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Webucator's Free LinkedIn Tutorial

Lesson: LinkedIn

Welcome to our free LinkedIn tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's LinkedIn Training course.

In this lesson, you will learn how LinkedIn can be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Lesson Goals

  • Use LinkedIn for branding purposes.
  • Use LinkedIn for sales opportunities.
  • Use LinkedIn for SEO benefits.
  • Use LinkedIn for support and customer service functions.
  • Set up an internal LinkedIn policy.
  • Learn about tools, services, and management.
  • Learn about tracking activity and results from using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn for Branding

LinkedIn offers a great branding opportunity for companies. Companies can host a company page and encourage interaction there, as well as encourage employees to engage in discussions. Here are some considerations on using LinkedIn:

  1. Do you want to have an engaging company presence on LinkedIn and push customers to a profile or group for interaction?
  2. Do you want to encourage employees to use LinkedIn for reaching out to potential customers and partners?

Company Profile

You use your company profile to disseminate information, offer a listing of your products/services along with recommendations on each, and encourage people to follow your company on LinkedIn. Take a look at the screenshot below from AT&T's company page:

In the screenshot, you can see various ways that AT&T is using their page:

  1. To promote their latest offerings.
  2. To engage with customers, who are now followers of the company (note: you can post company updates and all followers see your messages).
  3. To list all products and services and gather recommendations (see screenshot below).

The screenshot below shows an example of one of their company messages, again, being seen by all of its LinkedIn followers:

Encouraging Employees to Use LinkedIn

Employees can engage at two levels:

  1. Employees can simply set up profiles and select the correct company profile as their employer.
  2. Employees can also participate in relevant Groups and Answers sections, indirectly providing promotion of company products/services.

LinkedIn outreach can be completed efficiently without much work beyond initial policy decisions in your company. LinkedIn can also be time consuming for employees if they decide to become active within Groups and Answers sections.

Navigating LinkedIn Opportunities

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will locate opportunities within LinkedIn for your business.

Search LinkedIn groups and answers, and find three good opportunities for someone in your company to jump on and offer your product/services as a solution.

Solution:

Let's look at one example of finding an opportunity with LinkedIn Groups. I'm going to hypothetically pretend that I run a social media monitoring product and I joined a bunch of related industry groups on LinkedIn.

One group, Social Media Marketing, has a pretty active discussion board. Consider the screenshot below.

This is a previous discussion that a member started looking for advice on a monitoring tool. Now, if I ran a company that offered an ideal fit, an opportunity might be to offer her a free version of the software to try out.

A method similar to this accomplishes two important points:

  • You become involved in a popular discussion and begin working towards becoming an industry go-to person for this group.
  • You get free advertising for your company! Every person who visits this discussion will learn more about your product.

Now, go find some business opportunities for your business!

LinkedIn for Sales

From a sales perspective, there are three main opportunities:

  1. Simply promote your latest company offerings through your company profile.
  2. Search on LinkedIn Groups and Answers for customers who have pain points that match your company offers and respond to them with an offer.
  3. Run a paid ad campaign on LinkedIn.

Consider the opportunity of finding people who have related pain points and check out the screenshot below from a LinkedIn group.

In the example, this user is looking for advice on a social media tool. If your company filled this niche, an employee could respond with relevant resources to check out. If it's a large discussion, the employee could offer a free product, and everyone else on the discussion would see that response.

The other sales opportunity to discuss is LinkedIn Ads. This is another PPC or PPM tool that is available. Similar to Facebook ads, you can target your ideal customer. Consider the screenshot below:

In the example shown, you can see all of the targeting opportunities that are available. You can see that we chose to target only members of the "Social Media Today" group.

Developing a LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will learn how to set up a LinkedIn ad campaign.

Log into LinkedIn ads and develop an initial campaign for your latest product offering. As you prepare your ad, consider:

  • Your ad copy. Be sure to include a relevant call-to-action, a value proposition, etc.
  • Your audience. Who is your ideal customer? Test different demographic choices using the audience tool and note how your audience size changes depending on your choices. This also serves to give you a good picture of the people who can be reached through LinkedIn.

Solution:

As every ad campaign will be very different, I'd like to share a great resource with even more information about LinkedIn Ads.

This resource guide is from the team over at unbounce: http://unbounce.com/ppc/5-ways-to-make-your-linkedin-ad-campaigns-rock-you-like-a-hurricane

LinkedIn for SEO

From an SEO perspective, there are two considerations for external SEO:

  1. Since LinkedIn is a very popular website with credibility, employee searches on search engines can list their profiles up on top of result pages.
  2. If a company is looking for a specific person to show up on top on search results, they can make sure an employee has the desired title. For example, if a company wants partnership offers, they could have one person have a title such as: AT&T Wireless Partnerships.

There are also two considerations for internal SEO on LinkedIn:

  1. Within LinkedIn, if a company wants a topic to show up well when a user searches internally, they can have an employee build up their profile with the desired keyword. This will help when a user searches for the same keyword on a LinkedIn search.
  2. Have employees set their profiles as public, so more content can become searchable.

Finally, consider that many people share articles via LinkedIn. Explore LinkedIn today to see the top articles that are being shared. Sharing your blog articles, press releases, etc., is a great way to drive traffic and ultimately increase SEO opportunities.

LinkedIn for Support

If your company tends to get a lot of questions from customers, you may also want to consider creating a LinkedIn group where questions can be answered by your support team and by other clients. Consider the following Photoshop group where users are constantly asking questions, reporting bugs, and sharing resources.

LinkedIn Policy

When we look at policy for LinkedIn, the same considerations as we discussed for other platforms are important.

  1. Point-of-Contact: Your company should determine one person or a team internally that can handle all of LinkedIn interaction on the company page.
  2. Content: Your company should set up rules on what company information, both sensitive and promotional, that employees are allowed to share among the various LinkedIn channels.
  3. Comment Response: Your company should create a protocol on who responds to discussion boards, questions, and even product recommendations that come in, as well as how negative responses are handled.

LinkedIn is a place where many discussions take place. Consider setting up protocol on how employees should conduct themselves in threaded discussions.

Tools, Services, and Management

There are numerous LinkedIn tools that are available to companies for their benefit.

Here are popular tools and services many companies are currently using:

  • Company employees can help share relevant content directly on their own profiles through plug-ins such as WordPress, SlideShare, and more.
  • On a company profile, you can add all of your product/service offerings, along with up to three banner ads that promote your latest specials.

From a management perspective, here are some considerations:

  • Make sure you have a specific policy related to who can join discussions on behalf of your company.
  • Encourage employees to help provide content for your company page.

Tracking Activity and Results

Results from LinkedIn can also vary from company to company and from category to category. There are a few measurements you'll want to focus on:

  1. How much traffic are you getting to your website from LinkedIn? Google Analytics will provide you this information, and we'll cover that later on in this course.
  2. Are your calls-to-action working on your company page? If they are not, what can you do to change the engagement levels?
  3. Are you getting customers to leave recommendations for your products/services? How will you encourage them to do so?

Group Discussion

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will discuss LinkedIn for your business.

Develop a multi-faceted plan on using LinkedIn to help promote your latest product offering. Consider how you will use:

  1. The company page including banners, recommendations, updates, etc.
  2. Employee profiles including the plug-ins that might help spread the word about your product.
  3. Advertising opportunities including ad content and your target audience.
  4. Discussion groups, specifically which groups offer the highest opportunity.
  5. Answers, specifically which topics offer the best opportunity.
  6. LinkedIn Today, specifically what types of articles you might want featured and shared.

Solution:

Let's look at two examples from the opportunities we mentioned above. First up, from the Webucator company page.

In the following screenshot, you can see an image from the company page, taking advantage of taking advantage of the banner ad space with a promotional message for our followers to see when viewing the page.

Now, consider the following screenshot. It's from my personal LinkedIn profile where I listed a few course projects that I worked on. It gives me (and Webucator) a way to promote our various course offers on a personal LinkedIn profile. Do you have any publications or reports you could promote on your profile?