Why LinkedIn? (And 5 Things Your Organization Should Do Right Now)
This is the first article in a series about making the most of your organization’s presence on LinkedIn. Sign up below to get notified when we post future articles in the series, including how to use LinkedIn to identify and steward potential donors for your nonprofit and using LinkedIn to generate business leads.
Most nonprofits and businesses know that to achieve their marketing goals, they must harness the power of social media. But with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, it's not always easy to know where to focus efforts when there are limited time and resources. While all social networks hold the potential to reach new audiences and raise awareness around an organization’s services and educate its audience, as well as establish the business or nonprofit as a thought leader in their space, LinkedIn holds particularly high potential to push your social media strategy into high gear.
But wait. Isn’t LinkedIn for networking and job searches?
Yes. But that’s not all.
Professionals and B2B Buyers are Using LinkedIn at Staggering Rates
People of all walks of life are now using LinkedIn for thought leadership, marketing, research, and to make buying decisions. At last report, LinkedIn has over 575 million users with more than 260 million monthly active users. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis. In terms of Lead Generation, or the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’ products or services, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter. You can read more of the statistics in this report from Kinsta.com here.
For Business-to-Business (B2B) companies, or those organizations that sell products and services to other organizations, according to one study, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn in their purchase decisions. Another 70% of professionals viewed LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of content. So, it’s no surprise that 79% of marketing professionals say LinkedIn is a very good source of leads, with 43% saying that they have secured at least one customer from LinkedIn. For B2B marketers, that number is staggering: 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Is Key to Nonprofits’ Marketing and Development Strategies
For nonprofits who utilize social media primarily for storytelling and development activities, LinkedIn is perhaps the greatest underutilized tool. While Twitter is effective for open, ongoing dialogue with supporters, and while Instagram gives supports an “inside” look into your organization, LinkedIn holds great potential in telling the “professional” side of your nonprofit’s story, as well as further establishing your organization as a thought leader in your space -- not to mention identifying and stewarding small dollar, foundation, and major gifts donors.
But, what makes an organization -- whether you’re a large company, B2B business, or nonprofit -- nail their LinkedIn presence?
After managing LinkedIn profiles for government, business, and nonprofits for more than 12 years, here’s Atromitos’ top 5 list for getting started and making the most of your organization’s LinkedIn presence (and stay tuned a more advanced look at using LinkedIn for generating business leads, identifying potential donors and board members for your nonprofit, and more!)
(1) Make the Most of Your Organization’s Profile
Update your profile image and banner. Your profile image and cover photo are the first things that people searching for your company on LinkedIn will see. Make the most of it! Company pages with profile pictures get six times more visitors than those without.
Choosing a profile image is straightforward: take your company logo (the same one you’re using on your other social media channels) and resize it to fit with LinkedIn’s requirements: 300 x 300 pixels, .png format, maximum 8 megabytes, square layout. The banner image above your logo gives you a little more space to get creative. Size your banner to 1536 x 768 pixels in .png format, and use a rectangular layout.
Once you add your images, complete all information about your organization, including who you are, what you do, and where you’re located.
(2) Optimize your page
Now that you’ve finished your profile, there are just a few polishes to make to optimize. Watch this quick video from Hootsuite below.
(3) Get Your Staff Involved & Kick Off an Employee Advocacy Program
The people you work with are the #1 resource to grow your LinkedIn audience. In fact, according to LinkedIn, your employees and colleagues have on average, 10 times more first-degree connections than a company has followers -- and companies with a strong employee advocacy program (here are 7 steps from Hootsuite to put together your own) are 58 percent more likely to attract top talent-- and 20 percent more likely to keep them.
According to social media firm Hootsuite, “Word-of-mouth remains the top influencer for buyers. Studies show that employees are more than twice as trusted as a CEO, senior executive, or activist consumer. Cisco notes that employees’ social posts generate eight times more engagement than posts from their employers. People are 16 times more likely to read a post from a friend about a brand than from the brand itself.”
Put together a document or short training for all current employees (and add it to your onboarding process!) with instructions to add their position at your organization to their LinkedIn profiles. Give a few social media best practices. Encourage them to share your LinkedIn updates with their connections, and be open with them about why it’s important to your organization’s goals and objectives -- whether further establishing your org as a thought leader in the space, or discussing the responsibility everyone has for business and donor development. Then, talk about why their advocacy is good for employees: they can establish themselves as thought leaders in their field.
(4) Post, Post, Post (#ContentIsKing)
You should publish at least once per day on LinkedIn— and the most successful LinkedIn brand pages are typically posting 3-4 times per day. When it comes to posting content on LinkedIn, best to go straight to the source: here are 10 ideas for content that performs well (pro-tip -- you want to use a scheduling software like Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, or another to plan out your content and take the pressure off to post throughout the day).
There are over 30 million Pages on LinkedIn. If yours isn’t one of them, you’re missing opportunities to get your content in front of the audience that matters most to your business. Plain and simple.
If you’re just getting started with your Page, or are a content powerhouse team of 1, you might not feel like you have enough content to post 3-4 times a day, but the truth is you likely have the content sitting right in front of you - it’s on your company website, your blog, third party articles and more!
Different posts clearly have different objectives. If your goal is lead generation your update may link to a landing page for a gated eBook or whitepaper. If your goal is brand awareness your post might link to your company website or perhaps you’ll share a blog post announcing a new product or feature enhancement. If it’s a thought leadership play you might share an article your CMO published on the LinkedIn platform.
In a TL;DR world where there is actually way too much content and not enough effective content, here are a couple of ideas - from our team to yours - to help inspire you to publish more effective posts on your LinkedIn Page and grow your following.
By the way, did you see that our LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Showcase Page just hit 1 million followers?! Needless to say, if I were you, I’d heed this advice:
Video, video, video
Video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.
LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static sponsored content.
If you hadn’t heard, LinkedIn just went all in on video. Here are two (of many) ways our team has incorporated video into our LinkedIn Page content strategy.
Short video series: LinkedIn Marketing Minute is series of videos aimed at providing actionable advice to marketers like us. Including influencers, like Ann Handley below, increases credibility and will likely increase reach as they will likely share it with their networks.
Video case studies: It’s a video. It’s a case study. It’s a 30 second video promoting a case study! Short, sweet and engaging.
Images featuring statistics
People love stats and sharing things that make them appear more knowledgeable. We take 'stand out' stats from case studies and external research/surveys and showcase them with social tiles as part of larger campaigns.
Product launches and feature enhancements
Keep your audience up to date on the latest and greatest of your products or services. Then take the next step and share best practices on how to use them.
Celebrating company wins and milestones
Give an inside look at your company’s mission and vision. Don’t be shy to celebrate company wins and show gratitude to followers and customers for helping you achieve your goals.
Highlighting company leaders
People buy from people, not companies. Humanize your brand and give your audience the opportunity to take a peek inside your company culture while simultaneously highlighting your best employees as thought leaders.
Drive registration for events your company is hosting or sponsoring.
Our Showcase Page consistently drives high registration numbers for our webcasts and our (award-winning!) Live with Marketers episodes.
Promote eBooks or downloadable research
When we launch an eBook, we typically create 4-5 images and videos featuring the eBook cover, stats, quotes and tips taken from the content to extend the campaign shelflife.
Third party content
No one likes hang with the person at the party who’s talking about themselves the whole time.
Insider tip: Don’t forget to add hashtags to your content to be found with other relevant trending topics.
Thought leadership blog posts
Not every post has to be about your business or product. You can build thought leadership and authority in your space by taking a spicy point of view on a timely or controversial topic.
Original research and insights tend to knock it out of the park.
(5) Don’t Forget To Make Your Content R-I-C-H
It should go without saying, but we thought it was worth naming as its own item on our list of top 10 best practices: rich content, or your posts with images and videos, are 2x more likely to get engagement than posts without rich content.
Add non-stock images to your updates: images that are 1200x627 and “non-stocky.” Use photos that you take in-house, or create graphics with free sites like Canva.
Here’s more on getting visual from LinkedIn:
Ready for more?
Once you master our top 5 tips for making the most of your organization’s presence on LinkedIn, check out some further reading to go even further:
Need some help?
At Atromitos, we understand that managing your organization’s social media presence can feel like an overwhelming job (trust us, we’ve been doing it for over a decade for nonprofits, companies, and members of Congress). If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help turn your goals into a strategy, contact us now.