LinkedIn marketing: How to use it and 5 tips to improve your strategy
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the go-to network for B2B brands.
And recent social media demographics highlight the platform’s growing (and high-earning!) user base.
But as more professionals flock to the platform, standing out from the crowd is a challenge.
Consider how over half of all U.S. marketers are now marketing on LinkedIn. If you want to get more eyes on your personal account, it’s not going to happen by accident.
This post breaks down the building blocks of an effective LinkedIn marketing strategy. We’ll also highlight best practices and ideas for personal accounts and brands alike.
- How businesses use LinkedIn for marketing?
- Why personal accounts are so valuable for LinkedIn marketing
- 5 LinkedIn marketing tips to strengthen your strategy
- What does your LinkedIn marketing strategy look like?
How businesses use LinkedIn for marketing
First thing’s first: there’s no “right” way to use LinkedIn for business.
Some companies see the platform as a branding tool. Others use it as a hiring hub.
Understanding the big-picture activity of brands on LinkedIn is key to building a presence on the platform. Below is a snapshot of how most businesses leverage LinkedIn.
Anything B2B brands can do to squeeze more out of their content strategies is a plus.
LinkedIn has exploded as a distribution platform for B2B content. Specifically, content that helps brands position themselves as industry authorities. For personal accounts, content distribution is all about establishing your expertise.
This means sharing any combination of the following, for starters:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Reviews and testimonials
- Customer success stories
- Videos (think: interviews, webinar snippets, tips)
Announcing company news and notable wins
Consider that LinkedIn doubles as both a social platform and a sort of news source.
If you want to find the latest happenings for any given company in your industry, they’re likely front-and-center on LinkedIn. Brands and personal accounts can break their own news by announcing:
- Launches of new products or services
- Major company milestones (think: # of employees hired, # of years in business)
- Financial wins (think: going public, getting funded)
- Previewing major pieces of upcoming content (think: case studies or annual surveys)
Positive press and PR still matter for brands and LinkedIn marketing is a popular way to spread the word. The platform is a prime place to get in front of B2B influencers, journalists and other players in your industry.
Highlighting company culture
For positioning and recruiting purposes, many brands center their LinkedIn strategies around culture.
This is yet another way for companies to stand out from the crowd. Not to mention attract new talent. Some popular ways to highlight culture include:
- Celebrating new hires
- Taking a stand on social issues
- “Day-in-the-life”-style company posts
- Company event recaps (think: retreats, conferences “behind-the-scenes” posts)
For example, Chili Piper regularly showcases their employees in the wild. The company even allows employees to take over the company account from time to time.
These sorts of posts humanize brands and likewise highlight how the platform is less “suit and tie” than it used to be.
Food for thought: LinkedIn exceeded $1 billion in ad revenue last year while also increasing organic engagement.
The platform’s status as a B2B selling hub is well-documented. That said, generating leads on LinkedIn is a balancing act. Brands and professionals alike have to be mindful of how they nurture leads and sell. Being too in-your-face won’t do you any favors.
For example, LinkedIn marketing is massive for SaaS companies looking to gain more users. This can be done through:
- Promoting company events such as webinars (see below)
- Announcing new products, product plans or pricing tiers
- Running LinkedIn ads
Why personal accounts are so valuable for LinkedIn marketing
Although the platform is quite literally all about business, personal accounts are even more valuable on LinkedIn.
This rings true whether you’re an employee, solo business owner or someone at the C-level.
Beyond that, personal accounts can act as an extension of business accounts for the sake of promotion.
Let’s look at why employee advocacy is so important for brands on LinkedIn. Likewise, we’ll explain why personal accounts hold so much power on the platform.
Earn more engagement than what’s possible on a company page
Like it or not, “thought leadership” content is a staple of B2B social media and marketing on LinkedIn. This includes:
- Storytelling posts
- Firsthand tips and experiences
- Discussions and threads
Ever notice how pretty much every viral LinkedIn post comes from a personal account?
That’s no coincidence. Personal stories and anecdotes are among the platform’s most compelling content.
As a result, employee content typically earns way more engagement and reach than what’s possible from a personal page. This mirrors how platforms like Instagram or TikTok tend to favor personal accounts over brands.
Squeeze more out of your LinkedIn content marketing efforts
Piggybacking on the point above, brand accounts are limited when it comes to reach.
But through employee advocacy, brands boost updates with help from their internal teams.
Doing so means that exponentially more people see your content. Also, this means that employees can spice up their posts and give their captions a personal touch.
Support your hiring and recruiting
You don’t have to look hard to realize just how much hiring happens on LinkedIn.
Consider how employees can serve as any given company’s biggest cheerleaders. Empowering workers to highlight the benefits of working for a brand is an awesome way to attract top-tier talent.
5 LinkedIn marketing tips to strengthen your strategy
LinkedIn is apples and oranges versus other social platforms.
And so finding your footing on the platform might require some trial-and-error.
If you want to earn more engagement and get in front of your audience faster, here are a few LinkedIn marketing tips to stick to.
1. Post original content (hint: don’t just dump links!)
You can’t just drop links and expect engagement on LinkedIn.
Social platforms at large don’t want you bouncing users off-site if they can help it. This explains why content repurposing is a staple of LinkedIn marketing.
For example, many brands will break up or consolidate blog content into smaller, text-only LinkedIn posts. Others will create a slideshow or infographic as an alternative to an external link.
And when someone does post a link, they typically feature it on the first comment rather than their actual post.
Spend two minutes on LinkedIn and take note of all the text-based posts. When in doubt, post content that keeps people on the platform.
2. Fine-tune your publishing frequency (and participate more!)
Frequency and consistency matter on LinkedIn just as they do on any other platform.
For brand accounts, we don’t typically see multiple posts per day (or even daily). Those that do post regularly tend to see the most engagement during the weekday mornings and early afternoons.
However, posting multiple times per day is totally fair game for personal accounts. Figuring out what’s “optimal” is going to require some testing.
But what’s more important than frequency is being an active participant on the platform.
That means engaging in discussions, sharing resources and answering questions. Doing so can get you in front of industry players and likewise raise your company’s profile.
This is where a tool like Sprout Social really comes in handy. With Sprout’s Smart Inbox, you get a comprehensive view of your LinkedIn presence. This includes tags, comments, shout-outs from employees and more.
3. Don’t be totally “suit-and-tie”
As noted earlier, LinkedIn might be a professional network but that doesn’t mean your presence should feel stuffy.
Remember: LinkedIn marketing should be personable and relatable. For brands and personal accounts, mind your marketing messaging and brand voice.
Prioritize meaningful tips and experiences over jargon. Don’t be afraid to show off your sense of humor, either.
4. Empower employees to promote and engage on your behalf
For brand accounts, employee advocacy is make-or-break in terms of content distribution and reach.
Although you could have your teammates share your links and promos by hand, doing so is impossible at scale without a dedicated platform.
This is yet again where Sprout comes in clutch. Sprout’s employee advocacy features let brands boost and track the performance of company content.
Note: Brands need to be mindful of how employees carry themselves on LinkedIn. They should 100% have autonomy and freedom. That said, take steps to avoid potential social PR problems. Chances are you’ve seen your share of pile-ons directed at insensitive or downright offensive statements on LinkedIn. Make sure your employees are on the same page when it comes to how they represent your brand.
5. Let LinkedIn analytics uncover top-performing content ideas
Because LinkedIn offers so much creative freedom, you’re spoiled for choice in terms of what you can post.
But this also highlights the importance of regularly assessing your content performance. Looking at your LinkedIn analytics, you can understand by the numbers:
- Which types of posts earn the most engagement
- Whether there’s a time or frequency that impacts performance
- How your employees and personals impact your company’s reach
- Whether your LinkedIn content is generating traffic and leads
Beyond the platform’s native analytics, tools like Sprout Social can help in a big way when it comes to answering all of the above.
What does your LinkedIn marketing strategy look like?
Growing on LinkedIn doesn’t happen through random comments and replies.
The best accounts on the platform provide meaningful help and have a strong sense of personality. Once you signal yourself as a consistent and reliable resource, you might be surprised at how quickly you can scale your presence.
Not 100% sure where to go next on LinkedIn? Check out our LinkedIn for business worksheet to double-check that you’re doing everything you need to do to grow your presence!
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