Social Media

How to Win Business on LinkedIn

With almost 800 million members, 650 decision makers and two new members joining the platform every two seconds, LinkedIn is the place to be for professional networking. It’s ideal for boosting brand awareness, making profitable connections and sharing industry-leading ideas. But how can you win business on LinkedIn without ramping up the cringe factor or selling yourself short?

Here are some top LinkedIn marketing tips as well as what to avoid.

#1 Prove You’re a Pro – Without the Humblebrag

Ah humblebragging . The act of making a modest or self-deprecating statement with the actual intention of drawing attention to something of which you’re proud. No-one likes it, so don’t do it. Check out this example below of an ‘entrepreneur’ desperate to show off his car with a really cringe humblebrag. Dude, just tell us you love the car. Don’t hide the true message behind a half hearted attempt at charity.

The humblebrag is a no-no. So how can you show your credibility and make people want to reach out, without the ick factor? Here are some useful techniques.

Talk About Business Specifics 

Whether you’re posting to a personal page designed to reflect your professionalism or a corporate page all about business, talk about specific accomplishments with no sales patter.

Things worth mentioning include reviews, testimonials, successes, business milestones, company birthdays, smashed targets and more. This will increase your exposure without making people want to silence you for good. Sharing the praise is also a top strategy as it makes brand posts less boastful. The below example from Waitrose & Partners showcases brand achievements in a clear and factual way, but also acknowledges the effort and commitment of farmers which is a nice marketing touch.

Share Third-Party Posts

Another great way to post positive information about your brand in a non-braggy way is to share third-party posts, as this looks more natural and works as social proof that others respect what you do. Collaborations with relevant companies also typically result in mutually beneficial shoutouts, which can result in more follows and engagement. Be sure to always tag other brands where necessary for increased exposure and to up your follower count.

Thank Your Team

Thank your team but only if you really mean it and not to make yourself look good. Done well, this can provide useful insights into your business without being too self-indulgent. As a top tip, make sure any employees you tag have a detailed LinkedIn profile that reflects their experience and where they work. Anyone researching your company might want to find out more about who works there – particularly C-suite individuals. You should also make sure that tagged posts are shared by employees for maximum exposure.  Talking about team achievements is a good idea if you’re on a LinkedIn recruitment drive as it’ll help encourage people to get in touch. 55 job applications are submitted every second on the platform and there’s 7 seconds between every LinkedIn hire, so make sure you’re presenting your company in the best light.

#2 Be Fun and Relevant to Spark Engagement

Engagement is a big deal on LinkedIn. Getting (and giving) engagement, by way of reacting to and commenting on posts, is arguably the lifeblood of this platform and can ultimately result in some fab connections and more business. If your engagement is bad, make sure you’re not doing any of the following things as a starting point.

Posting at the Wrong Time of Day

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know your audience and what time of day they’re online. You’ll also be able to use tools such as AgoraPulse to schedule posts for maximum views and to manage engagement. If you don’t know your audience, now is the time to dig into some analytics and improve your posting strategy.

Sharing Other People’s Posts… Constantly

Sharing the posts of others, particularly when they include a brand mention can be beneficial. If all you do is share content, however, and don’t have any original ideas of your own, this could severely impact engagement as it’s a lazy, boring strategy that people won’t care about. You can do much better!

Being Too Obvious

Are your articles just touching the surface? Has the subject been covered a million different times in a million different ways? (Content is King etc) If so, your engagement is likely to plummet. People like to read long-form articles on this platform, with the most-viewed content having over 1900 words. So, this gives you plenty of wiggle room to research fascinating topics and to come up with a piece that’ll grab attention. You can always outsource if you’re not up to the job (shhhhh).

Turn Things Around

Once you’ve rectified these common mistakes, focus on creating posts that are fun, relevant and spark engagement. Take a look below at this post from Innocent Drinks. It’s completely on brand, a little bit silly and highly creative. But it’s also a job post that’s bound to appeal to their target employees!

Top tip for marketers: Use the 3,000-word character limit for Linked-In posts to stand out from the crowd. But don’t feel like you have to kill that number of words every time. Vary your posts to appeal to a wider group of prospects. Also, remember to monitor post engagement for a chance to build a better relationship with followers. The comments section offers another opportunity to showcase your brand. It also shows you’re responsive on the channel and care about what people have to say. If people express an interest in a product or service, you can follow this through via LinkedIn’s messaging service.

#3 Follow Hashtags

While writing fun posts can boost engagement, there are other ways to get talking on LinkedIn. For example, try following creators, companies and hashtags that are relevant to your brand. You can find examples of all three by using the LinkedIn search bar and once you follow people, businesses and hashtags, they’ll appear in your news feed. But don’t just leave it there. If you see something relevant and have something to say, be sure to leave a comment or ask a question. As a brand, it’s important to put yourself where like-minded people might be in a bid to get noticed and attract followers.

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network so always respect the efforts of others and don’t be negative, rude or insulting in any kind of way. Instead, try to give readers valuable takeaways or information nuggets that pique their interest and leave them wanting more. Again, you should keep a close eye on post engagement levels as more then one reply might be needed.

Top tip for marketers: Remember, that other brands on LinkedIn will be using similar techniques to you in order to grow their network and win business. And consumers will be looking for brands that meet their demands. For this reason, try to make your brand as visible as possible for any relevant third-party searches. You can do this by turning on Creator Mode on your business page dashboard. This will allow you to add five specialist topics that’ll appear as hashtags on your profile.

Your LinkedIn Page should also include relevant SEO keywords, as should your blogs and articles as this will make your content a lot easier to find. Be sure to weave keywords into your page’s description and about sections.

#4 Post Exclusive Content in Interesting Ways

It can be tempting to publish the same content across multiple platforms, but this is not a good idea. Instead, provide your LinkedIn audience with exclusive content that they can’t find elsewhere. It’s not uncommon to have the same followers on several platforms, so you don’t want to bombard them with duplicate content.

There are many ways to stand out through intelligent content creation. For example, you can:

Publish Quick Status Updates

One of LinkedIn’s most underutilized features is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. This is one of the best ways to stay in front of your target audience on a consistent basis. And when used correctly, these little messages pack a big punch. Use this space to share links to interesting articles, websites or videos. Use keywords and calls-to-action that encourage readers to click the link. Remember, the more people see you as a figure of authority, the more they’re likely to seek out your services, so you want to seize opportunities to present content of value.

You can also mention a brand or influencer that might be helpful to your connections. People visit LinkedIn for insights and answers, so you want to be seen as a go-to brand for thought-leading information and collaborative efforts.

Publish a Long-Form Article

Long-form articles are solid gold on LinkedIn, so long as they cover topics that resonate with your target audience. Articles also lead to more exposure allowing you to showcase your thought leadership on your chosen topic. As a top tip, make sure you don’t spam your contacts with an individual message every time you publish a LinkedIn article. Instead, think through who in your contacts would genuinely benefit from the knowledge and information you shared in your post. Then send them a personalised message with a link.

Something like:

“Good morning/afternoon, [First Name]! I just wrote an article about how to get more views on LinkedIn Publishing posts, and I know this is something you had mentioned you are exploring. I hope you find it useful and would love to know your thoughts if you have a minute. Thanks!”

You can also share your articles to specific groups. But there’s a certain etiquette you should follow. Make sure you participate in the group regularly and not just when you’ve posted an article as this looks a bit fickle.

Top tip for marketers: Include eight images in your articles to garner to most views. Research shows this is the sweet spot for improving engagement levels.

Publish Awesome Video Content

The LinkedIn algorithm favours video content because it’s an appealing form of media for many. In fact, when the same content is presented as text and a video, 59% of executives will opt to watch the video. And considering LinkedIn attracts decision-makers with lots to do in a short space of time, video is a quick and easy communication tool. In fact, even the most complex of messages can be turned into enjoyable content with video.

You can upload videos to your personal page or your business page. LinkedIn Live Video allows approved members and Pages to broadcast live video content to a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn Page or Event, so there are many awesome ways to get branded messages out to the community. A few good uses of video content include:

Telling a Story

Storytelling is used by brands to form an emotional connection with consumers. It helps bring companies to life and gives them a purpose outside of sales and making high profits. This is something to try if you want to draw in an audience and is particularly relevant considering 91% of Gen Z consumers research a company or brand to ensure they operate in a purposeful way before buying their product. With this in mind, tying in storytelling with corporate responsibility is wise.

Check out this great example of social responsibility form Sephora.

Giving a Face to a Brand

Currently, people don’t want to see faceless companies. Trust is a huge selling point and therefore your CEO or team leaders on a video is a great idea.

Are you fully utilising LinkedIn for business? What are your top business strategies on LinkedIn? Contact me for expert content and social media management (including LinkedIn thought leadership)