LinkedIn: Not what you think it is

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

LinkedIn gets a bad rap. Some describe it as “Facebook for Job Hunters” or worse. And part of that problem is real. Since its purchase by Microsoft, the platform has struggled with its identity and purpose. Is it a Professional Social meeting place? A job-hunter’s paradise? A tally of how “connected” you are?

Yes, No, Maybe and… All Of The Above

The simple truth is that like any other tool, it’s exactly what you use it for. And with some different thinking, it can probably be a whole lot more than you’re using it for:

  • It’s a Content Stream – one of the best (and worst, depending on the ones you join) features of LinkedIn is the groups. You can find a group for almost anything, admin’ed by almost anyone. So take some time and find the best groups for your industry, with as many brand neutral members as possible. Then see what the common issues are, what the “group think” is, and see where you may be able to post content that helps with these issues, while also promoting your brand, products and solutions. Just frame it as useful information, not a sales pitch.
  • Post Regularly – Make sure you’re engaged. Encourage employee participation on LinkedIn, boosting your company profile and connections. Post regularly, not just press releases and product announcements, but content that shows what a great place your company is to be a part of. Local news segments, employee events, charitable work.
  • Treat Followers as Leads – Both on your personal profile and your company’s, the people following you, not your connections (see the difference here), should be treated just like a lead was back in the day. Nurture them, keep in contact with them, and see how you, and your company can be of service to them.

As you’ll see, LinkedIn requires a little more work and finesse than some other social media platforms. But given the generally higher level of profile, and the reduced amount of trolling, background noise and non-business related distractions, it is a platform that can offer a great deal of upside for your company’s marketing efforts.

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