Setting up a website is only becoming easier and easier, and with hosts like 1&1 offering $1 web hosting, it is not even expensive. The hard part is promoting your site when it is online.
Social media marketing is an essential aspect of the marketing campaign for any business. In fact, such is the breadth and disparity between different social media platforms, a social media manager (or indeed the entrepreneur having to do everything all by themselves) has their work cut out in both curating and managing campaigns and strategies for each different site.
Many do it wrongly, but let me tell you this: How one utilizes their business Facebook account cannot be directly applied to Twitter or Pinterest. That’s just the way it is. Why? It’s simple really: They are not the same.
Not only are the functions different, but the audience is as well. And as any marketer worth his salt in 2016 knows, if your promotion is not tailored to a specific audience, it might as well be seen by no audience whatsoever.
Let’s talk about LinkedIn
There are tons of handy guides and articles on how to utilize the big three of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to your specific marketing needs. In this post, we are instead going to look at LinkedIn, which is too commonly seen as a purely networking zone or recruitment forum. LinkedIn is still a social media platform, and for certain enterprises (principally those operating B2B) has potential that needs to be tapped.
LinkedIn has an excess of 238 million users in over 200 countries (accruing two new members every second!); the site sees 78 million unique monthly visits and over three million enterprises have company pages. The social network is unique in many ways:
1. Focus on branding first, monetary results second
As a primarily professional network, LinkedIn offers the chance for a company or brand to build up their image as an authoritative resource and voice in their industry. If your site has a blog (and your site should have a blog) you can incorporate your RSS feed via a widget, allowing your followers on LinkedIn to view new posts directly on their feeds.
2. Engage your audience – don’t sell (too much)
As is the case with building up your brand image on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, it is important to refrain from too much promotion. In fact, more often than not you should be posting horizontally instead of vertically. This means, posting and writing about relevant topics and events beyond your own product or service.
To gather and retain followers, you need to post content of interested and value, not simply information on your latest deals. Naturally, to show you care, ensure that you respond to questions and comments that users may post on your page or beneath your posts.
3. LinkedIn Groups are goldmines – for professionals
As of yet, companies are not allowed to join groups themselves. This is only open to individuals, and it is a great place to make connections and build up a name for yourself, and in the process the company that you run or are affiliated with. However, businesses on LinkedIn are able to set up and manage groups. This can be a nice place to host discussions and debates on topics in your field. It can also act as a place for reviews and feedbacks of your product or service (do not be wary of negative reviews, just ensure that your response is friendly and efficient).
To takeaway, here are a couple of simple dos and don’ts:
Be genuine. Although this is a professional network, it is still social at heart. When requesting to add someone to your network, send a personal message, not simply the default; ensure that your page is clear of spam; and utilize tools such as
Buffer and TrueSocialMetrics that will help you schedule posts and analyze activity on your page.
It is best not to ‘cold message’ or to ask for recommendations from people who you do not know well, and who do not know your brand well. Ensure to turn off any pre-scheduled posts at times of tragedy or disaster.
And apart from that, happy linking!