6 LinkedIn Features: How to Use the Platform to Boost Your Business

So, you’ve built your profile, connected with like-minded professionals and colleagues, and you’re ready to take advantage of the LinkedIn features that can help you to boost your business. The largest professional online network, LinkedIn has over 500 million users across 200 countries, all benefiting from its unique opportunities – the social platform is now much more than somewhere to check up on credentials, connections and job history. No longer reserved for professionals and job seekers alone, LinkedIn, when used right, it is an invaluable tool to help you to grow and share your business, knowledge and unique insights professionally with those who matter, no matter your industry or the size of your business. From making connections to generating leads, we tell you the LinkedIn features you need to be using now to maximise your B2B marketing and boost your business profile.

Utilise the Publishing Platform

LinkedIn is perfect for sharing relevant and interesting content, and publishing your articles helps to build your personal reputation and increases exposure for your business or website among a network of professionals. When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, the content not only becomes ingrained in their professional profile but is also shared with their network of connections – it shows up in their newsfeed, along with showing up as a notification for everyone in your network. Posts can be shared on all other social media platforms and online, meaning the possibility of greater exposure for your business and ideas is huge.

LinkedIn matches every post written to a specific channel – such as marketing, PR or healthcare – and so keeping this in mind and tailoring your articles is key. The algorithm works in the same way as Googles –  the more relevant your post, the more likely it is to show up. With the platform, we suggest looking at it as you would your other social channels – include a mix of industry-related information and entertaining posts along with promotional content to keep people interested and prevent spamming them with constant advertising and publicity. Be mindful of LinkedIn’s position as a professional social network – the aim is to position yourself as an expert in your particular field, and so reserve your favourite memes and GIF’s for Twitter or Facebook.

For those who don’t have time to create a company-specific blog, posting content on LinkedIn features offers a unique opportunity to share insights, skills, and ideas with millions of people. In fact, a recent Econsultancy report found that LinkedIn is responsible for referring 64 percent of traffic from social to business sites, more than Twitter and Facebook combined.

For businesses who create in-depth, informative posts, LinkedIn’s Pulse content hub feature highlights the most relevant news, influencer posts, industry updates and discussions and recommends articles to users who share an interest in particular topics.

Participate in Relevant Groups

Getting involved with LinkedIn groups – such as industry-specific, or location-based groups –  is a great way to boost your profile and business. They allow you to connect with potential prospects and professionals in similar industries, with similar interests or with connections you are looking to target. In simple terms, the people in groups are warm leads – they’ve already expressed an interest in the industry, knowledge or services you have to offer.

By joining groups, it allows you to further position yourself as an expert – you can start or join in with conversations about brands, ideas or your industry. Post relevant information and contribute to discussions with relative information and specific knowledge in a way that is natural and helpful – after all, people are more likely to connect with people, or buy from someone who has positively influenced them personally. There are so many LinkedIn features to help you to connect with others. It allows users to join up to 50 groups – we suggest joining 50 groups that are all centered around your specific industry, but have different focuses, to reach the maximum amount of people. From another perspective, groups are a fantastic fountain of knowledge and allow you to pick up tips and tricks that can help your business, so keep an eye out for useful information. If a business or individual posts something particularly insightful, send them a quick ‘hello’ to let them know – it may help you to create a new connection, and lets them know that their ideas and content are relevant and being received well.

How You’re Connected

Most of us are familiar with the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept – the idea that any two people can be connected in a maximum of six steps. But not many of us have thought about it in a professional capacity and, if we do, how great could that be for your professional connections? While this is all well and good, finding a way to link with people you don’t know can be a scary prospect. This is where LinkedIn’s ‘how you’re connected tool’ comes in. It allows you to find an ‘in’ with a company or individual you’re looking to contact, but don’t have an immediate connection with. Users can view who in your network is connected with a specific person, along with how they know each other, allowing you to cherry pick the best, most relevant contact to request an introduction from.

LinkedIn Features: Newtworking and Professional Connections

Utilising your employees

It may seem obvious, but getting your team involved on LinkedIn, is a great way to get your company name out there. Ask your employees to follow the same practices as the business page itself – join groups, offer advice to individuals and connect with like-minded professionals or brands. For example, you can set up automated emails to thank those who become connections – if all of your employees are sending out the same email directing possible leads to your site or blog, or suggesting that they sign up to your email marketing newsletter, think of all the potential for traffic and enquiries.

Specific Targeting

LinkedIn features a range of different tools that mean brands and businesses can pinpoint specific audiences.

Advanced Search

LinkedIn’s advanced search options allow businesses to identify the exact type of individual you are targeting. The beauty of the platform is that people have so much information about themselves on their profiles – where they’re from, their employment history, along with their interests, skills and current place of work, LinkedIn profiles are kept much more up to date with information like this than other sites such as Facebook or Twitter. The search allows users to filter by location, current and past employment, language, interests and education history, making it a hugely powerful tool for those looking to pinpoint very specific targets. The search allows you to search the entire LinkedIn network, however, the feature works best when contacting those you already have as a connection, no matter what level.

Advertising

LinkedIn Advertising is targeted ads at their finest. Unlike other advertising platforms, such as Facebook Audiences or Twitter advertising, there is no guesswork involved, as users input the data businesses are looking to focus on themselves. For example – if you’re looking for women in London who work in fashion retail, or even those who work for a specific company, all you need to do is set your ad targeting up, and it will be delivered to that specific audience. It works much like any other advertising platform:

  • Create an ad, or 15 – LinkedIn will test which one performs the best so vary the headlines, images or calls to action.
  • Determine the users you want to target – whether it’s individuals interested in law, or men ages 35 and under living in the south of England
  • Set budgets – LinkedIn offers advertising on a pay-per-click or a cost per impression basis

Showcase Pages

If your business is looking to target more than one type of customer, then LinkedIn features so many differnt tools to help you connect with them, such as Showcase Pages. They were created for brands to promote extensions of their company – individual brands beneath your main company umbrella – along with enabling businesses to promote certain products or services to specific customer audiences. They act as mini LinkedIn company pages – a standalone page to highlight a product line or brand that inks back to your main page – and are perfectly placed for B2B’s to generate leads as they allow you to develop a relationship with a specific audience. The pages are all about content – update them with your latest business news, launches or industry updates. In simple terms, Showcase Pages allow companies to spread their products or services that little bit wider to, hopefully, reach select leads interested in your specific industry or niche.

Contact Bigfoot Digital: The Online Marketing Experts

If you are new to LinkedIn features or want to know more about how best to set up a campaign, contact us today. We are a friendly bunch, local and always willing to help! Our award-winning campaigns speak for themselves. Don’t believe us? Take a look at our customer testimonials to see what our valued clients think about our business and services. Our digital experts can help you to reach all of your marketing goals with our full range of online marketing services. Call us today on 01226 720755 to see what we can do for you.