Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
3 Ways to Get More Out of LinkedIn
Most people don’t realize that LinkedIn is one of the oldest and largest social networks and often don’t think about using it as a marketing platform. LinkedIn is a good venue for business-to-business marketing or reaching entrepreneurs and business professionals.
LinkedIn has a number of communications features that are similar to Facebook or Twitter including ways to post content, to comment and like other people’s content, to set up a business presence, and to network with others. Here’s a breakdown of three ways to better engage on LinkedIn to build your business.
1. Post Content and Interact Through Your LinkedIn Profile.
There are several ways to post content on LinkedIn as an individual with a profile. The first is to share an update, similar to a Facebook post or a tweet. You can include a link in your update and even attach a file, from an image or graphic to a PDF. People can Like, Comment or Share your update. In turn, you can Like, Comment or Share their updates to connect and start a conversation.
A longer-form way of publishing content on your LinkedIn profile is to write a post using LinkedIn’s blogging platform. Your latest posts are featured on your LinkedIn profile page. People can Like, Comment on and easily share your post, not only on LinkedIn but also on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. People can also follow you to receive your content in their LinkedIn News Feed, and you can do the same with others to stay on top of what they have to say.
2. Join a Group and Participate.
If you are looking to network with peers, potential customers, or other professionals based on industry, organization or interest, look into joining a relevant LinkedIn Group. Use LinkedIn Groups for learning, networking and thoughtful marketing.
To find a group to join, search LinkedIn for keywords and topics that pertain to your business. For example, if you are in the travel industry, search for “Travel” under Groups in LinkedIn’s Advanced Search function. You’ll find industry-specific groups such as Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide and Adventure Tourism and Travel Professionals to more general Groups for people interested in travel such as Cultural, Educational & Student Exchange Travel Network or Nature, Landscape, Travel & Wildlife Photography.
Once you join a Group, as with any online community, make sure to follow the rules of that community. Don’t be too promotional but instead engage in genuine discussions about topics of interest to the members. Ask questions to engage others in conversation. Look for appropriate opportunities to let people know what you do. Usually by participating, others will get to know you and even inquire about your products or services.
3. Set Up and Publish To a LinkedIn Company Page
LinkedIn offers Company Pages similar to Facebook Pages although their features are limited. You can upload an image to the top of your LinkedIn Page similar to a Cover Image on Facebook. You can also post updates to your Page that others can Like or comment on. People can follow your Page and see your Page updates in their LinkedIn Newsfeed.
Once you’ve set up your Company Page, you and your team can edit your personal LinkedIn profiles to make your company name clickable to your Page. When someone is on your Page, they will also see your team members listed as connected to your company. You can also add job listings to your Page or promote your Page posts for a fee. Job listings start at $195 per listing with discounts for bulk listings. Promoted or “Sponsored Updates” are priced out with a daily budget similar to Facebook ads.
Use LinkedIn as a marketing and communications platform when you’re looking to network within your own industry or to reach higher end prospects. While you could rehash content on LinkedIn that you’ve already posted to Facebook or another social network, to be more effective, tailor your messaging and interactions toward a business-minded crowd.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman