In the first post of this series, there was a long-winded explanation as to why now is the time to start leveraging LinkedIn as a key part of your B2B marketing strategy. In this post? Information you can actually use to get your LinkedIn strategy started!…at least, that’s the hope.
Getting Your Company Started on LinkedIn
There’s a good chance, if you’re here, that your company already has a company page, and it’s probably pretty good. But, if not, it’ll take a little – but not too much – work to get up and running.
(If you’re already using LinkedIn on behalf of your company, feel free to skip or skim the next few paragraphs. Save yourself some time, boredom, and exposure to questionably written information you might not need.)
If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, the process should be quick and easy. If not, you might want to find someone on your team or in your organization who can help you speed up the process. It’s not that the set-up is complicated, but the platform does require that your personal LinkedIn page has a certain level of activity and followers to start a company page. You’ll also need to make sure that your company email address is attached to your LinkedIn profile, otherwise, your page won’t be approved for creation.
Are there a few hoops to jump through and requirements to meet? Sure. But, those go a long way to prevent abuse and ensure that profiles on the site are legitimate and of a certain quality. These few extra hoops to jump through provide a benefit to the overall user experience of the community – which is critical to ensuring people actually want to spend time on it. The growing value of LinkedIn is the fact that more people are coming to it than ever before, way more frequently than ever before. As B2B digital marketers, finally with a social media home we can call our own, we’re fans of anything that’s going to keep that trend moving…
Get Your LinkedIn “House” In Order
So you’ve got your company page up and running? Nice. But, before you start investing time and money into using your LinkedIn presence as a part of your well-oiled marketing machine, you’re going to want to make sure your company page is in prime shape.
Your company probably doesn’t offer junk products or services. But, offering your prospective customers and partners a junk digital experience with your brand might make them think you do…
To put your best foot forward once you start really driving eyeballs, make sure your company page and profile is set-up by addressing the following:
- Fill out absolutely anything and everything you can when setting up your profile. This includes a detailed subscription that provides an overview of your company’s philosophy, a company tagline, a quick, “skimmable” bulleted list key of offerings and links back to your website.
- You’ll also want to make sure you have a high-res version of your logo handy, as well a large, full-width banner image that encapsulates your company. A well-designed image that highlights key products and/or your company tagline is a good way to go here. We’ve also seen some companies successfully use a team shot (people always index well on social). As they say, the eyes are the window to the mind. Poor imagery makes for a poor brand image.
- If your company hasn’t been active at all on LinkedIn, seeding your company page with a few pieces of content is highly recommended before you get up and running with any advertising. A barren, dead page is almost worse than no page at all. If your company has any of these types of content sitting on its website, “share” a few key pieces, once or twice a day for a week before you dive deep into your LinkedIn efforts:
- Educational Blog Posts
- Customer Testimonials
- White Papers
- Landing pages of key products or programs
- Product or service FAQs
- Team Bios or Roster Pages
Rally Your Internal Team – Today and Most Days That Follow
Once your page is respectable, it’s time to let your team know that you and your company are about to start getting serious about telling your story on LinkedIn. But, don’t make a big deal about it. Seriously. A quick email to everyone you know that will care, a team Slack message or a quick shot out in a meeting is all it takes to get your entire company buying into your vision.
At the very moment you tell your team that you’re making a significant play on LinkedIn they will:
- Stop everything they’re doing and follow your page
- Start calling all their professional acquaintances one by one just to say that you’re going to start a grand campaign on LinkedIn
- Design and print out flyers promoting your company LinkedIn page, visit all of your company’s customers and place said flyers on every car in their parking lot.
That’s how it works 100% of the time? Right?!?
…unless your company has the greatest company culture of all time, or you’re actually promoting a cult, don’t expect too much internal fanfare in your LinkedIn efforts from the outset.
And, don’t be too downtrodden when you launch your LinkedIn world domination plan to the sound of crickets. LinkedIn’s usage graph might look like a hockey stick, but it’s still not the go-to social platform of the masses.
Like all social platforms, it’s engagement and interaction that really drives feed algorithms, impressions – and ultimately – customer outreach and sales opportunities. You stand a much better chance of succeeding and building a following when your team “likes” and “shares” your material. You stand an even better chance when your team sees what you’re producing and publishing and then feels motivated to contribute.
Making a brief announcement to your team is a good idea. But, the real key to convincing your team to engage and help spread your company’s material? Tell good stories about how LinkedIn marketing is doing good for your company (and it’s people). Tell them often.
Key stakeholder at a key account comment on one of your posts? Pass the word along to the account manager or sales person who oversees that business.
A number of leads generated by a new “LinkedIn Lead Form” campaign? Follow up on them in a relentless, yet polite manner, with who’s in charge of qualifying or closing them.
Team member create a good piece of content that’s posted on your website, in a trade publication or on their relevant personal blog? Share it on your company page and give them a huge shout out. THIS IS A BIG ONE!
People love getting notifications that they got a shout out on LinkedIn, and they definitely love when any marketing tactic creates attributable sales – especially if they’re getting a commission. Shine light on the people in your organization and the opportunities LinkedIn creates. Shine it brightly and often.
Do that long enough, and your company’s LinkedIn successes will become little pieces of company legend. Once enough of those stories start circulating, your internal team will contribute consistently and naturally, not because they feel like they have to, but because they’re getting something from the deal. Whether it’s their ego or pocket book? That depends…but, philosophically speaking, aren’t they the same thing anyways?
All that said, at the end of it all, as the leader of your team’s LinkedIn initiatives, it’s 100% on you to get the process started and plant those little story-driven seeds of success across your company.
At this point, you probably know the “Why?” behind LinkedIn being an emerging juggernaut in B2B marketing…If not, here’s another quick link to the first article in this series. Soon – my schedule and the vicious will of my four-month old permitting – I’ll give you some tips on how to win the more than ever lucrative LinkedIn long game later. This week? This month? Beginning of 2020? We’ll let him decide…