LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking website. With 200 million members and counting, the opportunities to reach your target market are endless. The world’s most innovative and leading companies like Dell and IBM have turned to LinkedIn to scale back their marketing expenses and reap in higher conversion rates. Thought leaders like Jeff Weiner and Richard Branson utilize the platform to build their personal brands while sharing information regarding their specific industry. The benefits of LinkedIn are endless, whether you are operating as a B2B or B2C company; your target market most definitely exists on the platform.

Fun Facts You Should Know About LinkedIn 

· There are nearly 3 million company pages on LinkedIn.
· LinkedIn is growing exponentially, exceeding analysts’ projections for both earnings and revenue.
· LinkedIn is now the 25th most visited web property globally.

Build the (essential) Basics: This may seem simple, however a strong foundation is crucial for the implementation of a successful social media campaign.

· Add Admins – Build a team that can contribute to your content stream, reply to posts, edit data, and manage the day-to-day interactions. Having more than one person with access to the company page is easy; simply add them as Admins once you have created the company page.

· Basic Company Info – For those who are not familiar with your company, this is your chance to give a quick synopsis of the company background. LinkedIn does a great job in providing a fill-in-the-blank “About” form to ease your mind when creating this section.

· Images – Keep all images in line with your branding message. Colors, sizes, fonts, and overall design decisions should reflect the brand itself, yet be provocative enough to entice new followers and maintain your existing market.

Develop a Strong Brand Identity: How will your target market remember you? What makes your product or service stand out? 

· Products and Services Tab – Get creative with this tab. Set up brainstorming sessions with your team to creatively collaborate on how products and services will be displayed for your target market. The importance of this tab is severely underrated. With the advent of information available to the market 24/7 365 days a year, it is not only convenient, but also crucial to have an ease of access to descriptions of your products / services. Showcase all sorts of offerings in this tab, from free downloads, to special events, to webinars – the point is to be descriptive in a short concise way, all the while being relevant and intriguing. Great examples of products / services tabs come from Adobe and Microsoft.

· Ask for Recommendations – After developing your products / services tab, it’s time to get some street cred. New clients will be more adept to spend time on your company page if they see recommendations from previous clients. Reach out to a few of your existent or previous clients whom you had a positive relationship and ask them to provide a recommendation for one of your products / services. Make sure to send the request from the company page, as it will properly allocate the recommendation to your company page. If you send the request as an individual then the client may get confused, and the recommendation will show up on your personal profile. LinkedIn provides several resources to get you set on the right foot, like step-by-step guides.

· Thought Leadership – Establishing thought leadership requires consistency and diligence. While it may be difficult from a marketing standpoint to quantify your efforts in developing thought leadership, the importance of it does not diminish.Thought leadership builds relationships, reputations, and establishes your brand as a go-to for information in your particular niche market. Support the existent thought leaders in your industry and get support back.

Deliver Awesome Content: Posting relevant, time-sensitive, and interesting content will help increase the interaction levels between your company and your target market. 

· Relevant and Frequent Content – Knowing when and how to post content is an art form in its own regard, especially for companies who do not specialize in content creation. Thankfully, a few golden rules of content marketing exist:

o Keep content relevant and interesting
o Feature certain posts
o Use call to actions to drive engagement
o Keep the length of a post down to a minimum
o Post at least once per day, or two to three times per week

· Targeted Posts – Target specific followers to deliver the most relevant content to the most appropriate audiences. WithTargeted posts companies can segment their posts by several variables including: company size, industry, job function, seniority, and geographic location.

· Sponsored Posts – Particularly beneficial for B2B businesses and marketers, Sponsored posts are a way to deliver target-specific content. While this platform is still in testing phases, it is set to launch this year. Not to be confused with targeted posts or targeted advertising, sponsored posts are a more cost effective way to get traffic to your page.

Analyze Your Efforts: LinkedIn has a Help Center that helps your navigate your way through interpreting your Follower and Page Insights. Use this data to help you execute decisions and tailor your integrated marketing plan.

· Follower Insights – Total Followers, New Followers Last 7 Days, Updates Last 7 Days, Total Impressions Last 7 Days, Impressions/Update Last 7 Days, Update Engagement Last 7 Days, Members Following, New Followers, Company Update Engagement, Company Update Impressions, Follower Demographics, Recent Followers.

· Page Insights – Page Views Last 7 Days, Unique Visitors Last 7 Days, Page Clicks Last 7 Days, Page Views, Unique Visitors, Career Page Clicks, Page Visitor Demographics, Product & Services Page Clicks.

3 companies who have rocking LinkedIn pages:
· Adobe: Kudos to the Adobe team for developing a highly interactive, engaging, thought provoking, visually pleasing, seamless LinkedIn page. Every page full of great content and calls-to-action that entice the LinkedIn user.
· Deloitte: A high level of interaction with followers distinguishes Deloitte from the rest of LinkedIn’s company pages. It is evident the social media team at Deloitte implements targeted posts and analyzes follower / page insights.
· Amazon: A particular A+ score goes to Amazon’s stream of consistent, groundbreaking content. You can see posts delivered on a daily basis on their home screen. While Amazon’s product tab could be built upon a bit more, their content stream is sufficient enough to garner nearly 240,000 followers.


Best Practices:
· Stay active!
· Engage people in thought leadership discussions.
· Set guidelines for discussions.
· Focus on quality content creation.
· Via your personal LinkedIn profile, join groups relevant to your industry, and ask your employees to do the same.
Connect outside of LinkedIn: 
· Add LinkedIn follow link to your websites and emails.
· Run an email campaign with direct call to action and clearly laid out incentives / benefits.
· Promote your LinkedIn business page on other marketing materials – business cards, flyers, eBooks, white papers, and guides, presentations and event marketing collateral.