Get Down to Business: Adding LinkedIn to your Marketing Mix

An effective social media campaign takes place in three main arenas: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each has a different vibe and a different use. LinkedIn, with its focus on business and career networking, can be a little intimidating for social media tyros used to the casual mood and general focus of Facebook and Twitter.

Actually, though, the basic strategies are the same on LinkedIn – you want to find and engage followers. In addition, it offers a variety of specific plug-ins that enable you to make the most of its networking possibilities. Let’s take a look at what you can do on LinkedIn, and how you can do it.

Grow a following. Add a “follow company button” on your homepage, your blog, and your contact page. Followers see your updates in their news feeds, making this an effective way to engage people and develop leads.

Let your followers tell their followers how great you are. Once you’ve grown a following, you want to make it easy for them to tell their networks about you. LinkedIn has two different buttons: “share” and “recommend.”

Put a “share” button on white papers, blog entries, technical information, news releases, and any other business and professional material on your website. Your LinkedIn followers are interested in the business implications of the material, so place the LinkedIn “share” button more strategically than the Facebook “like” button. Don’t use it for a product page; do use it for an article about the impact of that new product on your industry.

Put a “recommend” button on product or service pages on your website, if there’s a clear industry or business-to-business connection. You can also gather recommendations on LinkedIn itself: use the products tab on your company profile page to post product descriptions that will link back to your website.

Make it easier for followers to engage on your site. Savvy online users want to be able to sign in on your site with existing social media accounts. LinkedIn log-ins make it easier for people can comment on your material — and also gives you useful information about who’s visiting your site and what they’re doing there.

The big difference between LinkedIn and other social media sites is its focus on job-seeking and networking. Use it on your website’s careers page to find qualified new employees.

The Company Insider plug-in enables candidates to find people from their network who already work for you. The plug-in can also profile new hires and report promotions and changes in status of current employees, giving all potential applicants a sense of how well your company is doing.

The Apply button enables candidates to apply for jobs directly from their LinkedIn profiles. The advantage to you is that you can see not only resumes, but recommendations and networks as well.

Companies that are actively growing should definitely be using LinkedIn, but any company trying to develop a more effective online presence should consider it as well.

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