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May 9, 2012

LinkedIn for Business: Optimizing Your Company Profile — Part 3

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In Part 1 and Part 2 of this LinkedIn for Business series, we talked about optimizing individual tabs within your company profile – the overview tab and the products and services tab. Now that you’ve got your “t”s crossed and your “i”s dotted, it’s time to look at how you are going to promote, grow and measure your LinkedIn business presence.

In this post, we’ll explore LinkedIn plugins that increase visibility, ideas for cross-promotion, tracking the success of your company page and its content, and growing your company’s network on LinkedIn.

Use Plugins to Make Your Profile More Visible

The LinkedIn Developers site has lots of goodies for driving promotion and engagement for LinkedIn. Grab plugins that create buttons you can embed in your site or other collateral so people can:

Think about the different ways you can reach people using these plugins:

  • The share button has been reported to have slightly more traffic on average than a Facebook Like button. In a BusinessInsider post, reports showed LinkedIn drove an average of 1.5 clicks back to the publisher; better than the average across other social networks at 1.1 clicks.
  • Do you have product and service pages on your site? Consider adding the recommend button on those pages. You can show how many people on LinkedIn have recommended them so far, and visitors can recommend on LinkedIn with a click of a mouse. Think about other places you might want to include this button, like additional communications channels.
  • If you have a share button enabled on your primary content platform, such as your blog, consider adding the “follow company” plugin as a main staple on other pages throughout your site. This way, users can follow your company page directly from the button.

And don’t forget to cross-promote your company profile presence on all your other social media networks and content products.

Grow Your Engagement and Community on LinkedIn

If you’re already enabling the sharing of your content through plugins, that’s a great start. There are a couple other ways you can have that content spread deeper and also ways to increase engagement with your audience.

Monitoring and Engaging on LinkedIn

Always respond to comments and discussion. This may sound like a “duh” point. But some companies may not have built LinkedIn monitoring into their daily social activity. Just like any other social network, if people are engaging with your company status updates, always show them you appreciate it by engaging back.

And you can also do searches for your company in the search bar in LinkedIn to see who might be talking about your business, and then reach out to that person, add them to your network. For example, use the drop-down menu to select the “Updates” search, then type in your company name:

And voilà:

Expanding Content Reach on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Today is the social network’s content aggregator, and there are ways to go about optimizing for the service so that your business content is more visible across LinkedIn. Along with the many ways you can optimize for LinkedIn Today (<– check out that article by Greg Finn on Search Engine Land for goodies), don’t be shy about reaching out to LinkedIn to become a featured content source, so that your company is added to a list of publishers people can follow directly.

Creating a LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn groups are a great way to allow people to further engage with your brand and to grow your network. You can invite people to join your group through a personal connection on LinkedIn or if you have their email address. If you already have followers on your company page or a list of subscribers to your newsletter, you could start there, since you’ve already got a captive audience, so to speak.

But remember, the group started on behalf of your company is created by an individual member profile acting on behalf of your company, not your company page; whether it’s you or the person who handles your social media, ownership can be transferred and roles can be assigned at any time.

When considering what the focus of your group will be, think about whether it will be a broad reach of topics related to your industry or company, or more targeted by product or service  if they tend to draw a different crowd with different needs. You’ll need resources to manage multiple groups.

Don’t forget to optimize your group’s information with the keywords you want to be found for when someone does a search for groups in LinkedIn. Also, late last year, the LinkedIn blog featured an interesting post worth checking out which details how it ranks group discussions so that the most interesting are at the top.

LinkedIn gives additional tips for promoting groups here.

Measure Results to Drive Strategy

Use the data that’s available through LinkedIn’s company profile page stats to get a better understanding of page views on individual tabs in your company profile by month, unique visitors, visitor demographics by industry, function and company, and total conversions on your products and services page by clicks.

Although the page stats are fairly basic right now (you can’t drill down into things like page views per day or conversions by individual products), it does offer a good snapshot of the activity on your company profile. Here’s an example of the page views chart:

Just like Facebook, number of followers shouldn’t be the only thing you measure. That’s when this graph comes in handy. Do a quick analysis of follower count against page views. What’s your page views per month divided by your followers?

The page visitor demographics for “company” is a little confusing to me:

…  Haven’t had much success with finding out exactly what this piece of data represents. If you happen to know, would you drop me a line in the comments?

Now that you have a snapshot of your company page stats, pair this with the statistics LinkedIn offer for its status updates (see Part 1 of this series for info on status updates) and other analytics info, like Google’s Social Analytics, to form hypotheses on what’s driving traffic and engagement and what content is performing.

Check out an in-depth article I wrote on how you can use Google’s Social Analytics reporting to get a better understanding of how users of individual social networks engage with your content and your site.

For example, you can find out what a user’s behavior was on your site when he or she followed a link to your blog from LinkedIn. You can also find out how LinkedIn traffic fares against Twitter and Facebook, track conversion from LinkedIn, measure the performance of your LinkedIn share buttons and much more.

Use the data you uncover through the LinkedIn page statistics, the status update data and the Google social reports to get a big picture of how LinkedIn is performing as a social medium for your business.

You can also compare what you’ve found out about LinkedIn with analytics from your other social networks to better understand how it fits into your social media portfolio. You might find your engagement level is higher than your Facebook, even when you aren’t trying as hard.

That concludes our three-part series on LinkedIn for business. Got ideas for marketing on LinkedIn? Tell us what you think below!

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3 responses to “LinkedIn for Business: Optimizing Your Company Profile — Part 3”

  1. Anton Koekemoer writes:

    Great post Jessica – Linked.In is an important Social Media Channel that allows professionals to connect socially in a business manner (Not that personal as is Facebook for an example). I always find it useful to read other peoples views and reviews on their Strategies and methods on the various Social Media Channels – Thanks for sharing your post – Found it to be a great reading experience.

  2. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hey Anton,

    Thanks so much for your comment. Agreed, it;s not as personal but great for providing thought leadership. We all have to pitch in and share ideas in order to make sense of all this crazy social media, right?

    Take care,

    Jessica

  3. Suresh writes:

    I am getting much benefited from LinkedIn, I search for niche groups, join and participate and get business deals done.



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