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LinkedIn is officially the business-to-business social media platform. Individual profiles are essentially online resumes, and your LinkedIn connections are primarily people with whom you have a professional or educational relationship.
- LinkedIn has 260 million active users, making it the smallest of the social media platforms. (Source)
- As of July 2,
2018there were 24.5 million company pages on LinkedIn (Source)
- Over 3 million jobs are posted on LinkedIn in the U.S. every month. (Source)
- 30% of LinkedIn users are in the US. (Source)
- 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions. (Source)
- More than 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn. (Source)
If you’re offering B2B products or services – from training to software as a service, then you should consider having LinkedIn be part of your amplification arsenal.
LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn offers Company Pages for businesses of every size. You can add important information about your business to your company page, as well as share status updates that appear in the news feed for your company followers. LinkedIn will also share updates from companies in the newsfeed that are similar to others that the user already follows or engages with.
Another way to connect with LinkedIn users is through
groups. As a business owner or thought leader, you can build your own LinkedIn
group. LinkedIn Groups lack the visibility of Facebook Groups because posts
don’t show up in the newsfeed; users have to navigate to a special groups page
to see the latest updates from their group, or read daily or weekly digest
emails. Even without the newsfeed presence, some LinkedIn Groups boast over
300,000 members and can be powerful networking and content amplification tools.
LinkedIn has announced improved upcoming usability and visibility activity of Groups, including an integration with the newsfeed, but as of September 2018 the functionality is not available.
Beyond just a social network, LinkedIn offers a publishing platform for users to self-publish content. Sharing your full-length blog posts or excerpts on this platform gets increased visibility to your personal connections and followers. You may also reach additional organic exposure by creating content that resonates with the professional audience that LinkedIn cultivates, and that encourages comments, likes and sharing. LinkedIn publishing is limited to posts written by individuals, but you can share your posted content to your company page.
One of the most powerful features for B2B companies is advertising on the LinkedIn Advertising platform. LinkedIn offers three types of advertising: Text Links, Sponsored Content, and Sponsored InMail.
Text Links: Text links appear at the top of the newsfeed, just below the site navigation, as well as in the right sidebar with a small (50×50) graphic. Text links are priced on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis.
Sponsored Content: Sponsored content appears in the newsfeed, just like your traditional posts with a small “Promoted” under your brand name. You can use Sponsored Content to drive traffic back to your own website including lead generation pages or events. LinkedIn also offers LeadGen forms so you can capture leads directly in the newsfeed. These forms allow LinkedIn users to complete forms quickly using their existing LinkedIn profile data without re-typing. Like Text Links, Sponsored Content is priced on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis.
Sponsored InMail: Sponsored InMail delivers targeted personalized messages directly to the LinkedIn messenger inbox. Sponsored InMail is often used to boost event registrations with personalized invitations, drive conversions with targeted service and product promotions, and promote content downloads including white papers and eBooks. Sponsored InMail messages are only delivered when members are active on LinkedIn, increasing the likelihood that your message will be seen. LinkedIn also caps how many Sponsored InMail messages a user can receive each month. Sponsored InMail is priced on a cost-per-send basis.
Targeting: Targeting is where the real power of LinkedIn advertising comes into play. LinkedIn has 17 characteristics that you can use to target your ideal customers, from Location to estimated age to job function, member schools, and more. For example, if you are hosting a local “Women in Tech” event, you can target female LinkedIn users within a 100-mile radius who have specific degrees, skills, or job titles. The granularity of targeting also allows you to test which markets respond to different types of messages and ads easily.
LinkedIn also offers remarketing campaigns, similar to those that we discussed earlier for Facebook. To leverage a remarketing campaign, you’ll simply need to provide information about your community (like an email list) to LinkedIn. They offer:
- Website retargeting: display your ads to people who have previously visited your website. You need to add a small amount of code to your website to provide data to LinkedIn to collect the information. Once it’s set up, you’ll be able to retarget people who visit specific pages on your site or your site as a whole.
- Contact Retargeting: You can also upload your contact list (such as your email marketing list) to re-target users with ad campaigns. You need at least 300 contacts to use the contact retargeting features.