LinkedIn is the No. 17 most visited site on the web according to Alexa.com and because of that LinkedIn marketing has become very popular. It boosts over 135 million members worldwide, and grows by approximately 2 new users every second. It’s the most popular business social network and is an online clubhouse stacked with movers, shakers and a demographic full of purchasing power.
It is currently used by 80 of the Fortune 100 companies and has well over 1 Million companies with LinkedIn company pages. These numbers clearly represent the dawn of a new era in professional networking, a growing phenomenon called LinkedIn marketing. LinkedIn has solidified its position as a very powerful tool for professionals to market their companies, their products and themselves.
During my experience training, consulting and speaking on social media I have found several ways to leverage LinkedIn for businesses that boost profile traffic and facilitate high levels of engagement. The end goal is to build a more professional relationship with your connections that will evolve into successful partnerships and future opportunities.
LinkedIn Marketing: The 7 Secrets to Success
1. Craft A Catchy Headline
Your headline is your opening sales pitch that hooks people into reading your LinkedIn profile and wanting to connect with you. It needs to grab attention immediately!
Updating your profile requires a bit of thought, strategy and should answer these 4 important questions:
• How can you highlight your credibility right within your headline? – You can introduce yourself the same way a well-respected publication would (e.g. Michael Jordan, Time Magazine’s Man of the Year)
• Does your headline have a call-to-action?
• Does your headline make you stand out? – You must show why you are different from the other experts
• Does your headline show how you benefit your reader?
2. Optimize Your Websites on Your LinkedIn Profile
This is an important tip to optimize your LinkedIn profile for SEO.
Adding custom anchor text to the website links in your profile will help those links pass with higher-ranking SEO authority.
1. Click “edit” next to the website link
2. In the “Choose” drop down, click “other”
3. Enter the name of your website
4. Enter URL
3. Optimize Your Profile For Search Engines
Use the maximum characters available when creating your profile. Search engines like a high word count with many relevant keywords.
Remember to use all available characters:
Headline – 120 characters
Status Field – 140 characters
Summary – 2000 characters
Specialties – 500 characters
Company Name and Position (Job) Title – 100 characters
Position Description – 2000 characters
Interests – 1000 characters
Despite my emphasis on character quantity, it’s crucial to not forget quality in the process. Optimize your text with a keyword rich description to draw relevant search engine traffic.
4. Promote Your LinkedIn Profile On Your Website
Visitors to your website or blog are the perfect candidates to connect with on LinkedIn, especially if your business focuses on B2B. Add a LinkedIn icon on your website and link it to your profile. You can also place the button in your email newsletters and signature line. Always make it as easy as possible for your readers to connect with you via social media.
• LinkedIn has created a huge range of icons that you can use already for your website
• Wisestamps also offers a LinkedIn button and over 15+ additional social media links
Your LinkedIn profile isn’t the only thing you’ll want to promote on your website. You can also promote any groups that you own or admin. You can create an icon for your group and place it along side other social media displays on your website to generate curiosity and awareness with the objective of attracting more followers to your group.
5. Be A Part Of The Community
Just like in the real world, being a part of a group or community has its advantages. There are several types of groups you will want to join on LinkedIn.
• Groups related to your industry to keep you current on industry news, trends etc
• Groups where you target market hangs out
• Groups about topics you are interested in or want to learn more about
You can join a total of 50 groups on LinkedIn and the more you join the more people you have access to. Groups with more than 100 people are preferred since they are more likely to have active conversations rather than a dead discussion board!
Groups are a great place to share links to your blog as long as it’s relevant to the group’s main topic. Make sure that you aren’t flooding the group with unsolicited and irrelevant information because it really just makes you look like a spammer and will not help you.
6. Create Your Own Community
Joining in existing communities in the socialsphere is great, but if you want to position yourself as a leader in your community and/or niche creating your own group can be a great next step.
• Creating your own group is much better then following another. You’ll have control over all the content posted within the discussions and you can be positive the right audience is hearing your message.
• Become a thought leader when you lead the group. Consistently provide great content that is relevant to your audience and industry. Great sources for content include Technorati, Google Reader, Mashable…among many others!
• Cross-promote your LinkedIn group on Facebook. Leverage both networks to cross promote the other!
7. Make A List & Check It Twice!
Start researching your network on LinkedIn. You can filter search by keyword or browse status updates. Use the following filters:
Popular hash tags
You never know what relevant information you can find from the status updates of your LinkedIn contacts that include your employees, clients, prospects…and even competitors! Use LinkedIn’s profile tags to organize everyone within your network to save time.
The “InPerson” feature helps you connect to the other person by just tapping your iPhone. Trading business cards will soon become a thing of the past.
You can also use the “Reconnect” feature to suggest connections you might already know.
What’s your number one LinkedIn marketing secret? Have you successfully marketed yourself on LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments below.