LinkedIn: is it the right channel for my business?

We live in an age of networks. Not just the internet, but also the more traditional networking that occurs in our social and professional lives. It still applies that often, who you know rather than what you know is what will get you places. No other social networking site embodies this principle more than LinkedIn.

Used by over 500million users across the globe, it’s one of the greatest means of reaching people outside of Facebook or Twitter. Linkedin has already sorted its users by profession, seniority, and education.

With its huge potential for outreach, this makes LinkedIn one of the most important sites for any proficient social media campaign. If you’re not already trying to work out a marketing strategy for maximising its potential, then you’re making a huge blunder.

 

 

 

 

What LinkedIn Is Not

An important first step before you approach LinkedIn – remember what it is there for. LinkedIn is not like Facebook or Twitter in that it’s not designed for casual socialising. It’s a professional networking website that allows people to make contacts with people in various industries for mutual benefit. If Facebook is like a massive bar or a mixer, then LinkedIn is a trading convention or a business conference.

You don’t share foodies or idle thoughts about whether horses get songs stuck in their heads. Neither create groups to discuss the latest Marvel or DC movie, and you don’t use it to complain about that guy who cut you off in traffic. You exchange company contact details and business tips. Your groups will be for Midland NHS nurses, or self-employed graphics artists.

As such, you should tailor your marketing campaign on LinkedIn accordingly. People using the site are doing so as working professionals, and will likely be turned off by anything that does not fit that theme. Keep your adverts nice and corporate, and you’ll generate more positive results. Imagine what you’d expect to see yourself at a London expo, and you won’t go too wrong.

This does not mean you should be boring, of course. Creativity still applies, but the context must be considered closely. Always match your marketing campaign to your audience.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is extremely good at categorising its member base on all kinds of variables. After all, people use it so that can easily make connections that can further help them in their career. This isn’t just useful for them as corporate ladder-climbers, it’s useful to you too for advertising.

How is this? Comprehensive targeting.

LinkedIn comes already equipped with an extensive search tool that operates based on specific job titles, such as “hospital administrator”, “operations manager”, or “freelance plumber”. If you know your product or service will be better targeted as a specific demographic, this makes tracking members of that demographic down and targeting them all the easier.

Just make sure you already have the basic details of your marketing campaign down already:

  • What exactly is the product/service?
  • Who is my product/service specifically for?
  • How does this demographic behave?
  • How large is it?
  • What is the end goal? Sales? Awareness? Further contacts? Research? Registrations?

Also, keep in mind that LinkedIn very much knows its worth as a tool for marketers, and is not afraid to charge them for the privilege of its use. Depending on your targeted audience, and how generous LinkedIn isn’t feeling, you be paying as much as £5-£6 per click. This could really affect your return of investment.

 

 

 

 

Compared to Other Sites

So how does LinkedIn Compare when placed up against other sites?

Naturally, the various networking sites on the internet will all have various differences based on their natures and intent. Twitter is geared more towards short, sharp messages and updates, whereas Facebook is much more about social networking and forming large groups and casual connections. Pinterest is mostly dedicated to sharing images, whereas YouTube is entirely about sharing video content.

All can be used for advertising to a degree, but some are better than others.

 

Facebook

 

 

 

 

For example, Facebook has a massive audience and the potential to reach tens of thousands of people in less than a day. Pretty much everybody uses it, and when things go viral they usually start off on there. Facebook also very handily sorts people in terms of groups as interests. If someone is really into mountain climbing, chances are their user metric will allow you to find that out and target relevant products at them.

However, its great strength is also its greatest weakness. It’s a highly competitive market place for advertising campaigns, and it can be difficult to stand out from all the background noise on the website. This means you need to think carefully about your advertising and the target audience, and really be clever in getting those crucial likes and shares.

Remember that Facebook is casual and light-hearted. Your adverts and the products featured in them are likewise. If you’re trying to market as one company to another, you won’t find nearly as much success as marketing as a company to the average consumer.

 

Twitter

 

 

 

 

Twitter is a little trickier to use. It’s less about networking and more about status updates and media sharing. People don’t use Twitter to really meet people, but to broadcast ideas and thoughts.

It does, however, offer an interesting function in “Website clicks or conversions”. This little doodad allows you to drive traffic on Twitter onto a specific landing page for registrations or sales. As such if you want a platform that offers quick conversions, Twitter is a good place to start.

All in all, however, LinkedIn remains the best website for any business to business marketing. It has the scope, the environment, and the tools necessary for you to draw professional traffic to your business.

 

Hopefully the above will help you figure out whether LinkedIn advertising might be the way to go or not.

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May Growth Be With You!