A strategic LinkedIn approach for the enterprise [Whitepaper]
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A strategic LinkedIn approach for the enterprise [Whitepaper]

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Ant’s Eye View created this white paper to help enterprise brands unlock additional value using Linkedin. Often relegated to a distant third among large social networks, LinkedIn can drive ...

Ant’s Eye View created this white paper to help enterprise brands unlock additional value using Linkedin. Often relegated to a distant third among large social networks, LinkedIn can drive tremendous value when used properly.
This report covers four primary functions:

1. Business development
2. Thought leadership
3. Customer activation
4. Recruiting

Ant’s Eye View is a management consulting firm that helps leading brands on the journey to become an engaged enterprise. This report is released under a Creative Commons license. Click here to see our license and read more about what you can do with it. If you are interested in learning more about Ant’s Eye View please visit our website at antseyeview.com.

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    A strategic LinkedIn approach for the enterprise [Whitepaper] A strategic LinkedIn approach for the enterprise [Whitepaper] Document Transcript

    • executive briefing seriesA strategic LinkedIn approachfor the enterpriseKristy Bolsinger | Senior Consultant, Ant’s Eye ViewDavid J. Neff | Senior Consultant, Ant’s Eye View
    • Introduction | 2Introduction Table of contentsAnt’s Eye View created this white paper to help enterprise brands Introduction2unlock additional value using Linkedin. Often relegated to a distant Why LinkedIn matters 3third among large social networks, LinkedIn can drive tremendousvalue when used properly. Business development on LinkedIn 4This report covers four primary functions: Establishing thought leadership 81. Business development Activating customer advocates  142. Thought leadership3. Customer activation Recruiting on LinkedIn 164. Recruiting LinkedIn Signal, a business intelligence tool 20Ant’s Eye View is a management consulting firm that helps leading brands on the Conclusion23journey to become an engaged enterprise. This report is released under a CreativeCommons license. Click here to see our license and read more about what you cando with it. If you are interested in learning more about Ant’s Eye View please visitour website at antseyeview.com. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Why LinkedIn matters | 3Why LinkedIn mattersLinkedIn is the largest social network platform dedicated toprofessional networking.It hosts some 150 million registered users across 200 countries and territories. The siteis available in multiple languages including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,and Spanish.Since LinkedIn is primarily about professional social networking, rather than personalinformation, it’s a prime destination for enterprise brands looking to recruit employees,build business, grow thought leadership, or activate customer advocates. LinkedIn by the numbers• 150 million users in 2012 • 50% of users are company decision-makers• $8.9 billion IPO in 2011 • 41% of people using LinkedIn for• $154 million in advertising revenue marketing have generated business in 2011 • 20% of C-level executives network• Two new members every second professionally in an online community daily; 39% network online weekly• 50% of members are from the U.S. • 80% of companies use social media for• 14 million students have profiles recruitment; 95% of them use LinkedIn• 4.5 million unique daily visits (mostly • 65% of journalists use LinkedIn to while at work) conduct story research• 45 million page views daily (mostly while at work)• 4.8 million monthly visits via mobile devices antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Business development on LinkedIn | 4 Business development on LinkedIn LinkedIn is considered the most effective social media channel for lead generation. According to a study by HubSpot, LinkedIn beats Facebook and Twitter by 277% for lead generation effectiveness. 3.0% According to HubSpot, LinkedIn’s visit-to-lead conversion rate is nearly 2.5% triple than that of Twitter or Facebook.Visit-to-lead conversion rate 2.0% The HubSpot survey included 5,198 B2B and 1.5% B2C businesses. 2.74% 1.0% 0.5% 0.69% 0.77% 0% Twitter Facebook LinkedIn By LinkedIn’s account, 1.8 billion business leads were generated on its platform in 2011. For turning leads into sales, LinkedIn says its conversion rate beats all other social media platforms combined. It claims a visitor-to-sale rate of 2.74%, with Twitter and Facebook behind at 0.69% and 0.77%, respectively. Furthermore, LinkedIn also reports that 39% of its members are responsible for managing budgets. LinkedIn is a boon for B2B marketers because it displays a user’s professional expertise, network with like-minded professionals and interest in new opportunities. B2C marketers will find that LinkedIn is less cluttered than Twitter and Facebook because of the typical type and volume of shared content. In other words, the signal to noise ratio on LinkedIn is favorable for marketers. Three tips for generating leads/performing business development 1. KEEP YOUR COMPANY PAGE UPDATED Being top of mind for prospects requires focus on regular and consistent content updates. Set objectives, goals, strategies and tactics specifically for LinkedIn, and integrate it into content calendars. Salesforce, a global CRM company, frequently updates its LinkedIn page with well-designed, consistent content. Salesforce often asks questions of its audience and follows up with a video for deeper interaction. Cross-channel pollination of content like this can engage users on other platforms and highlight brand presence. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Business development on LinkedIn | 52. USE THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES SPOTLIGHTAmplify lead generation on LinkedIn by using the products and services spotlight.A company page allows a brand access to a ‘Products and Services’ tab, where abrand can highlight specific offerings. This will help attract, showcase and curaterecommendations from clients and customers.HP, a global software company, showcases 19 products and services on its tab, includingservers, printers, ePrint service, laptops, desktops and enterprise IT support. All can bereviewed and commented on by users. HP uses the rotating banner space to highlight specific products and services.3. HAVE PEOPLE RECOMMEND YOUR PRODUCTSOnce products and services are added to the LinkedIn page, a brand can ask clients andcustomers to visit its company page to recommend them. When a LinkedIn memberwrites a positive comment, the business benefits with trusted recommendationsthat show up under that product or service. When a user’s connections seethose recommendations, the brand benefits by the sharing of content. Whenrecommendations are curated and shared by other users, the brand benefits from theamplification of the initial share. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Business development on LinkedIn | 6 Wild Apricot pulls customer reviews of each of their product lines from LinkedIn.Wild Apricot, a small software company, posts LinkedIn recommendations on its websitehome page, automatically sharing the voice of the customer with anyone visiting itswebsite. This can be a simple way to syndicate content about the brand. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Business development on LinkedIn | 7 On its Product and Services page, HP highlights its ePrint service that lets people print anywhere at anytime with an Internet connection. This page also highlights people in the user’s network who have recommended HP. SUMMARY 1. LinkedIn drives business value because it’s based on a user’s professional interests. This makes it a natural fit forLinkedIn’s 150 million registered users means a brand has 150 million potential leads. sharing brand based updates, news,Ant’s Eye View often discusses the power of the voice of the customer. This is whenbrands collect, analyze, and act on feedback from customers then incorporate their information, and driving traffic toinsights into company decisions. HP enables the voice of the customer on LinkedIn for company-focused web properties.its laptop and notebook business unit.The strategy at hand is to provide targeted content that will activate the voice of the 2. LinkedIn Signal is a powerful customercustomer and motivate customers to share their stories, which can help authentically intelligence tool not found on othergenerate leads. social networks. The ability to filterDario Priolo of ProfilesInternational.com cautions marketers to think critically andstrategically to monitor “real” return of a content-driven strategy: thousands of updates inside and outside a brand’s network can help“The problem was that most of the ‘leads’ were either independent consultants or job seekers. My warning to all marketers: Don’t confuse people filling out forms and uncover business development leads downloading free content (a.k.a. ‘leads’) with people who have a need for what you sell or answer users’ questions with your and who are in a position to either drive or significantly influence the buying decision.” products or services. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 8Establishing thought leadershipBeing an authority on a topic can help grow brand trust. LinkedIn’stools can establish and build authority among customers.Interactions on LinkedIn typically happen at a 1:1 level; those interactions help growtrust and improve authority. It’s possible, however, to scale that trust for a brand and thecompany behind it. Establishing thought leadership requires concerted effort acrossmultiple channels, and LinkedIn is optimized for such activities.LinkedIn’s feature set can help brands stay up to date on users’ professional networks inaddition to establishing a corporate presence and disseminating news. These featurescan also work well in establishing thought leadership.Thought leadership featuresADDING A BLOG RSS FEEDA brand can automatically syndicate its blog content via RSS feed to a LinkedIn page.This helps ensure followers have access to content, plus it’s a channel that doesn’trequire updates. Brands should keep an eye on comments, questions and engagementopportunities, just as they do in other channels. Starbucks’ recent blog posts as shown on its LinkedIn company page.Groups are a powerful tool to establish and grow thought leadership. Members of eachgroup opt-in so participation comes with a degree of built-in permission, awareness andrespect. Within each group, a brand can participate in discussions central to its businessor operations with members who share similar passions or interests. Discussions areparticularly useful. The brand can interact with like-minded individuals, share information,and add insight. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 9 In Groups, discussions can be filtered and sorted by popularity. At left is a popular discussion around analytic tools and a sample of activity, including recent comments and profile pictures of several users. In the discussion area brands can see individual contributions and options for participation. Representatives can ‘like’, comment or follow the discussion. Many of these same actions can be used on responses to the individual post.LinkedIn also provides data about group members, their location and career stage.This can help brands carefully target conversations, content and engagement efforts. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 10 On the home page of a group, brands can drill into activity statistics. At left is the overview provided on the default tab of group statistics. The statistics provide deeper analytics about the group, including positions held by individual members, work functions, location and industry.antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 11 LinkedIn makes it easy to find relevant and targeted groups for participation based on industry or company. A “Groups You May Like” feature is based on existing membership and profile data of brand representatives.QUESTION AND ANSWERSLike Quora.com and other online knowledge sites, LinkedIn’s question and answerforum is easy to use and a good tactic to improve brand reputation and authority.Ask a question about a business topic, get an answer. Or, find a question and providean answer. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 12 LinkedIn’s question and answer section allows users to ask a question or answer others’ questions, or browse existing conversations.Users who ask questions can mark answers as “best.” Those authors are recognizedfor their contribution. If a brand employee is recognized as an “expert,” LinkedIn willhighlight their answers on the home page.Content distributionCreating content is an effective way to establish authority. Quality content can increasetraffic and links to the brand website, increase trust, and build customer engagement.Distributing content on LinkedIn that surrounds relevant topics can help build authorityas an individual and showcase the company as an industry leader.CONTENT FROM YOUR PROFILEIt’s easy to share content within the brand network or beyond using the share box.Consider sharing company related news, content from a professional blog, news articlesand job postings. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Establishing thought leadership | 13 A main “update” field allows brands to post a status update and/or share specific pieces of content. Brands can also opt (if they have previously synced accounts) to simultaneously post to Twitter accounts in addition to customizing the audience (connections only or anyone.)CONTENT WITHIN 3RD-PARTY GROUPSParticipation in groups can include sharing content. Consider the group’s focus andonly share content that will be interesting, helpful or relevant to its members. Listen andobserve all group norms and rules before sharing or participating. Many groups require admission requests. Depending on the group, some may have selection criteria. SUMMARY 1. A platform built on professional reputations can establish authority and thought leadership on individual and organizational levels. 2. LinkedIn can be a primary contentCONTENT WITHIN OWNED GROUPSAlthough time-consuming, owning and starting a group can generate conversation strategy to understand competitivearound a particular topic. Ownership and active participation in a successful group can intelligence or user generated contentelevate brand reputation and further a brand representative’s personal, professional, orcorporate objectives. plus a content distribution channel, such as company pages, individual status updates, etc. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Activating customer advocates | 14Activating customer advocates Management consultant Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying,“The purpose of a business is to create customers.”That’s still true today, but social technologies have allowed usgreater access to our customers than ever before. To that extent,Ant’s Eye View offers an update to Drucker’s maxim:“The purpose of a business is to create customers who create customers.”Understanding the types of participants in any community is a critical first step in abrand’s efforts to engage and ultimately activate its customers as advocates. LinkedIn provides data for the most influential users within a group by the week. Brand representatives can dig into the group and see where users are contributing.Engagement Breeds AdvocacyWhen brands engage customers and build strong relationships based on respect andtrust, customers will ‘like’ the brand – and perhaps love it, too. Brands can see this insituations where people talk negatively about services or products; detractors oftenbring out defenders. Even in absence of conflict, the love customers feel for companyproducts can result in advocacy. On LinkedIn, customers have the ability to writerecommendations for products; this can be encouraged, depending on how a companyprofile is setup. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Activating customer advocates | 15 Recommendations on LinkedIn can be a valuable form of advocacy on a 1:1 basis.Engaging as an individual on behalf of an industry and/or company can lead to SUMMARYrecommendations. In reality, when people advance from ‘like’ to ‘love’ they don’t always 1. The power of any social network lies inmake a public declaration. It’s acceptable for a brand to make a formal request in thisarea. Some tips: its users. LinkedIn’s users actively and passionately interact with one another1. MAKE IT PERSONAL in groups every day. Harnessing thisThere is nothing worse than a form letter, except a form letter from a friend or colleague.Make your request personal to your relationship with that person, but don’t pander. power and energy with customers can help convert them from engaged2. BE AWARETake a critical look at the relationship and history with the individual. If the relationship participants into advocates.with the person has been difficult with residual tension, do not send a request. If theydon’t have sufficient experience with the brand, or have not known it for long, do not 2. Customers may be engaging insend a request. conversations about your business3. BE SPECIFIC and products in multiple channelsThe more specific, the better. The writer/recommender should be given a clear focus, other than LinkedIn. By hosting andand the business will get the light it desires. fostering a community for those4. FOLLOW UP, DON’T BOTHER conversations to take place onGive the writer time. If it’s been a few days, or a week don’t assume they have forgotten. LinkedIn, brands can demonstrateThey are likely busy. Silence doesn’t immediately mean disinterest or unwillingness. Waita reasonable amount of time then send a polite and empathetic reminder. If they still fail stewardship and cultivate relationshipsto respond, assume they are unwilling to fulfill the request and move along. with users, leading to strengthened relationships and advocacy. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Recruiting on LinkedIn | 16Recruiting on LinkedInLinkedIn has several key advantages for brands looking to hire talentfrom around the world.Why LinkedIn is optimal for recruiting employeesLinkedIn attracts business professionals who create profiles based on their resume andwork experience. A user’s profile includes education, job skills, previous employment,recommendations from co-workers, volunteer work, awards and presentations.Compared to Facebook, where users list and “like” brands, TV shows and music, LinkedIn’sfocus on the professional life makes it a solid fit for brands looking to recruit employees. Users can customize opportunity preferences, which helps brands target recruiting efforts.HIRING MANAGERSLinkedIn allows individual hiring managers to search and filter candidates based onmultiple variables. This includes their online profile, work history, groups, job skills andthe preferences shown above. Hiring managers can directly contact candidates usingInMail, LinkedIn’s email system.GROUP RECRUITINGLinkedIn users can join groups based on professional interests. Once in a group, usersparticipate in discussions, interact with content, network with other members, post jobsand vote in polls. Brand recruiters can browse and observe potential hires based on theirbehavior in the groups. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Recruiting on LinkedIn | 17 For SAP and its partner ecosystem (consultants, certification schools, and development shops), the SAP group on LinkedIn allows the company to post targeted jobs and recruit new employees.SAP, a global software company, actively participates in the “SAP Community” group.Activities include posting content, encouraging lively discussions between membersand posting job opportunities. SAP’s ongoing engagement efforts on LinkedIn havehelped grow its group to 133,000 members and 55 comments a week. SAP knows thatpeople in this group are interested in the organization because of the group is opt-in.This offers targeted recruiting opportunities than the random targeting of large onlinejob boards. Data and demographic information about each group can help recruiters narrow their searches for potential employees. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Recruiting on LinkedIn | 18ENTERPRISE HR DEPARTMENTSCorporate recruiters can upgrade personal accounts to become “talent finders.” Thisprovides access to additional direct mails, full names, advanced search criteria based onqualifications, seniority levels, and saving lists of potential candidates. “Talent finder” levels have various costs, but brands can get a break on pricing based on annual purchase plans.Many large-scale enterprise HR departments have a presence on LinkedIn. Typically,that presence is a shared responsibility with the social business owners or enterprisemarketing. This page is similar to a business page on Facebook.A LinkedIn business page often displays current company news, plus current and formeremployees. Citi, a leading global bank, uses its LinkedIn business page for news andemployee rosters, plus recruiting activities. It has more than 165,000 LinkedIn followerswho receive Citi updates.Company pages display numbers of first- and second-connection users and the numberof brand employees on LinkedIn. Current employees can become a front-line touchpointfor brand recruiting.A LinkedIn company page is free and follows a self-service model similar to a businesspage on Facebook. On the example on the following page, Citi has purchasedadvertising showcasing its work in urban center planning.A brand can also upgrade its business page to several levels. With the gold career page, abrand can have five different versions to display content and job opportunities based ona user’s LinkedIn profile. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Recruiting on LinkedIn | 19 The highlighted link takes users to a Citi career page. Citi’s HR department upgraded its page to a paid version, which allows them to display a custom header, an about us section and job descriptions. SUMMARY 1. On LinkedIn, recruiters can find candidates for free or purchase upgrades to expand their reach. 2. LinkedIn puts a brand’s employeesWith the gold career page option, a brand can choose from multiple versions to display front and center. What employees sayvarying content and job opportunities. and do on their LinkedIn profiles can be syndicated across the brand page. Higher levels of employee engagement can drive recruiting value. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • LinkedIn Signal, a business intelligence tool | 20LinkedIn Signal, a business intelligence toolIf the future of social business is finding a signal in the extensivenoise of web content, then LinkedIn Signal is a brand’s businessintelligence filter. Signal (found at linkedin.com/signal) is anadvanced business intelligence tool that allows brands to see andfilter updates from LinkedIn users who make their updates visible.Using Signal, brands can monitor LinkedIn discussions on keywords regardless oflocation. It provides access to nearly unlimited status updates, not just the first-levelnetwork. Other advantages:• Search for keywords, topics, companies or people across the update stream.• Save searches and check for updates later.• Find trending links and Industry top headlines.• Browse only relevant status updates from the stream.• Search for keywords, topics or people across the stream.• Get an auto updated real-time stream with rich content.• Find trending links across any relevant topic.Three tips for using Signal for business intelligence1. USE FILTERSSignal can help brands find what’s important with ten filters for search: 1. Network and degree of separation 2. Employer 3. Location 4. Industry 5. Time posted 6. School 7. Groups discussing the topic 8. Topics/hashtags 9. Seniority of user 10. Update type (i.e. an update from a group or by topic) antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • LinkedIn Signal, a business intelligence tool | 21 Signal is best used by manipulating the filters. Notice the various filters that are on the left side of the page.2. SAVE SEARCHESSignal can combine the filters above with advanced searches on specific keywords. Thiscan focus on competitors, products, or recruitment and talent acquisition. Complicatedand frequently used searches can be saved for future use. They’re displayed on the Signalpage and available at every log in. Within LinkedIn Signal, save custom filters and searches for future use. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • LinkedIn Signal, a business intelligence tool | 223. PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDING LINKSGoogle+, Facebook and other networks present endless streams of content. Twitter isknown for its trending topics, but LinkedIn showcases popular links. A column shows thename of the link, an icon related to the link (if available) and the number of shares. Thelinks are updated in real time as LinkedIn’s algorithm assesses their relevance based ontopic, popularity, and how recently it was shared. Trending links are highlighted in Signal. SUMMARY 1. LinkedIn Signal provides business value by filtering thousands of status updates. 2. Based on the amount of shares, LinkedIn’s trending links section highlights popular business content versus having to shift through personal updates on Facebook. antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley
    • Conclusion | 23ConclusionLinkedIn adds two new members per second. Unlike other socialnetworks, LinkedIn focuses on professional information, much likean online resume, highlighting education, employment historyand customizable opportunity preferences. Beyond professionalrepresentation, members can also join more than one milliongroups and actively share insights, knowledge, and participate in Kristy Bolsinger Senior Consultantconversations. This networking capability makes it a significant kristy@antseyeview.comresource and social channel for brands to engage with customers, @kristydevelop business, grow thought leadership, or recruit new talent.Business developmentLinkedIn is the top social channel for lead generation. Update the company page withrelevant content, and engage regularly with the LinkedIn audience. Use the productsand services spotlight to attract user reviews and comments, and drive traffic to thebrand website.Thought leadershipUsers have one million group options on LinkedIn. Use groups to understand David J. Neffconversations, share content and build relationships. With discussions happening all over Senior Consultantthe network, actively participate at an individual and organizational level. david@antseyeview.com @daveiamActivating customer advocatesLike other social networks, interacting and creating a community for customerengagement is important on LinkedIn. Building relationships with customers can growadvocacy. LinkedIn might be the right platform to engage with customer networks andgather recommendations for products.RecruitingLinkedIn can be ideal for recruiters. Members can use their accounts to search for jobopportunities and corporate recruiters can upgrade personal accounts to become “talentfinders.” Brands can post jobs or invite users to apply for them.Sources1. blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30030/LinkedIn-277- 9. www.linkedin.com/company/salesforce/products?goback=. More-Effective-for-Lead-Generation-Than-Facebook-Twitter-New- fcs_*2_*2_false_R_*2_*2_*2_18_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2 Data.aspx 10. www.simplyzesty.com/social-media/linkedin-2/impressive-2. blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31889/13-Brands-Using- interactive-brand-marketing-comes-to-linkedin/ LinkedIn-Company-Page-Features-the-Right-Way.aspx 11. www.simplyzesty.com/social-media/5-great-linkedin-marketing-3. marketing.linkedin.com/ campaigns/4. marketing.linkedin.com/companypages 12. marketing.linkedin.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/LinkedIn_5. www.linkedin.com/signal WildApricotCaseStudy2012.pdf6. www.simplyzesty.com/social-media/linkedin-introduce-targeted- 13. marketing.linkedin.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/LinkedIn_ updates-follower-statistics-for-marketers/ AthenaHealthCaseStudy2011.pdf7. marketing.linkedin.com/success-stories8. www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-linkedin-2012-4?utm_ source=inpost&utm_medium=seealso&utm_term=&utm_ Design: Cathryn Rowe content=2&utm_campaign=recirc#find-out-who-has-been- looking-at-your-profile-13 Editor: Ben McConnell antseyeview.com | Seattle + Austin + Silicon Valley