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LinkedIn is often seen as the poor cousin of social media marketing (though not quite the forgotten cousin of the late Google+), however over the past few years it has been finding its feet and holding its own as a go-to place for professional online news and networking.
Personally I believe one of the significant turning points away from being merely an “online resume” was the release of the LinkedIn mobile app in 2015. This made it simpler and more accessible for users to both share and catch up with news on-the-go, rather than only log in and update their profile when they had just gotten a new job, or were starting to look.
In 2019, LinkedIn has over 500 million global members, with 260 million logging in each month. Of the monthly active users, 40% use LinkedIn daily. Source.
Microsoft’s 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn has further fuelled rumours of various features, and while new updates so far seem to have been slow and steady (including interface redesign, native video capabilities), they seem to be appearing more frequently.
View a timeline of LinkedIn on Wikipedia.
While I am eye-rolling at recent updates such as LinkedIn “reactions (below), I am very excited by the updates rolling out for LinkedIn company pages.
One of my long frustrations with LinkedIn company pages, is that they are not very “social”.
The very basic definition of “social media” is online conversions, and communication on LinkedIn company pages to date has been largely one way.
LinkedIn users can “follow” company pages, and see page updates in their feed, pages can post updates, users can like/comment/share, and pages can like and reply to comments, however that has been largely it.
It has felt a little soapbox-esque, where pages can spruik their updates, but not really be social, engage and be part of the conversation.
If you haven’t reviewed and updated your LinkedIn company page recently – do!
There are a number of seemingly small new profile updates available, but one in particular that is very powerful.
Two worth mentioning prior to the biggie are:
Your LinkedIn company page can now feature a tagline beneath the main profile image/title area.
This gives you 120 characters to share some more information about your organisation.
By default your main page “link” is the “Visit website” button, however this can be edited to appear as a custom button, that can link and include an alternative Call To Action, such as:
- Contact us
- Learn more
- Sign up
- Visit website (default)
And thirdly – my favourite – Hashtags!
You might be groaning at the thought of hashtags cropping up on another platform, but stay with me. While I was a bit meh when hashtags first appeared on LinkedIn, I am a total convert for this reason.
You can edit your company page settings to follow up to three hashtags.
Your page will then be able to like, comment and reshare posts on these hashtag feeds!
This means your LinkedIn company page can actually BE SOCIAL! Engaging with relevant updates by both individual LinkedIn users, and other pages!
This is an incredibly opportunity to be part of the conversation, add value, and reach and connect with relevant people who may not be aware of your organisation.
Learn more about the history of the hashtag here.
So what should you do?
Spend a bit of time researching the use of various hashtags on LinkedIn, and identify three hashtags that are most relevant to your organisation to follow. You can edit these in the future, so you’re not locked in.
The key here is going to be relevance.
LinkedIn is a global platform, so if you’re not a global organisation, while it might seem easy to follow the “big” hashtags, following smaller, more niche, closer to home hashtags may be more beneficial. These are likely to assist with connecting you with a relevant audience.
Social media tips: 5 reasons to use hashtags (and how to use them).
It can still be useful to be across and demonstrate your awareness of your broader industry though, so a strategy for using the three hashtags may be:
- Branded; a hashtag you encourage your team/clients/customers to use, to enable you to monitor and engage with their updates
- Local; a local area or local topic hashtag that allows you to connect with your local community
- Industry; a broader main industry term, related to what you do, that allows you to monitor and engage with the wider industry you work within
Obviously this is a new area, so all we can do is test and see which hashtags and engagement work best, however it’s a test I am excitedly looking forward to!
How about you!?
View and follow the Scout Digital Training LinkedIn company page here.