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Increasing follower engagement on LinkedIn

April 23, 2013

Published here on April 10, 2013

LinkedIn was destined to become a vital social platform for B2B marketers. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram? They’re all bright colors, exclamation points and funky hashtags — aimed at making people feel good. Contrast that with LinkedIn, the professional, informative website that centers on business-based relationships. Sounds kind of like B2C vs. B2B, right?

But ignoring the abstract, LinkedIn is absolutely valuable for B2B marketing. As Social Media Today reported last month, LinkedIn “has a visitortolead conversion ratio of 2.74 percent, which is outstanding.”

With that in mind, it’s time we all got a little more engaging on LinkedIn. Here are a few tips on getting started.

Ask questions:

Hewlett-Packard (with its 1 million followers) says it asks questions from followers as a way of increasing online engagement. It works out great — HP is able to stay on top of the needs of its audience, and the responses provide content for blog posts.

Says HP: “This approach is working: Our followers are highly engaged, not just in sharing and linking to our content, but in offering thoughtful, genuine comments. They’re responding well to the customized messages that LinkedIn lets us deliver to them, and they’re much more likely to recommend HP solutions. It’s been exciting to watch our community grow and engage with each other.”

In some of your status updates, think about adding in a question, prompting followers to add their thoughts in a comment.

Change it up:

LinkedIn (via its blog) recommends posting things other than run-of-the-mill hiring announcements and articles. Possible content can include photos and YouTube videos.

This is not to say you need to start posting cartoons and funny office photos. It should still be professional and informative. Look at the Harvard Business School Executive Education for a good example; it keeps its feed interesting with videos, podcasts and Twitter-chat announcements.

Link to the company page in email signatures:

In another blog post, LinkedIn recommends adding a link to your company page in employee email signatures. It’s along the same lines as signing off a blog post with your Twitter handle. Short. Simple. Easy fix.

Participate in group discussions:

Participating in discussions is a key to success on any social media platform, as it’s the best route to engage followers. It’s easy to do in LinkedIn — the website does a lot of the work for you with its “Groups.” Join a few groups in your industry and make worthwhile contributions. Set goals such as having employees comment on at least one discussion every week.

The benefit here is two-fold: One, you’re getting your company name out there; simply increasing visibility will inevitably pay off in gaining followers. Two, you’re establishing yourself (and therefore your company) as an expert in your field. By offering advice, putting forth your own ideas and commenting on important industry trends, you can show that you know what you’re talking about, and thus the best one for the job.

Time posts appropriately:

Dell, which has close to 450,000 followers, recommends timing your posts to the schedules of your audience.

Says Dell: “Keep your audience in mind when posting; try to post at the beginning of the workday if you are hoping to reach people at work or later in the day or early evening if you hope to reach people checking in from home.”

Remember the basic rule of marketing: it’s all about meeting consumers’ needs.

Need more? Check out our Techpreneur Spotlight How-To-Guide for LinkedIn.

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