As of February, there were an estimated 467 million users on LinkedIn from over 200 countries, with another two users joining the platform every second. However, the power of LinkedIn doesn’t stem from the quantity of connections it offers a user. Rather, it stems from the quality of potential connections. Consider this: Close to half of all users on LinkedIn are key decision makers within their organizations
“LinkedIn connects professionals in a more useful way, and it connects you more easily to new networks,” Star Staffing Vice President Nicole Smartt told Forbes. “Endorsements, easily digestible overviews of previous work, and integrated resumes and work examples all make LinkedIn an unparalleled tool for great connections.”
Moreover, with great connections comes great business. The bottom line is that LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for companies looking to increase brand awareness and enhance online visibility. However, in order to do so, companies first need to build their following on the site. Wondering how you can build your company’s following on LinkedIn quickly and effectively? Be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.
Build a Great Profile
“LinkedIn provides major optimization opportunities for businesses,” marketing expert Neil Patel explained in Forbes. “Just as you can present your individual prowess and professionalism on LinkedIn, so you can communicate the expertise and products of your company on LinkedIn. Your business can shine on LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides a source of indisputable brand integrity, a marketing tool, a talent attractor, a lead generator, a thought leadership platform, and way more.”
The key to achieving all of the above is a great profile. The better your profile, the more likely it will attract people and the more likely they are to follow you. Make sure your LinkedIn profile includes a compelling description of your company along with your brand logo or some kind of other appropriate visual.
And perhaps most pertinently, make sure you have appropriate keywords integrated into your profile. Many don’t realize this, but LinkedIn is actually one of the internet’s largest search engines. Each piece of content that is shared and published on the site is categorized, sorted, and indexed based on keywords.
“The idea is simple: LinkedIn wants its users to use the site like a professional version of Google, finding answers to their questions in the form of blog posts, status updates, online courses, company pages, individual profiles and more,” LinkedIn Riches CEO John Nemo said in Inc. “Therefore, as there are literally millions of LinkedIn searches are conducted every day, in order to show up in relevant searches and maximize your visibility you will need relevant keywords in your profile.”
Regularly Share Updates
LinkedIn users can share content using the “Share an update” feature and the “Publish a post” feature. Whereas the former is for short status updates or comments with an interesting link to a blog or video, the latter is intended for long-form blog posts. When you share this content, the update, along with a link to your profile, will appear in your network’s newsfeeds. As a general rule of thumb, you can post around twice a day on LinkedIn.
The key here is to share content of value. Develop an editorial calendar and put the time and resources into developing compelling content that your target audience will appreciate. While social media users on sites like Facebook or Twitter will dawdle away hours, LinkedIn is a bit different in that the average user only spends around 17 minutes per month on the site. In order to capture someone’s attention and impress him or her enough to start following your brand, you absolutely need to publish the highest-quality content.
You can also share the content you’ve published on LinkedIn via email with your mailing lists. That way, customers who aren’t already following you on the site will be promoted to do so.
Use LinkedIn Ads
Many companies make the mistake of shying away from advertising, thinking that it is better to concentrate on building their organic reach. However, this is a mistake. The reality is that when used in conjunction with an organic marketing strategy, paid advertising can be a powerful way to build your company’s following on LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates are well worth the time and effort,” digital marketing expert Josh Steimle explained in Forbes. “They appear in the LinkedIn newsfeed on both desktop and mobile devices. The Sponsored Updates are better than a traditional ad because they feature more real estate for text and images. This softer content marketing approach is likely to perform better and get shared more often.”
As a general rule of thumb, when you’re using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates, your best bet is to publish content that feeds the very top of your sales funnel. “While the sales cycle may take longer to close, the cost per acquisition will be much lower, and your prospects will be self-educated by the time they speak to you,” Steimle added.
Leverage the Power of LinkedIn Search
Part of building your company’s following on LinkedIn is effectively targeting users. You don’t want to spam all 467 million of the site’s users, because chances are the vast majority of them won’t be interested in what you are selling. Rather, to build a following, your best bet is highly targeted outreach. In order to conduct highly targeted outreach, you will want to tap into the power of the LinkedIn search function.
“It may seem basic, but we've trained over 10,000 people on LinkedIn in the past year and most of them didn’t know how to use the advanced search on LinkedIn, even though it’s right there out in the open and is easy to use,” Linkfluencer founder Alex Pirouz told Forbes. “In our experience, this is LinkedIn’s best feature. It’s by far the quickest and most accurate way to search, find and connect with hundreds of contacts in your target market week in and week out.”
In order to effectively conduct this kind of targeted outreach using the search function, the first step is to define the parameters of your target audience clearly, including industry, seniority level, location, job title, company size, etc. Remember, it is best to be a big fish in a small pond and hyper-target specific niches and professionals rather than casting your net too wide.
Once you have a target audience, from there you can really drill down and identify the most relevant people — and then conduct outreach accordingly. Make sure you send out short, impactful, and personalized messages in order maximize the effectiveness of your outreach and generate leads.
In conclusion, with some time, effort, and strategy, you can build your company’s following on LinkedIn in order to improve your online visibility, generate leads, and drive sales. While the strategies above are sure to get the ball rolling, keep in mind that you’re unlikely to build up a robust following overnight. However, with some time and continuous effort, you can and should see significant increases in your LinkedIn following.