LinkedIn has become the most powerful tool for connecting professionals worldwide, and with more than 400 million members, it has become a creative and innovative marketing technique for businesses. Professionals and companies have been utilizing the networking site to promote themselves and their services. But how do you know if your LinkedIn marketing is working?
Businesses should develop a comprehensive and consistent LinkedIn marketing plan that can help your business achieve long-term, sustainable success. LinkedIn marketing plans are not a quick fix, and they require time and effort. You should determine the goal of your marketing plan, and then become more focused on how to improve it. Below are some of the ways you can make your LinkedIn marketing more productive for your business:
1. Optimize Personal and Business Profiles
Like all online content, your LinkedIn profiles — both personal and business pages — should be optimized to help people discover you. To do this, your profiles should be as complete as possible and no blank spaces should be left. People want to learn more about you and your business from your profiles, and they want to see that you are active in updating the information.
On your individual profile, you should be sure to fill out personal information, such as your alma mater and where you have worked. A professional photo also should be included, as well as your skills, past experiences and volunteer experiences. You never know what piece of information can help someone find you or what could be the deciding factor in hiring you.
The information you write on your profiles should sound professional and should provide quality information to readers. Additionally, it should include key terms and keywords with which you want to be associated. These keywords can help people find your personal page and your business when searching online. Using them within the content and within headlines can have a significant impact on search results.
For example, if you are a criminal defense attorney in Houston, your business and personal pages should include those keywords. If you primarily handle DUI cases, you may want to add keywords related to drunk driving charges. The content should have the keywords naturally weaved into it, making it appear seamless for readers, but having it relevant to search engines.
2. Offer Valuable Content Through Multiple Platforms
LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to create and post informative content, and for attorneys, the networking site should be an extension of your content marketing. Users can post content through normal posts that appear in news feeds and can be shared and reposted, and they can utilize discussion groups to communicate with others on topics of interest.
For attorneys, these discussion groups can be an incredibly helpful way to provide valuable and useable content to readers. If users have questions about a certain aspects of law and you know the answer or the best solution to their issue, let them know your opinion. Not only does a valuable response show you as an authoritative source on the subject, you often can provide effective backlinks to your website. Helpful, non-spammy with a handful of backlinks can be largely beneficial to professionals.
Attorneys also can take advantage of LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform which allows users to create blog-type posts that can easily be shared with their connections. Users can write original blogs with information that would appeal to their professional colleagues and other connections. The first step in using this tool properly is determining what type of information would appeal most to your target audience.
Rather than trying to appeal to clients of market services, attorneys should focus more on creating rich, useful content. They can highlight distinct areas of law they practice, or they can write about industry news. Of course, whatever the topic, a few keywords should be added in to help non-connections discover your work.
Videos and images can be added into these long-form the posts, enhancing the blog-like feel of the material. Users also can personalize the text and format of the blog, making it simple and easy to read. The more visually appealing a blog is, the more likely users will share the content. Creative titles in a list format and “how-to” guides also tend to generate more clicks and shares.
3. Develop Relationships with Connections
LinkedIn should not be treated like a numbers game. Instead of seeing how many people you can connect with, you should focus more on creating valuable relationships with your connections and fostering creative and productive conversations with them. Although developing connections with a large number of people can be beneficial, in this case, quality is definitely preferred over quantity.
To do this, you should determine which contacts you would like to know better. This could be people who currently work in your field, mentors or even casual acquaintances. You should reach out to them periodically, without seeming too pushy, to learn more about them. You also could explain a little more about yourself and your company. The more you know about each other, the more likely you could be to help each other when opportunities arise.
Additionally, you could do this with your company page. You can see who has been visiting the page and viewing your content, and you could reach out to them. This can help you get a better understanding of who your page appeals to and what you could improve on your profile. Plus, you could see how you are connecting with individuals on a personal level and use that to collaborate with them.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform that can help you and your business stay relevant with clients, potential clients, colleagues and industry influencers. As a professional, you simply have to know how to make it work best for you. A little research and effort can help take your profile from one of the millions to one of the best. Being active, producing quality content and staying involved with users inside and outside of your community can elevate your LinkedIn marketing.
About the Author
Sarah Blanchard is the marketing manager for Winburn Bequette and Odom Law Firm, two personal injury and nursing home abuse law firms dedicated to representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Arkansas and Missouri. Connect with her on Google and YouTube.