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Monday, November 21, 2011
LinkedIn recently announced their update to Company Pages that now helps companies and small businesses become more engaged on the network. Having a Company page is a company’s profile of record on LinkedIn and is a powerful tool to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations with trusted testimonials. It is very similar to a LinkedIn Profile for a company.
If you’re already a LinkedIn Member, Company pages are a new great way to research companies you are interested in, follow what they have to say through their updates and shared information, and see what kind of people work there. You can even review products and services you use on a Company Page.
Company Pages present a great opportunity to reveal the human side of your company by allowing others to peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products or services. A Company Page offers tools to bring your brand to life and truly engage your audience.
Until now, company pages existed in isolation. Businesses are now able to update their individual company page to enable followers to receive updates and insights about company news, employee moves, job opportunities and much more. This is a brand new opportunity to showcase your thought leadership and expand your business.
Want to post a company status update for your Company? Any company page administrator can post a note in the status box on your company’s overview page. Keep your followers thinking about your company by sharing updates, promotions, announcements, news articles or videos. Updates will appear on your followers’ home pages. Followers can comment, like or share updates. This allows you to develop a unique conversation between your company and your followers. Best of all, these interactions can be seen by your followers’ networks exposing your company to a greater audience. You can also view the LinkedIn Metrics to see what followers found engaging to optimize the conversation. Get your company conversation started today by setting up a company page on LinkedIn.
Brands can now have company pages, and users can 'follow' the company page for updates from those companies. The LinkedIn network has more of a business networking and career focus, and the way that users connect is much more formal. Users in LinkedIn often have fewer, more intimate connections than they would on Facebook or Twitter. The content shared and discussions started to engage your audience are usually more industry and business-focused which makes LinkedIn a great source for B2B Marketing.
Want to find and follow your favorite Companies? You can locate and find interesting companies in one of two ways:
From any Member’s LinkedIn Profile.
You can click through to company pages from any LinkedIn Member’s profile. Just mouse-over any company on a LinkedIn profile page and on the resulting popup, click through to a company page or click the “Follow Company” link. If a smaller company has not claimed their company page, you may not find them.
From the LinkedIn Header.
One of the easiest ways to find a Company Page’s homepage is in the LinkedIn navigation bar at the top of any page. You can also search by using the search box in the box in the navigation bar for any company.
From the Company Page.
If you’ve found a company page of interest that you like by searching for a specific company name or keyword, just click “Follow Company” to stay updated on that company.
Having the ability to follow companies helps you track developments at companies of interest to you, including job opportunities or other business developments.
Now that you know how to set up a Company Page and Search and Follow Other Company Pages, listed below are Tips to Engage your Audience Listeners.
Five tips to “turbo-charge” your LinkedIn company status updates:
1. Say “Hello” to Start a Relationship.
Introduce yourself first by describing who you are, why you and your business are here and don’t start off with the sales pitch. Truly engage your audience. Get to know your audience. For example, an IT services firm should tailor its messages differently to their tech-savvy followers than an audience of marketing executives.
Remember - your followers are already interested in hearing what you have to say so be brief, authentic, honest and relevant.
3. Think Quality - Not Quantity.
Offer insightful news, tips and other relevant information about your industry or business. Engage your followers with what you have to say and build relationships. Don’t just blast yoru readers with sales pitches or promotional messages.
Develop friends first! If you build your LinkedIn Company Page based on relevant content, the business results will follow. A humorous, effective status update can go viral and expose you to a wider audience as your followers “like,” share, or comment on company-driven content with their own professional network of followers.
A great example is Dell’s update about rival HP that created lots of buzz recently.
2. Mix Up Your Content with Varying Your Status Updates.
Company Status Updates are posts made by a company to share anything from company news about product releases to promotions to relevant industry tips and articles. Company posts are visible on the company’s Overview tab by any LinkedIn member. Anyone who follows a company will see the posts directly on their homepage. All LinkedIn members are able to view posts, click on embedded links or view videos and are also able to comment, like, or share a post.
In one post, consider highlighting a new product release, share an article link to press coverage or industry news and in another post, highlight a new product release or a list of hot topics or hot jobs. Photos are great! Try posting a YouTube video, opinion pole or even an infographic - even better.
Here are some great examples of spicing up your content and engaging you readers:
The Harvard Business School Executive Education that posts video Q&As with faculty, online newsletters, podcasts, and other multimedia content to engage with users.
Intuit posts a weekly news video broadcast to keep their followers informed:
4. Participate in Conversations.
Ask for feedback from your followers and find out what they want from your company. Start by asking questions and then watch how your followers respond and interact with other readers who are commenting.
Answer their questions timely and highlight insightful comments and show your followers that you’re actually listening to what they are saying.
5. Analyze Your Engagement Often.
How do you know if you’re doing well? Utilize the Free Analytics Tool in LinkedIn and check the stats that appear on your posts within 24 hours after your status update goes live. This will allow you to see what types of information and links create the most comments, likes, and clicks. Use this data to understand who your followers are, refine your strategy and optimize the conversation.
Use your time wisely and effectively in your social media marketing efforts. Remember: just because a social network is "popular," doesn't make it necessarily right for your business or industry. Use analytics as your guideline for what steps to take next. Monitor the traffic and leads you're generating from your online presence on each individual social media site. Is the return on investment (ROI) significant enough based on the amount of time and effort you're spending there? Is one social networking site performing better for you than another? These are all important questions to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can focus more of your time on the social networks that work for you and your business, and less of your time on those that don't.
About DJ Heckes, Author of Full BRAIN Marketing and Owner of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
DJ Heckes is CEO of EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts and Full BRAIN Marketing . She focuses on educating and training companies to significantly improve their Small Business Marketing strategies. DJ Heckes also presents customized training programs for Business Marketing, Social Media, Leadership and Trade Show Marketing. Learn more at www.EXHIB-IT.com and www.fullBRAINMarketing.com. Be sure to follow us!
DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
Full BRAIN Marketing
Monday, September 12, 2011
What Can LinkedIn Do for Me?
LinkedIn has been around since 2003, and many people use it differently. The question of what it can do for people seems to be a very popular question. In short, LinkedIn is a professional networking site with an executive representation of Fortune 500 companies. It is a great way to find people and is a great way to read someone's business history in a single screen. The site also helps you to understand who they know and network with.
Some interesting facts you probably did not know about LinkedIn:
- The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.
- The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes.
- People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.
- All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.