When it comes to promoting your small business, the biggest platforms of the past tended to be cost-prohibitive. But social media and digital platforms are leveling the playing field. Sure, only a limited number of businesses can afford to pay $5.6 million for the chance to put a 30-second advertisement in the Super Bowl. But there are plenty of affordable platforms that can connect you with vast audiences for a fraction of the price.
“With over 65 million users, LinkedIn is a social network geared toward career professionals,” explains a small business marketing report from The Balance Small Business. “It’s a platform for promoting your home business, finding a job or freelance work, and connecting with joint venture partners. If you have a home business that caters to other businesses (B2B) or have a business in which networking for partners or clients is important, you should have a profile on LinkedIn.”
The low barrier of entry for networks such as LinkedIn is a blessing and a curse. The main benefit is that even the smallest of businesses can target their message to millions of different audiences.
On the flip side, the ease of using LinkedIn also lowers the stakes involved. Consequently, many businesses approach their marketing on the platform in a sloppy fashion—no strategy and no efficiency.
To sharpen your efforts and get more bang from your admittedly small buck, here are 7 tips for marketing on LinkedIn:
1. Offer Value
Imagine that you’re browsing a social network and encounter an advertisement. Do you click on it? Not unless there’s something exceptionally valuable or relevant in the ad.
Establish your small business as a source of quality content. If you write an interesting blog post, share it. Find an excellent post written by someone else in your industry? Share it as well, adding your analysis in the caption.
2. Make It Visually Appealing
Whether you’re sharing an article, a product promotion, or a business update, always include a visual component. You can use any sort of related photograph or graphic. Additionally, YouTube videos will autoplay on LinkedIn, making them a perfect way to add engagement to a post.
3. Transcend Your Native Tongue
Users identify their primary language when they set up their LinkedIn accounts. You can use the platform’s multi-language tools to serve up your business name, description, and content in nearly 2 dozen different languages. Using this strategy, you’ll broaden your reach and establish yourself and a brand that connects with people on a personal level.
4. Get Your Employees on Board
The people inside the walls of your own building are critical to your networking abilities. Their engagement with your LinkedIn page allows you to access their professional connections. Additionally, businesses with strong followings from their employees can back up their claims about culture. The proof is in the pudding, and if your people are supporting you online, they probably support you in real life.
5. Tap into a LinkedIn Group
Don’t just rely on your employees as a source for expanding your network. By joining a LinkedIn Group, you’ll have the opportunity to branch out from your circle of first- and second-level connections. To leverage these new interactions, join in discussions and comment on content.
Start by searching LinkedIn for relevant groups. If you use the Groups discover feature, you can get suggestions for your small business. Of course, you aren’t limited to what’s currently available. If you feel a new Group would fill a void, go ahead and create it.
6. Get the Analytics
As a wise pilot said, “Never fly blind.” The same can be said for LinkedIn marketing. Start by using the platform’s analytics to begin learning the best content to share and when to promote it.
To check out the analytics for your account, go to the “Me” tab in the top navigation. From there, go to the “Manage” in the dropdown, and select your company. You can select the analytics from there, focusing on factors such as visitors and followers.
7. Get Some Extra App Power
While a basic LinkedIn account is adequate, you can boost your reach and impact by using the available applications. Simply go to your profile and then navigate to the applications section.
Prime examples include the blog apps that let you promote your top-performing posts and the Amazon app that enables you to highlight certain products.
Stand Out From the Crowd
By taking a more strategic approach to your LinkedIn efforts, you’ll be able to separate yourself from the pack. Because with more than 65 million users, there’s definitely a massive pack on LinkedIn.
Best of all, you can apply many of these strategies to your efforts on other social platforms. For example, the value-added content you create for LinkedIn could also be shared on Facebook or Twitter. This approach will help you stay consistent in your marketing efforts, increase your efficiency, and get the biggest results.