How to optimise the world’s best B2B networking platform for more traffic and customers. With 400 million users and counting, LinkedIn has emerged as the most useful social network for B2B marketers.
Facebook, Twitter and the rest are crowded and noisy. Sure, LinkedIn is busy too, but it’s a destination for people to connect with peers and learn about their industry. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your B2B blog, this is your platform.
According to a study by Econsultancy, “LinkedIn is now responsible for a staggering 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites.”
Even more insane, 90% of all social traffic to B2B websites comes from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with LinkedIn accounting for more than half. In case you didn’t catch that, more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an awesome traffic source and probably totally underutilized in your own marketing. I bet you want in. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 8 ways to start driving traffic from LinkedIn today.
1. Optimize Your Personal Profile
2. Join Groups
3. Start a Group
4. Create a Company Page
5. Share Often
6. Add a LinkedIn Share Button to Your Site
7. Republish Content
8. Pay For It
1. Optimise Your Personal Profile
Several of the other strategies in this post are designed to funnel traffic through your LinkedIn profile page so let’s start here.
First, ensure you’ve got the basics right. You should have a good head-shot, a brief summary that introduces your work, and a concise history of your work experience. Don’t overlook the importance of these fundamentals.
See how good I look?
There are many ways and reasons to optimize your profile. Here are a few:
• Write a summary that clearly explains what you do (or what you’d like to do.
• Make it easy for people to contact you via email or LinkedIn.
• “Be honest, be specific, and use numbers when possible.”
• Read your profile out loud to look for typos.
Now for that bit about driving traffic. Pay attention because this is very important. You can link to blog posts, e-books and other digital media in your profile. Once we start using the other strategies to get people viewing your profile, this is how they click-through to your site.
Go to your profile and look for the Summary section. Here, you can add media like blog posts.
Add a link to one of your best posts. Keep in mind that people who end up here are likely learning about you and your company for the first time. Share content that will inspire them to click-through and read.
Add some details about the post.
Your media will appear in your Summary, which is one of the first things people see when viewing your profile.
It’s really important to add media in the Summary section. LinkedIn might ask you to add Publications or Projects. You can create external links with those features, but they appear at the bottom of your profile. Stick to the Summary for maximum exposure.
2. Join Groups
Now, let’s drive some people to your profile. Joining and participating in groups can be a great way to do this.
One of the Golden Rules of content marketing is that you cannot expect to get traffic without giving something in return. Typically, you give value, knowledge and inspiration. The same is true for LinkedIn, but I recommend taking off your marketing hat to get started.
LinkedIn Groups — here’s the massive directory — are a great way to network with peers and potential customers. Promotion is often frowned upon, which is why you’ll need to get comfortable engaging in discussions that don’t result in immediate traffic to your site. The more you help people, the more profile views you’ll get. And if you’ve added media like I described above, you’re in a great position to earn traffic.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Step One: Browse the directory or use the search bar to find groups. Use the filters to see only groups.
You can see that a search for “email marketing” returns more than 900 results and hundreds of thousands of users. Join the most targeted groups first and start participating before you join more. It can be overwhelming at first since you’ll start receiving emails and notifications from each group. It’s best to experiment with a few groups so you can fail small before trying to scale this strategy.
Step two: Next, read the rules! Most groups outline how to avoid getting banned for self-promotion. Check the group’s “About” page.
Step three: Introduce yourself. Generally, there is a pinned thread for introductions. Say hi and explain what you do. It’s okay to link to your site, but don’t start selling just yet.
Now it’s time to start commenting. Jump in to answer questions, provide guidance and congratulate other members. The goal is not to drive traffic directly, but to drive profile views. The more people visit your profile, the more they’ll click-through to your site (assuming you’ve optimised it!).
3. Start a Group
LinkedIn Groups are great for building communities, but there’s another hidden benefit that can help you drive traffic. Scott Van explains in his post How I Caught Copyblogger Sneaking into My Inbox:
When you subscribe to a LinkedIn group, unless you consciously decide to unsubscribe from email notifications, you will start regularly getting emails from LinkedIn triggered by activity inside the group.
Since LinkedIn is most likely tied to your primary email account, not some junk account set up to catch all those emails you subscribed to but didn’t really want to read, Copyblogger is regularly getting to the top of your inbox and they never once hit the send button on their email list.
Damn Copyblogger, that is really smart. Here’s what the emails look like:
Depending on how active your group is, emails arrive daily or weekly. They link first to the discussion, but users can click-through to read the full article on your site. The genius of it is that you can expand your email marketing efforts without sending more emails. LinkedIn does it for you.
Copyblogger takes it a step further too. You may remember that they killed comments on their blog. They encourage readers to discuss on LinkedIn instead.
That link takes people to the discussion group. If they want to comment, they need to join the group. If they join the group, they get the emails. What a beautifully executed strategy.
Obviously, the bigger and more active your group, the more traffic you can drive. Here are some tips for creating an active community.
- Link to it from your blog, a la Copyblogger.
- Send an invite to your email list and social media followers.
- Invite your LinkedIn contacts.
- Use a descriptive title and description so people can easily find you.
- Host interesting discussions with thought-leaders and experts.
- Regularly post new content and discussion topics.
- Appoint a moderator if you don’t have time to manage daily interactions.
- Ask members for feedback to improve your group.
- Read The Truly Monumental Guide to Building Online Communities from Mack Web.
4. Create a Company Page
A LinkedIn Company Page is place where people can learn more about what you do. Your employees’ personal profiles are great for sharing updates, but it’s a good idea to centralize everything within a company page.
It’s super easy to setup and there are instructions in the video below.
Invision, a design collaboration tool, has done a great job making their page engaging. They provide a brief, clear description of what they do and regularly share updates about the company and their content.
To drive people to your company page, ask each of your employees to link to the company page from their personal profile. Once that’s done, all mentions of the company will link directly to the company page.
Company pages can also feature job postings and information about your product or service. As an added bonus, company pages rank well for branded organic searches.
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