Create A Winning Social Media Marketing Plan With This Easy Peasy Checklist ✔️

Developing a clear, concise and thorough social media marketing plan should be the first thing any business does when starting to use social media to market their business. Having a clear plan will make the difference between a social media presence that thrives and is effective and one that isn’t. Constructing your plan needn’t be a daunting task however, it is simple answering several key questions to ensure that you clearly know the direction to take to develop an effective presence that helps you achieve the results you want for your business. Start your marketing plan today by answering these several fundamental questions;


 

What Objectives do I want my Business to Achieve by Using Social Media?

Whether you want to use your social media presence to gain exposure for your brand, directly educate and interact with your customers, promote specific products and services or all of the above, clearly identifying your objectives is the critical first step towards a successful social media presence. Identifying your objectives in the beginning ensures you will be able to tailor your content and posting schedule to maximise effectiveness and provide value to your customers. Having clear objectives also ultimately helps you to accurately measure your success as you will be aware of the most appropriate metrics to track efficiently.

Common Social Media Objectives

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Drive Traffic to Website
  • Providing Customer Service
  • Engage with Fans
  • Establish Thought Leadership
  • Launch New Products or Services
  • Generate Leads
  • Increase Sales
  • Research and Insight
  • Build your Community
  • Improve SEO
  • Competitive Analysis

 

What Platforms am I Going to use for my Business?

What you platforms you choose to use will ultimately depend on where your customers are and what are right for your business. Spend the time researching where your current customers are online and what platforms can be best utilized with your resources and business. The key is to not spread yourself too thinly across lots of social media platforms just because you think this will gain your business more exposure, rather it is much more effective to run a handful of platforms consistently and efficiently and to spend the time reviewing the platforms you are on to make sure they are as effective as they can be. You should also keep up to date with research into new technologies and platforms that your business could potentially utilise in the future.

Selecting the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

The key to choosing the right social media platforms relies on you having a clear understanding of your objectives for social media, your target audience and what resources/ information you have to share as having a clear idea of these will inform you of which platforms are going to be the most effective for you. Ultimately ask yourself these three questions;

Purpose – What information do you want to share with and communicate to your audience?
Format – In what format is the best way to present this information? Videos, Podcasts, extended pieces of writing etc.
Platform – Which social media platform will allow me to share this message best and which platform has the correct audience that I want to reach?

 


Have I Done my Research?

A successful social media presence is always aided by a good, solid foundation of prior research. You should look to do initial research into key areas such as your competitor’s social media, your target audience demographics, the latest trends and news in social media, marketing and business as well as many others. Conducting research and paying attention to changes in your industry and audience for example should also be a regular and active occurrence as things, especially social media, evolve and change so you need to keep up to date to ensure your strategy is as relevant and effective as possible.

Market Research – Who is your target audience? How do they behave on social media? Where are they online?

Your Competitors – Which platforms your competitors are using? Are they directly engaging with prospects online? What are they good at online? In which areas could they improve? Can you get case studies? (both successful and unsuccessful examples?

Latest business and social media news, trends and techniques – Do you know the latest techniques on your social media platforms that are effective? What is changing in social media and/or business that could affect your marketing?

 


Who are My Target Audience?

Determining the audience that you want to reach and engage with on social media is fundamental to your strategy. Whether your target audience is your current or potential clients or customers, affiliate businesses, thought leaders or all four, your aim is to create a successful social media strategy that matches and is tailored towards understanding and acting on your target audience’s behaviors online. What are your target audience’s interests? Where do they spend their time online? In what format do they like to digest their content online? These are a few of many questions that you need to know the answers to in order to develop a successful and targeted social media strategy that will bring real results for your business.

 


Who is Going to Set up and Maintain My Business Social Media Platforms?

In the beginning you will need to decide who will implement and maintain your social media accounts. Whether you want to run them in-house or hire a social-media marketing manager or firm, you need to ensure that the person who is in charge of your platforms can effectively represent your brand and know how to create and maintain a successful social media presence. That person is going to ultimately control how your business is presented to others in the online world so you need to be absolutely confident that they are the right person for you and your business.

 


What is my Publishing Schedule?

Your publishing schedule is going to be ultimately dictated by three things, your business capabilities, the platform you’re using and your audience needs. In the beginning you will need to experiment to find a publishing schedule that works best for your business, goals and readers and is the perfect balance of what you want and what your audience wants. Part of this consideration is also understanding the nature of the platform you’re using to publish and whether it is one such as Twitter that favours several short updates per day or Facebook where posting 3 – 5 times a week is effective. Ultimately, how often you post is different for everyone and personal to your business so you when you are creating a publishing schedule you need to ask yourself, Can you keep this schedule consistently?, Can you always publish high-quality content at this rate? And will you have enough content for this schedule? Once you’ve discovered the most effective schedule for you, being consistent with your publishing schedule has the benefit of increasing SEO value, maximising value and engagement from readers and encourages readers to come back regularly for more.

 


 

How am I Going to Ensure my Business Branding is Representative and Consistent?

Having a social media presence is a great way to show a wider audience who you are, what you stand for and ultimately why they should love you. From this, it is important that you know clearly what your brand stands for and how this is going to be conveyed consistently and accurately across your platforms. This consideration needs to be applied to everything from the voice you want for your brand that can be consistently applied across all your posts to the creative aspects of your platforms- that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your social media platforms it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand.


 

What Resources/ Content do I have at my Disposal?

Each social media platform has a certain type of content that is best suited towards it, for example Pinterest and Instagram are both inherently visual and as such require good-quality and memorable images to be effective. From this, you need to understand what type of content that the platforms you are using are most effective and importantly what content resonates best with your audience. Once you are clear on both these aspects, you will be able to form an effective content strategy with maximised effectiveness. It is important that you share with your audience a diverse and interesting mix of content types that encourages engagement so you need to think about the types of questions you will ask, updates you will share and ultimately what resources do you have that you can utilise and repurpose for your social media platforms.

 


 

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Social Media Marketing Efforts?

Tracking your social-media marketing metrics is fundamental as it helps gauge which tactics are successful and which areas are in need of improvement. From this, you need to have a clear vision of what your business objectives are for your social media presence and subsequently what are the most effective metrics you should therefore be analysing to ensure you are reaching those objectives. So whether you want to boost your personal brand through LinkedIn or use Facebook to drive traffic to your site, ensure you have clear objectives with your platforms and routinely assess whether you are successfully meeting those objectives and they are still relevant to you, and if they’re not then you will need to reevaluate.

 


Am I Going to Have to Create a Written Social Media Policy for my Employees?

If there are going to be several different administrators of your platforms or you run a business with staff members who have personal and/or business social media accounts, it is well worth creating a social media policy for your staff to sign so everyone is clear on their responsibilities and what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate behaviour when they are representing or discussing your business online.

 


Ultimately, Have I got a Clear Strategy?

Having a clear idea on every aspect of your social media marketing strategy is key to its success. Ultimately, you should easily be able to answer confidently and with clarity the below questions that form a basic marketing strategy. Part of maintaining a strong, successful presence is also to regularly assess whether certain aspects of your original strategy have changed (For example are your objectives still the same? Is there a new social media platform that your audience is using?) and then adjust your efforts accordingly. As you become a regular participant on social media you will find ways in which you need to improve certain areas and areas in which you excel in, so never stop learning and listening to what your audience and your analytics tell you.

  • Why do I need social media?
  • Who will be responsible for social networking?
  • Who are my audience?
  • What do I want to tell them?
  • How am I going to tell them?
  • What content am I going to create?
  • How often am I going to post?
  • Which social media sites will I use?
  • What tools will I use to measure my success?

 


 

6 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Get Started Using LinkedIn Company Pages

With more than 562 million members in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn has established itself as the world’s largest online network for professionals. Having a company page on LinkedIn therefore can provide you with an invaluable platform for promoting your business, recruiting new talent and interacting and engaging with a wide audience of professionals in your industry.

Setting up a LinkedIn company page is fairly simple; it is the lack of creating a thorough marketing plan with essential factors regarding the running and development of a page that ends up with many businesses making costly mistakes. In order for you to ensure you don’t make these mistakes and fully maximise having a LinkedIn company page you need you ask yourself these 6 essential questions;

 

Who is Going to set up and Maintain my Business Page?
Before you begin, you need to have a clear idea of who is going to be creating and maintaining your LinkedIn company page. Whether you assign the role to an existing member of staff or hire an external social media manager you need to ensure that the person that will be in charge of representing your business on LinkedIn is capable, with the knowledge and experience of how to successfully utilise LinkedIn and ultimately make it a successful addition to your marketing strategy.

 

How Should I Portray my Business?
Like with any other public platform you need to consider how you are going to portray your business to others and how you are going to link it with your other marketing efforts. As part of this consideration you will need to address areas such as how you are going to tie your branding to the overall typography and visual aspects of the page to what type of voice you want to portray within your status updates and of course what your overall objectives are for the page. Making sure your business is presented in a representative and appealing way is crucial so you need to ensure you have a clear understanding of how you want your business to appear to your audience and how and what you can utilise to help you achieve it.

 

What Images and Resources can I Utilise?
LinkedIn allows you opportunities to utilise the visual on your page. From the large cover image to allowing a variety of content types to be shared within updates, it is vital that you pull your resources and utilise these areas to help make your business inform, engage and stand out from the crowd. So look to see what visual aspects of LinkedIn you can use to your advantage, remembering to choose attention-grabbing images that reflect your brand and draws people in to learn more about your business. You also could and should explore the use of different types of content within your updates, from podcasts to eBooks and using brand videos. Mixing up the types of content you share grabs attention and keeps people engaged so pull the resources you have at your disposal, from customer testimonials, product demonstrations videos, to webinar footage and behind-the-scenes pictures and share them with your audience.

 

Have I Got a Clear Content Strategy in Place?
Posting status updates lets you reach out to and share news with LinkedIn members who have chosen to follow your company page. From this you need to utilise this connection and form a content strategy that provides value to and resonates with your target audience. You will come to learn what content formats they prefer, what content they interact with most, at what times and how many updates you need to post daily or weekly to maximise effectiveness. Just remember to always share content that is going to entertain, inform and be relevant to your audience and you are likely to be rewarded with engagement and a two-way conversation with your followers that can create business opportunities, help you learn more about your customers’ needs and other beneficial information that can aid your business in the future.

 

How am I Going to Promote my Page?
You need to consider how you are going to let others know about your page which will involve utilising opportunities both online and offline. Online you can use a variety of methods from using your other social media platforms to encourage others to visit your page, to adding a LinkedIn “follow” button to your business website and putting your company page’s URL email signature and your e-newsletters. You can also encourage your employees to create their own LinkedIn profiles and ask them to interact with your business page by sharing statuses and directing connections to the page. Offline you can verbally tell others of your page in any conferences, meetings in addition to putting the URL on your business card, packing and anywhere else your customers/ prospects will see it.

 

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Page?
How you define the success of you page will depend on what your overall objectives are for your page. Linkedin provides a range of analytics that show everything from who’s visiting your page to what types of content they click on, like and share and at what rates so remember to continually analyse these analytics to see whether you are meeting your objectives for your page and what if any areas are in need of improvement and revaluation.


 

This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! For even more of a free preview head over there now! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD

 


 

New eBook! The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Version, Updated for 2018]

Shameless plug alert! My new eBook “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Edition, Updated for 2018]” is now available to buy over on Amazon!

Perfect for beginners to social media, this 300+ page guide is packed full of straight-forward and effective advice and guidance, cutting through the jargon and giving you all the essential social media know-how to confidently grow your social presence, generate leads and sales on social media and make your mark on the online world.

This eBook is packed full of useful social media stuff, yet the handy bite-sized paragraphs and bulleted checklists makes it a light read for you and your business. Throughout the book we look into key areas such as;

  • An Introduction to Social Media
  • How to Create a Social Media Strategy
  • Best Practices for Social Media Marketing Success
  • Important UK Internet Usage and Social Media Statistics
  • A Comprehensive Look at all the Major Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Pinterest, Instagram and many more.
  • Social Media Monthly Clean Up and Refresh Checklist
  • 83 Engaging Ideas for Your Social Media Content
  • Useful Tools and Apps to Help You Market Smart

 

PREVIEW THE EBOOK HERE!

 


Don’t worry, you can still download the free version off my website. No sign-ups or long forms – just download your free PDF and away you go! http://www.scarlettdarbyshireuk.com


 

The Ultimate Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly Social Media To- Do List [PDF]

We all love a good to-do list don’t we?

Whether you’re a social media butterfly or a start-up like a deer in the headlights when it comes to anything online, every savvy marketer needs a go-to checklist to streamline all aspects of their social media marketing.

To help you along, this checklist will make sure you are ticking off and maintaining those all important fundamentals that help keep your social media presence ticking along nicely.

No gimmicks, no fuss. Just a straight-forward PDF with a handy checklist to make managing your social media a breeze. Oh and there’s even a handy to-do list for your business whilst you’re at it. good eh?

 

Download your free copy here! Social Media To Do

How to Build a Branded LinkedIn Company Page That Gets You Noticed

 

Your Company Page serves as the foundation of your business’ s presence on LinkedIn making it crucial that you develop and utilise this platform and its features in order to enhance your marketing, brand awareness and hiring and recruiting efforts.

Know Your Audience/Competitors

Thoroughly researching both your target audience and your competition on LinkedIn are crucial as they will help inform and dictate how you position your page. One of the first things you must do before you form your company page is to understand the audience you are trying to target, finding out important factors such as where they spend their time online, how they like to digest content and other important general demographics. The same level of research also needs to be applied to your competition. Look to find out what is and isn’ t working for your competition on LinkedIn, in what areas they perform well and where they don’ t so you can then apply the lessons learnt to your own strategy.

 

Establish Your Presence

Essentially, your company page acts as a central informational hub for visitors looking to learn more about your business. Creating a page is simple, to get started you just add your business logo, a banner image, description, specialties, industry, website, amongst other important aspects that help tell you and your brand story. The more difficult but highly important part of creating your page is the consideration you need to direct towards you’re your SEO efforts and writing with language that will attract and target the audience that you want. In terms of SEO, LinkedIn itself is very SEO friendly and there are plenty of opportunities to insert keywords throughout your page. Enhancing your SEO and indeed attracting the right audience however is very much dictated by the language and keywords that you use throughout your page. Therefore it is fundamental that you use rich, descriptive language embedded with powerful, keyword-rich phrases that clearly and concisely tells your readers who you are, what your visions are, your purpose, expertise and the skills/value that you offer.

 

Foster Relationships

LinkedIn provides businesses with a platform to reach the world’ s largest professional community. Whilst members are primarily there to discuss business, recruit new hires and inform others on products and services, the real value to businesses lies in using LinkedIn to foster relationships and working on interacting and engaging others in the community. Businesses that genuinely seek to get to know their audiences and provide valuable,  informative and engaging content outperform those that seek to sell and broadcast to others.

 

Attract followers

After you have established and optimised your business presence on LinkedIn, you need to start attracting an audience. There are several simple and effective strategies to ensure your page is perfectly optimized to be findable and attractive to your target audience.

  • Get your staff and colleagues engaged on your page– Announce to your employees that you now have a LinkedIn company page and if they have LinkedIn themselves, to engage with and share your Company Updates. To amplify your efforts you can also encourage them to add a link to your Company Page to their email signatures.
  • Tell your customers and business partners about your page– Once you have created and optimised your page you can utilise your existing contacts and drive traffic to your page by announcing your page in a compelling blog post, newsletter or email announcement.
  • Add a “Follow” button to your website– On LinkedIn’ s website developer.linkedin.com there is a host of widgets that you can assess and use to enhance your LinkedIn marketing. A popular and effective strategy is to implement the “Follow” button on your blog or website to attract the traffic from those sites and compel them to follow your company page easily with a single click.

 

Engage Followers and Share Great Content

If you have positioned and developed your page effectively, people will follow your company page as a way to engage and interact with you. Whilst LinkedIn is a professional space, you still need to realise it is a social network so actively and regularly facilitate that engagement by making the effort to communicate with your followers through asking questions, replying to comments, providing valuable updates and other engagement strategies. One of the most effective and important ways of creating relationships and engaging your followers is to encourage conversation, with your Company update being the perfect tool for starting those conversations. Essentially, LinkedIn members want content that is valuable, informative, insightful and encourages engagement. As such every status update you post should embody these characteristics.

LinkedIn currently provides four ways to launch your social media updates:

  • Status Update
  • Link Share
  • Photo Upload
  • Video Link Share

Don’t be sales-y: Overly promotional content with heavy emphasis on product promotion is not received well on LinkedIn. You can post business-related news or product announcements but you must make sure they are delivered in a way that provides value and has a specific benefit to your followers.

Post Once per Weekday: Developing a consistent posting schedule encourages engagement, fosters familiarity and through providing valuable content regularly you can help develop yourself as an authority within your sector.

Post at Optimal Times: Generally updates posted are most effective during the common business hours of 9-5. However you should experiment to see what works best for your company.

Include Links to Great Content: Company updates that contain links have been found to have up to 45 percent higher follower engagement than updates without links. Therefore ensure you share links to great and informative content and remember to write a compelling sentence to describe and accompany the link to encourage members to click through.

Tailor your Content to Specific Audiences: Content that is customised and targeted to a follower’ s interests and needs is going to resonate best with them so ensure you write your updates with your target audience in mind. You can take your targeting further by using LinkedIn’ s Targeted Updates that allows you to match your message to an audience effectively. Targeted updates are a feature to help you promote content more effectively. After you have created a status update you can choose whether to share it with all your followers or a targeted audience that you can dictate based on geography, job, industry, company size amongst other factors.

Provide Content That Solves Problems for Your Audience: LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to enhance your updates with rich content. Therefore you should utilise this and team it with providing expert content that solves problems for your audience. From white papers, videos, how-tos, to blogposts and case studies, you can share a whole host of rich content to inform your audience. The savvy business will also put consideration into their SEO effort by include SEO-rich keywords throughout the content updates as this will add to the findability of your page when members search for keywords and will also help in your general SEO efforts since company pages are extremely SEO-friendly.

Ask Questions: to amplify your efforts you need to encourage engagement with your followers and the best way to do that is to ask questions to your audience and let them have their say as on average, status updates that contain questions receive almost 50 percent more comments. They will embrace to chance to have their voice heard and to respond to questions about industry trends, their views on business developments, new products/services and more which not only benefits your brand awareness but you also get to know more about your audience from their concerns, needs and wants which can inform your strategy and make it more effective in the future.

Respond to Comments: Your input doesn’ t end after you have clicked post on your status update, rather, you need to then respond efficiently and in a way that shows of your excellent customer service skills to the conversations that develop from your status update.

Listen to Conversations Outside of LinkedIn to Help Create Content: By listening to relevant conversations outside of your LinkedIn page on your blog posts, forums etc. you are able to collect findings that show what types of content that are most popular and resonate best with your audience, which you can then take and apply to your own LinkedIn content marketing efforts. By posting content that directly addresses your audience’ s interests and solves their problems your followers will find your updates interesting and hopefully share them within their own personal networks, which goes a long way in attracting an audience and establishing yourself as a thought leader within your community.

The Most in-Demand Content is Industry Insights: According to numbers from LinkedIn, 6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights—the most-demanded type of content among LinkedIn members. Second to industry insight, company news which appeals to 53 percent of LinkedIn members. New products and services are the third most popular content, with 43 percent interested in this kind of update. From this, you need to always strive to share your informative expertise, be helpful and transparent when you post and you will appeal to the majority of your audience and meet the expectations your audience expect from you when they followed you on LinkedIn.

Help your Employees Help You: Engagement on your profile can be a big help to those who happen to stop by, and it turns out that your own employees could be Employees are 70 percent more likely to click, share, and comment on an update than a typical LinkedIn user. Making them a great asset to build engagement on your page. From this, you need to take advantage of this and make it easy for employees to engage with your content. Send notifications and links every time you post or when particularly important updates go live and ask them for engagement.

Share Links for Engagement and Share Images for More Comments: A study by QuickSprout found that including a link in your LinkedIn posts drives 200% more engagement. That same study also revealed that posting images on LinkedIn results in 98% higher comment rate.

Keep Link Titles <70 Characters: When you’re uploading these engagement-driving links directly to your LinkedIn Company Page, if the original post has a lengthy title, be sure to click into the title to edit it. Any title above 70 characters gets cut off when posted on your Page.

Keep Link Descriptions <250 characters: The description associated with your status update is given 250 characters before it’s cut off with an ellipsis. So similar to
182 http://www.scarlettdarbyshire.com the link title limitations, ensure you shorten your Meta description for it to properly display on LinkedIn.

Generate Leads With Offers: A HubSpot study found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. Take advantage of this by highlighting your great offers and including call to actions in your posts.

Learn and Optimize From Your Engagement Percentage: Engagement will show you where to improve, grow, and change the way you update to your LinkedIn profile. By regularly reviewing areas such as the category of content you posted, who was targeted, and the day of the week and time of day that you posted you can help craft even more optimized posts the next time you update. Logged-in admins can find the analytics by clicking the dropdown menu from the blue Edit button in the top right of your company profile. From the main insights page, you can view general information about the visits to your profile, including helpful demographic info that can show you the locations of visitors, seniority, industry, and even how many visits came from your own employees. To dig deeper, click on the analytics link at the top of the page, and you can view the complete stats for the updates you share. Engagement percentage measures the total number of interactions, clicks, and followers acquired for each update you post to your account. In other words, engagement percentage can tell you how many people, of those who saw your update, truly engaged with it.

 

Learn, Analyse and Refine

As with any other of your marketing efforts and campaigns, in order to determine your success you need to measure your performance and use the data you collect to inform and develop your future efforts to optimise your campaigns and maximise their effectiveness. LinkedIn’ s analytics provide you with a wealth of data that you can explore to see vital insights into how your campaign is performing, from what content resonates best with your audience, to the best times to post and much more. In order to be successful on LinkedIn and get the most out of using it for your company you therefore need to regularly assess your analytics, listen to what they tell you and ultimately understand what that means you need to do in your future campaigns to ensure you are maximising engagement, driving brand awareness and maximising your ROI.

18 Top Tips for Business Success on LinkedIn Company Pages

 

Write a Compelling Summary

The home page on a LinkedIn Company Page provides you with plenty of areas to showcase your business, from the cover photo to your company updates and importantly, an area for you to include a great description of your business. A visitor has come to your page to find out about who you are, what you have to offer and whether you’re worth following or not, so it is vital that you create a clear, concise and compelling summary about your business that describes who you are, what you do, why they should take note of you. Ensure within it you also include strategically placed keywords to boost your SEO efforts and help people can find your LinkedIn Company Page through relevant searches.

Utilise the Cover Image

The cover photo appears it a dominant position at the top of the home page of your LinkedIn Company Page so it is an important tool to utilise to showcase your business. Ensure you choose a photo that is good quality, visually appealing, capture’ s people’ s attention and entices them in to take a closer look at your Page content and what else you have to show throughout your profile.

Promote Your LinkedIn Company Page

Your LinkedIn company page can be full of great content and ground breaking ideas and services, but it you fail to promote your page and announce to the world that it exists, then chances are no one is going to see it. From putting a link to your page on your business card, email signature, to displaying it on your packaging and corporate literature, anywhere where your customers will see it is where you should display and advertise your page. You should also explore and utilise the widgets available on LinkedIn’ s website such as the LinkedIn Company Follow button that makes it easy for people on your website or blog to follow your company on LinkedIn with just one click. Don’ t miss out on the areas offline that you can also utilise to promote your page, from telling those you meet at meetings of your page, to having a find us on LinkedIn sticker in your shop window.

Use Featured Updates to Highlight Important Content

LinkedIn offers the featured updates tool to help you highlight important content. So whether you want to promote an event, hype a sale or promotion, or draw attention to a specific piece of content, you can set any update that you publish as featured and it will then be highlighted at the top of your page. This is a great feature to utilise to direct attention to content that you want more people to see.

Utilise the Rich, Visual Content to Capture Attention

Using visual media throughout your profile is a very important aspect of your marketing as it make your LinkedIn company page visually appealing to visitors and grabs their attention, making it more likely they will consume and share your content. From using a compelling image in your LinkedIn Company page banner, to enhancing your updates with videos and photos, there are plenty of opportunities for you to provide rich, visual content to your audience to capture attention.

Make Your Updates Short and Sweet

Your status updates show up in the news feed of a user’s home page so you want to ensure that you grab attention with your post and compel the user to cl ick on your update and consume your content and potentially share it with their network. One of the best ways to grab attention is to post updates that are concise, include a high-quality and relevant piece of visual media (image, video etc.) and contains a compelling description of the link or content you are sharing that lets readers know what to expect when they click through, yet is enticing enough without giving away the whole story.

Create Showcase Pages

Enhance your LinkedIn presence by using showcase pages. LinkedIn showcase pages are an extension of your company page and enable you to highlight certain products or services on a separate page off of the company page. This allow you to customize your messages to highlight and separate content for different customer segments. LinkedIn users can follow showcase pages for topics or products that they’re interested in. This means that the content they see in their news feeds will be more focused and relevant to them, which is likely to result in higher engagement. Before you begin page should ensure you have three optimised and high-quality graphics – a cover photo, a logo and then a thumbnail. Once you create a showcase page, boost your impact by promoting it across any other social networks you are using. You can also add follow buttons, and sponsor your posts to extend the reach of your showcase posts beyond your network.

Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups

Groups are great tools for prospecting as you search for groups around certain industries and interests, so they are already segmented. Meaning that going in, you already know
185 http://www.scarlettdarbyshire.com your audience. Choose several core members of your team to become involved in LinkedIn groups for certain segments. Prepare a strategy and guidelines for posting and interacting to make sure they feel comfortable and know exactly how establish and portray your business effectively within the groups. Over time, these team members will help position your company as a thought leader in the groups, hopefully resulting in when other members of the group are looking for a new product/service, you will be the first they think of.

Boost Your Content with LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn targeting is a powerful tool for B2B, because it’s so simple to target by job, industry, seniority, education, etc. Start with a consideration of your KPIs and they will guide which advertising option you utilise. For example if you are looking for exposure, use pay per impressions. Or if you are looking for a sign up or a download, then paying for clicks is the best route to take.

Effectively Manage Your Company Page

The LinkedIn Company Page Notification Center streamlines how you manage your company page, while allowing you to better understand which updates and content are performing the best. Access the new Company Page Notification Center dashboard, and you:

  • Get an overview of how many likes, comments and shares you’ ve received on the updates on your company page
  • See how often your company has been mentioned by LinkedIn members on the platform
  • View every publicly shared mention of your company on LinkedIn
  • Comment and like as a company representative in response to mentions about your company
  • Gain greater insights into how the content and messaging on your LinkedIn company page is performing

Keep Track of Industry News Using LinkedIn Pulse

Pulse is a great section of LinkedIn where you can discover popular articles and trending content tailored to your interests. It can be found under Interests in LinkedIn’s top navigation. Browse Top Posts to monitor the most popular content on LinkedIn Pulse, or click the Discover more link found via the hamburger menu to find and follow specific influencer contributors, publishers, or topic-related channels. You can sign up for daily or weekly email summary notifications of Pulse news or instant notifications when influencers you’re following post something new.

Check out LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content Resources

If you’re a LinkedIn Business Solutions customer, you can learn how impactful your organic and paid LinkedIn content is with the Content Marketing Score and Trending Content resources. Your Content Marketing Score measures user engagement with your Sponsored Updates, Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, employee updates, and Influencer posts then provides recommendations on how you can improve your score, and thus the effectiveness of your LinkedIn content. LinkedIn’s Trending Content resource also provides you with a sense of which types of content are most popular on LinkedIn in your industry, highlighting the most popular content being shared on LinkedIn for various audiences and topic segments. Monitoring this will help you to understand what content your company should be creating and sharing on LinkedIn to generate the most engagement. Business Solutions customers can contact their LinkedIn account executives any time to learn more about these resources.

Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads

A study by HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate (2.74%) of the top social networks, almost 3 times higher than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%). LinkedIn can help you generate leads. To get the most out of LinkedIn for lead generation, aim to promote and share links to your blog posts and landing pages in your Company Status Updates, LinkedIn Groups, on your Showcase Pages, and in calls-to-action placed in posts you publish via LinkedIn’s publishing platform, Pulse.

Create your Own Industry LinkedIn Group

In addition to joining already established groups, consider creating a LinkedIn Group of your very own. Create a group based on a relevant industry-related topic, and become a LinkedIn Group administrator. You can then use this group to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, grow a community of advocates, generate new marketing content ideas, and help generate new leads. Email Your LinkedIn Group One of the perks of managing a LinkedIn Group is the fact that you can literally email the members of your group — up to once per week. These emails take the form of LinkedIn Announcements, which are messages sent directly to the email inboxes of group members (if they’ve enabled messages from groups in their settings). This is a prime opportunity for generating leads from LinkedIn, particularly if you’ve built up a robust group of users.

Recruit New Talent via LinkedIn Careers

Looking to fill a position on your team? Build the Careers section of your Company Page, which you can use then to promote your available job openings. There are more robust customization options available for this section, if you purchase a Silver or Gold Careers package. There are several benefits of doing this, firstly it enables dynamic, customizable modules (that display different version of the page based on viewers’ LinkedIn profiles), analytics about who is viewing the page, direct links to recruiters, video content, etc. In addition to allowing you to add a large, clickable cover image that can be transformed into a call-to-action. This image can direct users to a specific job, a list of jobs and opportunities located on your website, or examples of your company’ s culture. The overall look and feel of your Careers page will depend on what information and images you choose to include, such as a list of jobs, recent updates, people at your company, a summary section for your careers, and what employees are saying about working at your company. If you’re actively recruiting candidates with specific skills and expertise, don’t forget about LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature.

Add the Company Follow and LinkedIn Share Buttons to your Website/Content

Promote your company’s LinkedIn presence and help grow the reach of your Company Page by adding the Company Follow button to your website and to your various content assets like blog posts, emails, and landing pages to extend the reach of your content to LinkedIn users.

Analyse and Learn With Your Company Page Analytics

Use the Analytics tab for Company Pages to evaluate the performance of your Company Page. Access your page’s analytics by clicking the Analytics tab in the top navigation of your Company Page. This tab offers very useful data about the effectiveness of your page’s reach, status updates and engagement, as well as information about your page’s followers, where they came from, how your following has grown over time and how your data compares to other companies, etc.

Avoid These 19 Common LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn launched in 2003 and is currently the third most popular social network in terms of unique monthly visitors — right behind Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is the world’ s largest professional online network, with over 467 million active users spanning more than 200 countries (as of 2016 end). The network is primarily centred on careers and network building and is highly popular with business-to-business users. It enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues as well as potential employers, business partners, and new employees. It is also beneficial for those looking to share and discover industry news and knowledge and for those looking for jobs.

Listing Skills that LinkedIn Doesn’t Recognise: When you start typing a skill on your LinkedIn profile, make sure it appears in the dropdown menu. If it doesn’t it is not a frequently searched item so make sure you stick to the thousands of skills LinkedIn already has in the system and your profile will pop up more often in search results.

Not Personalising Your LinkedIn Public Profile URL: Many people leave the default mess of letters and numbers at the end of the URL. You need to change this to your name or as close as it you can come to it as it will make you appear more professional and enhance your personal brand.

Having No Photo or An Inappropriate Photo: One of the biggest mistakes on a LinkedIn profile is to not use a photo or using one that is inappropriate. LinkedIn is a professional networking site so your photo should reflect your general industry and your personal professionalism. Ensure your picture is representative of you by being up to date, clear and good quality. Never make the mistake of failing to use a photo at all as this can easily lead to missed connections.

Sending Spammy Messages and Over Posting: Remember to always share updates in the mind frame of helping and providing value to others. This means avoiding posting spammy and self-serving messages to your connections and especially not posting high quantities of updates a day.

Asking For or Giving People You Don’t Know Recommendations: You should never ask for a recommendation or give one to someone that you don’t know and can’t personally vouch for. The reason being that if you give someone a recommendation that is actually a poor worker then it reflects badly on you for recommending them to others, similarly if someone gives you a recommendation that has a poor reputation this also will appear negatively on you.

Criticising and Commenting Negatively In Groups: LinkedIn groups are a great place to make new connections and interact professionally with others, however if you act negatively posting rude, critical or offensive comments you harm your reputation and will miss out on potential business opportunities.

Posting Self-Serving Content in Your Groups LinkedIn Groups: are to be used to share relevant, informative and interesting updates to other members, not for spamming your self-serving content. If you have a genuine piece of information that you know other members will find useful but is self-promoting in some way then you need to craft it in a way that ensures that the aim of the content is to provide value first.

Asking New Connections or People You Don’t Know To Endorse You: It is very easy to give and receive endorsements from others on LinkedIn without thought and this is primarily why endorsements do not hold as much respect as recommendations do. So do not be tempted to go and endorse as many connections as possible in the hope that they return them to you. Rather only endorse those you can personally vouch for and preferably create a personal recommendation.

Treating LinkedIn Like Other Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn etiquette is very different from other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It is widely accepted that LinkedInis the most professional platform and as such you need to act as though you are a professional environment. This does not mean that you shouldn’t show a personality; rather just remember who your audience is as they are not likely to receive a meme of a cat for example in the same way as an audience on Facebook will.

Not Including Past Jobs or Volunteer Work: Your profile needs to be a robust and complete picture of you in a professional setting, so even if you have changed fields you still need to include past examples of your work and the skills you acquired whilst there as it all works together to create an account of you and your skills. Similarly volunteering work can tell a potential employer or business prospect a lot about you as a person, your interests and what extra skills you have acquired outside of work so it is important that you include it within your profile taking care to elaborating on tasks you completed and skills acquired.

Lurking: Many people set up a profile and assume that is enough to get you noticed. Rather, to truly get the most out of LinkedIn you need to make a conscious effort to be active in your groups, share content that engages your connections and maintain an up to date profile.

Not Utilising LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn groups are a great resource for building your knowledge base and connecting with individuals in similar industries. There is much to gain in terms of knowledge development, new connections and business opportunities by joining and being an active member of LinkedIn Groups, so make the effort to join groups that are relevant to you and your interests so you don’t miss out on these important benefits.

Not Making Sure Your Profile is 100% Complete: Always make sure that your profile is 100% completed. If you fail to do so you will not only be harder to find on LinkedIn, you could potentially miss out on business opportunities and connections the result of which means you don’t get the full benefit of being on the network.

Never Modifying Your Profile: You should always pay attention to the numbers at which people view your profile and how often you come up in search as if these numbers are low it shows you that you need to recapture the attention of others. You can do this by potentially updating your titles and your headline and revitalising your descriptions every so often to try and attract attention and capture additional search traffic.

Not Knowing the Difference Between a LinkedIn Profile and a LinkedIn Company Page: There are two ways you can choose to have a presence on LinkedIn as a business owner. If you choose to create a company page you will be communicating as your business to others that have chosen to follow you and get updates from you to learn more about your business. With a LinkedIn Profile you will be communicating as an individual rather than as a business, allowing you to connect with clients, colleagues, and other members of your professional network.

Not Being Selective About the Connections You Accept: The people who you have connected with on LinkedIn are a representation of you and shows to others the kind of professionals you associate with. From this it is important not to just accept and connect with anyone just to appear more popular, instead look to connect with people you can genuinely learn from or be a benefit to and make sure you know who they are and what their credentials are.

Not Sharing a Variety of Rich Media in Your Posts: It is critical to embrace the visual and be creative with the updates you share by posting a variety of content types such as videos, infographics and SlideShare documents to engage and interest your connections.If you post unappealing, self-promoting content continually you will not attract the critical attention you need from others and will inevitably damage your reputation.

Not Promoting Your Profile to Others: You could have put together the perfect LinkedIn profile but if you fail to tell others about it then you miss out on connecting with new prospects. So remember to promote your profile across all other social media including a badge on your website, putting a URL on business literature and packaging and including it on your e-newsletter and email signature.

Not Considering Your Search Optimisation (SEO) Efforts: You need to consciously optimise your profile for SEO looking to at the very least have a completed profile and strategically place keywords throughout your profile. If you neglect your efforts and your profile is not SEO friendly then you risk losing crucial visibility and being highly ranked in search and seen by others.