I sat there staring at my computer screen, unmotivated, stressed, and thinking to myself:
“Really, another social media platform that my business just has to be on?“
Maybe you’ve felt like this too?
Like – when is enough…enough?
Just another thing to add to your never-ending pile of “to-do’s” that only adds to your stress level and makes you want to forget you heard the term LinkedIn Marketing in the first place.
And since LinkedIn is (unfairly) not discussed in the same conversation as what we call The Big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), it’s easy to toss it out in the trash heap with Friendster, Google Plus, and MySpace.
But that, my friends, would be a big mistake.
Can I level with you?
If you read our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing blog post, you know how we feel about it:
You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Heck, you really only need to start with one or two – and do them well.
But if you’re serious about running a business, you should think about LinkedIn as one of those you start with.
Or, at least, do your due diligence so you can tackle it down the line.
Because LinkedIn is the professional networking site out there. None of the other big names can have the impact that LinkedIn can on you and your business at the professional level.
And today is your lucky day because Digital Marketing Tools is here to answer all of your questions.
Below, we will go through everything from soup to nuts, and we’ll explain why you need a solid LinkedIn plan, we’ll fill you in on best practices to set up your account (a well set up business profile gets more than double the attention), and we’ll share some tips and tricks to rock the platform.
What is LinkedIn and Why is it Different?
“Active participation on LinkedIn is the best way to say, ‘Look at me!’ without saying ‘Look at me!”
LinkedIn was created in 2003 to connect “the world’s professionals.”
As social media and social feeds grew in popularity, LinkedIn took note and added them to its repertoire.
But while it may remind you of Facebook – connecting with others, a social feed in the background, with the ability to reach your network and to individually message “friends” – it’s also very different.
Mainly, that LinkedIn is strictly for professional networking and promoting B2B relationships (Business to Business).
Think working in an office environment – but online. When you’re on LinkedIn, you talk like you would talk in an office; you walk like you would walk in an office – heck, it’s so office-like you almost dress as you would dress in an office.
From headshots to group or staff pictures, everything is professional.
And that’s not where it ends – that demeanor flows down to every conversation, personal or private, and every post. Things rarely get toxic as they often can within other platforms.
After all, it’s a place where when you post something, your boss could see it, your future boss, your future coworkers, or many connections that could affect your future.
So think of anything you comment, post, or write on LinkedIn as a “company-wide” email.
LinkedIn for Marketing?
How does the old saying go?
“No matter what you do, you’re always marketing yourself.”
That’s LinkedIn in a nutshell.
LinkedIn is all about building networks and connections for the business professional. But it doesn’t end there. Because it’s not just about who you know, it’s also about who they know. And on. And on.
Everything you do is marketing. People are reading your comments, your posts, your profile. And people are watching you.
LinkedIn is a great place for marketing yourself, sure, but it’s also an incredible place to market your business.
And that’s the question of the day – Should part of your LinkedIn plan involve creating a business page?
The answer? Almost no matter what…
Should You use LinkedIn for Marketing Your Small Business?
Personally and professionally, it’s clear you should be on LinkedIn – with 92% of Fortune 500 company execs and 77% of recruiters using the platform.
But how does that transition to your business?
Well, with over 630 million professionals, it is the largest professional network. So the numbers are there.
Your target market is probably hanging out there – and likely a significant sector of your target market. Because, as you know, LinkedIn is for business professionals – decision-makers, execs, opinion leaders, and influencers.
You can use your free business page and your connections to grow your brand through word-of-mouth marketing.
(And we love word-of-mouth marketing!)
Oh, and LinkedIn makes it easy for you – Open for Business is created by LinkedIn specifically for helping you set up and run your small business LinkedIn marketing account.
Factor in all the above, and I would create an account faster than I just slurped down my bulletproof coffee.
Still not convinced? How about an eye-popping stat to convince you:
LinkedIn has proven to be 277% more effective than Facebook at generating leads…
How about LinkedIn Marketing B2B (Business to Business)?
Business-to-business marketing is the marketing of products or services to other businesses and organizations – and here’s where LinkedIn really shines – LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B marketing. Nothing else even comes close.
Read on and conquer!
How to Set Up and Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page
Are you sitting out there on the LinkedIn network with a half-filled out company page?
Or maybe you’ve created one, but it haven’t optimized it in months or *gulp* years?
Maybe it’s just not optimized to peak perfection.
A completed and optimized LinkedIn company profile sees at least 30% more weekly views.
And I don’t have to tell you the stats if you don’t have one at all.
So no more excuses – it’s time to create your perfect LinkedIn Company Page.
LinkedIn Profile Image
You typically want this to be your company logo – follow suit with your other social media channels. Just resize to LinkedIn’s requirements.
- 300 x 300 pixels
- 8 MB max
- PNG format
- Square layout
Be creative, artsy, engaging, or actionable. Use branding if you can; have artwork, photos of employees, or anything that makes your brand stand out.
- 1128 x 191 pixels
- 8 MB max
- PNG format
- Rectangular layout
Your tagline is your brief company description. Just a couple of sentences that bring to light what your company does. This is located right under your profile pictures, so it’s essential to be engaging and concise.
LinkedIn Company Description
Very important, this is like your about me section on any website. It should be short, engaging, and answer the following questions.
- Who are you?
- What do you offer?
- What are you about / your values?
- What makes you stand out?
- How do people contact you to learn more?
- Your location if it’s vital to your business.
Make sure as you go through that you have everything possible filled out as completely as you can. LinkedIn does a good job of walking you through the steps you should complete before hitting “publish.”
LinkedIn Marketing Stats for Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy
No matter your goal on LinkedIn, it’s nice to know who’s hanging out there, what to post, and how often to post.
Who’s Hanging out on LinkedIn?
First, let’s talk about LinkedIn users – no LinkedIn plan is sound without knowing that!
37% of US adults between the ages of 30 and 49 are on LinkedIn.
But age may not be as beneficial as the fact that it’s composed of all business professionals.
So if your target audience focused on business professionals, or your product or service can benefit from getting it in front of them, then this is a place you definitely want to target.
What Should You Post on LinkedIn?
Note: Anything you post on LinkedIn should be company or leadership focused.
- Videos – advice, case studies
- Images – stats/quotes
- Events – Share awards, your own events, events company members attended
- Articles – Your own and outside shares
- Company culture/leaders/updates
Posts should be educational, practical, or focused on thought leadership.
How Often Should You Post on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn itself recommends posting every business day, but if you’re just starting out, start with 2-3 times a week and work your way up once you get in a groove. And no need to post more than once a day, as HubSpot notes, engagement plunges after posting more than once per day.
What Time(s) Should You Post on LinkedIn?
If you’ve read any of our stuff, you know that our biggest push is just to get you out there. Don’t worry so much about the times – just worry about posting relevant and engaging information based on your company, audience, and the platform.
That being said, if you really want to get in the weeds, there are better and worst times to post:
- The best times to post to LinkedIn are Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m.
- The best days to post on LinkedIn are Wednesday and Thursday.
- The safest times to post are Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
- The least engagement per day occurs on Sunday, and the least popular times to post are every day from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Ideas and Secrets to Grow Your Business
Do you want to make sure you’re winning on LinkedIn? That you’re doing all the right things plus more to beat your competition and get the best engagement and outcome from anything you post?
Below are some strategies and secrets that many businesses don’t use or don’t even know about, that can really boost your engagement.
Read below and pick a couple to try out in your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Try LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Showcase pages are extensions of your LinkedIn page, they can highlight individual brands or business units.
They have the same posting options as your LinkedIn page and your business page.
Join a LinkedIn Group
People love a community and a way to get together online with a group of like-minded people – do this by joining a LinkedIn group.
Find LinkedIn users relevant to your brand and industry and join groups to join in the conversation.
Even better, does your brand cater to a group in any way?
If so, great! Create a group.
And either way, interact and engage.
Use Advanced Search to Your Advantage
With LinkedIn’s advanced search, you can target your ideal customer without paying for a LinkedIn pricing plan.
Blogging on LinkedIn
“The greatest irony is that people with Rolodexes are no longer LinkedIn. And if that pun doesn’t make sense, don’t ask anyone in your Rolodex to explain it.”
At its inception, LinkedIn was more of an automated Rolodex, but it has now also become a platform for sharing content.
Do you have a blog or love to write?
Or maybe you love writing and have something to say?
Blogging is all about creating engaging and valuable content that people love, and blogging on LinkedIn is no different – just make sure it’s platform relevant (remember the what to post) section, above. So it’s a significant way to gain followers and attract potential customers.
Now You Can Even Use LinkedIn Tags
And they’re even using hashtags (or LinkedIn Tags) now – Identify 2-5 tags relevant to your brand and your post and add them to get more views.
Posts that contain custom images (especially those that contain collages) typically result in a 2x higher comment rate.
Video, as is common with most platforms, see’s 5x more engagement while Live Video gets 24x.
So if there’s any way to add video into your strategy – go all in.
Target Your Posts
LinkedIn also allows you to target your posts to a particular industry, company size, region, location, and much more. So use that to your advantage and focus your posts.
Don’t Forget to Curate Content
You can even Define Your Target Audience to Discover Trending Content.
If you select your target audience within LinkedIn, you can see what they’re viewing and engaging with – then you can share this content (with some words of your own) directly to your page.
Benefits of LinkedIn Premium Business or LinkedIn Premium Career
For some, LinkedIn Premium is well worth the cost; for others, they try the free month and then return it.
Look at the benefits of LinkedIn Premium to judge that for yourself.
LinkedIn Pricing Plans
- Career – $29.99 / month
- Business – $47.99 / month
- Sales – $64.99 / month
- Hiring – $99.95 / month
Note: These prices refer to an annual billing cycle.
Last but Not Least – LinkedIn Ads
This article is mainly about content marketing, but it’s worth bringing up LinkedIn advertising.
LinkedIn is full of high-ranking members, and if you are a B2B marketer, or are thinking about going in that direction, then you should look into LinkedIn ads.
What is LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, and Can it Benefit Your Business?
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is an all in one place for you to promote your business on LinkedIn.
You can create your free business page, but it’s also a place to create paid ads to reach other business professionals to generate leads, drive traffic to your website, and/or build brand awareness.
And if you have your target niche picked out and they congregate on LinkedIn, the performance can be stellar.
LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager streamlines all your marketing on the platform and makes it easy for you to create, measure, and optimize your campaigns.
Use LinkedIn Analytics and Optimize
With LinkedIn Page Analytics, you can gain insight into the performance of your updates; including posts, blogs, and even videos. And you can see the demographics and more about all of your page visitors and followers.
Plus much more.
You can use this insight to keep down the path you’re going if it’s working well or to zig or zag to adjust your strategy accordingly.
The Future of LinkedIn
Microsoft implementation is a big piece of the bright future of LinkedIn, but that’s not all it has going for it.
Know this – LinkedIn is doing everything they can to continue to be the social media platform for your business.
Below are some things announced and some of our own thoughts on where the platform could go in the coming years.
Recruitment with Linkedin’s Big Data
LinkedIn has a massive database containing a ton of information on an enormous chunk of the employable workforce (big data).
Add that into developments in AI and the increasing capacity of algorithms, and you’ve got a recruitment model that will just continue to get smarter. Look for businesses to increasingly use it to pinpoint the right recruits for the job.
LinkedIn learning (formerly Lynda.com) is also part of the Microsoft / LinkedIn enterprise, so expect a continued push on training via this platform.
LinkedIn Learning + Big Data = ??
Speaking of education and LinkedIn’s big data, what’s the solution to the following equation?
LinkedIn Learning + LinkedIn’s big data =??
Do you have a guess?
Think about it like this – if you add training information into LinkedIn’s massive database, you suddenly have information on which classes and training some of the most successful people took. Do you think that same training could be valuable to up and comers in the same role or even with some of the same individual characteristics?
We think so…
Content is King – Yes, even on LinkedIn
Content is king – no matter the platform. Over the past 5 years, the focus on content creation has continued to grow on LinkedIn – look for that trend to continue.
Especially as job seekers try to become more known in their field of expertise through publishing, writing, sharing content.
Complete Ecosystem – Cradle-to-Grave – Integration with Microsoft
Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016, and you can bet that more integration with the two is coming.
Expect things like integration within Office 365 and an Outlook plugin. Think of seeing LinkedIn profiles embedded throughout the Microsoft ecosystem.
In fact, with Microsoft owning the native products (Office Suite, Outlook, Skype), LinkedIn can look to own the sales and hiring within the enterprise, essentially creating a complete ecosystem of recruiting solutions.
Branding has never been more critical than it is today. People want to know authentic people and to purchase from (and follow) authentic brands. Use it to tell your story and use your voice. Look for it to become a more significant part of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has embraced live streaming content, look for that growth to continue.
You can even use it to conduct a webinar via LinkedIn.
Want help with the Hardest Part of Job Getting?
Need help to get through that next interview?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
That’s right, LinkedIn is now adding features to help with job interviews – they are looking to offer (affordable) job-interview coaching.
Send a Video to a Professional Connection?
Imagine a LinkedIn tool that would allow someone to send a 10-30 second video to a professional connection.
You could use it to connect, recruit, offer your services for jobs, and probably even think of ways to market your business with it.
What are You Waiting For? It’s Time to Take Your LinkedIn Marketing to the Next Level
You’re sitting at your computer, but you’re no longer unmotivated or stressed.
Because now you know what LinkedIn marketing can bring to the table for you and your business.
And you also know that it’s an excellent choice for you.
Especially if you have a business that could benefit from LinkedIn’s unique platform.
Just follow the guidelines above to set up an optimized and engaging company page, follow our LinkedIn marketing strategy to post valuable and engaging content in no time.
Growing your followers, spreading the word of your brand via LinkedIn’s network, and growing your business to new heights!