Maximizing LinkedIn Benefits to Your Web Marketing Campaign
Because you’re competing for visibility against millions of other individuals and companies, you need to undertake some targeted activities to reach the people you want to reach. LinkedIn gives you five primary methods: Groups, Answers, Recommendations, Advertising, and using LinkedIn Today.
Participating in LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups, like Facebook groups and Twitter hashtags, give you the chance to identify users who share your interests and who might become potential clients, vendors, or helpful connections.
The key, as always, is first to monitor potential groups and then to offer helpful suggestions and comments, without overtly selling your products or services. Standard forum etiquette applies! To view potential groups, use the drop-down menu under the Groups tab in the top navigation pane.
Providing answers on LinkedIn
One of the best ways to develop visibility on LinkedIn is to become an “expert” in the Answers section. To see the Answers section, go to the More tab in the top navigation pane and choose Answers from the drop-down menu.
LinkedIn claims that “users with recommendations are three times as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches.” Use the Advanced Search feature to sort results by relationship + recommendations, so that profiles with the highest number of recommendations appear higher in search results.
Now is the time to call in cards from your friends, colleagues, satisfied clients, and compatriots. You can review any recommendations you receive, so you can always decide whether or not to publish them. To request or receive recommendations, simply choose Recommendations from the drop-down menu on the Profile tab in the top navigation area.
Advertising on LinkedIn
With its capability to segment a hard-to-reach B2B audience by industry, job title, and other categories, LinkedIn can deliver “eyeballs” that may be more difficult or expensive to achieve by using other paid advertising. For more information on LinkedIn advertising, see LinkedIn Advertising or LinkedIn Ads FAQs.
LinkedIn members can select text-only ads in a single line across the top of various pages, or they can select a combination of small image and text ads in the rectangular ad unit in the right column of a page. These self-service ads offer a choice between a standard PPC (pay per click) with a $2-per-click minimum and a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) option.
The campaign structure is comparable to that of Google AdWords or Bing/Yahoo!
LinkedIn also offers display (banner) ads on specific pages. You must negotiate display ad costs separately with LinkedIn.
Reading LinkedIn Today
Found on the drop-down menu under the News tab, LinkedIn Today aggregates business news from dozens of prime sources. You can customize your news selection by publication or industry, or both, by electing to follow various options in the Browse All section on the top menu.
Early anecdotal evidence from LinkedIn members indicates that both profile views and referral links have increased since LinkedIn Today was introduced.