LinkedIn marketing might not jump to mind when you’re mapping out your social media strategy. After all, LinkedIn is a byword for ‘boring’ and ‘corporate’ - right?
Not so fast. LinkedIn might not be as flashy as its cousins, but it’s still a platform of note within the world of social media marketing.
For those in need of a refresher, LinkedIn is a social media platform targeted at working professionals across a range of industries. It’s also one of the world’s most widely-used social media platforms with 800 million users across 200+ countries, including 12 million in Australia and 2.2 million in New Zealand.
An online resume index, jobs site, and social networking platform rolled into one, LinkedIn has proven itself to be a serious marketing force for both B2C and B2B brands.
So, how can marketing with LinkedIn help you to grow your business successfully?
Read on for how you can use LinkedIn for your business, including how to understand the LinkedIn analytics that are crucial to measuring your performance.
LinkedIn outperforms popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram in several important ways - and some of them may surprise you.
For example, a recent Hubspot study found that LinkedIn marketing has a conversion rate of 2.74% - nearly 3 times (277%) the rate of Facebook or Twitter. Moreover, a 2021 survey of content marketers found that 77% listed LinkedIn as the best-performing social media channel for organic reach.
While LinkedIn continues to lag behind other social platforms in terms of daily usage, active LinkedIn sessions grew by 22% in Q1 of 2022 - a sign that users are trending towards more rather than less engagement with the platform.
On top of this, LinkedIn for business has a lot of awesome tools that its peers don’t have, including:
LinkedIn Articles. Maintaining a blog on your website takes a lot of time and effort. LinkedIn’s Articles tool lets you easily share in-depth, long-form content with your entire network.
Downloadable carousel posts. Carousel slideshows offer a visually-pleasing way to share ideas with your audience. Best of all, your followers can download these directly from the platform to read at their leisure (more on this in a bit!)
LinkedIn newsletters. The newsletter tool allows individual creators to send out regularly scheduled communications to subscribers, entirely within the LinkedIn platform.
So, what does this tell us? Instead of reaching the pinnacle of its popularity and declining (like the popular kids who peaked in high school) LinkedIn is a platform still on the rise. With usage and organic reach remaining strong, it’s clear that LinkedIn for business is well worth your marketing efforts.
You’ve decided you want to incorporate LinkedIn into your marketing strategy. So, where do you begin?
Every social media platform has its own culture and set of tools to engage users - and LinkedIn strategy is no exception to this rule. To give yourself the best chance at growing your brand, you need to have a good understanding of the capabilities available to your marketing team.
Before we dive into LinkedIn analytics, we’re going to share our top tips for how to market successfully on LinkedIn - get your pen ready!
Polls are a common tactic used across social media to boost engagement - and with good reason. It’s an excellent way for brands to open the floor to followers so they can share their opinions about a certain topic. The best part? The topics are chosen by you!
Interested to know what followers think of your latest product ideas, the types of content they engage with most, or their biggest pain points? Answers to these strategy-shaping questions are just a poll away.
Because they feature more content, carousel posts are a great way to boost engagement. LinkedIn for business makes it easy to turn all kinds of content into carousel posts, including photos, videos, and even PDFs.
PDF slideshows are a powerful LinkedIn strategy to share engaging brand information with followers in a convenient, easy-to-swipe format. From your latest product update to your business’s take on a new industry trend, the visual nature of carousels makes this information far more interesting than plain text.
It’s easy to assume that LinkedIn is too ‘mature’ a platform for emojis, but LinkedIn users love a well-placed icon as much as any other social media user. In fact, some studies indicate that LinkedIn posts containing emojis receive more reactions on average than those that don’t!
Our brains are wired to respond quickly to strong visuals, which is why so many of us are obsessed with adding emojis to messages and captions. When used appropriately, emojis help to inject personality and fun into otherwise static posts, increasing the likelihood of impressions.
While it’s tempting to get straight to the point with your LinkedIn marketing, you still need to provide followers with a hook to pique their interest. Make an effort to ‘set the scene’ and provide context for why your followers should care about your brand.
It’s worth remembering that only the first 200 characters of your post will be visible before the ‘See More’ CTA kicks in. To keep users reading, that first sentence or two needs to pack a punch.
Questions are another great way to grab attention and interrupt that impulse to scroll endlessly. It creates the feeling that your brand is addressing your followers on an individual level, rather than just talking into the void. Ending your posts with a question also helps to improve engagement by encouraging people to leave their thoughts or ideas in comments.
LinkedIn recently raised the character limit on posts from 1,300 to 3,000 - a clear sign that the platform is encouraging in-depth, thoughtful content. However, this doesn’t mean you should approach LinkedIn posts like writing an essay.
Dense, long paragraphs are tough for users to read, so they’re more likely to skip past your content. Instead, stick to a max of 2 sentences per paragraph. If you’re struggling to communicate your thoughts in a concise way, consider whether a LinkedIn Article could be a better option.
All social media platforms have the same mission: To keep people scrolling within the platform for as long as possible. This is why the LinkedIn algorithm deprioritises posts that contain external links.
In the name of achieving as much reach as possible, avoid placing links within the posts themselves. One common LinkedIn strategy is to drop any relevant links within a comment section; just make sure to include a CTA in your post so followers know where to look!
Right, so you now have the tips to maximise your LinkedIn performance, but how can you understand what impact your content is having over time, beyond the limited in-platform engagement metrics LinkedIn provides?
The LinkedIn platform provides some basic content metrics such as number of impressions, clicks, click-through rate and engagement rate, but these analytics don’t provide good insight into how your audience feels about your content, what is driving growth and how your brand is performing compared to the others on the platform.
We’ve outlined some ways you can go deeper with your LinkedIn content analysis to understand what content is contributing to brand growth.
LinkedIn itself doesn’t give you any indications of the emotions attached to the content you post. Understanding your audience’s emotions can provide useful insight on whether your engagement is brand building (or brand damaging).
You may have a high performing post based on LinkedIn’s metrics, but if it’s because people are commenting on and sharing it for the wrong reasons - maybe they’re unhappy customers calling you out - then a high engagement rate isn’t necessarily good for your brand.
A post on a controversial topic may encourage negative emotion, such as fear, while a post on the charity work your brand is doing may draw out warm feelings of support and admiration. Understanding these emotions can help you understand which of your content is resonating in the right way.
There are a few ways to conduct sentiment analysis: you be the judge of which one is going to be easiest for your business:
LinkedIn provides you with an engagement rate, which is a weighted metric that considers the number of likes, comments and shares your content has received, but aside from highlighting whether your content has performed well on this single dimension, it doesn’t help you understand why it might have done well.
One way to find out is using one of Zavy’s dashboards, Map, to see exactly how each of your posts are performing across both engagement and net sentiment dimensions.
You can also see your brand through the eyes of your audience, by viewing the net sentiment for your brand overall (that is, the net sentiment of all your posts combined).
With a grasp on which posts have high engagement, plus high net sentiment, you can make better judgments about what type of content to continue with - and what type content it might be worth retiring.
This sounds somewhat fanciful, but there’s a way to do it, we promise!
We came up with Zavy Score, a weighted metric which gives you a top-level view of how strong your brand is on LinkedIn, taking into consideration how other brands are performing. It’s a score you can use to compare your own performance on LinkedIn over time and how you are performing relative to other brands.
The higher the score the better - and the more confident you can be that your brand is standing out on the platform.
You can track it daily or over any specified timeframe to uncover trends and see how your social media marketing is paying off.
We’re excited to add LinkedIn to the Zavy platform - offering content and audience insights that you won’t find on LinkedIn. We’re already seeing clients use these insights to elevate their brand. LinkedIn joins our lineup of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to form a formidable social media analytics stack.
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