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The Top Five Reasons for making Linkedin a Big Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Why Being on LinkedIn is Good for Your Business
If you think LinkedIn is just another social network, then you are missing a great opportunity to represent and promote your company, your brand and your team on what is now the largest online global professional network. With approaching 300 million users worldwide (over 15 million in the UK) and solid presences from most of the world-leading brands from every sector, LinkedIn is also more than just a place to put your CV when you are looking to get a new job.
While an active presence on LinkedIn (posting updates and opinion pieces) can create a powerful presence on the platform, starting with a well-optimised company page and profiles for your senior management team will give you a lot of the basic benefits and you can expand your reach from there.
Online Search is big business, and big for business. One of the key factors in search is the trust that the search engines have in the published content. A site that is trusted by the Search Engines is called an Authority Site, and having content on there, or having that content link back to you is a powerful tool in your Search toolbox. LinkedIn is a highly rated Authority site. This means that content from LinkedIn (like company pages and individual profiles) will rank well in Search results on its own, and act as another search result to represent you, your brand or your company in a highly competitive space. This could be multiple pieces of content that you control, so the only thing better than this would be high-ranking content from your own web site, which is becoming harder to achieve.
In an increasingly global business world where face-to-face meetings are often fleeting, companies are doing their homework on you and your brand online. Your website is the most obvious first port of call, but in addition to other staples such as Dun and Bradstreet, LinkedIn is becoming the go-to place for people to find out more about who they are dealing with on every level. A well-optimised presence will give give another dimension to the reputation of your company and your team, with personal recommendations from your network to highlight your strengths.
Continuing the conversation after that first meeting is also critical, and a LinkedIn profile will make a much more lasting impression than a business card and a brochure that ends up being lost in a pile, at the same time providing a direct line of communication that by-passes the distraction of traditional email. Like a Web Site, a LinkedIn profile works for you every day of the year, all over the world.
Building an Audience
To get your brand message across, you need multiple touch-points, ideally with an audience that has self-selected and express an interest. LinkedIn members can follow your company page, and receive your latest updates in the news feed whenever they sign in to the platform. If someone follows you, there are detailed analytics available about the effectiveness and reach of your content, You can also sponsor updates, ensuring that they get the exposure you need, and these can be targeted to specific types of user, emphasising the message to market match.
For more important communications, where you are nurturing a community either with your customers or partners, LinkedIn Groups allow you to create controlled spaces within the platform for the members to interact. Membership can be controlled and access restricted, so you can encourage open exchanges and further develop your relationships with these people.
Networking is alive and well
At the heart of it, LinkedIn is based on the time-honoured practice of business networking, and the old adage of "it's not what you know, it's who you know" is still true today. LinkedIn is a platform that enhances your existing network and gives you instant, global reach, and the tools to manage the growth of your network that will occur as a result.
LinkedIn is a powerful business development and promotion tool, and is leading the pack as a business communication platform, with a self-selected, business-oriented audience waiting to hear your messages. To make the most of this opportunity, as a minimum you should ensure that you have a well-optimised company profile and that the personal profiles of your senior team represent you (and them) effectively. The larger and more optimised your internal and external networks are, the stronger your presence will be.
From this strong base, you can leverage the core strengths of LinkedIn, and also explore the enhanced tools for Sales Prospecting and Recruitment that take the platform to another level.