Recently our MD here at Studio 24-7, Mike, has started following the social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, otherwise known as @GaryVee. Mike’s constantly walking around with one earphone is through which Gary’s unmistakable vivacious and excited New Jersey accent can be heard blasting out life ethos, marketing advice and stories about growing his families wine business by $57,000,000. For him, it’s lead to a shift in viewpoint on the use of social media to market his business and for us, it’s lead to a whole lot more content creation. Needless to say, we all know who’s responsible for me writing this blog, don’t we Gary.
That backstory is relevant to the title of this blog, as Gary’s latest musings suggest that LinkedIn is an excellent and underpriced way to get attention on social media. We can attest to this ourselves, as it seems the organic reach of our LinkedIn posts far exceeds anything we experience on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. Simply put, posting something puts it in front of a LOT of people, without the need for paid advertising or social media trickery.
This environment is generating some excellent content at the moment; insightful, well thought out, business-specific videos and copy that are both useful and relevant to their target audience. That is a rare thing on the Internet. So why aren’t you using LinkedIn? And if you are, are you using it to it’s fullest potential?
In this blog we’re going to go over several components for success on LinkedIn, and they are:
- A complete personal profile
- A complete business profile
- Content production
A complete business profile
As with all social media networks, it’s beneficial to fill out all the sections you can in order to sell yourself properly. Not only does having a complete profile let you come across as more professional and well-rounded to the viewers of your profile, but LinkedIn’s algorithms will reward the utilization of all the tools they have on offer. This is a great and easy way to get more people to view your profile, and attention is the first step towards more work – so that’s a good thing! Hubspot have written a fantastic blog on getting set up a best as you can on LinkedIn with a personal profile that you can check out here.
You may think that if you’re using LinkedIn for your business that a personal profile is unnecessary. Please reconsider, as social media is best used socially, and the best way to be social is to interact as a human being with others. It’s definitely valuable to have a really strong brand presence on social media like Tesco, Nike or Aldi, but making the most of your ownership of a face and individual personality is an invaluable asset that can help to build trust and awareness of your brand. Outside of GaryVee and Vayner Media, think of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, who all maintain and carry an excellent personal brand on social media, which only serves to better the company they’re representing. Dare we say it, even Donald Trump is an example of this, as he is in control of his own personal Twitter account and therefore gives a much more personalised view on his politics than Obama ever did. We’re not going to comment on the (awful) content, but the current POTUS does have a strong and recognizable personal brand that successfully gets his supporters to swear blind loyalty.
A complete business profile
Whilst your personal branding/profile should definitely sit atop your list of LinkedIn to-dos, making sure your brand has a presence is just as important. IF you’ve had a LinkedIn profile for a while, creating a company page should be fairly easy, just follow LinkedIn’s instructions and you’re sorted. Next is optimizing the page. Hootsuite have one of the best guides online for optimizing your business page. Check it out here.
You and your employees will act as brand ambassadors for your business page. This is a passive relationship. Simply by being active and liking, commenting and getting engaged in conversations with different people on the platform, you and your employees will promote your business. And, vice versa, your business will support the growth of your professional network by association.
“Oh, Ben Harris works at Studio 24-7, let me check out their business page.”
“Would you look at that, Studio 24-7 also employ Josh Edwards, let’s see what he’s been up to.”
This cycle is important – improved and perpetuated through the production of content by your employees.
As an online communication method, video is superior for a number of reasons (and we’re not being biased here, I promise). Firstly, the connection built between the viewer and presenter is a lot more genuine, engaging and memorable. If you think about the difference between meeting the author of an article you read once, and the presenter of a video you saw, the presenter is definitely going to be the more recognisable of the two as you’ve essentially already had a one-way conversation with them. So, benefit number one to video is that it’s better at strengthening your personal brand.
Benefit number two is that it’s far easier to create a top-down content stream from video. Create one video of useful, meaningful content and you can break it down into shorter video clips, photos, quotes, blogs and other more niche content types like gifs or memes. Making efficient processes like this to further develop your online presence is vital in any content marketing strategy, as content marketing is a heavy time investment to under-go.
Finally, video does wonderful things for your SEO, you only have to look at how video is being prioritized by Instagram and Facebook, or how YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world to know that video is a content type that will help to generate brand awareness and potential leads for you.
Despite this overarching power that video seems to have on the online marketing world at the moment, it’s still important to consider the content of your videos. Click-bait will get you views, not followers, and writing vapid scripts just so that you have something to post will damage your brand integrity. We’re living in an age where the consumer is very astute and holds high value in a company that has purpose and expertise. Offering value and teachings for free in the content you’re putting out there will build brand trust, therefore loyalty, therefore convert potential customers.
However, what if you struggle being on camera? Written content still has a huge place on LinkedIn. No other type of content can deliver information as densely, or hold people’s attention as well as a written blog or article. Ahem.
There are definitely techniques you can use to make people want to read on – these are well documented and tested in newspapers, books and other written mediums across hundreds of years. Offering your audience a “time to read” indicator is also effective in retaining attention, as if the reader knows the length of time the article will take to read they can plan accordingly. This is similar to videos having a timer on them, so the viewer knows how long they will have to invest in watching the entire thing. Being purposeful in everything you do is a good way of succeeding.
Whatever content type you choose, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool for brand awareness and content marketing. It’s definitely worth investigating no matter the size of your business.