#SMWATX: What I Learned About Marketing On LinkedIn

Is LinkedIn worth exploring for marketing your business? How do you even? Here’s what I learned at Social Media Week ATX.

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"WTF is LinkedIn Anyway??"

That’s what I wrote on page six of a fresh Sputnik notebook, under a list of marketing goals back in December. I had a hunch that LinkedIn had the potential to be a valuable channel, especially for startups like us (and our startups. #meta) who market to businesses.


But, my millennial brain was used to Instagram. I had yet to fathom LinkedIn as a social tool beyond Traci presenting the very tempting offer to drop everything and get a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling:


So, when I saw that LinkedIn would be the subject of two talks at Social Media Week ATX, I jumped at the chance to grasp this elusive network and ride it into the sunset.

Here are five things I learned about using LinkedIn for business from Marcus Murphy, Director of Sales and Monetization at DigitalMarketer (plus, ehem, he’s now on the advisory board of LinkedIn) and Joshua Lee, founder of Standout Authority.

#1: Does the thing you’re selling appeal to people who make (or businesses that pay) bank / bacon / cheddar? There are 550 plus million members on LinkedIn, where the average salary is $116,754. Compare that to an average salary of $58,000 on Twitter and $61,000 on Facebook.

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#2: H2H (human-to-human) is the new B2B. Crawl out of your bunker -- robots haven’t quite taken over the world yet. The being purchasing your SaaS product is still a human. Don’t be afraid to get a little personal with your posts, but drunk charades are still TMI.

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#3: LinkedIn articles rank well in search engines, and skimmable listicles are a good format for blog posts. Bacon-bringing businesspeople are busy! Post your articles and updates with easily digestible photos or videos, tag people and businesses, and engage with those who engage with you. Hot tip: thank them for taking the time to engage with you and endorse their skills.

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#4: LinkedIn is earning its right as a social platform by being simultaneously awesome and creepy. Now you can add everybody in the room on LinkedIn with the “find nearby” feature. If you’re speaking at an event, share your LinkedIn QR code on your slides and you can immediately get one billion new connections. Isn’t that what we’re longing for in this world after all? *nervous laughter

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#4: Unlike platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where brands typically communicate through brand pages, LinkedIn is all about person-to-person connection. Yes, that means you, Marketer. In your headline, delete your job title and switch to the “I help X achieve Y so they can do Z” format. And for the love of all things holy, always send a personal message when connecting with people (!!!). In fact, everybody on your team should do this. Articles should be hosted under team member profiles, and the “best of” should be posted on the brand page.

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So, what is LinkedIn on its best day? A platform where humans talk to other humans about how we spend most of our time: hanging out with our teams and solving people’s problems (hopefully).

So, what does that look like day-to-day? I’ll leave you with this Daily Action Blue Box from Joshua Lee:

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amanda eakin