So far in the series we have looked at building a solid foundation with personal and company profiles that utilise all of the key LinkedIn features, along with growing our personal connections. In this article I am going to focus on how to build a wider audience with your company profile (reach) and generate more impressions, clicks, interactions and followers - plus track all that with the use of LinkedIn Analytics and Page Insights.
It goes without saying (although I am going to say it), that the more followers you have, the better reach your messages will have, the more exposure, impressions and so on. So we need a strategy to continually grow our audience. Think of your company page as a door to your shop, how are you going to get people to walk through it? Well, we need to tell people it's there!
Your employees are a great place to start, make sure everyone of them adds your company profile to their personal page under their “Current” employment. This will also enable your employees to like, comment on, and share all your company updates and messages helping you reach further and engage more.
Top Tip: Why not go that one-step further and put on a workshop coffee morning for your team to share all the LinkedIn tips we have been working on in this series. Make sure all your employees have got complete profiles and are connected with the customers they work with.
Put a link to your LinkedIn personal and company profile on your email signature - this will give you exposure every time you send an email without even thinking about it. Make it look good to using the LinkedIn icons, or have your graphic designer make some unique and eye catching.
Add a LinkedIn follow button to your website, newsletter and blog - It’s really simple to add a share button, visit https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/follow-company to build your company button and grab the premade ready-to-go code that you can copy / paste into any HTML page.
Pay for Follow Ads - This is a premium feature and is one you have to contact LinkedIn for. Personally I haven't tried this, but it looks a great feature, with the ability to target a precise audience by industry, region, seniority, etc.
Send a direct message to your connections - because not every one of your connections is following your company page right now, so reach out to your personal connections and ask them to follow your company page. Here’s a little template you can use..
We’ve just updated our company LinkedIn page, it now features the latest and best information about our products and services, along with weekly updates on industry news, our opinions and LinkedIn only offers. It would be great if you became one of our followers - we’ll make sure you’re looked after!
Follow us now at http://www.linkedin.com/company/yourcompanyname
We look forward to having you onboard!
Link to your profile in the bottom of your group discussions - this is a bit like a forum signature, with a simple bit of text and a link to your company profile URL on LinkedIn. In the example below I am posting relevant content plus giving our company page a push to grow our audience.
We want to our company status updates to be helpful, professional and geared towards lead generation - with a mixture of content, reposts and marketing messages. Here are some LinkedIn rules of engagement:
Simply pushing continual marketing messages at your audience isn’t going to work on LinkedIn, you will see a decrease in the number of followers, less clicks and ultimately a lower lead generation rate. Remember we are trying to build authority and not just shout about how great our product or service is.
As a good rule of thumb we suggest posting 4 relevant content pieces for every 1 advertising / self promotion piece. This can be taken one-step further to aid engagement and ensure you don’t just look like you're pushing your own content, remember people like to know their content is worthy too, so repost someone else's relevant content and comment on it too.
The social engagement rule of thumb
4 x Own content pieces
1 x Share someone else's relevant content
1 x Comment on a piece of relevant content
1 x Advertising / Self Promotion / Marketing Message
Keep a little tally chart on a whiteboard or post it note to make sure you're keeping roughly within that envelope.
This should “link in” (see what I did there!) with your content marketing strategy, by creating content that your audience will want to read. Fill a gap in the content marketplace by creating how-to videos, articles, opinions on current hot topics, reviews of competitor products, contests and competitions, polls, feedback requests and so on.
Top Tip: Keep it short and precise, don't waffle. Ensure there is a link to your content and company profile in the status update. Also ask your web developer to use open graph on the pages you share, to ensure the proper title, description and image is pulled through from your web content.
LinkedIn differs from other channels like twitter and facebook where the audience don’t want to see a stream of just your updates, instead try for 2 or 3 updates per day maximum and use the commenting tool to engage further. You can comment on other peoples statues, in group discussions and by InMail.
Top Tip: Remember this is all from your company page updates, not your own personal status update, therefore its important to take the brands viewpoint and not your own.
Here’s the corporate video of LinkedIn’s Analytics to give you an overview of data and information freely available to your company oage.
To get to page insights, go to your company page, and hover over the “Tools” drop down menu, click the “View page insights” link. A little bit like the basics of Google Analytics, page insights gives you data on views, audience demographics, unique visitors (old school “hits”) and product / service page clicks. The snapshot below shows are page insights from Feb 1 (Thus the big downturn because of no data for Feb yet). We have been actively involved in LinkedIn since January 4th, and you can see the upward benefit already.
A fantastic tool which reports on exact performance of your company page.
You can see the title of the update, how many people saw it (impressions), clicks, interactions (i.e. a share, like or comment), the number of followers acquired from it and the engagement % (Engagement = interactions + clicks + followers acquired / impressions). You can also change the date range of the report to get up to 6 months of data.
Learn more about the people that are following your company, including demographic data on: seniority, industry, company size, function (marketing, sales, etc) and if they are employees of your company or not.
You can also compare yourself to other companies and get follower trends (the number of followers over time) by date range.
Now you understand about company pages on LinkedIn and how they can help you grow a wider audience, we also took a look at engagement etiquette along with how to track success through LinkedIn analytics.