7 Easy Ways to Use Linkedin to Promote Your Business

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Are you logging into your LinkedIn profile only when you are prospecting for new employees or to pull in some intel on a potential client? Then you’re not getting the most out of the most effective traffic referral tool of all social networks. That’s right, recent statistics are validating the fact that on average LinkedIn draws more referral traffic to websites than Facebook and Twitter combined. If your Google Analytics reports don’t mirror this fact then you are the perfect candidate for this article. Read further to learn how to make LinkedIn your next great success for your brand’s social network marketing initiatives.

7 Steps to Using LinkedIn to Promote Your Website and Business

1. Fill Out Your Personal Profile to 100% Completion

It all begins with your personal profile. As a figurehead in your company your name will likely be searched on LinkedIn above and beyond anything else related to your business. This search not only occurs within LinkedIn but on Google with “your name linkedin” as the keyword string. You want all eyes to land on the best possible representation of you. Your official profile strength is determined by its completeness. If you’re not at All-Star level yet drop everything that you are doing (after you read this article of course) and complete your LinkedIn profile until it says so.

2. Fill Out Your Company Page to 100% Completion

Someone checking out your company profile on LinkedIn is simply closer to the point of purchase than someone doing the same on any other major social network. This is especially the case when you are a B2B provider. In the last three years there has been a 20% increase in the percentage of companies who acquired a B2B customer through LinkedIn and marketers have rated the social network as the most effective social channel of all*. Many brand managers neglect their company’s LinkedIn company profile or have yet to even set one up (yikes!). Give it the same gusto as you’ve become accustomed to doing with your Twitter, FB, and G+ pages. Complete the contact info, connect staff profiles to the company page, add an attractive logo/header image, and optimize the page by detailing your specialties and industry with the appropriate keyword tags (city real estate, etc…).

3. Connect to Someone New Every Single Day Until You Hit 500

Now that you’ve completed your personal and corporate profiles on LinkedIn it’s time to grow your reach with some proactive connection building. You want to get that number up to at least 500, not only to grow your audience, but to be perceived as a professional with some industry clout (perception is reality). Dig up every email contact, business card, and (other) social network connection that you have made over the last couple of years and put their names (with associated email) in a file. Make a habit of searching at least one of these names within LinkedIn every day (minus the ones that you are already connected to, of course) and request a connection. Keep this up over the months ahead and you’ll grow your reach significantly. Warning: Do not spam request people you do not know. Grow your connections proactively, but naturally.

4. Join Groups Where Your Clients Exist and Participate in Discussions

Your profiles are complete, you are on the way to building your connection count, and now it’s time to grow your audience through group discussion interactions. Select the Groups tab, type in your industry and any other where your customers may exist, view the group list, and request to Join where applicable. Some groups are locked to prevent unwanted solicitation so be sure to request inclusion within groups that directly relate to your personal profile so that group administrators will look at your profile and deem you a good fit. Once in, you will want to follow up-to-date discussions and use your authoritative insight to answer questions and contribute to the ongoing dialogue. Do not use these forums to outright pitch your product/service. Customers from LinkedIn will come to you naturally when they see that you are adding value to these discussions and when they identify that your offering may be for them or someone they know. You will also gain connections this way and can earn referral traffic when linking to content on your website (see next item below) that directly answers queries posted within group discussions.

5. Create and Post Content Specific to the LinkedIn Audience

LinkedIn wants you to “publish relevant content in a professional context” and that’s exactly what you need to do. This social network is not where you share pictures of what you had for lunch (unless of course you are a professional food blogger). In the same manner that you should be creating bite-size content strictly for Facebook and Twitter you need to create content with your LinkedIn audience in mind. This content needs to answer questions that many have about your industry, address related trending topics, and be presented in an engaging yet professional (relative to your industry – don’t mistake bland for professional) manner. You will use this content when involved in group discussions and when posting daily (see below) on your personal and corporate profiles.

6. Post Your Content During High Engagement LinkedIn Hours

Your Facebook and Twitter engagement levels may go up before and after business hours but LinkedIn is the opposite. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that office staff will not get “in trouble” for having their professional LinkedIn profiles open during that 9 to 5 window. Whatever the reason statistics* show that posting your content on LinkedIn during business hours, especially those earlier in the day, results in higher click-through rates and thus greater referral traffic to your website.

7. Study the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn

Don’t just take my word for it, LinkedIn itself has compiled the *stats to back the above assertions up for you. The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn is an easy and interesting read and is chock full of more explicit information on how to crack the code on LinkedIn as a tool to promote your website and business. Download it onto your mobile device and study a page or two each day while in line at your local coffee shop until you know it inside out.

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