Usually when small business owners are ready to launch their social media strategy, they immediately think of Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that – depending on your type of business – LinkedIn may actually be a more effective lead generator? According to a study on MarketingCharts.com, “…among B2B companies, LinkedIn was the most effective [lead generator], with 65% having acquired a customer through the professional network.”

Recognizing their importance for B2B (Business to Business) companies, LinkedIn has poured their resources into this market recently, completely overhauling their Company Pages. The changes have been given to companies like Dell and Philips to test, and will be rolled out to everyone by the end of the year. So take a look at those pages and figure out what you’ll need to have ready to go!

Once you’ve got your company page set up and ready to go, it’s time to start working on your content strategy. As with any social network, you’ll need two things: engaged followers, and great, relevant content. Here are 5 steps to get you started on the path to LinkedIn success:

1. Get followers. Social Media Examiner suggests that you:
– Encourage employees (if you have them) to follow and share
– Identify industry peers and follow them (they’ll likely follow you back)
– Send an announcement to appropriate personal connections and your existing database

2. Identify your audience. LinkedIn is great for both B2B and B2C companies. The demographics on this network tend to skew toward a more affluent and tech-aware audience.

3. Create your strategy and content calendar. Start with a realistic plan so you can stay consistent. Here are a few best practices suggested by Social Media Today:
– Post 1-5 times daily. Hubspot has found weekday mornings to be their best time.
– Use images and links in your updates
– Keep updates concise, and tell followers what action to take.

4. Analyze and update. LinkedIn provides a wealth of analytics for companies, so you can see how your content is performing and make adjustments as necessary.

Have you established a presence on LinkedIn? What results have you found?

Our Content Roundup, which began with A post about Facebook, continues next week with a discussion of best practices on Twitter and Pinterest!

More from this series on content marketing:
Why Content Gets The Royal Treatment
Best Practices for Posting on Facebook
Leveraging LinkedIn in 4 Easy Steps
Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Engagement

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