So the coronation has taken place; LinkedIn is the emperor of social media for B2B marketing. It’s the place where businesses that have failed on Facebook or are tired of Twitter can make their mark.

Many still think of LinkedIn as an “online resume” site. Wake up. The tide is coming in. LinkedIn is a increasingly important part of marketing products and services to businesses. It’s here now, gaining steam every day.

Here are 5 easy tips to get you started in the right direction.

  1. Have a strategy. I know this seems basic, but before you start putting up pages on LinkedIn and posting “stuff” have a strategy. Who is the target audience? What do you hope to get from LinkedIn? Hopefully, you’ll recognize during this process that to do this right is a non-trivial use of time. Where will you get the content you’ll need? What staff members will execute the content?
  2. Start with a well-written company description. Don’t just rehash one of your “200-word descriptions.” Write a new one. One that is aimed at the audience you defined above. Write to impress the reader, generate excitement. Make sure you include a clear and legible logo.
  3. Create a steady stream of content. Don’t dump 4 articles on LinkedIn every Monday and take the rest of the week off. Be consistent, be measured and be targeted. Post a variety of things; thought leadership pieces, your company’s blog posts, news, press releases. You will have defined this in #1 based on other channels you have.
  4. Monitor who is following your company. Link that data to your CRM. You probably already have a marketing automation tool that tracks your website visitors. Tracking LinkedIn visitors and followers will become just as important.
  5. Train your employees how to use LinkedIn. Yes, I said it. Many companies are doing it. I recommended this to one CEO who looked shocked. “Why don’t I give them a resume class as well?” he said. Whether we like it or not, recruiters will find our best employees and retaining them by hoping they have a poor or nonexistent Linkedin profile is not an effective strategy. Since employees are “our most important asset” at all companies, you want them to be properly linked to your company and you want them looking good. Let me also point out that this is a social media; potential customers are already using LinkedIn to see who they know at your company and ultimately this could be a criteria for choosing or not choosing your product. Who wouldn’t want to leave the impression that “they have some really good people over there?”

So these ideas can get you started or improve what you already have. Expect LinkedIn to continue to announce new products or relationships that help marketers reach the vast numbers of business decision makers they hold. Get out in front and don’t be left behind.

What steps have you taken to capitalize on LinkedIn? How has it worked compared to other social media outlets?

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