Thursday, September 04, 2014

All-Together Social LinkedIn



All-Together Social


Working on




This is an instruction manual  for the use and application of LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com).

It examines the opportunities that are available for Public Relations practitioners using the popular form of social media.

The content offers a guide only and users should be aware that LinkedIn is evolving and changing which means this manual will always be a little out of date.

Ideas for the use of LinkedIn outlines in this manual are for guidance only and even David Phillips does not warrant their efficacy or  application.



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The use of the Internet to carry out certain activities has been developing significantly amongst older age groups. The proportion of adults aged 45 to 54 using the Internet for finding information about goods and services, increased from 74% in 2013 to 84% in 2014. Internet banking activity in the same age group rose from 50% to 62% over the same period. For adults aged 55 to 64 the use of social networking rose from 29% in 2013 to 37% in 2014.

Social networking has been one of the major success stories of the Internet age. In 2014, over half (54%) of all adults participated in social networking, up from 45% in 2011. Almost all adults aged 16 to 24 (91%) used social networks in 2014, but it is important to note that its use is not solely confined to the youngest age groups. Around 37% of adults aged 55 to 64 and 13% of those aged 65 and over participated in social networking in 2014.


Introduction

LinkedIn is a huge business-oriented social networking service mainly used for professional networking. As of June 2013, LinkedIn reported 259 million users in more than 200 countries and territories.[2][9]LinkedINintheUK10m.jpg
The 10 million members (now 15 million) make the UK LinkedIn’s third largest market beaten only by the United States and India.  The professional social network has recruited seven million UK members in the last three years.

Most professional people and students have a LinkedIn profile in the UK.

LinkedIn offers a range of services. It is best known for providing access to its members profiles. It publishes corporate profiles,  job vacancies and articles. Members can use discussion groups (some public and some closed). Members also post articles which have a similarity to blog posts. In personal profiles there is information about current and past employment, voluntary and charitable interests, education and skills endorsement. Many people follow organisations (and people/employees). The numbers of Followers members have is a reflection of interest in the activities and content provided by them.

In auditing LinkedIn profiles, we discover the nature of organisations and the skills it needs to succeed.. A further range of  metrics can be compared one with the other (e.g. all the clearing Banks) to provide benchmarks with subsequent audits identifying change (and the nature of competitive change).

LinkedIn carries more authority than Facebook and is much less relevant to consumer activities but is a very direct vehicle for interaction with management constituencies.

LinkedIn is more than just a means for aspiring professionals to make friends and influence people. It has changed the market for their labour—how they find jobs and how employers find them….. One corporate recruiter after another calls it a “game-changer” Reports the Economist .

As LinkedIn’s data pool deepens, its value to researchers as well as its members and corporate customers will increase. Pian Shu, an economist at Harvard Business School, points out that you could compare the career paths of those who graduate in recessions with those who graduate in booms: do the former, as you might suppose, fare worse? Aiding academic research is not LinkedIn’s priority. But its interest to economists is a sign of how pervasive it has become.

A range of organisation have very worthwhile presence in LinkedIn such as  PWC, BA and BAE. There is even consideration  as to the relative value of the company website and linkedIn:

“There is a debate among marketing and corporate communications professionals as to what is more engaging and important.
Is it your company’s LinkedIn page or your company’s website? Undoubtedly I believe that it is your LinkedIn company page and here‘s why.
Many people say that they have posted blogs and articles on their company website and very few people have read them let alone shared them. They are basically getting no engagement….” E-Consultancy September 2014



Opportunities



These is a very strong case for using LinkedIn as a major media for influencing middle management in major organisations.

LinkedIn is a considerable aid as a recruiting vehicle.

LinkedIn users tend to have a household income 40% greater than, for example Facebook or Twitter.

It is possible to link to key opinion formers and or use the medium for distribution of views of senior personnel, papers and formal announcements.

Based on sampled data, the average LinkedIn member has access to over 9,000 people via their 2nd degree network. That represents, on average, access to opportunities and connections in over 6,000 companies and organizations in 130 industries via 2nd degree connections that can be reached by an individual introduction.

With 300 million profiles in its model, LinkedIn’s evolution from a Professional Graph to an Economic Graph, a digital map of the global economy, is a valuable aid in evaluating both employment and economic trends from LinkedIn data.  

One purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:
  • A contact network is built up consisting of direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual contact.
  • LinkedIn can then be used to find skills, jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network.
  • Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates and can offer a wide range of LinkedIn plugins for their web sites.
  • The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users. LinkedIn participates in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.

LinkedIn gets more visits from London than anywhere else in the world.

LinkedIn offers its own plan for success:


Have a Documented Strategy
Make sure it is specific, achievable, and measurable. Even consider a basic strategy using the “5W+H framework”: why (goals), who (target audience), what (your content), where (the newsfeed on LinkedIn), when (every day), how (infographics and relevant curated articles produced).” Be cautious not to over-plan.
Have Clear Roles & Responsibilities
Spell out who does what on a team org chart. Consider all the players internally and externally, including auxiliary teams like PR, Legal, Compliance, etc.
Map Out Your Processes Step-by-Step
It sounds simple but make sure you write down each step in the process from idea through publishing. It helps to avoid confusion and streamline your time to publishing. Put names and times behind the process to hold people accountable to SLAs.
Live by Your Content Calendar
Have 2+ weeks planned at a time and maintain a track for events (both company and audience specific). Top brands are also building targeting and amplification into their calendars.
Make Your Technology Work For You
Your content calendar should live in your SMMS tools to enable collaboration in real-time with your teams. Take advantage of all the features such as scheduling and rules to maximize your efficiency.
Adaptable Teams Wear Multiple Hats
Require your team to learn new skills outside their job title. Content creators should be encouraged to analyze metrics or create graphics. Sharing the load creates a shared sense of responsibility and pride in the big picture results.
Be Distribution Driven
Proactively plan to ensure great content reaches great people. All the great content you’re producing needs to get in front of the great people your business cares about. Don’t stop once it’s created; think through how you can amplify it.
Measure Twice, Improve Continuously
Leverage actionable insights to optimize strategy and quality. Don’t get comfortable; social media enables you to continually raise the bar on your content, so make sure your iterate and evolve.

This is a good start but there is much more that can be used in this medium which is included in this paper.


Examining strategy


In examining how LinkedIn will fit into the overall relationship management strategy of an organisation is important. LinkedIn is part of the Social Media strategy (including the organisation’s existing social media policy - here are some examples), the same rules apply as for all social media interactions. There is a need to find out about this very popular medium (see above). As always, content in LinkedIn does not have to include all the content in all social and traditional media. The audience is different and this has to be respected to be successful.

Most organisations are surprised to find the extent to which they are referenced by current and past employees. In the case of the Bank of England, 84% of employees have a LinkedIn account and disclose details such as the skills they deploy to be good at what they do, past employment and even the universities they attended. This simple example, shows how critical it is to explore content and to examine these data from different perspectives.

Nationwide Skills.png

In addition examination of competition/peer organisations will provide additional intelligence. One analysis might include the skills that employees of a company needs to be effective and this might be matched to competition to give an industry sector view of the commonalities and differences of competitors.



This analysis will provide a benchmark showing minimum requirements and the basis from which competition strategy as well as an issues and crisis plan can be outlined.

After this is completed, there is the opportunity to develop interactions to build relationships (followers), presence and community as needed.

In developing strategy, the first considerations are the extent to which exposure in LinkedIn is already shaping attitudes and opinions because of commission or omission.
In order to have success with LinkedIn, you’ll need to make a long-term commitment to your plan. A strategy that delivers results requires ongoing management, monitoring, analysis, and adjustments.

At this stage it is important to assess available resources and determine what the organisation is  willing to commit with regard to people, time and other resources. An ongoing commitment to strategy ensures the organisation stays on track toward achieving organisation goals.

There are a number of ways this can and should be done which are discussed below.

The LinkedIn service


LinkedIn has a lot of facilities and a huge following.

numbers for LinkedIn.png

In reviewing the numbers of users most organisations will identify a range of opportunities that go well beyond recruiting.

Key among the opportunities are activities that facilitate strong marketing (imagine a newspaper with a circulation of 3.8 million professionals)











There are  many forms of presence in LinkedIn. The most used is the Personal Profile and Interest Groups the other are Company Profile and news service called Pulse. It also has an internal Email service for its users.Traffic and Demographic Statistics by Quantcast.png

The demographics are compelling. Using all of these services provides an opportunity to engage with the organisation’s constituencies both inside and outside the organisation.

LinkedIn allows users to research companies with which they may be interested in working. When typing the name of a given company in the search box, statistics about the company are provided. These may include the ratio of female to male employees, the percentage of the most common titles/positions held within the company, the location of the company's headquarters and offices, or a list of present and former employees.

LinkedIn has been described by TechRepublic as having "become the de facto tool for professional networking".

LinkedIn has a number of services that can be used including:

Personal Profile

The quickest way to edit and enhance your profile is to click the Complete Your Profile button in the top section of your profile. The following, taken from the LinkedIn helpfile will guide you through the most important element.When you come round to building a company profile in LinkedIn, you will need to have an email address with your company’s website (you@yourcompany.com) associated with your professional profile - this ensures that no one without authorized access can compromise a company’s profile page. To add your company email address, go to your profile’s settings and select 'Add & change email addresses' under the 'Account' tab.
You can  individually add, change, or remove content on your profile. For most items:
  1. Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
  2. Find the section you'd like to edit and click the  Edit icon next to it.
  3. When you're done making updates, click Done editing in the box at the top of your profile.
Sections you can edit in your profile:
  1. Name - First, last, and former names.
  2. Headline - This information will default to your current job title. Learn how to update your professional headline. Note: If your headline is the same as your current position, the current position won't display in the top section of your profile.
  3. Industry - Learn how to update the industry on your profile.
  4. Photo - Learn how to add a professional photo of yourself.
  5. Contact Info - Learn more about editing your Contact Info, including your email, phone, IM, and address (only visible to connections), as well as your Twitter handle and web sites.
  6. Summary - Information about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.
  7. Experience - Professional positions and experience, including jobs, volunteer posts, military, board of directors, nonprofit, or pro sports. Learn more about adding, editing, or removing these items.
  8. Education - School and educational information. Learn more about adding or removing education.
  9. Recommendations - You can request professional recommendations and display them on your profile. Learn more about recommendations.
  10. Certifications - Certifications, licensures, or clearances you've attained can be added as a new section. Learn how to add certifications and other sections.
  11. Courses - Adding your body of coursework can help your education to stand out.
  12. Honors & Awards - Show off your hard-earned awards.
  13. Languages - Languages you understand or speak.
  14. Organizations - List the organizations or associations you've been a part of along with your role.
  15. Patents - Any patents you've applied for or received.
  16. Publications - Publications that have featured your work.
  17. Projects - Showcase the projects you've worked on, along with team members. Learn more about Projects.
  18. Skills & Endorsements - A relevant list of skills on your profile will help others to understand your strengths and improve your ability to be found when opportunities present themselves. Learn how to add and remove skills on your profile. You can display endorsements of your skills that your colleagues have given you. Learn more about skill endorsements.
  19. Test Scores - List your scores on tests to highlight high achievement.
  20. Volunteer Experience & Causes - Organizations you support, causes you care about, and the types of volunteer opportunities you're looking for.
  21. Additional Information - Interests, personal details like your birthday or marital status, and advice for people who want to contact you.

For more advanced content there are other things that can be done:

Who s viewed your profile   LinkedIn.png

Groups


LinkedIn provides a service for members with a common interest called Groups. They can be found here https://www.linkedin.com/grp/

Groups can be public or only available to LinkedIn members selected by the Group administrator. This is useful to offer an added value service to selected constituents such as customer or employees etc.

This is a powerful medium and a lot of content is both read and shared.Groups are a significant media in their own right.

Groups have a discussion facility which is a very useful medium for both individuals and organisations (This is a social media example - note the top contributors highlighted). As you will see, if your organisation belongs to Groups, it adds to credibility and gravitas.

This facility allows members to:
  • Keep up with discussions
  • See new activity across your groups in one feed so you don't miss a thing.
  • Start a conversation
  • Share ideas, ask questions, then hear what your group has to say.

Some groups are open need very little by way of setting up or management but this is a missed opportunity with most users of LinkedIn using the service more frequently than reading a newspaper.

You can choose how your groups appear on this page and access settings for all your groups:
  • Status:
    • Members-only Group (Discussions can only be viewed and shared by group members.)
  • Group Logo:
    • Display the group logo on my profile.
  • Contact Email:
    • Use when receiving communications from the group:
    • Add a new email address »
  • Posts:
    • Send me an email for each new discussion.
  • Digest Email:
    • Send me a digest of all activity in this group.
  • Delivery Frequency:
    • Daily digest email Weekly digest email
  • Announcements:
    • Send me group announcements. (Never more than one a week.)
  • Messages:
    • Allow members of this group to send me messages.
Some examples of groups may help you see what they look like and I recommend looking at these:

  • Created: March 3, 2008; Type: Networking Group; Members: 427,420; Owner: John Horsle
As one of the largest groups on LinkedIn, this community is chock-full of inspiration, intriguing discussions, and detailed tips and best practices for improving your online marketing, including mobile, SEO, email, and a heckuva lot more.
  • Created: September 21, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 99,095; Owner: Dharmesh Shar
Created by HubSpot’s own Dharmesh Shah, the Inbound Marketers group provides tips, tricks, templates, and tutorials for planning and executing on successful inbound marketing strategies. Chances are, you’ll run into tons of HubSpotters and HubSpot customers in this group too!
  • Created: November 12, 2007; Type: Networking Group; Members: 552,753; Owner: Robert Fleming
This community, managed by the eMarketing Association, is intended for anyone who's interested in marketing, as it focuses on topics related to social media, search, email, mobile, and general inbound marketing. You’re likely to run into fellow marketing friends and coworkers in this group.
4) Innovative Marketing,  PR, Sales, Word-of-Mouth & Buzz Innovators Innovation Network by Gerald Haman
  • Created: February 2, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 243,469; Owner: Gerald Haman
Want to talk strategy? Looking for a little inspiration for your next campaign? This group is for you. You’ll hear from all sorts of marketing, PR, and sales professionals about their innovations and strategies so you can perfect your own.
  • Created: November 28, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 56,879; Owner: Holger Schulze
The B2B Technology Marketing Community is a highly engaged group of tech-focused marketers who love Q&A and actively participate in group discussions. If you’re looking for a great group to talk shop with, this one’s for you!
  • Created: November 4, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 36,184; Owner: Joel Harrison
If you’re a marketer who focuses primarily on B2B, this is an excellent group to join. You’ll learn all about the trials and tribulations associated with the B2B sector and how you can go about conquering your biggest challenges with marketing to these companies.
  • Created: August 6, 2008; Type: Nonprofit Group; Members: 30,914; Owner: Carrie Montagna
If you’re a nonprofit marketer, this is the largest and most active nonprofit marketing group on LinkedIn! This community is the primary place to meet and network with other nonprofit marketers on the social platform as well as learn how to use inbound marketing successfully for your NPO.
  • Created: October 1, 2007; Type: Professional Group; Members: 155,636; Owner: Laurent J.V. Dubois
If you’re a marketer with an interest in sales, but have very little time to educate yourself further about the field, you'd be wise to join this group. It's an optimal place to scan the most popular discussions and get a glimpse of what sales best practices really look like.
  • Created: March 27, 2008; Type: Networking Group; Members: 134,206; Owner: Eric Blumthal
What better way to learn more about sales and marketing than from the great minds of sales and marketing executives on LinkedIn? This group is a prime one to join if you want to get inspired by super-smart thought leaders (and maybe watch a TED talk or two).
  • Created: March 6, 2008; Type: Professional Group; Members: 734,068; Owner: Michael Crosson
The Social Media Marketing community is a large community led and moderated by an excellent group of managers. This is ideal for you if you crave new insights on social media. You’ll receive weekly announcements in your inbox with great resources and webinars, in addition to the lively discussion from the general social media community.
There are, of course, many many groups and some are very successful while other are less so.

LinkedIn blog


LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to members, In effect this gives them a blogging platform and a new way to build their professional brand. When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile, is shared with their trusted network and has the ability to reach the professional members using the site. Members have the ability to follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers. Members can continue to share their expertise by posting photos, images, videos and their original presentations on SlideShare as well and integrate it into their posts.

Creating LinkedIn Groups


LinkedIn groups are going strong and are another component of a comprehensive strategy to position an organisation  as an industry thought leader.

  1. The most successful groups focus on gaining relevant members with common goals, and they are managed very well.
  2. To implement a successful LinkedIn group strategy, assign the role of primary group manager/moderator to someone who pre-approves discussion posts, asks great questions and determines which members get accepted into the group.
  3. When the organisation launches the LinkedIn group, be sure to get the word out organically to a wide range of the organisation constituencies.
  4. Identify top influencers and have them serve as group ambassadors to help recruit members and to lead interesting discussions to keep the group active.

Self-service ads are also available from LinkedIn as a paid strategy for increasing visibility of a group and growing  membership numbers.

With a LinkedIn group,the organisation has the ability to message members once a day or every week. These messages go directly to their email inboxes and are a great way to deliver special promotions or campaigns.

To foster a healthy community within the organisation’s LinkedIn groups it will be very advantageous to engage in discussions and add value by offering up compelling content.

To help you keep track of member demographics, growth and activity, stats are available for all public LinkedIn groups.

There are other applications for LinkedIn groups. Creating groups with a specific interest or inviting staff to engage in existing groups adds to the weight of the organisation.

Special interest Groups, from building a discussion round sector specialisms or industry wide expertise is an example. Such groups can be public or private and can even be limited to employees or other groups of LinkedIn users.

Such content can be part of a sprinklr activity.


Company Profiles


Create a Company Page   Get Started Building Your Business Presence   LinkedIn.png

The most powerful part of a company LinkedIn activity is its Profile.

A Company Page helps LinkedIn members learn about your business, brand, and job opportunities. Any LinkedIn member can follow a Company Page.

To create a business presence on LinkedIn and gain access to additional features that enhance visibility, it is essential to build a LinkedIn company page. It should be an extension of the organisation’s website within LinkedIn and should be used to display compelling graphics, add information, links to news and other the organisation content and can even include job opportunities.kellogg.png
    • LinkedIn has stated that organisations only need 100-200 followers for the Company Page to reach the tipping point to start making an impact and driving engagement.
    • In the Specialties section of the the organisation description, it helps to use relevant keywords to be found in LinkedIn searches.


You can add a new Company Page only if you meet all of the following requirements:
  1. You must have a personal LinkedIn profile set up with your true first and last name.
  2. Your profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All Star.
  3. You must have several connections on your profile.
  4. You're a current company employee and your position is listed in the Experience section on your profile.
  5. You have a company email address (e.g. john@companyname.com) added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account.
  6. Your company's email domain is unique to the company.
  7. Use the advice provided by LinkedIn here. The case studies are excellent too.

Email


An email service which is used to communicate with people in LinkedIn is also useful (and not so easy to find in this big site).
Users can send a message to your connections from your inbox or your Contacts page. The message will be sent to the recipient's LinkedIn inbox and possibly to their email address, depending on their LinkedIn notification settings.

Considerations for the Company Profile

1. Consistent and accurate

When you create or edit your company page on LinkedIn make sure that it’s consistent with your corporate style/identity and all of your social networks and website. This will keep your brand consistent. This means that you should have everything from the same tone to graphics. The last thing that you want is for visitors from your website, Twitter, or Facebook to wonder if this is the same company when they check out your LinkedIn page.
Also, double-check all of your company’s information. Make sure that it’s accurate and up to date not only on LinkedIn, but across all of your social media channels. For example, if you have a new email address or phone number, make sure that information has been changed. You don’t want to miss out on a major opportunity because you didn’t take the minute to update your information.

2. Careers

The next tab for the company profile page is 'Careers'. Here, you can post job listings on LinkedIn for members to find and apply for. The price for a job listing depends on the industry and location. You can even create a premium career page to show visitors only the jobs that match their expertise and allows you to add additional content such as video clips, custom modules, and detailed analytics.

Rather than burying information about activities or careers, there are now sidebar spaces on the Home tab that feature these sections of your LinkedIn Company Page. This makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for on your Page.
    • If you are not utilizing the Careers tab section of your Company Page, you will see a default image of your logo icon and some default text that says “Learn more about our organisation.”


3. Products & Services

A very important part of your company page is your listings under the 'Products & Services' tab. Here you can list your featured products and services, providing additional details about each.


Beyond just a general description, you can assign specific employees within your company as contact points for a product or service. You can also add a YouTube video and directly link to a specific page for the product or services on your web site. If you have a promotion, you can enter it on the product or service page as well - be sure to use specific promotion codes if possible to track your LinkedIn referrals!

Another nice feature of the Products & Services page is that you can get recommendations for items listed on your company page.

For the Products and Services section in the sidebar, the first ‘product’ that you offer needs to be the primary message/activity the organisation needs to be featured.
  • It is possible to showcase free downloads or special reports etc.
  • The goal is to get your Company Page visitors interested in learning more about the organisation and how they can be usefully engaged..
  • On the Products tab of your Company Page, ‘product’ recommendations are more prominently featured in the sidebar! Such recommendations are extremely valuable and are a display of social proof. Any visitor to this area of the page can see who in their network is endorsing the organisation activity.


4. LinkedIn featured products


Up until now, you could only get recommendations on your personal professional profiles. The trouble with this, when it comes to businesses, is that recommendations were on employees' pages, so if the employee left the company, those recommendations would go with them. With recommendations on the company page, you can build testimonials that will stay with your company page, regardless of the change in staff.

5. Add Administrators

By adding more administrators, you’re allowing colleagues to edit the page and publish status updates. Instead of only one person doing this daily, you could have several people sharing the workload.

Simply click on “Designated Users Only.” From there, select the connections that you want to grant admin access to. Just remember to add yourself. If not, you’ll have to ask one of the new admins to add you.

6. Post Status Updates Regularly

Sharing relevant and quality content is an effective way of not only increasing your presence on LinkedIn, but it can also drive traffic from your LinkedIn page to your website. Just make sure that you are committed to doing this frequently. For example, you could share an article first thing in the morning and some sort of question later in the day to start communication.

7. Image Profile and Banners

LinkedIn allows you to add up to three banner images to each of your company profile pages. Why are banner images so important?
  • You can create hyper-linked banners featuring calls to action. This is a great technique to serve targeted content.
  • You can also measure the measuring ROI from banner ads thanks to click-throughs.
  • Banners spice up your page by bringing in some character and color.

The banner image should be 646×220 pixels.
The most important information should be placed at the top of the image, such as key messaging or your company’s value proposition. Keep in mind, however, that the message on LinkedIn will be different from on Facebook, Twitter, etc. because it’s a different audience.
Again, make sure it is consistent with your existing branding.

8. Highlight Products

As an organisation it is important to let people know what you’re offering. Up until April 14 2014, you could have done that easily by listing at least one of your products or services in the “Products” section. However, LinkedIn has made the decision to remove the popular Products & Services tab. For now, you have two alternatives.

  • The first is to share news regarding your products or services through Company updates. This information will appear in your followers’ news feeds and can include images and video.
  • The second option is to use Showcase Pages. LinkedIn states that you can highlight your services and products in the Showcase Page and people can follow it just like they can with a Company Page.

You can also have three products or services with rotating banner images. But, unlike the banner on the homepage, these feature clickable links that will direct users to relevant landing pages on your site.

Finally, you’re allowed to create variations of your Products & Services pages. This means that you can target an audience based company size, job function, industry, seniority and/or geography.

9. Add Videos

YouTube is a great tool to optimise LinkedIn company page by engaging visitors and offering a visual presentation of the brand. It is estimated that as many as 60 percent of the Top 100 brands on LinkedIn now routinely post videos linked to their YouTube channel.

You can easily add videos from your YouTube account (or anyone’s) by simply going over to “Add your YouTube video …” and then copying/pasting the YouTube video link. it is also possible to add more than one video on your page.

10. Link to a Landing Page

It is tempting to link to the company homepage, but there is a better option. A LinkedIn landing page. By linking to a specially created landing page on the company website you’re not only providing optimised details regarding your brand or company, but also creating a relationship generation opportunity that can increase the chances of interaction.




Building a following and creating an integrated policy


  1. Invite existing employees, selected opinion formers, vendors and other ‘partners’ (e.g. similar/competitor organisations)  to follow the organisation’s page, and showcase it to relevant LinkedIn members and encourage them to follow by using LinkedIn’s paid targeted advertising.
  2. There is a strong case for development of linkedIn skills among employees. “How You Rank” is one of the most popular destinations on LinkedIn. It’s hard for employees not to keep checking back to see how they rank among their connections and colleagues at your company. For those who are premium members, LinkedIn recently added another competitive lens with “Professionals Like You”. Not only can employees see where they stack up in their first degree network and company, but now they can view how they rank among industry peers (LinkedIn say “if you’ve ever wondered whether you have a professional doppelganger, this list is a treasure trove”).
  3. If it’s appropriate and/or allowable, ask key constituents to recommend the organisation's’ services on the LinkedIn company page. These recommendations show up on the the organisation page for everyone to see, and serve as powerful testimonials for your business.
  4. Filling the LinkedIn company page with compelling and interesting status updates about the organisation’s work, economics and other significant content is the most effective way to grow followers and increase visibility. As the organisation grows a following, it will be time to segment members and target them with more relevant updates.
  5. Inviting employees to  examine the LinkedIn profiles of people they meet in their daily duties is also a powerful tool. It ensures your employees are well briefed and prepared when meeting or talking to contacts. It also help build a wider following and interest. Encouraging them to also recruit followers of the organisation’s LinkedIn Groups (see below) is a good idea too.EnvAgencySkillCloud1.png

  1. Equally, when dealing with outside organisations, LinkedIn offers an insight into the organisation that would take months to achieve in other ways. Analysis of employees and ex-employee profiles offers insights that show the focus of activity in almost every organisation.
  2. As your presence grows your visibility will become important. LinkedIn company page stats provide you with valuable insights about followers, engagement, clicks and more!engagement insights

An example of LinkedIn company page engagement insights (left is useful and helpful to keep adding to your presence via LinkedIn.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small business or you represent a large corporate brand, a LinkedIn company page is a critical digital asset for your business and serves as the anchor of your LinkedIn foundation.

A salesman’s tool

The heart of LinkedIn, like any social networking site, is making connections. This is the most basic way to reach out to potential new leads.

Sales people can begin by joining a few LinkedIn groups, all of which should have some connection to your niche industry. This will help to spread awareness of your brand to a wider audience.

5 Ways LinkedIn Can Help You Boost your Business image 11 600x519

Next, using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, The salesman can begin to target a specific market. LinkedIn’s Advanced Search allows them to fine tune search parameters according to industry, company, educational background, and job title. It can even perform searches that target specific keywords that are relevant to your industry.


The connections you make on LinkedIn will help to generate leads all by themselves, but to maximize their potential you will want to make personal contact.


Developing a Thought Leadership Programme


It will require  specific employees or partners to help implement and maintain a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy but it is also true that getting all employees involved and on the same page is important to success.

When a large proportion of employees are involved, it creates an extended network that amplifies presence and sector thought leadership. Most organisations already have a lot of employees with a LinkedIn profile. Optimising their presence and the fact that they use their relationship with the organisation to supplement their online presence contributes to an opportunity, the organisation can take.
To get employees and stakeholders excited about LinkedIn and make the experience meaningful for them can be expressed as aiding their professional goals and the rounded reputation of the organisation.

Provided with training on how to build a robust LinkedIn profile, how to represent the organisation on the network and how to utilize LinkedIn to achieve their goals offers a significant advantage. It is worth explaining the (mutual) benefits of expanding their own professional networks.

To help your employees and stakeholders become active on LinkedIn it may be possible to provide them with an ongoing supply of interesting, compelling thought leadership content.

Consider allowing the organisation members to edit the content to suit their personal style when they share it with their respective networks.

The impact of hundreds of employees making a contribution will have a huge impact and may be very significant. Almost certainly, at times of stress, such an army of influencers will have a dramatic effect on opinion worldwide.

LinkedIn’s Professional Portfolio?

LinkedIn launched Professional Portfolio to showcase your unique professional story using rich visual content.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a photographer, a real estate agent, an interior designer or a marketer. By adding an interactive, rich media experience to your profile, you can leverage the power of imagery.
At present, the key features of Professional Portfolio are available on the following sections of your LinkedIn profile:
  • Summary
  • Experience
  • Education
Content can be added to a LinkedIn profile in the form of photos/images, videos, presentations and audio recordings. You can also link a range of documents and content types with Professional Portfolio. These are either hosted by LinkedIn or linked through approved providers. For example, approved providers for presentations are Prezi, Scribd and SlideShare. You can view a complete list of approved providers here.

Visual Content on LinkedIn Profiles

You can visually enhance your LinkedIn profile by using the Professional Portfolio feature to add photos, videos, linked articles with images, screenshots or even infographics and SlideShare presentations?
The surprising thing is that many people still aren’t using this feature, so it’s great timing for you to stand out now and get noticed with visuals on LinkedIn.
Some of the best visual content to establish and update regularly on the CEO’s  profile include:
  • Speaker videos
  • Latest slide decks from speaking engagements
  • Launches and special projects such as books and programs
  • Recent articles or features in the press
  • Work samples and client work
  • Screenshots of social proof (for example, tweets from your speaking engagements)

Paid Advertising and Sponsored Updates


While LinkedIn social advertising will grow numbers of followers and group membership, there are additional advertisements run on LinkedIn that can drive clicks to the the organisation website and to a specific landing page.

LinkedIn does partner with larger brands on sponsored programs but it can be expensive.
If the organisation needs to run social advertising campaigns to increase followers, group members or even to drive off-site traffic and lead conversions, it will probably be better off using the self-service tools LinkedIn makes available to companies on the network.

In deploying such tactics it is very important to make sure the organisation tests to see which advertisements are most efficient and effective.

  1. Link to a LinkedIn Advertising Post
    1. There are numerous banner ads on LinkedIn that are designed to have members click through to company websites. Unfortunately, many times there’s no specific call to action on the landing page the advertising  leads to This is a wasted opportunity.
    2. Making sure the landing page attached to a the organisation banner or text advertisement includes a relevant incentive with clear instructions on what people should do to access the offer (e.g. download the Governor's speech here!).

Paid Company-Sponsored Updates


Company-sponsored updates are only run on company pages, and are designed to boost visibility with the organisation  followers and others on the network.

Sponsored updates appear in LinkedIn member homepage news feeds and look like any other native update, except they’re marked as “Sponsored.” Although they’re fairly new, they’re showing some promising results.

With a LinkedIn company page,it is possible to post updates directly from the the organisation rather than as individual posts. LinkedIn has its own Sponsored Updates function

Sponsored Updates allow organisations to promote their messages to others outside the company page following. At the same time, they can target who sees that message to  be focused on the right people.

Here’s how to use Sponsored Updates:

  1. Create a Post
    1. Post the update to the the organisation page as normal. Wait a few minutes and then refresh the page until the Sponsor Update button appears.
    2. Select an update to sponsor by clicking the Sponsor Update button.
    3. the organisation can sponsor any of the updates on its company page, even one that’s a few months old. From there the service offers a capability to choose the target criteria for the Sponsored Update.
  2. Name the Campaign
    1. When setting up a campaign, it will need a name e.g. trial 1.
    2. As the organisation sets up other Sponsored Updates, it has the opportunity to use the same campaign criteria each time, making it easy to duplicate a practice that works well.
  3. Target The Campaign
    1. The target can be an update for:
      1. Location – by country and some area
      2. Company – by name or category (industry or size), or exclude
      3. Job title – by title or category, or exclude
      4. School – by school/university name, or exclude
      5. Skills – by skill name, or exclude
      6. Group – all or a particular group, or exclude
      7. Gender
      8. Age – several age brackets to choose from
  4. Choose A Payment Option
    1. The service allows a choice of budgets and whether to use cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). There is no need to wait for LinkedIn to authorize your Sponsored Update; it’s live within a few minutes.
    2. choose payment option
  5. Check the Preview
    1. Once your advertisement is set, it can be previewed by clicking Preview in the Campaign Manager to see what your visitors will see.
  6. Tracking the impact of each Sponsored Update is an obvious task to remember.
    1. The green + signs will be seen on the Sponsored Update statistics, but not on the organic statistics. They simply refer to the extra visibility given to the update by sponsoring it.
  7. Metrics are available at any time by going to your post and clicking on the highlighted campaign name or you can go directly to LinkedIn Campaign Manager to find out how your updates are performing.
  8. The campaign can be terminated at any time and in two ways—through the Campaign Manager page by turning the status to off or directly from your post by clicking on Manage. Simply uncheck the box and the promotion will be stopped.
  9. There are two types of clicks to be aware of—social and billable. Social clicks are simply post likes, shares and comments. Billable clicks are amassed by someone clicking the post title, the post link or the the organisation logo within your Sponsored Update.
  10. Consider using Sponsored Updates for:
    1. To announce significant upcoming events
    2. Marketing giveaways such as white papers and eBooks
    3. New product/service/activity  launch information
    4. A blog post that is already working hard and generating good results for the organisation
    5. Best Practices
  11. The great thing about LinkedIn Sponsored Updates is that they run on a very professional B2B networking platform, so your target audience is very much available to you. The link to the relevant LinkedIn page is:
and

Plug-ins

LinkedIn allows you to create a lot of plugins for your site, other organisation’s sites and in a host of other online properties.
This is a very useful way to promote your organisation as well as interesting content to selected and sympathetic constituencies.
This is a useful list of types of available plugins:
There is a helpful page that coveras all these great oppotinities here https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins

Further Reading


There is a lot of expertise online to help develop an effective LinkedIn presence. A number of the current examples are provided here:


Addendum

LinkedIn provides a very comprehensive set of advice and we are delighted to share it with you:

For example: A Company Page helps LinkedIn members learn about your business, brand, and job opportunities. Any LinkedIn member can follow a Company Page.

The most useful page in the  LinkedIn empire for business use of the site is: http://help.linkedin.com/
An interesting area for devotees is the LinkedIn official blog http://blog.linkedin.com/

If you want to set up a page for your organization, first check out the requirements to add a Company Page and read the basics on how to add a Company Page. There is a guide which you can follow:
General
Administrative Functions:
Company Updates
Career Pages:
Showcase Pages:
Publisher Company Pages: