Friday December 20, 2013
How Big Brands Get It Right With LinkedIn
With an emphasis on authorship and content in today’s marketing climate, as well as the proliferation of social media and networking, LinkedIn has become a vital tool in conveying brand identity, creating leads, and spreading awareness. Many small business leaders feel that they don’t have the time or money to dedicate to a full-blown social media strategy, and don’t see any realistic ROI from integrating LinkedIn. In reality, small companies can learn a lot by paying attention to the big guys, including how to do social media, and more specifically LinkedIn, in an efficient manner that maximizes its benefits. Here are examples of how big brands are getting it right with LinkedIn.
Using the “Recent Updates” module in LinkedIn is incredibly easy, and most big brands do it very well. Two examples that immediately come to mind are IBM and Coca-Cola, two brands with social media teams that keep their connections up-to-date on LinkedIn.
“Recent Updates” sections on the LinkedIn pages of these two brands feature relevant news stories, such as areas IBM is invested in or current events in popular culture, but also content that the brands have generated themselves, such as Coca Cola’s “Happiness Helpers” video for the holidays. In addition to compelling content and frequent updates, IBM even posts in multiple languages to cater to all of its connections, further driving “recommendations” and “shares.”
Products & Services Tab
LinkedIn provides a “Products & Services” tab for brands and companies to specifically highlight their value offerings. You can take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising, driving “shares” and “recommendations” with a strong Products & Services page, allowing your connections to spread the word about your offerings for you. For example, Hewlett-Packard boasts 19 products and services on their page, totaling 3,528 recommendations from their followers, which number nearly 1.5 million.
The Products & Services tab could also be a place to highlight your marketing efforts and promotions to further support your lead generation efforts. For example, BMW chooses to share events on their “services” tab, like their “OneDayWith BMW: Share your passion” event. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to create multiple distinct landing pages for different audience segments; you can essentially target your audience based on their LinkedIn profile. Criteria can range from industry, company size, geography, or even that individual’s job function or seniority.
You can and should include videos as part of the content you are publishing to your “Recent Updates” tab, just as you would include them in any integrated media campaign. A majority of large, successful brands utilize video and other multimedia content as part of their updates, from Coca-Cola’s web and TV advertisements to behind-the-scenes video from brands like Hyatt or Hilton Worldwide. As long as your video is hosted on YouTube, you can post it as part of your LinkedIn profile via its YouTube link. Videos also give you the opportunity to explain your products, services and value proposition.
Large companies like BMW and Disney are experts at utilizing LinkedIn for talent acquisition. Between the two, BMW and Disney currently have around 800 jobs posted to their 500,000 followers. LinkedIn is beneficial when trying to fill open positions, as potential applicants can contact any connections they may have at your company and fill out applications and submit cover letters on the spot. In addition, you get an overhead view of skills, endorsements and connections of any potential employee. While dedicating your entire LinkedIn profile to talent acquisition is probably a mistake, it can still take a prominent spot among your services, updates, or even have its own “Careers” tab next to your “Products & Services” tab.
As an entrepreneur or small business leader, you shouldn’t be any stranger to dedication, enthusiasm or effort. With these tips from the big guys, you now know where to start and how to produce results. With your work ethic and a little dedication, you can get it right on LinkedIn.