No matter the current business and economic environment, creating new marketing campaigns, working toward and exceeding quotas, finding talent, developing your, nurturing and developing existing relationships still need to happen.
You must continue adapting, innovating, and separating your business from your peers.
With economic uncertainty in the news cycle and business owner confidence at 10-year lows, it can be easy to accept the status quo and possible rough times ahead. We believe in taking a different approach. What can you do now to put you and your company in the best place to succeed?
Standing still will not get you far, so let’s look at ways to set you apart and strengthen your organization regarding LinkedIn. We suggest applying this framework to other social media platforms and areas of your business.
Below are four suggested objectives all businesses can focus on now to help prepare them for all environments. We selected three common challenges we see customers facing and three potential solutions.
- Businesses and individuals are approaching LinkedIn outreach and messaging transactionally and receiving little to no desired response. Pressure to get results is the main culprit we see in transactional approaches.
- Businesses assigning or outsourcing LinkedIn activity to someone with limited knowledge and experience on the platform or an automated tool leads to problems. Hiring a “social media specialist” with little experience and expecting success or a magic tool that creates authentic connections while you sleep may allow you to check a box. Still, overall they will not bring any sustained positive results.
- Brand image is a mismatch between perception in the marketplace, social platforms, and their website. Companies we talk to make significant investments in their websites, but the brand image they put out there on LinkedIn does not fit.
- There are two common themes when it comes to outreach on LinkedIn. Building on existing relationships and connections and pipelining. They apply to recruiting and business development. Your messaging will not be transactional when you focus on relationships and pipelining. You lay the foundation for more conversations off LinkedIn that lead to business outcomes.
- Use a skilled resource to manage LinkedIn activities. If you want to control everything internally, provide your team or employee with training and expertise to be successful. If you are outsourcing, utilize a firm that is an expert in the area, not a generalist.
- Take the time to evaluate or hire someone to assess how you show up on LinkedIn. LinkedIn generates the most B2B website traffic compared to other social platforms. Maximizing your website investment with a consistent presence across all channels is imperative.
Focus on high value activity:
- LinkedIn quickly becomes too time-consuming to accomplish what you need to do. We hear about mindless searching, those who constantly see the same profiles, and getting distracted by posts in your home page feed.
- Random acts of marketing on LinkedIn. You hear that you need to contribute and post. You limit your reach if you don’t have a content strategy and are “posting to post” or too much volume.
- Going through your network on LinkedIn and manually removing connections to try and make your network more intentional.
- Have a plan and execute. LinkedIn success will always take time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be efficient. As proficiency and expertise increase, you can gain success faster. Mapping out your activity and target audience will enable you to manage your time efficiently. Additionally, you can set settings and views just to see the information you need.
- Plan out your content and research, or ask an expert how to share it. Quality content takes time to produce and curate. You want to maximize your reach and visibility.
- Utilize features to understand your network and leverage LinkedIn’s tools to reach your audience, get quality recommendations, and provide you with the correct information in your feed. There are very few scenarios where we recommend going in and cleaning out connections.
Eliminate wasteful spending:
- Paying for advertising on LinkedIn without laying the groundwork first or because your marketing agency suggested you should.
- Marketing firms managing your company page and just reposting links to blogs and other uninspired content.
- Paying for Premium subscriptions and not getting any benefit from them or not needing them in the first place.
- We are not saying there is not a place for paid advertising on LinkedIn. Paid advertising can be successful. We have run paid advertising campaigns. However, doing the organic work upfront will allow you to get a more substantial reach with your paid campaigns if they do make sense for you to run. However, many companies running paid advertising will never see the return they are looking for on LinkedIn.
- Most marketing agencies are generalists, and LinkedIn is the social media platform with which most marketers have the least expertise and experience. Most companies should be putting content out from their company page, but focusing on individual profiles would serve them best.
- Measure your ROI from a subscription. Understand who has the seats to your account.
- Not having LinkedIn guidelines for employees.
- Weak security.
- Not including LinkedIn as part of offboarding employees.
- Reusing a “social media policy” from an employee handbook or one you grabbed off Google is ineffective. Employees must have the confidence and freedom to respond to everyday experiences on LinkedIn. Employees are less likely to share when concerned about if they are allowed to share or if what they will share will be a problem.
- Provide your employees with best practices on cybersecurity when it comes to LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn password should not be as lazy as a streaming platform password. You do not want someone hacking your account and potentially messaging customers or prospects. Additionally, guide on handling phishing attacks that are becoming more common on LinkedIn because of how trustworthy the platform is compared to others.
- Include LinkedIn as part of your onboarding and offboarding. Whenever an employee leaves your organization, encourage them to update their LinkedIn profile and specifically add an end date for your company. This will protect your brand and put the correct information out there. Additionally, going above and beyond when laying off employees can turn into a benefit for the company. Providing support on LinkedIn and career services will help internal morale and your company’s brand.
Understanding where to trim, where to expand, and how to successfully gain traction on LinkedIn to support your business goals requires ongoing evaluation and consistent action.
To read more on various topics related to LinkedIn for business development, recruiting, and branding check out our other blog posts.