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The CEO's Guide to Using LinkedIn to Support your Marketing

If you're a CEO, chances are you have a pretty hefty number of connections on LinkedIn, but are you leveraging that to support your business' marketing efforts? 

You might use your LinkedIn profile to build your personal brand - and that's great. But you can also use some of that clout to draw people to your business, too. In fact, that can be a lot more effective than posting on your company LinkedIn page. 

If you're already doing this, then fantastic, thank you. If you're not sure how to, that's what this post is all about. 

Spotlight content

We noticed that when James, our CEO, posts something to his LinkedIn profile, our traffic increases. He has a large network of people who know him and respect him, so when he showcases our content, it leads to a spike in visits to that article or ebook. 

Here's an example of a social media traffic spike, when James shared the article: Responsible Marketing During the Coronavirus Crisis when we posted it early during the pandemic. You can see how big a jump we got from that - not only from James' followers, but also people in their networks who saw it when James' connections liked or commented on the post.    

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There are some key tips to using this strategy effectively:

  • Share the link directly to your LinkedIn feed, and explain why you're sharing it
  • Don't share every single article or post - be selective and pick your best content to highlight
  • Choose articles that you think would resonate with your network
  • Topical articles are generally the most popular, followed by actionable content
  • Invite comments and feedback 
  • Reply to comments on the post
  • Tag the article's author in your comment - give a shoutout to your content creators! 

One thing to note here, is that this is not the only strategy to use. If you simply use your LinkedIn feed to share links to your website, you're just broadcasting. Engaging with others is also a vital part. In fact, all of the sections of this post should be part of your strategy - keep it well-rounded. 

Like and re-share company posts 

The second way to boost your marketing team's efforts is to like and re-share some of the posts on your business LinkedIn page. 

Most business pages, especially for SMEs, don't get a lot of love - people tend not to follow businesses so much as people. So, sharing posts can broaden the reach of your business page and let people know it exists. 

Again, pick the best posts to share - and you should probably steer clear of the ones promoting content you're posting directly (no one wants a repetitious feed). 

Add a comment when you re-share the post - you want to build on the message rather than simply pushing it out. Let your network know why you're sharing the post and ask their thoughts on it. 

Company news or updates are good posts to share. And if there are posts about achievements, these are perfect. Shout out to specific team members in your comment, give praise, or express your pride in your team. All of these are not only great ways to showcase your company LinkedIn page, it also helps with employer branding if people can see that you're regularly highlighting the people who work for you and praising them. 

Engage in general

This bit is (hopefully) something you're already doing, but it's definitely a key part of using LinkedIn. Don't just post and re-share your content. Make sure you're engaging with your network on their posts, too. 

While it's a business-focused platform, LinkedIn is still a "social" network. Which means that including that social element is important. 

Like posts that your network has shared. Comment on them and engage on the topics that people are sharing. 

If you want people to comment on your posts and read your content, they're much more likely to do so if they have a stronger connection with you - and it's up to you to build that connection. We're all human, and we all want to be seen (that's why we're posting, after all). When you comment, you let people know that you see them. 

Humanise your brand

This is the bit a lot of people don't like, but if you really want to improve your LinkedIn usage and support your marketing, it's time to get on camera. 

Video content is huge - it's been that way for a while and the trend is not going to reverse any time soon (probably not until we have holograms instead). 

If people see your face - not just in photos, but in movement - they're more connected with you. You bump into them at a networking event and they feel like they know you. They remember you more than if they've only seen text posts from you. 

And we've all heard the adage that "people buy from people" - it's a cliche because it's true. So, post video content. It doesn't have to be polished or super slick, it just needs to be human. 

There are tonnes of different types of video you can do 

  • Introductions
  • Hints and tips - showcase your expertise 
  • Thank yous
  • Promoting events
  • Thoughts and opinions

It's always worth mentioning your company or a specific company-related thing within your video - you can use videos to build your own profile while sharing that credibility with your business. 

Subtitles are key for LinkedIn - people are more likely to be browsing with the sound off than on. 

Use a checklist or system

As CEO, you're a busy person. I get that. 

When James wanted to do more to support our marketing - after seeing how effective his post share was - we decided to create a weekly schedule so that LinkedIn didn't become an onerous task that took away from all the important other work on his plate. The posting side is also something that you could outsource to a trusted team member or assistant - you just need to know that they truly understand your tone.

You should make sure you do the commenting part of things yourself, though. It'll come off badly if anyone realises it's not you, and if you chat to someone whose post you've commented on and they bring it up, it's not a good look if you have no idea what they're talking about!

Obviously, this post schedule is specific to SpiderGroup (and if you're wondering what AltNet is - it was our free virtual networking event that we ran during lockdown) but feel free to adapt for you if you think it would be helpful. 

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The main thing is to have a plan, rather than wasting time trying to come up with what to post that day. 

If you're already prolific on LinkedIn, this may seem like too little - and that's fair enough, you'll have your own schedule and system. But if you're trying to dip into LinkedIn and want to streamline the activity, this is a reasonable starting point. 

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