LinkedIn is a bit different to many of the other social networking platforms. While most of them are about connecting with people (you guessed it) socially, with LinkedIn, the main aim is to use your connections to employ someone, or get hired for a new job. For this reason, businesses tend to only use LinkedIn if they’re actively hiring. But can LinkedIn also be used in a similar way to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – are you able to build your brand and expand your audience?
The simple answer is yes, and generally through similar methods to those you would with other social media sites. This includes making your LinkedIn page a little bit more human. Being perceived as a faceless corporation won’t endear you to prospective employees, so it’s important to personalise your page. LinkedIn can additionally be a great place to demonstrate your company culture.
And if you’re concerned about spending too much of your marketing budget on this kind of social media outreach, you don’t need to worry. There are methods you can use to compete with even some of the bigger brands, with near limitless funding. One of these strategies is using influencer marketing.
If you’re involved in the marketing industry, or even if you just use social media a lot, you’ve probably heard of influencers. But you may not have considered using an influencer on LinkedIn! We don’t necessarily mean an influencer in the traditional sense though, more of a brand advocate. This should be someone who works within your business that is able to effectively endorse your brand. It can also be helpful if your influencer is a bit quirky, with interesting opinions that can set your business apart.
Finding the right brand advocate can be particularly challenging. This individual has to be willing to be vulnerable, and transparent about both themselves and the company. They also have to be pretty outgoing, willing to bring up unconventional ideas in order to make people think. Above all, they have to stand out from other influencers.
And once you’ve identified this charismatic, knowledgeable influencer, you’ve got to ensure that they have the time to produce engaging content! This may mean reevaluating your choice of brand advocate – if they’re unable to provide regular social content, perhaps someone else would be better placed to take on the role.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve all learned to live our lives differently. Whether it’s working from home on a more permanent basis, being more cautious about attending big group events, or essentially becoming a hermit, there’s no doubt that our lives have changed. One key change, in terms of digital marketing, is that we’ve come to rely on virtual recommendations and visuals. We shop, talk with friends, and find entertainment online, often instead of venturing out into the world!
This means that as an online marketer, you need to become a storyteller. Rather than shouting your message at anyone who will listen, you need to draw your audience in via a story, particularly if it helps solve a problem. Basically, you have to humanise your brand through storytelling.
Research has shown that if used right, storytelling can even improve your profit margin. A study conducted by Headstream found that people are 55% more likely to buy a product from a particular company if they’re engaged by the brand story.
Another key thing to bear in mind when using brand advocates on LinkedIn is that the content you post has to be consistent. You’re unlikely to get anywhere if you spend weeks crafting the perfect post, and don’t share any thoughts in between! This is true of any social media marketing strategy – you need to be putting out some form of content at least a few times a week.
It’s also a good idea to vary the content, both in format and theme. So try creating videos and infographics, as well as written content, and discuss topics that are related to your industry, even if they don’t link directly to your products. For instance, a car finance broker may talk about the rising price of petrol, or the new Highway Code rules. Current and trending topics are a good place to start, but don’t forget to be unique!
Build Your LinkedIn Network
As with posting regular content, you also need to be reaching out to people frequently. If they don’t hear from you very often, they may not remember who you are, and the business you represent. And make sure you’re contacting other industry influencers. This could include people high up in the industry, public speakers, or individuals who offer training courses on industry topics. Essentially, you’re looking for experts in their field.
Once you’ve found the right people, don’t forget to personalise your outreach messages. Treat them as you would a potential customer, by drawing them in and outlining the benefits of working with you. The goal is to build up a strong relationship that can bear fruit over time.