While LinkedIn can be one of the most productive social platforms for businesses, its effective usage is often a mystery to its users. This also applies to that most basic and imperative of actions – acquiring followers. Inexperienced companies and their LinkedIn page managers regularly use that same ineffective method employed by Twitter users – following another organization and asking/hoping that they ‘follow you back.’ This is not only ineffective in terms of the number of followers gained, many of your followers will be of no use with respect to networking and the growth of your company. There are actually many ways to increase and maintain your number of beneficial LinkedIn followers – here are a few of the most effective every organization should incorporate into their overall plan.
Add a LinkedIn ‘Follow’ Button To Your Website: LinkedIn’s Follow Company Plugin Generator makes it quick and easy to add a ‘follow’ button to your corporate website. Choose to show ‘no count’ when building up followers, then later on, you can display your impressive number of followers, incentivizing others to join the group.
Include a Direct Link to your LinkedIn page In All Branded Materials: Be it an email signature, other social platforms or an old-school business card, be sure to include a direct link to your LinkedIn page. This suggests that your LinkedIn page is just as important and valuable as any of your other online presences and worth following.
Employ Search Engine Optimization: While ubiquitously used on websites and blogs, organizations sometimes neglect to incorporate SEO into their LinkedIn pages. This is especially useful in longer, information-rich posts which tend to perform well in search results.
Make Employees Listing Your Company As Their Workplace Mandatory: This is advantageous in two ways. Firstly, individuals and companies viewing their LinkedIn page are likely to click through to yours and potentially become followers. Secondly, when employees list you as their employer, they automatically become followers, bolstering your count.
Offer Expert Content That Addresses Audience Pain Points: While the previous points will help an audience find their way to your page, this is the first and foremost way to attract and keep followers. In addition to blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, webinars and other such offerings that directly solve relevant problems can help establish your company as an industry authority that professionals will trust for solutions. It’s important to keep abreast of the most optimal post types – for example, ‘best of’ lists have been shown to perform far better than regular posts.
Use Short, To The Point Updates to Encourage Click Throughs And Follows: A clear and relevant title, interesting image and short but engaging lead in is far more effective than attempt to cram a summary of your entire article into a short update. This practice is self sustaining – followers will quickly learn to expect an expanded and useful article from these straightforward updates.
Focus on Engaging With Your Current Audience: Replying to every direct message, commenting and sharing your followers’ posts will quickly establish a long lasting relationship – and give you the reputation of an industry leader that takes the time to interact with your audience. Chasing after a larger audience while neglecting your existing audience (no matter the size) is a recipe for failure.
Use Images and Videos To Break Up Text: No matter how valuable the information you present is, readers fatigue of scrolling through giant blocks of text. Relevant images, videos and alternative ways of presenting information such as infographics greatly enhance reader experience.
Sponsored Content And Showcase Pages: It is often worth it to use the LinkedIn Sponsored Updates program to promote your best content. A relatively inexpensive option, it allows you to target the content to the right audience both in and out of your following. Showcase pages, meanwhile, allow you to create specialized, full-featured pages for your different offerings while targeting a specific section of your following. Combining the two can result in serious marketing power.
If the simple tips listed above seem too overwhelming, contact a marketing strategist to discuss your LinkedIn goals as well as your overall marketing objectives.
Shannon Prager is the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 17 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media and marketing operations. You can follow her on Twitter via: @LeaditMarketing