Fact: LinkedIn has over 660 million users worldwide – yea…that’s a ton of users. This means that the professional social platform is one of the top social networks around. With that figure in mind, here’s the big question: is your organization using LinkedIn to its fullest potential in terms of its marketing capabilities? Countless organizations underutilize LinkedIn or place it on the back burner with new social networks constantly popping up these days. However, this is an awful idea. LinkedIn is extremely powerful. This is especially true if you employ the network’s hidden features.
This guide is full of LinkedIn marketing tips that you can begin implementing right away to help you learn how to use the platform to enhance brand awareness, share marketing content, and ultimately grow your business.
What is LinkedIn marketing?
LinkedIn marketing is the process of using LinkedIn to:
- make connections
- generate leads
- improve brand awareness
- foster business relationships and partnerships
- share content
- drive traffic to your website
LinkedIn is an essential element of countless successful business’ marketing plans today due to how effective it can be in expanding professional networks.
When you use LinkedIn to market your business, you gain access to key features related to analytics, connections, and brand-building.
Here’s a quick summary for those of you who may be new to the world of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn launched in 2003 as a platform for career networking, building, and sharing. LinkedIn provides the means to connect and share content with fellow professionals including, but not limited to, colleagues, potential employers, business partners, competitors, new employees, and customers. This is why it is so critical to have your business on LinkedIn – the platform is an amazing marketing tool!
Now, let’s explore the various ways to use LinkedIn to market and grow your business.
LinkedIn marketing best practices
LinkedIn is a superb way to drive traffic to your website, identify quality leads, share your expertise via thought-leadership content, and grow your network. It’s also a stellar way to market job openings and attract talent to your organization. These are just a few of the reasons why LinkedIn is an ideal venue for all businesses to market through.
Below, we will cover LinkedIn marketing best practices and a few effective ways to make use of the platform. You can tailor these 28 best practices to your needs, whether you have a personal LinkedIn page, business page, or both – no matter your size or industry. You’ll likely notice that some of the points I’ll cover are more suited for organizations looking to boost brand awareness or share content while others are geared towards those looking to recruit and hire top talent.
Ready to dive in?
How to use LinkedIn
- Customize your public profile URL
- Add a LinkedIn background photo to your profile
- Add a ProFinder Badge to your profile
- Take advantage of the blog and website links on your LinkedIn profile
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile for search engines (aka SEO)
- Add, remove, and rearrange sections of your profile
- Use saved searches and search alerts in recruiter
- List job opportunities and recruit new talent with LinkedIn’s job postings
- Take advantage of LinkedIn endorsements
- Use open profile to send messages to people you’re not connected to
- Check your network updates or share your own
- Be identifiable
- Check out who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile
- Export connections
- Customize your Connections to grow your professional network
- Join LinkedIn Groups
- Create your own LinkedIn Group
- Communicate with your LinkedIn Group
- Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter
- Leverage @mentions in your status updates
- Optimize your LinkedIn Company Page
- Create LinkedIn Showcase Pages
- Post company status updates and target them to your ideal audience
- Check out LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content resources
- Experiment with LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content and Native Ads
- Share content through LinkedIn’s publishing platform
- Add a Page Follow Button to your website
- Analyze your LinkedIn marketing performance
1.) Customize your public profile URL
You can easily make your profile look more professional (and easier to share) by customizing your public LinkedIn profile URL. Instead of having a URL with confusing numbers at the end, you can share a clean link that looks like this: linkedin.com/in/andrewroche99. You can make this happen by clicking ‘View Profile’ and then clicking ‘Edit Public Profile and URL’. This is where you can change your URL to anything you’d like – your first and last name or business name are both great starting points…assuming it hasn’t already been taken by another LinkedIn user.
2.) Add a LinkedIn background photo to your profile
LinkedIn jumped on the cover photo bandwagon in 2014 and began to roll out the ability for users to add a background photo to their personal pages. This allows you to give your LinkedIn profile a bit more flavor. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional social network, so make sure your photo is tasteful. LinkedIn encourages a background image size of 1584 x 396 pixels. Furthermore, the picture should be a JPG, PNG, or GIF file under 8MB.
3.) LinkedIn marketing tip: add a ProFinder Badge to your profile
You may want to consider adding a ProFinder Badge. This element is a great way to identify freelancers within LinkedIn’s ProFinder platform. This service that LinkedIn provides matches contractors with project managers who are on the hunt for qualified help. Freelancers can display a ProFinder badge on their profiles to show prospective clients their unique skills, expertise, and references.
4.) Take advantage of the blog and website links on your LinkedIn profile
Believe it, or not, but you can add links to your portfolio and social accounts on your LinkedIn page. You can even add links to your content and business information to increase clicks. This feature is a great way to draw more attention to specific areas of your page to drive traffic elsewhere. For instance, if you produced a podcast, you can share links to your episodes on LinkedIn to promote your work.
5.) LinkedIn marketing tip: search engine optimize your LinkedIn profile
Search engine optimization (aka SEO) is by no means limited to blogging. You can easily optimize your profile to get discovered by individuals searching LinkedIn for key terms for which you want to be found. You can add these keywords to certain sections of your profile, such as your headline, your summary, or your work experience.
6.) Add, remove, and rearrange sections of your profile
You can quickly edit and re-order sections of your LinkedIn profile to highlight certain pieces of information in any way you deem necessary. When you’re in edit mode, simply hover your mouse over the double-sided arrow in each section. YOur mouse will then change into a four-arrow icon. You can then click, drag, and drop to another position on your profile.
7.) Use saved searches and search alerts in recruiter
If you use LinkedIn Recruiter, you can use Saved Searches to save your search criteria. This is a great addition to your tool belt if you’re marketing job opportunities via LinkedIn. This feature allows you to save as many searches as you want and receive alerts when new candidates match your filter refinements and criteria. You can opt-in to receive daily or weekly search results from the system pertaining to relevant results via the Recruiter homepage.
8.) List job opportunities and recruit fresh talent with LinkedIn’s job postings
Speaking of open job opportunities, don’t forget to add and market your new positions on the LinkedIn Jobs page! Here, candidates can learn about your business and openings by searching for specific keywords such as job title, industry, location, salary, experience level, and more.
9. LinkedIn marketing tip: take advantage of LinkedIn endorsements
LinkedIn offers a feature called Endorsements. This allows you to recognize the skills people you work with – such as employees, colleagues, freelancers, or partners – have to offer. You can promote and endorse the skills of the people you work with to help refer them for other work, make their profiles more impressive, show your support, and more.
10.) Use Open Profile to send messages to people with whom you’re not connected
You might want to send a personalized message to branch out and connect with potential partners, customers, and other industry leaders. With the lone exception of LinkedIn Group members, LinkedIn only allows you to send messages to people with whom you share a first-degree connection. However, did you know that some people let you send them messages anyway, even if you’re not connected?
Here’s how it works: the ability to be part of the Open Profile network is only available to Premium account holders, but it allows premium users to open themselves up to messages from any other LinkedIn member regardless of their membership level. Furthermore, there are options for sending messages tho those with whom you’re not yet connected. It’s similar to sending a request to connect with a note – but we don’t recommend overusing this tactic. Additionally, if you have a premium account, you can use InMail!
11.) Check your network updates (or share your own!)
Network updates are essentially LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook News Feed. Check this feed on a regular basis for a snapshot of what your connections, customers, competitors, and others are up to and sharing. You can also share updates of your own, such as details about your products or services and noteworthy content your business has created and published.
12: Be identifiable with LinkedIn marketing
Your LinkedIn profile visitors should recognize it as yours the moment they arrive on it. A great way to make your profile easily identifiable and on-brand with your other marketing content is to ensure your profile’s name, headline, and other basic identifiers are easily visible to any visitor. Make sure these features are on brand, match your other marketing content, and are unique to you.
13.) Check out who’s view your LinkedIn profile
This is a great way to learn a bit about your audience members, potential leads, and customers who are viewing your profile and marketing content that you’re sharing on LinkedIn.
How do you see who’s viewed your profile? Well with the ‘Who viewed your profile‘ feature of course!
This tool, which you can access via the main navigation in the Profile dropdown, allows you to identify the exact people who have visited your page. You can see how you stack up against the profile views of your connections, other businesses like yours, and more.
14.) Export connections
It’s no secret that you can use the connections you make on LinkedIn to drive traffic to your site and grow your customer base. Exporting your connections – to a contact management system, for example – is a superb place to start.
Under your Advanced Settings, you can start exporting your LinkedIn connections.
15.) Customize your connections to grow your professional network via LinkedIn marketing
LinkedIn provides features to help you grow your professional network and forge valuable connections. There are a number of ways to do this depending on what you’re looking to make happen.
Here are a few examples:
- Add, view, and remove connections depending on their level of value to your business
- Control who can see your connections – maybe you do or don’t want your competitors to see that list of people
- Leverage your second and third-degree connections to grow your network and build new relationships
- Import and sync your contacts from your email and other sources to stay in touch with colleagues, partners, leads, and customers across the board. These connections will see your content in multiple places so they learn more about who you are as a business, which in turn deepens their relationship with your brand.
16.) Join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are a stellar way to make connections with people who are in, or interested in, your industry. They serve as a hub for you and other members to share content, grow your contact list, establish yourself as an expert in the field, and boost brand awareness.
There are a number of other benefits that come from joining LinkedIn Groups. For example, by joining groups related to your industry and participating in discussions within those groups, you’ll exhibit thought leadership in your industry.
Additionally, by joining Groups, you can view complete profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Also, if you’re a member of the same group as another user, LinkedIn allows you to send up to 15 free 1:1 messages to fellow group members per month (typically, you can only do this if you’re a first-degree connection).
17.) Create your own LinkedIn group to improve LinkedIn marketing
Consider taking the initiative and creating a LinkedIn group of your own. You can use your freshly minted group to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, grow a community of advocates, generate new marketing content ideas, promote brand awareness, and generate new leads.
18.) Communicate with your LinkedIn group
On that note, there are more reasons to create your own group on LinkedIn. One of the perks of managing a LinkedIn group is that LinkedIn makes it simple to interact and engage with the members of the group that you oversee.
You can either send messages to group members or create a group post. Sending messages allows one to write a member of your group directly, or share content with them, from your group’s page. This is awesome if you have something to share with a specific person in your group. Developing a group post allows you to share any content you’d like on your group’s page which is ideal for initiating a discussion.
19.) Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter
Add your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile so you can share status updates across both platforms. This is also a great way to increase your Twitter follower and LinkedIn connection counts.
For instance, if you’re posting an update to LinkedIn that you’d also like your Twitter followers to see, you can easily share that update to Twitter by selecting the Public + Twitter option in the dropdown menu within the LinkedIn update composer.
20.) Leverage @mentions in your status updates
Want another LinkedIn user or company to see your status update? Easy. On LinkedIn, you have the ability to tag – or @mention – users and other companies in your status updates much like the way it works on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Include the @ symbol immediately followed by the user’s/ company’s name in your status update or post. As a result, that user/ company will be alerted that you mentioned them, and their name will also link to their profile/ page in the status update itself. This is a great way to boost engagement and interaction on your content as well as improve brand awareness.
21.) Design all aspects of your LinkedIn page
The design of LinkedIn pages has evolved a lot over the years. That being said, make sure yours is set up correctly and optimized for the current layout. Most importantly, make sure you feature a compelling and high-quality banner image.
22.) Create LinkedIn showcase pages
LinkedIn Showcase Pages are niche pages that branch off your business’s page to highlight specific initiatives and campaigns or feature specific content you’re working on.
Think of Showcase Pages as extensions of your main page that allow you to promote specific products or cater to your individual marketing personas — this provides a more personalized and targeted experience for your page visitors. This is great way to expand your network on LinkedIn because other users can choose to follow your Showcase Page(s) even if they haven’t followed your main page.
23. Post company status updates and target them.
Publish Status Updates for your business on your LinkedIn page for your followers to see. This keeps your LinkedIn connections engaged and in the loop regarding your business’s latest developments, work, content, and updates. In your status updates, you can share written information, images, videos, documents, and more.
You can also post Targeted LinkedIn Status Updates tailored towards specific people and groups within your audience. To do this, use criteria such as company size, industry, job function, seniority, geography, language, or by including/ excluding company employees.
These targeted updates will appear on your page — or Showcase Page — as well as on LinkedIn for the targeted users (specifically, in their Network Updates feed).
24. Check out LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content resources.
You can learn how impactful your organic and paid LinkedIn marketing content is with the platform’s Content Marketing Score and Trending Content resources.
Your Content Marketing Score tells you your impact on LinkedIn by measuring overall audience engagement with your content. Trending Content tells you which topics you are posting and sharing content about that are resonating with specific audience groups on the platform, allowing you to optimize your content for greater impact.
25. Experiment with LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Native Ads.
If you’re looking to complement your organic LinkedIn marketing efforts with some paid advertising, LinkedIn Ads are a smart choice. One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn advertising: the targeting options.
LinkedIn’s PPC ads let you target specific job titles, job functions, industries, or company size, to name a few — you know, the people who are more likely to want/ need what you sell.
If you want to get started with LinkedIn’s advertising platform, check out our free guide to advertising on LinkedIn.
26. Share content through LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
Good news! You no longer have to be a LinkedIn Influencer to publish new articles to LinkedIn. Publishing is available to all users on the platform. Experiment with how this feature can support your marketing goals by creating content and promoting it on your business’s LinkedIn page.
For example, you might experiment with syndicating content from your blog to LinkedIn — this way, you can promote subscription to your blog via LinkedIn.
27. Add a Page Follow Button to your website.
You can add the LinkedIn Company Follow button to your website to promote your company’s LinkedIn presence and the content you share on the platform. When your website visitors click to “Follow” your LinkedIn page via your site, they’ll automatically become connected to you and be able to view your company’s latest updates on the platform.
This is a great way to boost your engagement and number of connections on LinkedIn by driving traffic to the platform directly from your website.
28. Analyze your LinkedIn marketing performance.
So … how are your LinkedIn marketing efforts faring? Analyzing your efforts and making necessary adjustments is critical to your success on the platform.
LinkedIn has in-depth page analytics as well as reporting tools for businesses to evaluate overall performance. There are specific data about how effective your status updates, content, and reach are as well as details about your page’s engagement and followers (like audience member demographics).
Begin Marketing on LinkedIn
Are you ready to get started marketing your business on LinkedIn?
With so many updates and additions to LinkedIn since its launch, we can’t wait to see how the network continues to make itself an integral resource and platform for marketers, job seekers, candidate seekers, and other professionals. Get started marketing on LinkedIn by experimenting with the best practices that make the most sense for your business.