LinkedIn: Social Media’s Content Treasure Trove

8 Types of LinkedIn Content

While, for many, LinkedIn is merely an enhanced electronic rolodex for job search, the reality is that LinkedIn is a business-oriented treasure trove of social media content that’s user-generated and user-curated. From a content marketing perspective, LinkedIn enables bite size chunks of content creation across your enterprise. As a result, area experts can develop and post content when and where it’s needed without additional editorial or creative support.

8 Types of LinkedIn content

Before integrating LinkedIn into your marketing strategy, whether you’re looking  to source new sales leads or position your firm (or find your next job,) it’s important to assess the different types of content that can be published on LinkedIn and determine which will be best for achieving your goal(s). (See why LinkedIn is social media’s matchmaker.) Here are eight types of LinkedIn information:

  1. Personal profile. Presents an individuals business credentials. Created by the individual, it provides content about their professional experience and the companies for which they worked. Works best for individuals when positioned for the future.  The downside for businesses is that former employees may modify their titles to be more in line with general business practices.
  2. Recommendations. Shows how an individual is viewed by past bosses and peers. They provide insights about both individuals and reflect on the firm’s organization. On the downside, recommendations are only offered by business colleagues and bosses who appreciated the individual’s talents. While the more recommendations, the merrier, understand that individuals may swap recommendations.
  3. Status updates. Useful, insightful tidbits about an individual’s business activity that provides portraits of your company and the individual. Remember that the Internet’s memory is forever. Think about how you position yourself and the firm with your activities. Don’t share confidential information.
  4. Links. Position an individual and/or a firm based on the information you share. Craft LinkedIn-friendly content to share within your network. Although Twitter and other social media networks can be connected, think in terms of what’s important for your network instead of re-purposing your tweet stream. Bear in mind, this is a great way to expand your content distribution to a wider audience.
  5. Q&A. Gather information or provide insights by answering questions related to your area of expertise to improve your standing in the community. By paying it forward in terms of help, you show that you understand social media and are part of the community. It also spotlights your talents to those who need them.
  6. Groups. Participate in and start groups to extend your reach and connections. The real power is in starting a group since it links back to your website and helps build your profile. As a participant, make new connections and broaden your circle.
  7. Company pages. Position your firm on LinkedIn. Encourage your employees to participate and share their knowledge. Consider which products you want to promote.
  8. Advertising. Expand your reach with paid content. Use LinkedIn’s targeted advertising to reach a well-defined audience.

LinkedIn isn’t as sexy as other social media options. That said, it’s quite useful for engaging with business peers. Further, as a corporate tool, it’s relatively easy to implement across a company with lower investment and strong pay back.

Have you used LinkedIn as part your organization’s marketing strategy? If so, what did you do and how did it perform?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: Smi23le via Flickr

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  • http://www.twitter.com/davidoveros David Overos

    Hi Heidi,

    Love the post as always. One of the ways I like to use LinkedIn is to better understand target buyers. There are tons of groups on LinkedIn that cater not only to particular industries but also to specific job titles and responsibilities. Join a few groups that are made up of your target prospects, monitoring the top questions and how peers answer them, and you can learn a lot about their pain points and priorities. Whether you go on to participate in the conversations or not, you can stumble on a treasure trove of information to help you shape your own company’s message.

    David Overos
    @davidoveros

  • http://www.strategicdriven.com Joseph Ruiz

    This subject comes up all the time in chats. I think Linked In is underrated. In addition to the topic areas you outlined above i find the feeds tend to be more relevant and helpful.

    thanks

  • http://www.digitaltrendcatchers.com Richard Keeves

    Hi Heidi,
    I’ve just discovered your blog after reading the article on Lurkers you wrote recently. You’ve created some great advice here.

    You mention above that LinkedIn is not as sexy as other social media. Yep, you’re right. But in the B2B social space, LinkedIn can be pretty useful – as you have pointed out. Building your network BEFORE you need to “use” it is part of the key. And trying to add value to everyone you meet along the way is important.

    The other day I was asked the following question – and I thought it may be of interest. It’s on my own blog – but here it is…
    _______________________
    The Question: Do you think being actively engaged in social media has much value at the moment for businesses in B2B marketing? It seems more relevant for B2C, at this stage anyway.

    My Answer:
    I think social media in B2B (Business To Business) marketing can be hugely valuable. Stating the obvious, social media is about connecting with people, engaging with them and in some way, adding value to each other through the connection and engagement. Value is measured in many different ways – not just monetarily.

    The key for every B2B marketer to realize is that they are NEVER selling to a business, and they are ALWAYS marketing and selling to a person as an individual or to multiple individuals within the business.

    As a company, the business itself may be an entity – but I’ve never known a business that makes a buying decision. It is the people within the business that make the buying decision. And within that business, there are many people who can influence the buying decision and often many people who can say “No” to prevent a purchase, but few who can say “Yes” to authorize the purchase.

    So, even for B2B sales and marketing, the use of social media can be incredibly valuable and powerful to connect and engage with individuals within the prospective customer business. BUT, if B2B marketers focus on the target business rather than individuals within it – and try to sell to the target business using social media, they will seldom (if ever) be successful.

    And that, in my opinion, is why social media seems more relevant in the B2C marketspace – because the customer clearly is an individual person and marketers know it already.

    But social media is not just about making sales. It can be hugely valuable in customer service, after sales support and in gaining feedback from happy and unhappy customers. And of course, it’s useful for creating advocates for a business and generating ongoing referrals. Plus a whole lot more…
    ______________________________

    All the best Heidi

    Thanks
    Richard Keeves