Although technically classed as a social media platform, those in the know will understand that LinkedIn is much more than that. A virtual CV of sorts, the site allows users to expand their network whilst simultaneously boasting personal experience and qualifications. Whether it be a business searching for relevant potential employees or an individual searching for their dream job, the platform is slowing becoming one of the most important with regards to business success. Here’s why you and your business should have an account, and how to get the best out of it, in 2019.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Konstantin Guericke, Allen Blue, Jean-Luc Vaillant, and Eric Ly and fully launched in 2003. According to a report, LinkedIn now has more than 590 million users, with 250 million being active members, slowly becoming one of the most popular social media networks. Over 200 countries and territories host the site, enabling the company to expand to over 30 offices worldwide and allowing the network to be available in an impressive 24 languages. The growth of the company can be evidenced by the full-time employee statistics. In 2010 only 500 personnel were hired, with this stretching to around 13,000 full-time employees globally in 2018.
The LinkedIn network had 364 million users in 2015. The growth of nearly double that in 2018 is proof of the increasing strength of the site. 40% of users access the site daily. With this in mind, it is no surprise that LinkedIn is the most used platform for digital marketers to distribute content. 94% state LinkedIn as their number one platform for marketing, compared to Twitter receiving 89% of support, followed by Facebook and YouTube sharing 77%. More than 50% of all social media outlet traffic to marketing websites comes via LinkedIn and 46% of such engagement to corporate websites is thanks to the site.
Now you’re convinced that LinkedIn is the perfect platform to increase business success, let’s look at how to optimize site usage.
There are lots of simple methods to improve the way in which you use LinkedIn as part of a business marketing plan. Firstly, make the most of your profile. Ensure every detail of your profile is completed – this way potential visitors can find what they are looking for right away. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your profile. Standing out is what we are aiming for here. Play around with your biography, ensuring the use of keywords to enhance your chances of appearing in search results. LinkedIn profiles with pictures are proven to get 21 times more page views and 36 times more messages. Upload as many appropriate pictures as you can!
If you’re not a freelancer, then be sure to create a business profile for your company. This way, you can add all the key aspects of the company to the profile, allowing customers to easily access the information they require.
Once your profile is successfully set up, consistency is the key. After connecting with as many people as possible initially, continue to be active on the site to draw attention from possible connections and customers. This can be done by posting regular updates related directly to your target demographic and joining relevant groups on the site. Be sure to chat with other members of such groups to build even more connections!
Another way to gain attention is to write articles linking to your business. Although only 1 million active users on the site are publishing articles, of those reading them 45% are in upper-level positions. Catching the eye of such professionals could do wonders for the promotion of your business.
What kind of articles should you be writing? Surprisingly, long-form content tends to get the most shares on LinkedIn. The optimum word count is around 1,900. How to columns and list articles perform almost two times as well as any other, so this is something to think about when planning posts. The more people that see your posts, the more connections you’re likely to make, meaning the more searches you’ll appear on. More publicity is more success for your company or business.
If you’ve got an abundance of content to share, LinkedIn SlideShare might be a good way to grow your business. Launched in 2006, this twin site allows users to share professional content such as presentations, documents, and videos. These can be viewed on the site, on mobile or also embedded into other sites – perfect for company blogs or websites. With 70 million monthly active users and growing, this outlet is perfect for those with lots to share.
For a bigger business with more financial support, paid advertising may be of use. LinkedIn offers companies to pay for advertising on the site, allowing for a greater reach and ultimately more connections and business made. Ads on the network come in the form of sponsored content, sponsored mail or text ads depending on your own set budget. Those with a higher budget have the option to create dynamic ads through account-managed advertising.
Another option is to look into creating a paid account. These come at three tiers and prices; Business ($29.95 a month), Business Plus ($49.95 a month) and The Pro ($499.95 a month). A premium account allows you to send messages to anyone on the site, allows users to send messages to you without costing them, view more profiles during searches, more statistics about who’s visited your profile, save more searches and more page branding opportunities. The higher you pay a month, the more of each benefit you receive.
LinkedIn is slowly becoming the most popular social network in the business world. Using these key steps to creating the perfect profile are pivotal in helping boost your business success in 2019. Creative profiles, consistent activity, curating content, advertising and paid accounts are all proven to make a difference. Optimize your LinkedIn usage to make 2019 a year to remember for your business.