LinkedIn best practices for marketing professionals

17 Nov

Are you up to date on your LinkedIn best practices?

If you’re a marketing professional, then you know that LinkedIn is a powerful tool you can use to build relationships, connect with others in your industry and promote your products and services.

But it isn’t enough to simply build a profile and start posting. There are best practices for LinkedIn posts, profiles, pages and ads that marketers and professionals need to keep in mind as they use the platform.

Even if you already have a solid LinkedIn marketing strategy, it’s important to know practical best practices for the platform.

With more than 57 million organizations on LinkedIn and over 822 million users in 200+ countries and regions, LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking platform on the planet.

Let’s uncover what you need to know about using LinkedIn for business effectively.

LinkedIn post best practices

If you want your content to be successful on LinkedIn, you need to know what type of content performs best on the platform. This is going to look different for every business, as it depends on your audience, your industry and your goals.

LinkedIn users:

  • Are looking for helpful and informative content that is relevant to their industry.
  • Are also interested in content that is visually appealing, such as infographics or videos.
  • Respond well to content that is timely and newsworthy.

Here are a few LinkedIn post best practices to remember when crafting content:

Be audience-specific

Out of all the LinkedIn best practices, possibly the most important is producing content that is audience-specific. What this means is you have to develop LinkedIn content that people in your industry actually want to read.

To get a better idea of who your audience is, ask these questions:

  1. Who reads our content? Finding your reader base is critical. Know who is clicking on your LinkedIn page and direct content towards those that want it.
  2. Who follows us on LinkedIn? Look at your followers and understand your core demographics on LinkedIn.
  3. Who can we target? Find out who you can target with your content and work with LinkedIn’s campaign features to further your reach. Sprout Social’s LinkedIn Pages Reports can detail exactly who’s reading your content.
Screenshot of Sprout Social's LinkedIn Pages Report Demographics tab showing audience demographics by seniority level and audience top job functions.

Leverage native documents

A study by Social Insider and Cloud Campaign found that native documents, including PDFs, generate 3x more clicks than any other type of content on LinkedIn.

This makes sense when you consider LinkedIn users are looking for helpful, in-depth information that they can use in their own work. By uploading a PDF directly to LinkedIn, you can provide your audience with the valuable content they crave.

Native documents are used to:

  • Share an in-depth case study.
  • Provide a helpful how-to guide.
  • Offer an exclusive white paper or report.
Screenshot of a PDF-turned-carousel LinkedIn image post by Carney.

Dive into thought leadership

LinkedIn is the perfect place to share your company’s thought leadership. This content type showcases your company’s perspective on industry trends.

When creating thought leadership content, make it authentic and interesting. This isn’t the place for traditional advertising copy. Your goal is to start a conversation and get people thinking about your company in new ways.

Consider creating a LinkedIn poll that’s relevant to your industry. Show your readers your awareness of the field and don’t be shy about giving insights into your industry. You can also offer “behind the curtain” content to give them a better understanding of how your company came to be.

Screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Meow Wolf founder sharing their thought leadership on a subject matter.

Promote industry events

Promoting industry events and tradeshows can help you get attention on LinkedIn.

If you’re attending an event, make sure to post about it on your LinkedIn Page. You can even create an event page on LinkedIn and invite your connections to attend.

If you’re not attending an event, you can still share a post linking to the event website. This is a great way to get involved in industry conversations and show your followers that you’re up-to-date on what’s happening in your field.

Image of a LinkedIn post by Media.Monks promoting their Metaverse Summit event.

Use visual content

LinkedIn users respond well to images, videos and graphics. In fact, LinkedIn posts with images get a 2x higher comment rate as those without. When creating content for LinkedIn, be sure to include images, infographics, videos or other visual elements as often as possible.

Image of a Sprout Social post on LinkedIn that includes an infographic on the important business outcomes of employee advocacy programs.

If you’re wanting to promote a visual such as an infographic, but have limited resources, don’t worry–you’ve got options. Sites like Canva or Piktochart make it easy to design your own graphics in just a few clicks. Alternatively, your design team can use software such as Canva to design templates for social teams to customize and share.

Activate employee engagement

Your employees are some of your best brand ambassadors. So why not use their social powers to push your brand on a professional network like LinkedIn?

When employees post about their authentic experiences about your company, the benefits expand beyond brand awareness. With employees sharing company news to their networks, it extends the sales team network and leads, generates buzz and impressions for your marketing team, increases earned media for your PR team and builds trust with talent prospects for your recruiting team.

To make it easy on your employees, it would be wise to invest in a brand amplification tool. Employee Advocacy by Sprout Social is a centralized hub that allows staff to find and share content to their personal social networks. Businesses can curate the content they want to share online, whether it’s a major campaign or a company news, and track ROI with analytics. By removing barriers for your employees, you can create a seamless employee advocacy strategy.

Best practices for LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn ads can help you reach new audiences and grow your business. However, as with any type of paid advertising, you’ll need to be purposeful in how you use ads.

Here are some best practices for LinkedIn ads:

Target key decision-makers

LinkedIn ads let you target people by their job title, company size or even specific skills. So when you’re developing your LinkedIn ads, don’t just target employees—target the people who are actually making decisions about what products or services to buy. For example, you could target specific job titles, like “VP of Marketing” or “Director of Sales.”

Horizontal bar chart showing LinkedIn profile visitor demographics by job function.

Make your ad copy relevant

Your LinkedIn ad copy should be relevant to the people you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting small business owners in the healthcare industry, your ad copy should reflect that: “Are you interested in making your health tech employees more productive? We are experts based in Los Angeles. Get in touch now to discover how.”

The more relevant your ad copy is to the people you’re targeting, the more likely they are to take notice—and maybe even take action.

Promoted post on LinkedIn by company Stacker using engaging ad copy and infographic pitching their services.

Personalize your ads

Take the time to personalize your ads using the dynamic ads feature. This can be as simple as including the recipient’s first name in the headline or using an image that features one of their products.

Examples of personalized ads on LinkedIn suggesting you connect, follow or request a demo from businesses that you may be interested in.
Source: LinkedIn

You can also use LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audiences feature to create an audience that has characteristics in common with your current and past customers.

Test, test and test again

Linked is a more expensive platform than some others, so it’s important that you make the most of your ad spend by testing different audiences, creative copy and ad formats.

This might look like running a series of short, timed tests for each variant before launching a full-fledged campaign. When you find something that works well, commit to it for at least 30 days. We also recommend committing to a minimum daily spend, so you can gather consistent data.

LinkedIn Page and profile best practices

Having an outdated or unattended LinkedIn Page will always do more harm than good. Just like every other social network, LinkedIn requires you to be present and engaging. Building a community on this platform requires attention and social media monitoring skills.

Prevent your page from going stale by following these LinkedIn profile best practices.

Make use of headers and profile photos

As we mentioned, visuals help drive engagement on LinkedIn. This means your header image should be interesting and relevant to your business.

Screenshot of SPANX founder Sara Blakely's LinkedIn profile and header images.

Continue to update your profile and cover photos, descriptions and business details as they change. If you’ve been in the same role for a while, update your profile photo and header to reflect any new hobbies, interests or professional development courses you’ve completed.

Your profile is like an online CV so make sure it’s up-to-date.

Post frequently

Post up to once a day and aim for a new post every weekday. The best time to post on LinkedIn is 10 a.m. to noon CT on Tuesdays, assuming your followers are mostly in your time zone.

If you’re not sure what to post, think about the pain points your target market experiences and how you can help them. In fact, we have a list of social media post ideas to help you generate content you can share with your network.

Screenshot of a LinkedIn users activity on their profile: a list of post they have commented, reacted to or shared.

Humanize your Page

Be genuine with your interactions and show there’s a human behind the messages and posts. This doesn’t mean unprofessional, rather add your brand voice, personality and authenticity to your company updates. Try adding emojis to your posts or addressing common concerns in your industry.

Add a call-to-action to your Page

LinkedIn Pages have a button option where you can include a call-to-action, such as “Visit website” or “Sign up” for a newsletter, event or webinar. This is an easy way to turn your LinkedIn Page into a lead-generation tool and encourage visitors to take action.

Example of a CTA button on the Smithsonian Institute's LinkedIn Company Page that reads "Visit website."

Other CTA buttons on LinkedIn pages include “Register” and “Contact us”.

For personal profiles, LinkedIn also offers a “Follow” button so that visitors can stay up-to-date with your activity on the platform.

Track LinkedIn Page success

Tracking and measuring success on LinkedIn is critical to ensuring your content and marketing strategies deliver results. Some of the following LinkedIn metrics can tell you more about your overall engagement efforts:

  • Visitor demographics: Who reads your content, their industry, job title, seniority level, location, company size, function and referral source.
  • Page views: The number of company page views during a specified date range.
  • Unique visitors: The number of users that viewed your company page, excluding multiple visits from a single user.
  • Impressions: The number of times the post was shown to LinkedIn members.
  • Engagements: The number of interactions divided by impressions.
  • Clicks: The number of clicks on your content, company name or logo.
  • Followers acquired: The number of new followers you gained from a sponsored update (non-organic on the native platform, but available through Sprout Social).
  • Audience: This shows if a post was sent to all your followers or a targeted group.
Screenshot of Sprout Social's LinkedIn Pages Report showing Page performance summary and audience growth.

Finding marketing success on LinkedIn

As a marketing professional, you have to communicate with all of your LinkedIn connections. You also have to make sure that the right people see your posts. With Sprout Social’s LinkedIn management tools, you can easily target your posts so that they reach the right audience and refine your campaigns over time for maximum results.

Whether you’re part of a small group or an enterprise team of 200, Sprout can help you organize your LinkedIn content to match your company goals. LinkedIn is a unique space for social media management, but with the right tools and direction, you can transform how you approach LinkedIn for business into a powerful marketing tool.

The post LinkedIn best practices for marketing professionals appeared first on Sprout Social.

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