Updated: Jul 7
In business it’s important to establish a great reputation, both for yourself and your brand. Offline its easy to attend a local networking event and reach out to local businesses. Online the obvious choice is LinkedIn, its the best social network for B2B marketers to reach out to other businesses, given that all members are professionals.
However, that outreach has to be done right to get results, and there is a certain LinkedIn etiquette, treating it like a networking event will give you a great start. How much you introduce yourself at a networking party? Think the same way online.
Transform Your Business and Profile Page
Your business and profile pages are equally as important for your outreaching efforts. I tend to post to both accounts daily as the reach of the posts will be higher on your profile page.
When you send someone a connection request, one of the first things they will probably do is to check out your profile. They want to know exactly who you are and what you do. What will they see when they visit your profile? Does it showcase you as a professional that the other person would be interested in connecting with, or does it turn them off?
Despite the popular saying that a book should not be judged by its cover, people will always judge. In this case, your profile is your cover, and you want to be sure that it shows the best things about you.
The business page is useful as an informative online asset to drive traffic through to your site. Your business page is essentially your company’s home page on LinkedIn. It’s a combination of information and advertising space for your brand. Turn it into a lead generation page to encourage visitors to click through to your website. Structure your page so that it leads to a conversion action.
First, use a header image that immediately grabs the viewer’s attention. It’s an easy, visual way to tell the user who you are and what you do. The goal is to grab their attention and encourage them to read your company description.
The description should be clear and concise, perhaps incorporating a sentence or two from your mission statement. It should be engaging and fun, something that users will want to read. To read the full description, the visitor must click “see more,” so you need to make the first few sentences as interesting as possible.
Speak directly to your target audience so it’s very clear who your business serves. End with a call-to-action, either directing them to visit your website or to contact you.
Furthermore, make your “Recent Updates” section clickable so that it’s conversion focused. If you’re regularly posting updates (as you should be) then your feed will be active and thought-provoking. Encourage your employees to be brand advocates on LinkedIn as well.
Each post should be aimed directly at your target audience. From blog updates to infographics, you should always include content that’s clickable. This can be effective at generating leads, by offering the reader valuable content, webinars, or live local event registration.
Personalise Your Connection Requests
Sending a generic “I’d like to join your LinkedIn network” request look lazy and will most likely be ignored. If you simply click the “connect” button on someone’s name, LinkedIn will send a pre-written message that’s cold and impersonal.
Instead, visit the person’s profile and click the “connect” button when there. This will open a box where you can type your own personalized note. Make it friendly, explain why you’l like to connect, and avoid any type of sales pitch.
Create a Showcase Page
LinkedIn created showcase pages for companies to promote individual brands or products within a company, or to address specific market segments. They offer an ideal way to segment your inbound LinkedIn traffic. These pages help businesses develop long term relationships with specific audiences.
Each showcase page should target one specific customer segment, providing information that is highly relevant to them. For example, if you sell one line of power tools to homeowners and another to commercial contractors, each should have its own page. If you offer services for app development London businesses frequently look for, create a dedicated page to this, completely B2B focused.
Another great aspect of showcase pages is they provide a larger space for the header image, more update posts above-the-fold, and additional places to link back to your company website.
Promote Your LinkedIn Page on Other Social Channels
Don’t just presume your followers will be aware of your other social channels. All of your social media platforms should be connected, particularly by linking back to your LinkedIn profile in all of your bios.
Moreover, don’t be afraid to promote your LinkedIn profile by posting the link in a status update, tweet, photo, or video. All links should be clickable, so on Instagram posts—where you can’t add links in captions—point followers to your bio page, then use a tool like Sked Link to add multiple links to your bio.
Also, while it’s not a social channel, be sure to add a clickable LinkedIn profile icon to your email signature.
Use the Advanced Search Tool
Another wonderful feature of LinkedIn is its advanced search tool. This is particularly useful for building and refining lists of target B2B leads.
From the LinkedIn header menu, do a search for “People” then apply filters. You can narrow your search by location, industry, current company, and more. You then have the opportunity to connect with anyone you think may be interested in your products or services.
Louise Buckingham is a marketing consultant, giving advice on anything from the perfect marketing campaign to the latest tech releases. When not writing she can be found cycling around Devon or generally outdoors and taking on the elements.