Effective Communication on LinkedIn: Our Secret Sauce
Wondering how to get started with LinkedIn? Need tips on standing out? Read our unbiased personal experience and discover actionable LinkedIn marketing tips for B2B SaaS startups and more.
Many would agree that LinkedIn is the social media channel right now.
Besides its rapid user growth reaching ±600 million members worldwide, LinkedIn has managed to position itself as the best social media channel for B2B marketers. In fact, LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide claims that:
94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, compared to Twitter at 89%, Facebook & YouTube at 77%.
Despite the enticing numbers, though, marketing and communication on LinkedIn are still somewhat of a mystery to many of us out there. We at Whatagraph have been lucky enough to see success on this platform, not just from a sales standpoint, but from a marketing perspective as well.
That's why we've decided to answer some of the most common questions about marketing on LinkedIn and share our personal experience on what makes communication on LinkedIn effective.
Question 1: When and why did your company join LinkedIn?
Whatagraph appeared on LinkedIn back in 2015 when the startup was officially founded.
The reason? No particular reason, really, except that it seemed like if you have a company and you have people who work for that company on LinkedIn, it seemed like a no-brainer to have the company page as well.
Despite existing for four years, the page was never actively used for marketing purposes.
But that started changing at the beginning of 2019 when Whatagraph became laser-focused on its ideal customer profile (ICP).
For the reasons mentioned above — LinkedIn being the number one B2B marketing platform with more than 45% of its readers in upper-level positions and 80% of B2B leads coming from this platform — we’ve added LinkedIn to our marketing mix and grew it into a well-oiled lead generation and brand awareness machine.
Question 2: How to get started on LinkedIn?
First things first — get acquainted with the LinkedIn algorithm.
Understand what content formats are available, what are the tagging options, what are the recommendations for post length, posting time, and any other information that can make or break your post.
Then, fill out all the possible information not only on your company page but your personal profile as well.
Make sure it’s optimised for SEO, meaning you use keywords that will help people discover you better. Also, don’t forget the visuals — your logo, your cover image, your headshot are all super important elements.
Then, create a posting schedule or at least establish posting cadence.
LinkedIn, like many other platforms as well, prefers consistency. So do not allow for long periods of silence. But also don’t get too spammy. A good point brought up in the discussion is that when you start posting too much, your posts are likely to cannibalise each other.
Lastly, assign a clear purpose to your LinkedIn company page — whether it’s to generate leads, increase brand awareness, improve employer reputation, find business partners, etc. — and create content for that purpose with your target audience in mind.
Question 3: How to stand out on LinkedIn?
The reality is that your LinkedIn company page will be nothing without your own support.
To stand out, you have to make sure your team members are active promoters of your brand and are willing to showcase their expertise by posting themselves, engaging in discussions, asking questions, etc.
Our goal at Whatagraph is to position each and every person as a reputable professional in their field. As always, content creation remains a challenge, thus we encourage everyone to simply post about whatever is interesting to them or what they know best, and, where possible, mention the company page. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- Certifications you’ve received;
- Events you’ve participated in;
- Interesting articles/books you’ve read, podcasts you’ve listened to;
- Questions or struggles you have and need help with;
- Wins/losses you’ve experienced;
- Product news and updates;
- Industry news and updates…
Here’s one of the best examples done by our VP of Sales, Edvinas:
He simply gave a shout out to one of his sales team members, but here’s where he went the extra mile:
- His first sentence is engaging and draws you to learn more;
- He tagged both the person he was giving the shoutout to and the company page;
- He used a high-energy photo of himself;
- He celebrated success without bragging or giving out too much.
The results? Not only did he receive over 200 reactions and 14 comments — this type of content does wonders for employer branding and positioning.
Be honest, you’d like to join our sales team after seeing this, wouldn’t you? :)
Some other ways you can stand out is by creating your own custom hashtag, engaging with industry leaders (for me it’s Dave Gerhardt, Mark Ritson, Christine Moorman, Andreas Johnson, and others) in the comments section or tagging them on your posts, perusing the various content formats offered by LinkedIn: slideshow, video, kudos, Showcase pages, etc.
Question 4: What were your biggest mistakes on LinkedIn?
The absolute number one mistake was posting generic content and not adapting it to LinkedIn whatsoever.
For a very long time, we’ve only shared links to our blog and job ads. Once we’ve started diversifying our content and established certain guidelines for posting, we’ve seen the engagement go up.
The basic rule of thumb that we used was the 3–2–1 rule: three weekly pieces of content about our industry, two pieces of content about our product features and updates, one piece of content for job ads and other promotional stuff.
However, I do like the alternative 3–2–1 rule proposed by Karolis Rimkus, which suggests six actions instead of six posts per week.
Three messages to new connections, two comments under someone else’s post, and one new post written by you sounds very reasonable!
Also, try to post images instead of embedded posts — instead, leave the link in the comments section. If you’re posting videos — post natively instead of embedding a YouTube link. Lastly, encourage everyone on your team to check their Social Selling Index and improve their profiles where possible.
Other questions and key takeaways:
1. Emojis on LinkedIn? I say use them, but use them carefully and sparingly. Make sure you know what each emoji means. At Whatagraph, we mainly use them to draw attention to the text — because they are colourful, they’re a good way to stand out from the majorly textual feed.
2. LinkedIn and SEO? Yes, a million times yes. Google has recently announced that it will index LinkedIn publisher posts on its SERPs. That’s a major win, but make sure you optimize your posts for the SERPs as well. Think of the first line as your meta title, and the following as the meta description.
3. LinkedIn engagement pods? Fancy word for groups, but basically what you get out of a social media engagement pod is, well, engagement. You probably won’t see traffic and this type of engagement (likes and comments mostly) will not increase your brand awareness, but it may be good for posts that you’re planning to boost. Google to find more information about it.
4. Slideshows? By uploading .pdf files to LinkedIn you can create beautiful slideshow posts that, at least in Whatagraph’s case, have proven to be the most engaging content format to date.
It seems like 2020 is coming up all LinkedIn. From personal profiles to brand presence, there is no reason to shrug this platform off.
And if you feel like you have nothing to post… Honestly, I have one question for you:
What the hell do you do at your job all day?
LinkedIn’s charm lies in that it is not Facebook that’s filled with memes and personal events, and it’s not Instagram filled with selfies and #goals content. It’s a professional environment where, as a professional of some kind, you should have something to say.
If you don’t, robots will replace you, and that's just the truth.
This story was originally published on LinkedIn by Justina Bakutyte, Marketing Team Lead at Whatagraph.