LinkedIn, the world’s leading business-to-business social media platform, recently made some significant changes to its format and features. This makes it a good time to take a look at this site and see how businesses can make the most out of their LinkedIn presence.
The New LinkedIn
If you’ve visited LinkedIn recently, you’ve probably noticed that it has a whole new look. LinkedIn has been unrolling the new format over the last few months, so not all pages were affected at the same time. Most notably, the new LinkedIn resembles Facebook. In the past, LinkedIn had a distinctive and not very user-friendly interface that wasn’t very inviting for users. It was fairly easy to post content, but the site wasn’t really made to encourage interaction. That’s all changed now. Because of this, many observers predict that LinkedIn will soon become an even bigger social network, with lots more engagement. Let’s summarize the major changes.
- New search. There’s now a universal search at the top of the page for people, companies, groups and schools.
- Newsfeed is in the middle of the page, with easy to see buttons for commenting, liking and sharing. This format is more conducive to engagement.
- Simplified navigation. There are now 7 main areas: Home, Search, Me, My Network, Jobs, Notifications and Messaging.
- Profile suggestions. LinkedIn now provides specific tips to help you upgrade your profile, one of the best ways to get more attention and interaction.
- Upgraded Messenger. To encourage messaging, LinkedIn now allows you to send messages from anywhere on the site. There are also suggestions for people to contact based on your profile.
These changes are mainly cosmetic but are very important nonetheless. The old look limited the site’s appeal to people who took the time to learn how everything works. For example, you could always find information on upgrading your profile, but you had to look for it. Now, LinkedIn wants to make sure everyone sees this. These changes make LinkedIn a more modern looking social network. These promising changes make now a good time to create or revisit your LinkedIn marketing strategy. The following are some LinkedIn tactics worth implementing.
Publish on LinkedIn Pulse
Pulse, LinkedIn’s own publishing platform, is not as new as some of the features mentioned above. However, it’s still an underused method for publishing content. With the new format, Pulse is likely to get even more valuable for generating traffic and building your brand. Here are some reasons to use Pulse:
- With organic reach declining on Facebook, Pulse gives you a chance to reach a targeted audience with your organic content.
- Content on Pulse is not only visible to other LinkedIn users, it’s also possible to have your articles indexed by Google.
- When you publish on Pulse, you have a chance to get featured. While there’s never a guarantee that LinkedIn will feature your articles, if they do you’re practically guaranteed lots of exposure.
- Pulse gives you authority. As opposed to simply posting to LinkedIn, which is valuable as far as it goes, Pulse is a distinct platform for full-length articles. Publishing here, for an audience of largely affluent, educated professionals, is a way to build your authority and expertise.
Participate in Groups
LinkedIn groups are another useful, free way to connect with more people. There are lots of groups on just about every business-related topic. You also have the option of starting your own group. The fastest way to get results from groups, however, is to join existing large and active groups. This strategy is similar to marketing on forums, where you need to post consistently and get to know other members.
Don’t expect to use groups for direct promotion, as this will not work. Rather, ask and answer questions and do what you can to contribute to the group. This will help you find new connections and get other members to check out your profile. Once you’ve talked to someone in a group, it’s only natural to add them to your connections.
Invest in Sponsored Content
If you want to invest in advertising, LinkedIn’s sponsored content is a good option for B2B marketing. While LinkedIn offers several types of advertising, sponsored content lets you drive traffic to your best content. This is a viable way to get leads and build your brand. This is a type of native advertising that blends with the organic content users see. You can choose your budget, reach people on all devices, and target your audience by industry and other demographics. Linkedin provides ample conversion tracking to see how well your ads are performing.
Learn From LinkedIn Analytics
As with any social media site, it’s important to conduct analytics to fine tune your results. You can get some valuable insights from LinkedIn’s own Company Page Analytics. Beyond this, you might also use Google Analytics or additional social media tools. Here are some of the most important metrics to track:
- Page visits and followers. Track views, reach and engagement for your posts. You can also see the demographics of the people who see your content, such as their location and industry.
- How are people finding you? You always want to know how people reach your content. For example, are they finding you organically by searching on LinkedIn, or from sponsored ads?
- Keep track of followers. Followers data is updated daily. You can see how you acquired new followers, organically or through paid ads. See demographics of followers. You also see data comparing your followers to those of other companies.
- Track traffic from LinkedIn to your website. Use Google Analytics or other tools to find out how many website visitors reach you via LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for reaching a professional audience. With the recent changes, there’s a good chance that even more people will join and that current members will become more active. The best way to succeed on LinkedIn is to use a multifaceted strategy that incorporates frequent posting, making new connections, publishing on Pulse and performing thorough analytics. For even better results, integrate your LinkedIn marketing with your other social media strategies.