How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Draw More People to Your Local Business Online
Thinking of improving your LinkedIn marketing?
Ever wonder what LinkedIn marketing tips professionals use to optimize their profiles?
This article discusses strategies professionals use to boost their LinkedIn Marketing.
Use of LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Updates
Sponsored Content is content that does not appear on the Company or Showcase Page. It allows advertisers to distribute Company Updates to targeted LinkedIn members outside the Company Page visitors and Followers.
Sponsored Updates provide a more improved way of placing your content in front of key influencers and decision makers on LinkedIn. This ultimately helps build your credibility as an expert in your niche and improves your exposure to individuals who are not in your network.
Given the quality to narrowly restrict the audience for the update, you are therefore able to make the optimum use of the investment you choose to allocate to sponsor updates. The detailed analytics provided by LinkedIn help you determine how effective the paid updates are. The Campaign manager metrics include:
- CTR (Click-Through Rate)
- CPC (Cost Per Click)
- Total Spent
- Social Actions by Campaign
- Audience Demographics by Campaign
You can assess the effectiveness of your sponsored updates against your organic updates (non-sponsored) on your company page’s analytic page. There are metrics available that allow you to determine how sponsored updates measure up against non-sponsored updates. The metrics tracked and shown are:
- Followers Acquired
It is important that you sponsor only posts that is of great value to your intended market in order to guarantee a positive return on investment. With proper planning and detailed content, sponsored updates can be used to greatly expand the reach of your company page and set you up or your company as the expert of your subject in your industry.
Add Quality Visual Content to Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile can be enhanced visually using professional portfolio features to add photos, videos, screenshots and linked articles with images and Infographics or SlideShare presentations.
It is astounding that a majority of people are not aware of these options and therefore not implementing the feature. Now is the best time for you to stand out and get noticed with visuals on LinkedIn.
Here is a helpful list of some of the best visual content that can be implemented on your profile:
- Graphics and Informative Visual Content
- Speaker Videos, Product Highlight Videos or Event Highlight Videos
- Latest Slide Decks from Speaking Engagements
- Special Projects, Case Studies, Research or Launches presented as Books or Programs
- Recent Articles or Features in the Press
- Work Samples, Client Work or Customer Testimonials
- Screenshots of Social Proof, e.g. Tweets from your Speaking Engagement
It is important not to just set them and forget about them. The visuals should be updated regularly; wait no further, give your profile a makeover and add the latest available quality visual content.
Implement Influence Networking
Influence networking is a professional introduction and a touch of personal-connection (by starting a dialogue) in your LinkedIn marketing efforts by the sharing of relevant, scientific, researched, knowledge or experiences (relating to you as a professional) with your network on a deeper level. Influence networking builds digital influence and helps to create a network surrounding your professional subject with other members who share the same interests.
Spending time in the development of real professional relationships with your LinkedIn connections is also an important part of building a digital influence on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, your network is built on business connections or influences as a leader in your industry. The groups that you join or take part in, help further your reputation and knowledge of your product and services. Influence networking makes you stand out as a better valued connection with members of your network.
In developing your influence network, your connections become more receptive to the content that you share on LinkedIn. As you nurture and grow these connections, the possibilities open in client acquisition or referral-based relationships.
Identify the most valuable people (MVP) in your network, review their profiles to understand what’s important to them and what their goals or what may be their requirements. You can then find ways to acknowledge, help, promote or also connect your connections on an individual basis within your LinkedIn network. Examples of influence networking in action is when you Leverage LinkedIn personal messaging using @mentions or the introductions feature and intentionally promote the contents from your MVPs.
Focusing on influence networking accomplishes four things:
- You’ll stand-out, become unique from your competitors
- You’ll become more valuable to your network members because you exhibit your commitment to them.
- You’ll eventually trigger a reciprocal behavior (mutual benefit) where your members will be willing to return the favor.
- You’ll easily engage your network members more in the content that you create and share.
Influence networking is an effective, subtle way to move a connection from a static business connection to a valued relationship. Focusing on this process will help develop your business.
Offer Value in Discussion Groups
In LinkedIn, you can join discussion groups which relate to the subject, technology, industry or product that you are interested in. According to HubSpot, LinkedIn generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of about 2.74% which is about three times more than that generated by FaceBook and Twitter. Of social channels marketers use, over 80% of leads come from LinkedIn and looking at LinkedIn discussion groups, 96% of group posts result in profitable leads.
Being an active group member showcases your interests and position as a thought leader or a professional influencer in your industry. Start first by joining the right groups for you. Choosing relevant groups is quite important from a content and search standpoint.
Engagement is the key to maximizing the potential from discussion groups. The rules of content marketing apply just as much here (and perhaps even more so) to your participation in discussion groups. Quality, enriching and informative content is shared to discussion groups can make LinkedIn discussion groups a big source of leads for a marketer.
Engaging activities should not be self-focused or your-product-focused. You as a professional in your industry have knowledge and experience that you can contribute to the conversation without “selling your product”. Participation is valuable and by avoiding normal selling strategies, you become industry or technology focused, rather than focused on the promotion of your product or company. Many marketers either spam groups with links to open promotional blog posts or avoid them completely for fear of LinkedIn’s Site-Wide Automatic Moderation Policy (SWAM).
Activities to consider in LinkedIn discussion groups include:
- Active Engagement: Reply or comment on articles or comments that your expertise would be welcomed.
- Social Selling: Focus on contributing expertise. Provide insight and value without expecting return.
- Stay on Subject: Don’t Spam. Off-Topic content will damage your group’s reputation.
- Thought Leadership: Provide valuable insight and content. By consistently doing this you may be considered a thought leader in your discussion group.
- Reach Out to Group Members: Personalize your relationship based on shared professional views, thoughts or experiences.
- Great Content: Great content inspires discussion and helps viewers relate to or understand better the information which you are sharing with the group. LinkedIn discussions provide a perfect platform to address pain-points.
With LinkedIn discussion groups, there’s a high chance of receiving positive feedback and generate leads from posts that asks a question. This has proven to be factual.
Optimize Your Personal Profile
LinkedIn marketing offers business professionals a wonderful opportunity to develop new connections and contacts while extending their professional business network via search, group discussions, direct email, premium paid features, targeted advertising and more.
There are multiple ways of creating traffic and leads on LinkedIn. A consistent and successful way is building a personal profile optimized with related keywords, quality media content from videos, presentation, documents and more.
The content should focus primarily on building relationships and present you as an authority in your market.
It is important your profile is:
- Personal and professional. People analyze you first, not the business.
- Relevant, with clearly defined “next step” to find out more about you.
- The actual you, with no false or “over-optimized” keywords. You still need to use keywords in the profile heading, description and summary.
- Targeted towards your “Precise” audience.
- Attention grabbing and specifically in your direct experiences.
- You should be unique, you can get ideas from similar profiles and competition.
- Filled with recommendations.
- Utilize all the available fields and values.
If you can do this, then your profile will stand out, thus, driving more businesses to you.
Tag Your Connections in Posts
Tagging connections in your posts ensures they view them, even if they haven’t visited LinkedIn in a while, they receive an email notification saying they have been tagged.
Tagging a connection in your post is simple, just type “@” followed by your connection’s name. Only a tagged connection receives a notification of your post.
Avoid continual tagging of your connections. You should only tag a connection when you are trying to inform them on specific things or interest you don’t want them to miss. Although you could send your connections messages, posting and tagging gives the rest of your connections a chance to view your post in their news feed.
Develop Relationships Rather than Adding Connections
Decide on who in your connections you’d like to know better and reach out to them sporadically from your personal profile. Engage with them, share information and learn more about them. This can be done also on a company level, using the company’s page to see who’s visiting and sharing your content.
The key is to figure how you connect personally and emotionally with individuals or groups. This is the basis of an excellent relationship, therefore when done right, a long-term bond is created between marketer and connection. It becomes a way of sharing, collaborating, communicating and transacting.
Building relationships on LinkedIn is helpful to marketers because it basically “pre-qualifies” them with their connections for everything. You become a trusted advisor to one another, in case of a situation where you need help on a question, a product, they will provide you with expert solutions. You collaborate on projects too big for an individual. The relationship becomes mutually beneficial when done right and can subsequently develop into friendship, partnership, collaborations and new business.
Below is an Infographic by Quicksprout that further explains and provides helpful tips to increasing LinkedIn engagement.
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