When we talk about social media marketing platforms, most people think of Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter, but for many, LinkedIn is only considered as an afterthought in the overall mix of social media platform contenders. Why is this?
Well, it might be that most people still view LinkedIn as a job search and career development platform reserved for corporate professionals. But, a lot has changed since the early days of LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn did start off as a platform where employers and employees could interact and network, this initial business model has morphed and transformed into one of the biggest connections and lead generating platforms on the internet.
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Here are some facts:
- LinkedIn has over 650 million registered users as of 2020.
- LinkedIn is the biggest job searching and professional networking platform on the internet.
- LinkedIn facilitates, in one way or the other, over 60% of professional job placements for companies in different industries.
- LinkedIn accounts for 80% of B2B leads.
- Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn generated leads 277% more effectively.
In this post we will outline 10 LinkedIn Marketing Hacks that will instantly expand your 1st Degree Connections on LinkedIn. First though, let’s take a brief look at LinkedIn as a social networking platform and the importance of making connections on this platform.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that was founded in 2003 for professional networking and development. While its primary business model involves allowing individual professionals to create profiles, post qualifications and employment histories, as well as upload their resumes and other related content, LinkedIn also allows companies and businesses to post and advertise job opportunities to potential employees, launch new products and services, and network with potential customers. LinkedIn has a dedicated messaging platform that allows communication between registered users.
For businesses, LinkedIn is also an effective tool for targeted marketing, content sharing, and collaboration. Companies can join various groups to expand their networks and consumer bases. LinkedIn is the perfect place for business owners and executives to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries.
How LinkedIn Works
LinkedIn is all about connections. Basically, the more connections you have, the more visible your individual and professional profile is.
- – If you want to be found on LinkedIn, you need to be connected to other people (preferably people in your niche or industry).
- – If someone wants to find you, he or she needs to be connected to you, otherwise they are less likely to find you.
So, how do you get connected to as many people as possible? This is where LinkedIn marketing comes in.
What Is LinkedIn Marketing?
LinkedIn marketing is an online marketing technique that makes use of the LinkedIn professionals networking platform to make connections, generate leads, improve business visibility, nurture business partnerships and relations, share content and generate traffic for your website. LinkedIn is an important component of many successful business’ marketing campaigns because of how powerful it is in generating quality leads and connections.
Using LinkedIn to promote your business gives you access to many useful tools and features related to brand-building, connections, and business analytics.
Why LinkedIn Marketing?
LinkedIn is simply the one of the best platforms for networking and growing your business. From making connections and creating partnerships to generating leads and improving your brand awareness, you can achieve so many things through LinkedIn marking, thus making it a mandatory addition to your online marketing strategy. Unlike Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, marketing on LinkedIn is primed to put your message in front of professionals who can help your business establish fruitful and long-term business relationships.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that LinkedIn is just for job seekers and corporate managers. Sure, there are millions of job seekers and corporate managers that use LinkedIn to expand their networks and progress their careers. However, entrepreneurs can use LinkedIn to grow their businesses as well. Business owners can use LinkedIn to make connections with individuals and other businesses that will boost their brands.
The True Power of Connections
The world is getting smaller and smaller each day. However, it’s not the physical distance between the North and South poles that is shrinking. No. It’s the relationship-distance between people in different parts of the world.
Think of a ‘friend of a friend’ scenario where one of your friends knows a friend who knows somebody that would otherwise be out of your reach if these connections did not exist. Very soon, everyone will be connected to everyone through some form of intricate connection.
This hypothesis is explained in a well-known concept known as the “7-Degrees of Separation.” Basically, the concept states that everyone on the planet will be connected through 7 degrees of separation in the near future. This will be made possible by various global platforms of interaction like LinkedIn.
Connections on LinkedIn
With that in mind, is it too farfetched to imagine that you are already connected to a potential client or customer? LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to make connections with thousands of potential clients and customers through a similar concept they call “2-Degrees of Separation.”
LinkedIn’s 2-Degrees of Separation Concept
LinkedIn’s version of the degrees of separation concept means that for everyone you are connected with, you are also connected to their connections. Basically, you can view the connections of your connections when doing searches on the LinkedIn platform.
So, if you have 8 thousand 1st level connections, it means you have 5 million 2nd level connections. Yes, you read that right – 5 million connections! This means that 5 million people can easily find your profile on LinkedIn.
Currently, LinkedIn has over 650 million registered users. This number is set to dramatically increase in the coming years as the platform continues to gain popularity among millennials and entrepreneurs.
LinkedIn Is More Powerful Than You Know!
When used properly, LinkedIn can be a highly-rewarding and very important marketing tool. This tool alone can solve many of your online marketing challenges if only you choose to explore and discover its full potential. Depending on your niche or industry, there are various LinkedIn Marketing tips and tricks that can fast-track your journey of making connections and growing your business.
Below, we have listed down 10 LinkedIn marketing hacks that will instantly get you more connections.
LinkedIn Hack #1: Make Your First Connections
So, the very first thing you should do after setting up your LinkedIn profile is make your first few connections using your existing contacts. LinkedIn allows you to upload all your contacts from your phone, email accounts or any other relevant messaging service you use. By doing this, you will create a solid foundation or stepping stone for making other connections.
Here is a tutorial to help you do this.
LinkedIn Hack #2 Join Quality Groups
Joining LinkedIn groups is a well-known LinkedIn marketing hack. The key to this hack is finding the right groups to join. It’s advisable to join groups that match your interests, niche, industry or target audience.
It’s also advisable to join groups with a healthy membership. Groups with more people expose you to more connections. When you join a group, you are connected to everyone in the group.
You can start by joining a dozen groups that are relevant to your niche or industry, and then proceed to increase the number of groups as you make more connections on the platforms.
The more quality groups you are a part of, the higher your chances of being contacted by potential clients, partners, and employers.
LinkedIn Hack #3: Optimize Your Profile
This may not seem like a hack, but many times, the most basic steps are usually overlooked. Many people are tempted to focus on highly advanced LinkedIn marketing techniques, only to forget some basic tasks such as optimizing their profiles.
In order for your profile to be visible and easily found by potential connections, it’s important that you make certain profile changes and updates every now and then.
You can begin optimizing your LinkedIn profile by posting high-quality profile and cover photos. Attractive profile and cover photos will make your profile look more authentic and professional. According to LinkedIn, profiles with photos get 21 times more views that profiles without photos.
Business and company profiles can use their brand logos as their profile pictures. Individual and personal profiles can go with high-quality professional headshots.
Other ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile include adding your professional skills and the current position you occupy in your company.
LinkedIn Hack #4: Use Keywords in your Profile
LinkedIn employs a proprietary internal search algorithm to facilitate search queries on its platform. For this reason, it’s difficult to predict which keywords will help your profile rank higher on internal search queries on LinkedIn. However, from my personal experience and numerous consultations with clients, I’ve come to conclude that using more niche-related keywords is better. Ideally, you should include these keywords in your headline, job titles, and skills.
“LinkedIn” is one of the most valuable keywords you can add to your profile. By simply mentioning the keyword “LinkedIn” in all the 3 profile sections I just highlighted above, you’ll notice an improvement in your profile’s ranking on search queries. You can insert other valuable keywords in these sections to get better results.
A point to note is that you should refrain from stuffing your profile with high-ranking keywords like “LinkedIn.” So, although using more of these keywords in your profile is good, you should definitely not overdo it. Simply putting “LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn” in your profile will do more harm than good as LinkedIn will eventually catch up with you. The best way to use keywords is to naturally integrate them into your profile so that it is optimized for both users and search algorithms.
LinkedIn Hack #5: Publish Valuable Content
Just like on other online marketing platforms, content plays a key role in the success and growth of your business. The content you share to your connections can greatly determine how your brand or company is perceived in the business world. As mentioned earlier, marketing on LinkedIn does not make use of typical sales or advertisement rich content. LinkedIn marketing content is supposed to be informative and valuable with very little advertising.
As a matter of fact, B2B marketers who post high quality content on LinkedIn are some of the best performing content marketers on the internet. With that said, it’s advisable to use LinkedIn to publish and share content that inspires, guides, informs, educates, or even entertains your target audience. This increases the chances of your connections engaging with your content, and in turn, your brand or business.
Also, you don’t have to publish highly-technical and information-rich content in order make connections on LinkedIn. You can also share short messages that contain insightful or relevant information that people in your industry will find useful.
Basically, position yourself as the go-to source of valuable niche-specific info.
LinkedIn Hack #6: Do Market Research and Use Analytics
Before trying your hand at LinkedIn marketing, it’s important that you do some research to find out the exact audience you will be targeting on the platform. As with any other digital marketing campaign, blindly creating profiles and pages, publishing posts and aimlessly generating leads and connections will not get you the results you want. You need to have a comprehensive marketing strategy that is pegged on market research and analytics data.
There are various tools and services that can help you track the performance of your LinkedIn marketing campaign. These tools and services will give you an in-depth analysis of your profile views, posts engagement rate, audience demographics, and comparisons between the performance of organic and paid LinkedIn ad campaigns.
This information can help you make the necessary changes in order to make more connections.
LinkedIn Hack #7: Use Rich Media to Attract More Connections
Although many people consider LinkedIn to be a more formal platform when compared to other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, this does not mean that users are strictly confined to posting text-only posts. Images and graphics are commonly featured in many posts on LinkedIn. As a matter of fact, posts that contain any form of rich media are two times more likely to elicit reactions from your connections.
Using rich media can therefore increase your engagement rate and overall reach. Videos can also play a huge role in your LinkedIn marketing strategy. The secret is to keep your videos short, relevant, entertaining, and informative.
LinkedIn Hack #8: Run ads using the Matched Audiences feature
For those who may be wondering, you can definitely run ads on the LinkedIn platform. One of the best ways to run ad campaigns on LinkedIn is by using their dedicated Matched Audience feature. This feature allows you to target people who have ever visited your website or are in your existing contact or email list. Targeting people who are already familiar with your brand improves your chances of converting them and making sales.
The Matched Audience feature is, therefore, highly-recommended for retargeting people who may have not converted upon first interaction with your business.
LinkedIn Hack #9: Involve Your Staff and Employees
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, it would be prudent and beneficial to involve your staff and employees when marketing your business on LinkedIn. This is because everything on LinkedIn comes down to connections. The most reliable and fruitful connections you can have are those in your immediate team or business circle. Your employees can play a huge role in expanding your network and promoting your professional brand.
With that said, you should encourage your employees to mention your company in their individual or personal profiles. This will turn their profiles into marketing pages for your business. Your employees can also post articles and news related to your brand or business. Also, you should encourage your employees to join relevant groups in your niche or industry. This will help to increase the exposure of your brand to thousands of people.
LinkedIn Hack #10: Personalized LinkedIn In-mails
Apart from involving your employees in your LinkedIn marketing strategy, you can go a step further and consider implementing a personalized in-mail system using the LinkedIn platform. This system makes use of a dedicated in-mail feature provided by LinkedIn that allows employees such as sales representatives to reach out to potential clients and customers by delivering personalized in-mail messages directly to their inboxes. Personalized in-mails are different from regular e-mails because they stand out, look more professional, and are associated with established LinkedIn profiles.
In fact, LinkedIn in-mails get 3 times more reactions than regular e-mails. How cool is that?
You and your employees can use personalized LinkedIn in-mails to promote your products and services to professional leads and prospects. You can also send out offers and share updates and new content about your latest offerings that might be of interest to your target audience.
As a bonus, Premium LinkedIn account owners get access to built-in analytics for their in-mailing systems. You can monitor and track how your in-mails are performing and also find out what you can do to improve your results.
Grow Your Business with LinkedIn Marketing
As you can already tell, LinkedIn has a lot of potential as an effective online marketing tool for your business. You can easily grow your business or company by getting all your connections and leads from LinkedIn.
All you need is a little bit of dedication, confidence and a well-thought-out LinkedIn marketing strategy to take your business to the next level using LinkedIn marketing.
If you know a LinkedIn marketing hack that’s not listed above, please do not hesitate from sharing it with us. All the best!