We have previously written on our website about social media and how, as a business, it’s really valuable if you do it right. And one of the key parts to getting social right is to think about the platform you’re using and why. Many companies believe they want social media activity, but they don’t know why, or what they want to achieve from it.
Unsurprisingly, if you don’t think about the whys and the whats before you start posting, you might be disappointed to see that traffic to your site isn’t suddenly going berserk.
In a new series of features, we’re going to look at each of the bigger social media networks and how the power of these can be used to gain true business benefit. Here are our top five tips to making LinkedIn work for you, and you don’t have to spend any money on these!
1. Company page: It might sound obvious but a good place to start is to make sure you’ve done all the basics on your company page. Here you can add an extended company description, your contact details and even job vacancies. If you add information to these areas and update these regularly, it can make a real difference to your presence.
One word of warning is that you do need to think about updating these pages regularly. If you complete these once and then log off for six months, you probably haven’t done yourself too many favours here. If your LinkedIn page still says that you have less than 10 employees but you’re actually housing over 1000 staff, then it might actually make things worse.
If you’re short on time, give someone in your business the responsibility of keeping this page up to date and you can happily walk away knowing it’s not gathering dust.
2. Building a following: If you make a list of your staff, suppliers and your clients, you’d be surprised by how many followers you potentially have in your immediate circle. Use these contacts and increase your following – if you reciprocate the gesture, everyone is happy, right?
If you manage to get 50 followers out of this list, that’s already a good group of people to like your posts. And once they like them, it can turn up in other peoples’ news feeds so it’s a really good, organic way to build a following.
We recently did this for one client, and built their following in just six weeks from 590 to 1,001. This was purely through reciprocal following with clients and suppliers and encouraging staff to follow the company’s page.
As of June 2019, LinkedIn will also allow you to invite all of your personal connections to like your business and so this is a great tool for letting your contacts know about your new page.
3. Think about a content strategy: Once you’ve taken care of the housekeeping, you have to think about what you’re going to say. This is definitely the hardest part because you’re probably putting a lot of pressure on the content – usually, the questions asked are:
1. How do I post content and still get my brand messages across?
2. How do I post regular content but not annoy people?
3. What can I say that doesn't sound stupid?
If you’re not asking yourself any of these questions, then great! You’re probably already posting like a demon and winning at content, but most companies we speak to are concerned about this and this is often where a business decides to enlist an agency.
An agency can help you develop a content strategy, or even just help you dig out the content within your business. But the one key question you need to ask yourself is “why?” For example, are you using LinkedIn to drive sales or do you need to recruit staff, or do you just want to improve your visibility on certain search terms?
Once you answer this, it will help you set your content objectives and then the content will start to take shape.
4. Creating the content: A quick and easy way to generate your content is to think about it month by month, and create a quick spreadsheet where you can pencil in planned updates. Here are some of our tried and tested ways to create content for LinkedIn:
- Start inside the business: are there any developments within your business that you could talk about? For example, if you’re using LinkedIn for recruitment, could you share some stories from your existing staff? For example, do you have a mum of three who enjoys flexible working in your organisation? Have you recently held an away day for staff or taken part in a charity run? Anything that brings your business to life is content.
- Content suggestions: LinkedIn now offers “content suggestions” which lets you select your areas of interest and will return trending articles within those areas. Whilst you may not want to just share other people’s news on your LinkedIn page, it’s a chance for you to share your view on the topic.
- Your own expertise: You may want to consider writing a LinkedIn article, which isn’t available to you as a company, but you can write these on your personal profile and share from your business page. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and if you manage to get a few shares and a few likes, this all contributes to your SEO strategy.
5. Share some love: Finally, don’t just lurk on LinkedIn privately and use it as a way to see what your ex or your old manager is up to. Get involved and “like” some updates, say the odd congratulations to someone. If you’re running a business, it’s a nice way to show support for your fellow professionals and it all contributes to the perception of your brand.
At FD Comms, we think LinkedIn is a great addition to any content strategy – if it’s done properly. The above steps will almost certainly get you on the right track but it does require time and some effort so it’s worth taking a bit of time to think about this before you start posting.
After all, no one wants to end up quoted here…All News