By Caitlin Brennan

January 18th, 2017

LinkedIn is the place for generating leads, building brand/product awareness and recruiting. No birthday party photos or frolicking puppies here; it’s the buttoned-up social network. Here are some of the most efficient ways to use LinkedIn for business in 2017.

Be a Thought Leader
One way to stand out on LinkedIn is to share your knowledge. By creating educational content, you establish trust and provide value to your audience, assuming you understand your LinkedIn audience. This means the kind of material in a business or trade publication, not the kind of shareable attention-grabbers with clear calls to action you may be used to from Facebook or Twitter.

People only use LinkedIn to the extent it is useful, not as an aimless time-waster. Keep it relevant and show that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your industry’s most pressing issues.

B2B advertising
LinkedIn has traditionally lagged behind Facebook and Twitter on both organic and paid reach. That isn’t to say that there is no point advertising on the network. In fact, LinkedIn presents something of a sweet spot. This is by virtue of its offering of multiple solutions for targeting the right buyer personas. This applies both to traditional B2B and recruiting.

Users usually input far more useful information than they do on more, ahem, fun, social networks. Be it looking for a job or obtaining new skills, they also update their profiles more often than on Facebook, the way they present themselves being the major purpose of the network. On Facebook, you can target people who like any obscure 1980s cartoon, but what good is that when you have accounting software to sell? If you know who you’re selling to – and that is indeed something you should know – then you can very precisely serve relevant sponsored content tailored to every sliver of your customer base.

Lead generation
LinkedIn now combines a variety of tools that businesses can use not only to showcase themselves to job candidates, but to establish the kind of thought leadership and awareness that drive traffic. Sponsored InMails are one such feature, with response rates three times higher than regular emails.

Using the LinkedIn Premium search features, you can pinpoint the right contacts by location, job function and even alumni connections. In years past, it could take years to learn about, yet alone connect with the major decision-makers in your industry. A well-designed search provides the same information in minutes.

The challenge with InMail is to avoid looking like spam. The easiest way to do this is to refrain from spamming. Each InMail should go to a very qualified lead, so it is very much worth your time to craft a message tailored to every recipient.

Reduce recruitment time and costs
By LinkedIn’s reckoning, 70% of the world’s workforce is ‘passive’ talent. Making use of LinkedIn’s talent attraction features ultimately saves time and ad costs when the time to actively fill a position comes.

The kinds of job hunters your company is searching for are the ones with multiple options who will do their homework before taking an offer. Companies willing to trust their employees to handle their brand responsibly on social media can also wield LinkedIn as an employee advocacy channel.

To find out how best to use LinkedIn in your social posting and advertising, download Part 3 of The Social Media Networks Guide for Marketers.

The Essential LinkedIn Guide for Marketers

The important ways you can use LinkedIn to connect with the people that mean business.

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