Following on from my second post on marketing your business on Twitter, here's part 3 of the series on social media with some tips for using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is different than Facebook and Twitter because it's primarily used for professional, as opposed to social, networking. As a result, it requires different marketing techniques than the other popular social media platforms.
Most of your customers will find you on Facebook or Twitter, but having a LinkedIn profile is still integral to a successful small business marketing strategy. One main reason: the search engine optimization benefits (and we're all trying to get on page 1 of Google search results, right).
If your business has a LinkedIn profile, it will usually pop up as one of the first results when someone Googles you, according to an article from Social Media Examiner.
As a result, it pays to include LinkedIn when developing your social media strategy. Here's what I've found works well when using this platform successfully to market your business.
Use keywords and a strong brand identity when designing your profile
To improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strength, include important industry keywords in your profile. Place these in your company's description field, and anywhere else you may write about your company.
Don't overstuff your text with keywords - try to make them appear effortlessly integrated. You can also list a few significant keywords above your description and separate the words with asterisks, says another article from Social Media Examiner.
In addition, as on all other social media sites, make sure you maintain a consistent brand identity. Your LinkedIn profile should employ the same kinds of images and colors as your website and any other social media sites you use, according to Business News Daily.
On LinkedIn, self-promotion is frowned upon. Save any coupons, discounts or other deals you might offer for Facebook or Twitter. Instead, use LinkedIn to create a voice for your brand. Your content should be high-quality and thought-provoking. It should be about teaching your readers something and getting them to appreciate you.
Marketing Think, which provides social media and content marketing coaching, recommends posting status updates several times per day to gain the most followers.
Be active in the LinkedIn community
Beyond posting your own content, make yourself known by engaging with others on LinkedIn. You can do this by joining LinkedIn groups related to your target audience. According to Business News Daily, these groups are a great opportunity for you to stay updated on the climate surrounding your industry.
You could even join the conversation by answering questions or offering suggestions. Just remember not to be too self-promotional. You are promoting yourself by simply being there.
According to Marketing Think, businesses should actively participate in three to five groups for maximum networking potential.
I hope you've found my mini-series on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media marketing useful. Here's what I'd say are the main points:
- Use social media to engage your audience interactively, not just to tell people about your business.
- Social media must be used frequently to build a following. Don't just put up your Facebook profile and forget about it.
- Develop your profiles and messages so people searching on the Internet can find you easily. Determine the keywords that get the most attention and work them into your content.
When used well, social media can play a key role in bringing new customers to your business so I really believe that it's worth investing some time and effort getting to grips with the various social media channels.
The sites I mention or link to in this post are just examples that I thought you'd find useful - I don't endorse them or their services. I have no affiliation with them and make no representation about their services.