TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Ways to Weave LinkedIn Into Your Marketing Mix

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Social Media

From Facebook to Twitter to You Tube, there’s no limit to the number of social networking sites that can be leveraged to interact with customers and prospects, and build positive brand awareness.

LinkedIn, however, stands apart from the crowd. The roots of popular sites like YouTube and Facebook are founded on the entertainment side of things. But since its creation, LinkedIn has been geared toward the professional business crowd.

If you haven’t already incorporated LinkedIn into your online marketing mix, consider the latest statistics:

  • LinkedIn has more than 60 million members
  • A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members

Get started with a LinkedIn marketing strategy today with these five tips:

1. Build a Network, Then Start a Group
Getting started with a LinkedIn marketing strategy involves two important steps, the second of which is dependent on the first:

  • Create a personal account and build a network of contacts. Reach out to customers with whom your business has a solid relationship – those who truly know your company and its products or services. Ask them to write recommendations for your company, which will appear in your profile. And don’t forget to ensure all employees are part of the network as well.
  • Once your personal account is setup, create a group for the brand. By creating a group for your brand, you’ll be able to maximize reach beyond your network. Within the brand group, you can start discussions, share news, post jobs and create subgroups.

2. Make the Most of Your Profile
For the LinkedIn community, your profile will be this first item they see, so treat it as you would any landing page. To make the most of your profile:

  • Hyperlink using keywords. Include relevant URLs in your profile, and use links with anchor text. For example, instead of “My Blog,” use a keyword to describe it such as “SEO and Online Marketing Blog.” (see image below)
  • Use keywords in descriptions. That includes the summary, specialties, experience and all other description categories.
  • Include an image in your profile. LinkedIn, after all, is a social networking channel. So add as many personal touches as possible to maximize engagement and put a face to the brand.
  • Caption: Include blog or website links in your profile using anchor text.

Include links in your LinkedIn profile using anchor text.

3. Leverage Third-Party Applications
Today, there are a host of third-party applications available to help you make the most of your LinkedIn activity. For example:

  • Add links to files like resumes and marketing kits
  • Slideshare: Share business presentations and demos with your network
  • Company Buzz: Monitor messages sent out on Twitter about your brand or other subjects
  • TripIt: See where members of your network will be travelling to and when you’ll be in the same city

For an upcoming trip to Dallas, my contacts that will also be there are identified.

4. Update and Engage Frequently
Think of LinkedIn marketing efforts as you would blog, Twitter or Facebook marketing efforts: The more activity and interaction, the better the results. To consistently engage with your network:

  • Sync blog posts to your profile with tools like Blog Link or WordPress LinkedIn Application
  • Frequently update your profile with the LinkedIn status feature, much like Facebook status updates
  • Leverage the LinkedIn Question and Answer function – participate in others’ questions and ask your own

5. Promote Your Profile
In order to expand your network, LinkedIn marketing efforts – like anything else – must be promoted in other channels. Include a link to your profile on your website and blog, in individual blog posts, in email signatures and even on business cards. Be sure to optimize your profile for important and relevant keywords. Allow enough of your profile to be public so search engines can rank that content accordingly.

These tips, of course, are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to LinkedIn marketing tactics. What specific tactics have you found successful for marketing on LinkedIn?

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  1. jonathanmast says:

    Michelle – great recommendations on Linkedin. I was just reading a survey last night that actually placed the value of Linkedin above Facebook and YouTube in B2B sales and marketing. Your tips expand on that and provide some new tools to look into as well. Thank you!

  2. bobboucher says:

    Thanks! I'm leading a workshop on Social Media for new users, all business owners. This really supports my suggestion to start with LinkedIn.

  3. noelwiggins says:

    I love the idea of creating a group for your business.

    Thanks and Regards

    Noel for
    a graphic design studio

  4. Great suggestions for LinkedIn marketing use! Ithink many people get caught up with Twitter and Facebook for marketing avenues that they fail to utilize LinkedIn to its full potential. Thanks for the article and tips!

  5. pavelnaborsky says:

    So..I think Lindekin is something like Facebook or Observa but not rather like twitter, Twitter is like a Spam – no targets, no info! Lindekin, Observa or Faceook are more interesting for business use, but also not for all ( in some of them there is required an invitation from their consultants )

  6. These are great tips. Although people talk more on twitter and face book but LinkedIn is a very useful social networking site for business. I noticed that I get more serious traffic to my blog more than that I get from twitter and other social sites although I have smaller network on LinkedIn.

  7. rhondamoret says:

    I think you are right on target.

  8. Nice tips, Michelle. I use a lot of social media tools, but would definitely choose LinkedIn if I had to recommend only one to build awareness of a business, so very useful.

    A while back I wrote a blog post — Pugs Aren’t Using LinkedIn To Make Money, But You Can — that your readers may find useful too.


  9. janetthaeler says:

    I've gotten a ton of value from using LinkedIn – just this week I found someone who I now have a partnership with. I also refer some of my clients in B2B to a LinkedIn coach I know who does good work. The Answers and Groups are especially helpful. I skim the emails and respond to discussions from Groups. I've gotten great advice about marketing my book about online PR. Based on my experience I really should shift some of the time I spend on Twitter to LinkedIn.

    Here's my post about how to promote news on LinkedIn:

    LinkedIn is higher quality than other social networks or even most blogs. When I need sources for a story or blog post, it's the first place I go.

  10. I can see the potential of LinkedIn as a marketing medium. It was more like a job networking site for business professionals to me a years back. Thanks!

  11. Janet–thanks for sharing. In my opinion, LinkedIn marketing tactics are less widely understood compared with Twitter marketing tactics. So I think your post will be helpful!

  12. Great post! Thanks for spurring it out.

  13. Dadelius says:

    Thanks for the great article (and Idea) my facebook page is over 2000, and my linkedIn account has 1… I think I've been neglecting one. 🙂

    Thanks again!

  14. julieweishaar says:

    Great tips on using Linkedin. I hadn't thought about paying attention to keywords – very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  15. helenfaber says:

    Thanks Michelle – great LinkedIn strategies. I have used LinkedIn for years – and recommend it to our clients as well. I find that most people do not use it to its full potential (that is why this post is valuable) as well as we find that people rarely optimize it for Search!

  16. Jerry/CMT Creative Marketing says:

    LinkedIn speaks to a different audience than other social media platforms, therefore, once you know what you want to accomplish there the rest is pretty straightforward.

    Good post!

  17. You are so right I see so many profiles that need to be improved. Why do most people just think by putting up their name and title that they can start an instant network? There is so much information available about leveraging and growing your business from LinkedIn. Makes you kind of wonder if LinkedIn is truly as business and professional base as it is hyped to be!

  18. Hansjorg Giessel says:

    Good information – thanks.

  19. Karen Emanuelson says:

    Great post, Michelle.

    LinkedIn can be a very powerful marketing platform. Just yesterday I conducted a one-on-one LinkedIn training session for a very successful “physical world” networker who didn't understand the potential of LinkedIn. By the end of the training session, she had invited her key contacts to connect, improved her profile (especially the important headline) and began using groups and reaching out via LinkedIn messaging. She is now excited at the potential of LinkedIn to help her tap into her network.

    For our professional clients, LinkedIn is usually the first social media platform we look to for profile optimization and training.


  20. I am a real fan of twitter and probably have not used LinkedIn as effectively as I should. I appreciate your five steps and intend to update my profile and start an group. Thank you for your help.

  21. Great post – I am a long-time LinkedIn member and have met many new people and have benefited directly and indirectly from those relationships.

    For me, “engage frequently” has worked the best and not just by asking and answering questions but by responding directly with people in Groups and Q&A. When I see someone that I would like to know better, I will reply directly in order to start developing the relationship. 9 times out of 10, a positive conversation ensues and a new LinkedIn connection will be generated – if not more.

    Be focused – but be proactive. Work LinkedIn with a plan and you will see positive results.

  22. Jamie Favreau says:

    Thanks I have used most of these suggestions. I am going to be doing more B2B soon so I am going to use it more frequently. I have been guilty of not answering questions for months at a time. Which is bad. I think if you are looking for work or if you are working B2B you should be updating regularly.

  23. mikazane says:

    I've actually seen a company doing this quite succesfully. They were Tampa movers I think Move-U was their name. My friend recently used them to move and said she found them on facebook.

  24. juliemarg says:

    LinkedIn is a fantastic place to do research. Last December I published a report on Facebook Advertising and I had over 25 people give me feedback to be used in the report.

  25. Great tips – I’m a big fan of LinkedIn.

  26. ok , friend With the abundance of social networks , picking the best ones to leverage your brand and interact with customers.

  27. dmcleish says:

    Great thoughts. I recently attended a Dallas marketing social media bootcamp and was very surprised how many people had a lack of understanding about how to utilize LinkedIn in their social media strategy. I think these tips are right in live with getting the most out of LinkedIn in your Social Media efforts.

  28. Inbound Promotions says:

    Excellent post. Thank you for the idea of adding anchor text for websites as opposed to “My Blog”.

  29. Linkedin seems to have a bit more creditability in the business space. I wonder if this would make it ripe for some products/services more than others. i.e. If you tried to sell me a Kirby vacuum on Linked in I would be irritated. Maybe a hot area for B2B.Tip from CluePad Marketing Engine

  30. there's no limit to the number of social networking sites that can be leveraged to interact with customers and …

  31. After reading this entry, I can see how incorporating a LinkedIn account into the marketing mix could be very beneficial for any business or organization. You've given some great insight and enlightening tips on how to maximize the benefits from creating a LinkedIn account. The advice to utilize the third-party applications that were suggested to make the most of your account were especially helpful. Great Post!

  32. Yes, the importance of LinkedIn is sometimes ignored in social media. However, it is a very strong business network that should be included in the social media strategy of any business.

  33. colinmac says:

    yes lots of practical ideas for busy execs.

  34. Thanks for great information that you have shared with us .
    It's very helpful for my site and blog

  35. Thanks for the linkedin tips. I joined several months ago but never really knew what to do with it so it has just been sitting there. I'll use these tips to actually get something out of it now.

  36. Mark Delfeld says:

    I would not start a group on LinkedIn unless you are very serious about moving forward with it. The cost of entry is too low and as a result there are very many poor groups on LinkedIn. I look at LinkedIn very differently. The real value is (or will be) the highly detailed profile information on those in the network. As a marketer, targeting companies of a certain vertical with a certain title within a certain age group is invaluable. Try doing a poll on LinkedIn. You'll see….

    • Mark, I think your advice about making a commitment is true for LinkedIn as well as any other social network. Half way efforts rarely attract a community.

  37. I think this is a great post and that LinkedIn is a huge opportunity for any brand, large or small. In fact, my firm is planning a robust strategy within linked in for two major clients. I think you have some great articles here–I'm a fan!

  38. marcyhoffman says:

    I am forwarding this article to a number of professionals & SBO who are just beginning to grasp the benefits in joining LinkedIn. Too many sign up, put in the basic information and wait for something to happen. Your post is a great primer to get them started.

  39. Diana Obretenova says:

    I think this is vary valuable post. Linkedin is really very useful channel with all the professionals using it around the globe.

  40. nikhil111 says:

    The most beneficial thing i have done with linkedin is to submit my personal articles in their directories and giving away valuable advice.

  41. debbiehemley says:

    Michelle, I'm not sure if this is the same one that Jonathan was referring to but someone sent me this one a few days ago.

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