LinkedIn is one of my favorite networks for building brand engagement these days, owing in large part to the changes the company has made in how brands can interact, and in the analytics they now provide.
The biggest change came a while ago, when LinkedIn enabled brands to issue updates to their followers, and to interact with them on the brand pages. With that change, LinkedIn followed the lead of Twitter and Facebook, and created (in effect) a new social network for brands, but with a twist. The LinkedIn demographic skews heavily professional, creating an entirely different messaging opportunity for brands to target and interact with influencers.
Over the last year or so, LinkedIn has become an important outlet for PR Newswire. It’s a direct line to the thousands of people who are following the company, and enables communication to many more who aren’t. Here are some things I’ve learned about developing an effective brand presence on LinkedIn:
- Social media best practices apply. Just as is the case with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, best practices about sharing and messaging apply on LinkedIn. The people managing brand presences need to be curating content from third parties, interacting with people who comment on the brand page and ensuring that the owned content the brand shares is relevant and useful to their followers.
- Take the lead from related professional groups. One of the most useful aspects of LinkedIn are the myriad Groups that about on the network. People have setup discussion groups on a vast array of topics, some of which are certain to relate to your brand or marketplace. Find those groups and follow them. Pay attention to which groups seem to generate more conversation between members, and then drill into those conversations. What are they about? What are the issues underlying the questions people ask? Are there questions that recur over and over again? Use this information to guide the choices you make when curating content. You’ll end up sharing more of the kind of information people value, and will increase the utility of your brand presence to your audience.
- Don’t forget the personal aspect. Visibility on LinkedIn linked to the presences individuals build. Put another way, if your employees are active on LinkedIn, their activity can help you brand gain additional visibility, when they share the content the brand curates with their own networks. Encourage employees to share content actively and interact with peers on LinkedIn. This is a great way to build visibility for the brand – and the information you want your audience to see – beyond the confines of brand followers.
The PR Newswire presence on LinkedIn follows these rules, and we’ve seen some robust gains in followers, and (more importantly) in follower engagement since really committing to our LinkedIn presence. What’s worked for you and your brand on LinkedIn?
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.