Recently, I was asked to speak at ICEEfest 2015 in Bucharest, Romania. I had an excellent time, and below you can find my slides and a summary of the points I covered.
First of all, the important stats:
- Every second, 2 new users join the site.
- LinkedIn members come from over 200 territories and countries.
- 4 million companies are listed on LinkedIn (including Link Humans!).
Secondly, it’s important to see LinkedIn as the space between personal branding and professional branding, and if you look past the career element, you’ll find what you’re looking for – your leads! Leads = sales!
When it comes to leads on social media, LinkedIn is the most effective at both generating and converting, according to HubSpot.
How do you generate leads on LinkedIn? I believe there are 3 ways of doing it:
- Pay – advertising.
- Pray – profiles, Company Pages, groups.
- Play – searching, publishing and campaigns.
I’ll now look at the two that don’t involve advertising…
Pray – Profiles, Company Pages & Groups:
When it comes to the LinkedIn profile, there are a few areas you need to optimise (due to the nature of where people’s eyes will go first):
- Your header image – make sure the image is big, clear and eye-catching.
- Your headline should be a short and snappy sentence describing exactly what you do (and maybe want to do in the future).
- Add contacts details to the end of your summary, so that people who aren’t connected to you have a direct method of contacting you.
- Include rich media in your summary and experience, such as slidedecks, images or videos.
- In experience, make sure you tag your company properly so your profile links back to the page.
See more tips for the perfect LinkedIn profile here!
On your Company Page, you need to concentrate on three things:
- Header image – again, it needs to grab the reader’s attention and create interest – so maybe include an offer. Update it regularly.
- Description – make it a clear and compelling pitch that speaks directly to your audience. The most important part is the first 2 lines (as everything else is hidden under a ‘Read more’ link) – in this, you should identify your audience, explain your value and announce your service.
- Updates – need to be clickable, regular, focused on conversions, directly aimed towards your audience and not part of the noise.
A great case study for Company Pages is BlackRock – a global investment management company:
They share a mix of ebooks, infographics and articles. LinkedIn alone counts for $17-18 million of their annual revenue. That’s a lot.
A similar method can be taken for groups. If you want to create a LinkedIn group for your brand or company and hopefully generate more leads, there are 3 steps you need to follow:
- Have a subject – whether that be finance, fishing or information technology.
- Keep it specific – add something else to that subject. Maybe finance people who work in the insurance sector.
- Make it niche – include a location, or something that makes that subject even more specialist.
When you create a group, you own it and you can brand it. A good example is the Hubspot group with over 129k members. It began in 2007, is owned by the company and they now have a conversion rate on LinkedIn that is 3 times higher than their rate on Facebook. We also have a group like this for our Undercover Recruiter blog.
Profiles, Company/Showcase Pages and groups are examples of praying – you create the page or group, share content on/in it and optimise it to its full potential, and pray or hope that the leads come flying in.
Play – Searches, Publishing and Campaigns:
In terms of publishing, there are a number of CEOs who have published on LinkedIn. Richard Branson is one of them. On Twitter (@RichardBranson), he has over 7 million followers
On LinkedIn, he has over 9 million followers.
When it comes to publishing and pushing content, Richard Branson has a wider reach on LinkedIn than he does on Twitter. This is why you should take publishing very seriously – it may not seem it, but a lot of people are reading content on the site.
What should you be publishing?
- Content should be original (don’t duplicate blog content!) – this will help both your personal AND your company’s brand.
- In terms of title, when it came to the most popular posts:
- Lists made up 20% of the top 250 articles.
- Titles with you/your in them were 27% of the top 250.
- Who / What / Where / Why / When / How was in the title of 28% of the top 250 posts.
- A good example of mixing all three (titled 6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them) can be read here.
- For the subject the three most popular topics are:
- Talent management
- Your article should answer a question or offer assistance – tell people what the top career mistake is or how to deal with a job interview failure.
- The most important bit – the author! When looking at the top 250 posts:
- 47% of them were written by influencers, like Richard Branson.
- 53% were written by normal LinkedIn members – like you and me.
My point is if you can publish content, and if you get the right title, subject and content, you’ll bring in the views and hopefully – with them – the leads. You don’t have to be famous, or well known! Read more on how to master LinkedIn publishing.
Liam Neeson (in character as Bryan Mills) launched a contest in which he would choose one person to be endorsed by Mills and he would shout out their “particular set of skills” (a line from the movie). The campaign used a Company Page to run it, and also chose one user’s profile. You can see the winning video below:
The other example comes from the Prince’s Trust. They created a LinkedIn profile for a homeless individual which listed skills which people would normally look over. The profile linked to a YouTube video which listed it in more detail:
Searches, publishing and campaigns are examples of playing – you don’t need to spend any money, and you can have some fun as you do it! If you have something creative and different, people will notice you and show interest.
My main conclusion is this – you can pay (via advertising) but you don’t have to.
Take the time to pray – create a good profile and Company Page, alongside a group or two and then go onto play – create campaigns, do some publishing and some searching. There are a number of ways you can have fun while using LinkedIn, and you don’t have to put money into them either!