On Facebook, you send a friend request to someone you already know or someone you want to become closer with. On Instagram, you can visually follow someone to see their artistic output and what they are doing. When you want to get to know an individual through their education and professional experiences, that is where the platform of LinkedIn comes in.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social media network. It is today’s digital online resume site.
LinkedIn is a social network platform with over 414 million users, connecting the world's professionals, where businesses and people can view your professional resume online. Business owners can also build a business profile and connect with other LinkedIn users as potential business prospects. LinkedIn is not just a platform to recruit the best candidates for your business; it can also be utilized to market and sell through LinkedIn advertising.
LinkedIn Company Pages
Besides a company’s website, businesses have the option of showcasing themselves on a social media platform mainly targeted at businesses by using LinkedIn. It is crucial to have a company page on Linkedin in today’s digital media age. Having a company page on LinkedIn is a major milestone in building an online presence, as well as to attract and engage an audience. The short biography of the company and the specialties tags below the company profile help LinkedIn users to obtain a quick understanding of the company, rather than going to a website and sifting through much more content to find that information. A company page also attracts prospects, as Linkedin’s company profile provides much more exposure and visibility to a company’s products and services, and helps prospects understand a company’s area of expertise (LinkedIn Company Pages).
Linkedin is not only a social media network to build connections with professional people, but also a platform to advertise a business to targeted markets. LinkedIn advertising can be utilized through the following marketing solutions (LinkedIn Business Solutions).
- Sponsored updates:
Just like Facebook sponsored posts, on LinkedIn you can sponsor a company’s update to LinkedIn members on their homepage across all devices. You can also sort by using the targeting options, directly addressing the LinkedIn members who you would like to view the ads. The options of targeting include: location, companies, job titles and much more. With Linkedin’s campaign dashboard, you can also monitor how sponsored ads are performing through real-time analytics. Once a company’s posts have been published, you can sponsor any of the updates. With this function, however, you will not be able to modify the update once it is sponsored.
- Sponsored Inmails:
Wondering what sponsored inmails are? Well, the function of the inmail is similar to that of the email. Ever faced the situation of sending emails to your prospects and not getting the click-through rates you want? Well, in that case, Inmail might be the solution for your business. Sponsored Inmails are delivered to members only when they are active on Linkedin. With this solution, businesses can send tailored email to targeted users through their Linkedin inboxes with 100% deliverability (Digital visitor).
- Display and Text Ads:
The motive with the LinkedIn ads are to generate quality leads, target ideal business audiences and more importantly, increase click-through rates. The two types of ads on Linkedin are display ads and text ads. Text ads are the ads you see on the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage. Since the text ads are on the side corner and sometimes difficult to notice, it is very crucial to have a compelling header to attract attention. With display ads, you have the option to choose the perfect IAB—standard display ad formats—either 300x250 for a desktop banner or 16x600 for a banner that is displayed on the right corner of your news feed. With display ads, make sure to be creative, as this is the opportunity to grab the attention of your targeted prospects. Also, have the website or the landing page linked to the ad where you want your prospect to land when they click on the display ad.
Social Selling through LinkedIn’s Social Navigator
78% of sellers who use social media outsell their non-social media sellers. Some stats from LinkedIn show that when it comes to B2B buyers, 75% of them use social media for their buying decisions, 50% use LinkedIn for their purchasing decisions and 76% choose to take recommendations from their professional network. These stats emphatically showcase the significance of social media advertising, and how it makes an impact in terms of marketing.
Through the usage of LinkedIn’s Social Navigator, businesses can take advantage of some powerful tools such as lead recommendation, importing contacts on Salesforce, advanced search bar, and real-time sales updates. With the lead recommendation tool, businesses receive lead recommendations, which are sorted according to target audience. The next tool imports all prospect contacts from Salesforce, helping businesses to engage with potential prospects on a professional level. With the advanced search tool, Linkedin allows businesses to create a very specific targeted list to get potential leads. Another important tool under the social navigator is the real-time sales update, which updates all new information related to prospects. This includes job changes, news and new potential prospects for a business (LinkedIn's Sales Navigator).
The following image from LinkedIn provides a clear picture of the core features of sales navigator, and details the professional and team edition depending on the number of users who would be using it.
Business with a unique aspect must look into getting LinkedIn showcase pages. Showcase Pages are an extension of a business page, where users are able to divide the various brand or products of a business and market them separately. The main goal of the showcase pages is to build a strong relationship with audiences who are specifically interested in that particular aspect of a business (LinkedIn Showcase Pages).
LinkedIn is similar to any other social media platform, the only difference being it is a much more professional space to connect. LinkedIn advertising creates an opportunity for businesses to expose their products and services to potential leads. It is a platform to create professional connections with similar industry professionals, and stay connected with potential and existing customers. Social media marketing is an essential platform for your business to engage in 2016, so if a company does not have a LinkedIn account yet, now is the time to expose that business to over 414 million users.
Interested in more social media platforms to use for social media marketing? Check out Facebook: #1 Social Media that has changed the media world, or The Top 4 Instagram Trends for 2016