8 Tips to market your brand on LinkedIn
Social Media is not just selfies, there is a professional side to it as well. LinkedIn is the top network for businesses, employers seeking new recruits, brands to get better customer acquisition and much more. Whether you are in a B2B or B2C business, LinkedIn is the perfect platform to get to know and engage with your customers.
Why? LinkedIn is strictly used for business, meaning people sign in keeping that in mind and not thinking about Farmville, baby pictures, or cat videos. In this post, you will learn tactics for reaching your customers organically and how to use targeted advertising.
#1 Ensure your LinkedIn profile is headline specific
“You never get a second chance to make a great first impression”
The Headline of your LinkedIn Profile is the first step to create a great impression and gain customers. It is important to sell yourself, your experience, and your expertise since most of your interactions on LinkedIn will lead back to your professional profile, And the best place to start is your profile’s headline.
Ideally, your headline should also include a concise description of your ideal customer and what you have to offer. If you’re in sales, for example, lead with your official title or a generalized statement on your role, i.e. “Seeking companies looking for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, BI & Data quality integration, and Implementation.”
The headline is important as it will appear next to your name when:
- Your profile appears in Google or LinkedIn search results
- People look at your profile for the first time, regardless of if they’re logged into LinkedIn
- You post new discussions in LinkedIn groups
- You publish posts on LinkedIn Publisher
- You send private messages
- People see an invitation to connect with you
- You send a request to someone to recommend them
- Someone sees you in their list of contacts
- Your profile appears in the sidebar of another LinkedIn user profile as someone people also viewed
In other words, your headline goes just about everywhere, first impressions are important. Customers are more likely to click on your profile based on an interesting and descriptive headline than if you only said, “VP of Sales.”
#2 Get to know your customers
There are two ways to get to know your ideal customers on LinkedIn. Whether or not you are already directly connecting with your customers on your professional LinkedIn profile is the difference in these approaches.
If the only people you have connected with are your current and former customers, then you can use LinkedIn’s search feature and a LinkedIn Premium Account to get a profile of your ideal customers. Start by clicking on this link to see all of your 1st Connections. Then expand the categories in the left sidebar.
What you now have is a summary of the locations, industries, functions, seniority levels, and company sizes of your clients. You can utilize this information when you create LinkedIn Ads to find new clients or search for more people to connect with.
Alternatively, if you are connected with more people than just your clients—or you don’t want to connect with your clients directly—you can research their company pages. Expand the company page description to see the company size and industry, as well as a few additional details that you can use when you search for connections or create ads.
In the right sidebar of the company page, you can click on the link to the total number of that company’s employees on LinkedIn. This takes you to a search page where you can learn more about the individuals the company employs and the LinkedIn groups they belong to.
#3 Connect with your ideal customers
LinkedIn encourages you to connect only with people you know personally. Here’s how you can connect with your ideal customers.
The golden rule: No matter who you want to connect with, make sure you connect with them from a desktop browser, one at a time. This method allows you to send a personal message with your connection request. This will go a long way in convincing the recipient to accept your connection request. But also, go slowly. If you send out a large number of connection requests and too high a number are denied (or worse, marked as spam), LinkedIn will limit your ability to connect with others.
To connect effectively:
- Start with your email contacts.
- Find people you went to school with.
- Look for current and former work colleagues by visiting your former employers’ company pages and looking at their employees’ profiles.
- Check out the people you may know section on a regular basis.
- Join groups, engage with others, and connect with people you engage with the most.
The reason you want to grow your LinkedIn network is because of how LinkedIn works; it has different tiers of connections. They include:
- 1st Connections are people who are directly connected to you.
- 2nd Connections are directed connected to your 1st Connections.
- 3rd Connections are directly connected to your 2nd Connections.
You can usually invite people to connect with you if they are 2nd Connections. Depending on their privacy settings, you can also request to connect with 3rd Connections. Effectively, the more 1st Connections you have, the more people you can connect with.
#4 Create a LinkedIn group for your customers
While Facebook groups are growing in popularity because of their organic reach in the newsfeed, LinkedIn groups do have a few superpowers that Facebook lacks.
For starters, LinkedIn group owners can email group members once a week and feature discussions in your groups. It’s best not to be overly promotional and keep content informative and relevant, as group members have the option of unsubscribing from emails or can leave the group altogether if they find it too sales-driven. But if you can present information in a way that entices members to connect with you directly, then this could lead to a sale.
Unless you have a wildly popular business, don’t create a LinkedIn group with your business or product name. Instead, think of an interest that would draw your ideal customers together and allow them to create a community. For example, a business that sells ecommerce software can create a group about ecommerce strategy. They could then send out weekly email or feature discussions promoting webinars about ecommerce strategy, which may ultimately lead to sales of their software.
Your sales team can start and maintain discussions in your group on a daily basis and personally connect with potential customers when they reach out. This is a simple yet effective way to sell in the group without actually posting a sales pitch.
#6 Use the LinkedIn Open Networker groups to your advantage
There are people on LinkedIn who want to network with as many people as possible called LIONs: LinkedIn Open Networkers, who have created groups dedicated to similar users. You can search for them using the group search feature and join them, but remember to read the group descriptions first; some cater toward specific locations and industries.
For premium LinkedIn members, once you are accepted into these groups, you can use the advanced people search to find your ideal customers within groups that you are not currently directly connected with. To search, check the box for 2nd Connections (the easiest ones to start with), select the LION groups you belong to under the Groups column, and then select your criteria in the other areas.
As mentioned before, connect with people individually and with a personalized message. However, since LIONs are open networkers, they are more likely than the general population to accept your connection.
#7 Publish on LinkedIn
As your network grows on LinkedIn, take advantage of the fact that each time you write a new blog post on your professional profile, all of your 1st Connections will be notified. Make sure your posts are high quality and worth their attention, because your connections can easily unsubscribe from those notifications.
You can use your LinkedIn professional profile blog as your main blog, and write about topics of interest to your ideal customers. These posts should ultimately link back to a landing page on your website, or end with an invitation to contact you for more details.
Alternatively, if you are already publishing content on other websites, consider publishing a modified version of that content on your LinkedIn profile. Treat it like teaser content that leads to the main content, or as summarized content for people who may not have time to read lengthy articles.
#8 Advertise through LinkedIn
If you can’t spend a lot of time networking on LinkedIn, take the information you learned earlier about your ideal customers and use it to advertise instead. LinkedIn allows advertisers with any size budget to create two types of advertisements: Sponsored Content and Text Ads.
Both of these ad types can be targeted toward your ideal customers. If you’re trying to land a specific customer, you can target every employee from that company by name (assuming it’s a large enough company). This is a particularly useful tactic if you are actively pursuing a large client. Additionally, if you’ve spent a lot of time in a group full of your ideal customers, you can target members of that group.
For brands with larger budgets, you can contact LinkedIn to learn more about LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, which include Sponsored InMails, Dynamic Ads, and Display Ads. All of these solutions can help you reach even more of your ideal customers.
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