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Suit up! If your business is looking to reach out to LinkedIn's 200 million plus users, it will need to be approached differently than other social media sites. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has a more professional attitude, and should be treated accordingly. Despite this fact, it is still a great place to form connections and generate leads. According to a recent HubSpot study, LinkedIn has the highest conversion rate out of all major social media sites.
LinkedIn is an especially great tool for generating B2B connections. B2B businesses experience a 61% successful conversion rate through their activities on LinkedIn. By following some simple do's and don'ts of LinkedIn you should be able to successfully harness its powerful draw.
Do's and Don'ts of LinkedIn for Business
Publish company status updates regularly
Similar to the other social media outlets, if you’re going to make a commitment to using them, make sure you are active. Update your status regularly, but keep it focused and try to listen to what your connections are asking for. You still want to focus on creating amazing content, but you cannot lose track of your audience.
Encourage your employees to connect to your page
Since you are operating on a network of professionals, try using the professionals that you already have available: your employees. Encourage your employees to connect to your company, so that their connections will be drawn to your page. This is a great way to generate interest in your page, and potentially even generate interest in employment.
Join industry groups and subtly slip links into your answers
As soon as you establish yourself on LinkedIn, be sure that you are getting the most out of it by being active. Posting to industry group discussions can be a great way to show your expertise and attract customers to your page. When you are posting in a group discussion, try to subtly place a link into your post/answer. Avoid spamming links, but try directing traffic to a blog post or similar content that is relevant to the discussion.
Listen to comments, learn about your customers, and establish rapport
The most important thing you can do to optimize your content is listen. Hear what your connections are saying, and relate your content to their ideas. When replying to a connection, try to relate on a personal level. Check out your active connections’ profiles, and try to learn about their interests so that you can connect with them on a deeper level. This will increase the likelihood of these people sharing your company’s content with their connections.
Treat status updates like Facebook or Twitter
The easiest way to think of LinkedIn is as Facebook in a suit and tie. More personal status updates that may be acceptable on Facebook, and posting every couple of hours like you would on Twitter, is much less likely to be successful on LinkedIn. In fact, your connections may see these types of posts as spam, and in turn may drive them away. The key is to update your status regularly, but keep it focused and try to listen to what your connections are asking for.
Leave parts of your profile blank
Think of your LinkedIn as a résumé for your company. Leaving out information about what you can do could cost your business, so leave no stone unturned. Fill out your profile in its entirety. Let potential customers know all of your company’s product and service offerings, and include a compelling bio. Inform visitors about what your company does and generate interest at the same time.
Place links where they do not belong
While it is perfectly appropriate to include links in your status updates or in group discussions, you need to be careful not to come across as a link spammer. If your company is found to be spamming links you risk being banned from the website. By simply surrounding your links with quality content you should be able to avoid this issue, and generate more traffic to your website.
Excessively share repeat content from other social media sites
It is great to connect LinkedIn with your other social media sites, but you do not want to become repetitive. Ideally, your customers will be following you through your different channels, and do not want to be bombarded with reminders that you just updated your Facebook or Twitter. It is fine to share the same blog on multiple outlets, but present it in a different manner. Have a consistent campaign without simply dumping the same information in seven different places.
Looking to get more out of social media?
For more do's and don'ts of LinkedIn and other popular social networks, check out our newest Ebook! It will help you generate more value from your social media efforts.