company Page
I know, personal profiles are the way to go on LinkedIn if you want strong reach— but Company Pages are also valuable, so don’t write them off.
Your LinkedIn Company Page serves as a central hub for people who are interested in your business and want to connect. They might be potential or current customers, or maybe they want to work for you. Either way, this is a great place to showcase your company.
Keeping up an active company page on LinkedIn lets you be more directly promotional with business news. Not only will you be able to share valuable content via posts; you can also include information about your team and any available jobs you might have posted.
To build a great company page on LinkedIn, make sure you:
- Use a recognizable company logo as your profile picture
- Have a detailed description that mentions your unique selling proposition (USP)
- Encourage members of your team to link back to it
- Use the posts feature to share content from your blog, YouTube channel, or other relevant platforms
Use your company page to share products, services, thought leadership, job posts, and insights from members of your team. You can then leverage your content to direct your audience.
Where do you want them to go from your company page? Do you want them to reach out to you via DM? Apply for a job opening? Click through to your website to learn more about your company or take another action?
Consider your end goals for the content you want to post on your company page. Then, create posts that help your audience take the actions you want them to take.
3. Use Personal Stories & Long-Form Content
Personal stories make a big impact on LinkedIn.
Whether you’re telling your own story or a client’s (with permission, of course), an impactful story can count for a lot on LinkedIn. Stories share real experiences, create a bond between you and your audience, and can shift your content into a unique, thought-leadership style.
A personal story can stir emotion, convince your audience, or get them thinking. Depending on your goals, it can also get them to take a specific action.
You might share a unique perspective from your organisation and the services it offers. Members of your team who are experts in your industry might have advice or experiences to share. On the other hand, you might have helpful insights from personal experience.
For example, marketing strategist and content writer Laura Briggs not only shares advice related to content marketing and freelance business. She also helps and advocates for military spouses who need flexible, remote work that can go with them wherever they are. Her regular posts reflect every prong of her professional presence on LinkedIn.
If you’re wondering what you should be posting on your LinkedIn feed, there are many possibilities. Here are a few prompts to get you started:
- What’s your biggest regret in your professional career?
- Think of a moment that made you feel grateful for your current employer or a past employer— what was it?
- What’s the one mistake you see your clients make over and over again?
- What was the biggest change you were able to drive in client results?
- What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way when you got started?
Like the other content you post across social media, make sure the insights you share are both relevant to your brand and your audience. If a story is disconnected from the core of your brand, it will be harder to resonate with readers.
4. Share Valuable Insights
Sharing valuable insights on LinkedIn can bring even more value to your connections.
Use your personal experiences as a springboard and go deep if the idea warrants it. The more actionable and specific your content, the more useful it is to your target audience.
Maybe you focus on keeping up with news and trends inside your industry, and building out your insights for others to learn from. You might have a knack for compiling complex data into simple concepts that are easy for anyone to understand. Or, you might share case studies and data, explaining what you found and sharing your take on it.
Your insights don’t necessarily have to be driven by in-depth data analysis or long-form content, though. They might be simple and straightforward instead.
For example, you might share a witty but insightful one-liner to make your audience think. Or, you might offer cheerleading and encouragement for the day.
As long as your insights land with your audience and create a deeper connection, they don’t have to fit a prescribed formula. Vary the length of your posts, and consider including media sometimes, such as a relevant image or video.
5. Don’t Forget Multi-Media Posts
Don’t forget that you can leverage multi-media posts on LinkedIn. These can be useful for catching attention and keeping your followers engaged.
Images, videos, and even live videos can pull your followers into your brand’s world and encourage them to spend more time on your profile. Your video doesn’t always have to be studio-quality, but remember to keep a fairly consistent, professional look and feel.
When it comes to LinkedIn video, you can embed videos from YouTube or upload native video to the platform itself. Consider using a mix of pre-recorded and live video, including relevant snippets of podcast recordings or public speaking.
According to data from Wyzowl, 86% of the marketers who use video on LinkedIn have found it to be an effective part of their marketing strategy. Even just using images for attention can be effective, but some content comes across best through video.
Generally speaking, 80% of marketers who use video say that it has a direct impact on increasing their sales. That translates to increased reach, engagement, and clicks through to your content, products, or services.
With so many people using mobile devices to view video (70% of YouTube users watch via mobile, for example), you’ll want to make sure that your media is optimised for mobile.
6. Build a Network…Not Just Followers
LinkedIn is all about networking, rather than amassing followers you have no real personal connection with. It’s harder to communicate your value when you haven’t gotten to know the people you’re connected to via social media.
Build relationships with others and connect with people who are excited about your industry and what you have to offer. Seek them out through mutual connections, then intentionally get to know them.
Interact with and share your connections’ content, and they’ll be more likely to take notice of you and respond back. As an added bonus, some of their followers may follow you because they loved what you had to say in a comment.
When you share content from a networking connection, be sure to add your own unique insights to it. Build on the value they’re offering by adding your own take. Be sure to thank them for their insights, because openly showing gratitude also goes a long way.
Don’t be afraid to connect with a connection via direct message when appropriate. Ask them relevant questions about the work they do. If you see the opportunity, offer them help or some sort of value-add that’s in line with their needs.
This is truly a professional networking platform. Treating it accordingly will go a long way.
7. Don’t Spam Your Connections
When you request to connect with someone on LinkedIn, don’t spam them. Remember that LinkedIn is about professional relationship building, not necessarily going in for a sale or opportunity right out of the gate.
Don’t send direct messages to your new LinkedIn connections with a greeting, followed by an immediate sales pitch. This frustrates most people and will get you deleted or blocked.
Instead, show genuine interest in them and learn more about their experiences in their industry. If you have helpful or valuable content to share with them occasionally, you’ll be off to a much better start.
Be respectful of your connections’ time and boundaries, and consider how you prefer to be approached before you approach someone else--especially if you don’t know them well yet.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making strong professional connections and positioning yourself, your business, and your clients in your industry.
Remember to share valuable insights on LinkedIn, along with engaging video and images that snag your followers’ attention. Interacting in a professional way on the platform, both publicly and privately, will boost your credibility as a trustworthy presence in your niche.
Now that you know how to use LinkedIn for marketing, it’s time to build and refine your profile or company page. By leveraging the platform to its fullest potential and building authentic relationships with like-minded professionals, you can dramatically increase your reach and brand awareness.
Want to learn more about how to excel on LinkedIn no matter what your goals are? Check out our LinkedIn Marketing course.