LinkedIn rose to popularity as a job finding network, though as Agent-cy CEO Jasmine Sandler pointed out in her pre-keynote workshop this morning, it has evolved into a sophisticated marketing tool for B2B companies.
Sandler opened Day One of SES Chicago with her early morning workshop, Maximizing the Effectiveness of LinkedIn to Generate More Qualified Leads Online. She set out to teach participants how to effectively use LinkedIn for personal branding, company marketing, market research and lead generation.
Personal Branding Tips & Tricks
Personal branding is as important as ever, even if you are using LinkedIn Company Pages. People want to know the faces behind the brand on social networks. The way Pages are structured makes it simple for users to click through and check out the personal profiles of the people associated with the Page.
Make a good impression on new visitors with Sandler’s personal branding tips for LinkedIn:
- Know your top 3 strengths and skills; optimize your profile to showcase them.
- Hone your professional communication style.
- Create a content plan and an effective mix of content that engages your followers.
- Know which keywords people interested in your product or service search for and optimize your profile.
- Understand your brand goals and measure outcomes.
- Pair a professional photo with a strong headline to instantly capture attention.
- Create an actionable, credible summary reflective of your brand goals.
B2B Marketing Tips for LinkedIn Company Pages
After sharing her experience and insight on developing thought leadership and perfecting networking strategy, Sandler recommended a number of important LinkedIn tools for B2B marketing.
Marketers must become familiar with these free tools; try using each one and most importantly, understand your goals and measure outcomes to see which are most effective:
- Participate in LinkedIn Answers by answering those questions your brand is capable of answering.
- Refer to previously published content and show expertise where possible.
- Encourage connections to share content with a clear call to action.
- Use LinkedIn for market research to drive your content strategy.
- Ask for and give LinkedIn Recommendations. This goes beyond using the LinkedIn Recommendations button, to asking external contacts
LinkedIn Company Page Integration
LinkedIn is a greater asset when incorporated in your overall marketing strategy. Sandler recommends:
- Connecting LinkedIn to your Twitter account and linking back from the Twitter Page to your LinkedIn Company Page.
- Using the LinkedIn “Share” button on your website.
- Growing your LinkedIn Connections by incorporating your offline contacts.
- Sharing your own blog content to your LinkedIn Page and relevant Groups, with commentary and an invitation to share or comment.
- Using Recommendations on your blog.
Use LinkedIn to Drive Sales
Sandler is an expert in maximizing ROI from a LinkedIn investment. It’s crucial that you are able to measure the effectiveness of your spend in time and money, she says. To that end, she offers these three LinkedIn sales tips, which you can read more about in this recent blog post:
- Use LinkedIn’s Lead Builder tool, available with the $19.95/mo Sales Basic Premium Account or higher, while planning your next business trip.
- Use premium targeting options to filter potential clients, then ask for warm introductions or send direct messages, depending on your connections.
- Use Profile Organizer as your CRM LinkedIn tool, available with all Sales Premium account upgrades.
- Use LinkedIn’s ability to Ask for More Information about targets in your second or third degree networks if you cannot get a warm introduction.
Sandler’s workshop opened SES Chicago, just prior to Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, taking the stage for his keynote presentation: Analyze. Streamline. Engage: Transform Your Business by Embracing Digital. [insert kaushik-avinash pic right aligned]
The keynote is Kaushik’s last stop on his 2012 U.S. tour, which has included SES dates in Toronto, San Francisco, London and New York. At each event, his presentation has been updated to address the specific concerns of that community, including Chicago.
“It’s been a challenging year for all digital marketers as they continued to integrate Big Data, Google SEO updates and an endless stream of social media developments into their business plans,” Kaushik told SmallBusinessExecutive. For Chicago, he explained, “I’ll be taking digital marketers through what I call a ‘clear line of sight model’ to help them navigate their business strategies and get the most economic value possible.”