Last week, HubSpot teamed up with LinkedIn to host part 1 of a 3-part workshop series on how to master LinkedIn for marketing. The first webinar, hosted by Director of Online Marketing at LinkedIn Scott Engelman and HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe, went into detail on how companies can leverage LinkedIn Groups and Company Pages for inbound marketing success.
During the webinar, we had loads of excellent questions come in on Twitter and through the webinar chat page. So many, in fact, that we could not possibly answer all of them in one short Q&A session. That’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to answer the most frequently asked questions from the first workshop session below. Get ready to stuff your head with even more LinkedIn marketing knowledge!
The 7 Most Asked Questions About LinkedIn Company Pages and Groups
1) How does interaction on LinkedIn differ from interaction on Facebook?
People use LinkedIn to learn more about their industry and keep in touch with professional connections. When you’re on LinkedIn, you expect to come across articles and resources you could send to your boss or team members. Facebook, on the other hand, is used for fun, entertainment, and social interaction with personal connections. When you’re on Facebook, you expect to come across interesting or entertaining images you could share with your friends. Think of Facebook as your best friend, dressed-down and ready to party at a rock concert, while LinkedIn is your potential future business partner, suited up and ready to learn about industry success at a business expo.
Bearing this in mind, when you're marketing on Facebook or LinkedIn, you want to make sure you're speaking to each audience in the proper tone. You should feel comfortable speaking to your Facebook network in a more casual way, while your tone on LinkedIn will be more professional. For example, at HubSpot we post photos, cartoons, and memes on Facebook, but stick to articles, ebooks, and webinars on LinkedIn. The right content with the right tone for each network!
2) Have you seen B2C companies be successful with LinkedIn Company Pages?
B2B companies naturally thrive on LinkedIn, just as B2C companies tend to find it simple to thrive on Pinterest. But that doesn't mean B2C companies can't play on LinkedIn (and hey, if you're B2B, don't be afraid of Pinterest, either!) On LinkedIn, B2C companies can be very successful by leveraging the platform not just for job opportunities, but also showcasing their company culture ... and growing a following based on their company as a brand, not just as a product or service.
For example, Starbucks uses LinkedIn as an opportunity to showcase the brand’s personality through the banner at the top of the “Careers” section, but then dives deeper into what careers at Starbucks might actually look like. If you’re a B2C company where culture is an important piece of your brand, it’s not a bad idea to provide visuals on LinkedIn that encompass why someone would choose to work for you over some other company.
Retail store Urban Outfitters uses LinkedIn to post job openings in their update stream. By including an image of the people behind the brand a company can showcase culture, personality, and the mindset you’ll need to have in order to work there.
3) Can I participate in LinkedIn Groups as my company?
As of right now, LinkedIn only allows you to join a discussion or manage a group via your personal profile. However, this doesn’t mean you should stay away from using groups for marketing! If your audience is the right fit for your product or service, LinkedIn Groups can generate some serious leads for your business. For instance, posting a link to a webinar about how to do inbound marketing on LinkedIn does really well in a LinkedIn Group of inbound marketing professionals. It almost makes too much sense.
When you send a LinkedIn Announcement to a group you manage, the message is sent as you, the professional, not as your company. Remember this and tailor your messaging so it sounds like a human and not a corporation. People like communicating with other people. After all, isn’t that how this whole social media phenomenon started to begin with?
Are you worried about being the sole voice of your entire company in a LinkedIn Group? Don't fret! LinkedIn allows group managers to share their responsibilities with others. You can appoint individuals on your team, employees, or your most influential group members to join you in running your group. It might even be valuable for you to have certain members play as the experts for different discussion topics. For instance, if you're running a marketing group, have one manager be the email marketing voice, one the social media voice, and another your SEO voice. Your group members will begin to identify with certain managers and understand which discussions to follow based on topic of interest.
Don’t own a group? Engage in other groups! There are tons of excellent communities that already exist on LinkedIn. All you need to do is find one that matches your company’s outlook and start adding some value there. If you are looking for more information, check out these 7 Ways Marketers Can Participate in LinkedIn Groups.
4) Is collecting LinkedIn recommendations useful?
Absolutely! Not only are recommendations great to have for personal profiles on LinkedIn, but they act as excellent customer success case studies. Do you trust your friends and family members when they give you recommendations on products or services? More so than you trust, say, a paid ad? Precisely.
For example, marketers want to know how to be more efficient, effective, and produce better results for their company’s marketing program. So where do they find the answers? They ask fellow marketers and trusted thought leaders to offer up suggestions and secrets via social media. Suddenly, recommendations are flying left and right across the social-sphere, but companies don’t know where to contain them. That’s where LinkedIn comes in.
With LinkedIn’s Recommendations, you can bucket all these awesome compliments on your very own Company Page. You’ll see how many impressions the recommendation got, the level of engagement, and exactly which of your products come most recommended. LinkedIn’s handy “Recommend” and “Share” buttons make it even easier to grow your reach while helping users share what they love quickly and easily.
5) During a week, how many hours are typically devoted to maintaining a LinkedIn Company Page and engaging the audience?
Once your page is developed, maintaining it takes very little time. It’s not like Twitter where you have to post constant updates and pull up multiple streams to monitor and keep the conversation going; posting once a day is just fine for LinkedIn. In fact, if you exceed 3 posts in a day, you’re probably posting too often. Instead, focus on posting valuable content that is helpful to your audience. If you post one invaluable piece of information per day, your audience will be much more engaged and appreciative than if you post six boring, useless pieces of content.
Posting, monitoring, responding to comments, and analyzing page statistics should take you no more than 10 minutes a day. If you have all your posts planned out ahead of time, you’ve just cut those 10 minutes down to 5. That’s right, only 5 minutes a day. Do you think you can do it?
6) What's the best way to find potential customers on LinkedIn?
Groups are your best bet, especially if you consider your business to be relatively niche. In a group, you can establish yourself as an industry expert very quickly through discussions and announcements. In general, groups are very engaging and allow for great communication between professionals interested in the same topic. So if your company sells guitars, joining or creating a group for guitar players makes a lot of sense. If someone has a question or problem with their current instrument, you will be the first one there to hop into the conversation and solve their problem.
LinkedIn Groups are your starting point to built trust and create awareness around your brand. Once group members trust you as a professional and understand what your company does, you might be wise to invite them to follow your LinkedIn Company Page for more updates.
7) For HubSpot’s case, do you think LinkedIn prospects are higher quality leads (compared to other social networks)?
Since HubSpot is a B2B company selling inbound marketing software, the prospects coming from LinkedIn do tend to be of a higher quality than those that come from other social channels. This is because we're communicating with marketers at all sorts of different companies, but with one common goal in mind: making their company's marketing better.
This is the case not only because HubSpot is a B2B company, but because we spend time in LinkedIn Groups that are specifically meant for our industry. Our group, "Inbound Marketing - For Marketing Professionals" is loaded with precisely the types of people that want to learn more about inbound marketing, enjoy receiving our content, and will eventually turn into customers.
Have more questions about How to Master LinkedIn for Marketing? Join us for parts 2 and 3 of our workshop series with LinkedIn to learn How to Use LinkedIn Ads to Drive New Leads and Customers (Wednesday, August 8th at 2PM EST) and What Content to Publish on LinkedIn to Drive Engagement (Thursday, September 27th at 2PM EST).
Image credit: Coletivo Mambembe