In March 2021, Digital Marketing Manager Christine McQuilkin participated in the CSIA webinar “Expert Panel: This is How to Master LinkedIn and Get Results” hosted by Lisa Richter. Christine shares tips on getting the most out of your company’s LinkedIn page.
Praise for the webinar:
“Great job hosting the CSIA Master Class on LinkedIn – very informative and I learned some great suggestions, both for my personal profile and our company’s. You did a great job – and the panel was fantastic. One of the best I have seen. Glad I went and watched the recorded video of the event. Thanks!” – Ken
“Great job! That was one of the best webinars I have attended in quite some time. For real.” – Debbie
“Thank you all for your assistance, insight and advice. I very much appreciate it all. It’s great to continue learning and gaining knowledge of the world of marketing, especially for system integrators.” – Brandon
Download our guide, Best Practices for Promoting Your Business on LinkedIn.
Tell us about a success story…
Over the decade-plus that Rivergate Marketing has been helping clients increase their digital footprints, we have seen many success stories. A few years ago, I witnessed a dramatic example of the power of LinkedIn. One of our clients, a CSIA-certified system integrator, had recently opened a new office in another state. We always recommend promoting this type of good news with a press release that goes out on the wire and is picked up by news agencies all over the country. As usual, we shared social media posts about the press release, including on LinkedIn. A contact at one of the integrator’s former clients had changed jobs and moved to the same city as the integrator’s new office. Although he had lost touch with the integrator after his move, he was still connected via LinkedIn. When he saw the LinkedIn post about the new office, he reached out immediately with a potential project. The integrator was put on the short list, and won the job. This was the first project for the integrator’s new office, and it kept them financially viable.
Why is it important for companies to have a presence on LinkedIn?
You are missing out on an opportunity to amplify your content and gain exposure for your company if you aren’t on LinkedIn; it is an important part of your marketing efforts. Digital marketing is about creating content to demonstrate your expertise such as through blogs, white papers, eBooks, videos, case studies, and more. Sharing posts on LinkedIn from your company page will show that your company is alive and well, and it will drive good-quality traffic to your website. Your customers, partners, suppliers, employees, and future employees are on LinkedIn, and you need to be there too.
What are some tips for creating a company profile and then managing it?
Make sure you have your basic company overview page completed, including description, website, industry, size, locations, etc. Add a button as a call to action; this can be used to drive traffic to your company’s website. Create a showcase page to highlight a product offering, special service, or affiliated brand. Are you aware that you can put job postings on LinkedIn to help with your recruiting efforts? You can also add an event to LinkedIn. This feature makes it easy to host an in-person or online event and manage registrations.
Once you have your LinkedIn profile populated, it’s important to keep this information up to date. Set a calendar reminder to review the page once per quarter, or more often if things are changing rapidly in your world.
What’s even more important is posting regularly; set a minimum goal of one post per week. If your company is creating marketing content, you should be promoting this on LinkedIn and other social media to amplify its exposure. Make it easy on yourself; sign up for a social media scheduling tool and do it in bulk. If you are just starting out, Buffer has a free version you can try. Rivergate Marketing uses HubSpot for our clients, which has a lot of tools to help you tie your marketing efforts to actual leads and sales.
What metrics should companies pay attention to?
You aren’t going to get the same analytics on LinkedIn as you get on other networks. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of the information because LinkedIn’s analytics don’t go back very far.
Number of followers – How many followers did you get over the past month? Who are they? Are they potential clients? Are they students? Are they vendors? Are they competitors? It’s good to keep an eye on this.
Number of visitors – Some people like to keep track of this metric, which shows how many page views you had over the last month.
Updates – There is all kinds of information provided about your posts, we will focus on just a few.
Impressions – How many sets of eyes saw your posts in their news feed?
Clicks – Together with the number of followers, we consider this to be the most important metric because our goal is to drive traffic to our clients’ websites. This number shows how many people clicked on your post if there was a link. (There should ALWAYS be a link.)
Shares – We will talk about this more in a minute. This is how many people shared your post from their personal or corporate account.
Engagement rate – This aggregates likes, clicks, shares, etc. and divides it by the number of impressions so you can see which posts were most popular overall.
Keeping track of this information will help you fine tune your process and potentially help you show some ROI for your efforts.
Why is it important for employees to interact with the company page and posts?
The LinkedIn algorithm likes people more than it likes companies – which means that preference is given to activities by people over activities by companies. Encourage your employees to share company posts from their personal LinkedIn account. Having a steady cadence of company posts is helpful to the employees because it gives them something to share, allowing them to increase their exposure and grow their networks as well.
As an aside, make sure your employees are properly connected to your company page. If they are, the company logo will show up in their work experience section. They will also be shown in the list of employees that appears on the company’s LinkedIn profile.
When asked what is the most powerful force in the universe, Albert Einstein reportedly replied, “compound interest.” What does Albert Einstein have to do with LinkedIn?
Here’s a simple example: Your company is just starting out and has 100 followers. This means that each post you share from that page could have up to 100 impressions. Your company has 50 employees who all share the post. They have an average of 500 connections each, which now gives your post a potential of 25,000 impressions. If their connections like, comment, or share, this number keeps rising exponentially.
Your future projects may come from anywhere. Keeping your company top of mind might be as simple as having your employees share company posts on LinkedIn.
Do you have an example of a company that had success in getting their employees engaged with the company profile?
Different companies take different approaches, and there is no one right way. One of our clients has intentionally built a company culture where the employees feel they are a strong part of the company’s success. The employees want to share the posts because they are proud to be a part of the company. This client does a great job of explaining the goals and sets a good example from the management level. The result is that the LinkedIn shares hover around 40 per month which drives a lot of impressions and clicks. They have also grown their followers by 40% in two years.
Is there a rule of thumb in terms of the type of content you post? For example, for every X number of promotional pieces, you should post Y number of entertainment or educational posts?
Good question! Let’s break it down. We rarely do entertainment posts – maybe once per year. We also rarely do a straight-out ask, or promotional piece. We mostly share educational blogs, articles, etc., which keeps the feed on-brand. Along those lines, we rarely share stories from other pages, and it would only be to support a close partner.
Our typical LinkedIn posts are an eye-catching image with a short amount of text. Starting today, I’m making sure the website is there. Any other suggestions for making our posts more effective?
The eye-catching image is awesome, and make sure the post has a link to your website. Using hashtags is a good idea. Tagging people is also a good idea: tag companies, tag individuals to try to increase your exposure.
What is your opinion on LinkedIn ads or sponsored content? I understand the value of LinkedIn as a social platform and best practices were the main topics, but are LinkedIn ads useful in any way or are the organic methods we discussed the preferred methods?
It depends on what your goals are. LinkedIn ads are much more expensive than other PPC, but they are also more targeted. In our industry, one project is obviously going to offset quite a few clicks, even in the $20++ PPC range. We do like the ability to target by job title, industry, etc. If you are looking for ads in general, I would recommend LinkedIn and/or Google, depending on your goals.
All these social media platforms – so many new ones every day. It’s overwhelming. Any advice?
It’s true! You should use the social media platforms that make sense for your business. I haven’t heard of any TikTok success stories yet in this industry, but I guess it’s possible? LinkedIn is where your customers, partners, employees, and future employees are. You should be there too. The same can’t be said for most of the other platforms.