linkedin.com/companies | 1Company Pages and FollowersRelationships That Drive Results5 Steps to Engaging Followers on LinkedIn
linkedin.com/companies | 2Table of contentsIntroi 03Establish a Company PresenceSTEP01 06STEP02 Attract Followers 07Engage Followers 08STEP03Amplify Through the Network 11STEP04Analyze and RefineSTEP05 14
linkedin.com/companies | 3Relationships countmore than everRelationships mean more today than they everhave for companies.Consumers are in control of their onlineexperience and can easily tune out irrelevant orpromotional messages. On the other hand, theyare increasingly interested in connecting withcompanies that can provide useful informationand engaging content.For years, LinkedIn has helped marketers forgemutually beneficial relationships with the world’slargest community of business leaders andinfluencers. These relationships build brandequity and convert social actions into newbusiness opportunities.Members also benefit as these relationshipswith companies offer actionable insights andsolutions that enhance members’ careers andprofessional decision-making.more likely to be collegegraduates93%average household incomeof a LinkedIn member$86kmembers use LinkedIn tokeep up on business news orresearch companies3 4OUTOFLinkedIn’s premium audience at a glance1LinkedIn Audience 360 Study, August 2011
linkedin.com/companies | 4Build relationshipsthat drive businessresultsOur research indicates that members are nearly50% more likely to purchase from a companythey engage with on LinkedIn.1Further, nearly80% of LinkedIn members want to connect withthe companies in their lives.2By tailoring yourconversations with members according to theirprofessional interests, you’ll improve the imageof your brand and fuel purchase intent for yourproducts and services.In this guide, we’ll show you how to use yourCompany Page and other tools to attractfollowers and turn them into passionate brandadvocates.Our research shows that leaders in social media areembracing a high-level, 5-step model for establishingrelationships with customers and prospects. They areattracting and engaging a community of company followersby giving them the information and actionable insights theyseek.After reading this guide, you’ll understand how to apply this5-step model to your social media strategy on LinkedIn.Proven Model for Social Media Success1. Establish a Company Presence2. Attract Followers3. Engage Followers4. Amplify Through the Network5. Analyze and RefineA proven model for successLinkedIn U.S. survey-based Follower report, January 2012LinkedIn member surveys, January and February 2012
linkedin.com/companies | 5Organize your teamfor successWhether you’re a company of 2, 10, or 100,000employees, it’s important to establish clear rolesand responsibilities for managing and optimizingyour Company Page.Here are some different strategies to consider:CentralizeAppoint a single social media “champion” to coordinateall page content and track performance globally. Thischampion should work with individual product or brandmanagers to reflect the variety of interesting things yourcompany is doing.ScatterRotate ownership of the Company Page betweeneach brand or business unit with a central or globalmarketing lead setting and managing the schedule.Divide & ConquerSplit ownership between a global social media team andyour company’s HR or recruiting department to addressmarketing and hiring needs equally. Leads from eachteam should work together to manage posting schedulesand shared goals.The key to building relationships is continuouscommunication and relevant content. Get help managingthis process to ensure your company always has engagingcontent to share.Enlist colleagues who understand customers’ needs or havespecific skills in content creation (e.g., video production,infographic design). What expertise can they offer?Create a spreadsheet calendar with campaign themesand posting timelines, and work with colleagues to decidewhat they can best contribute and when.Break up large themes into a series that you publish at fixedintervals, to get followers into the routine of “tuning in” fornew content.Highlight company or industry milestones to grab members’attention with timely information.Don’t go it alone!
linkedin.com/companies | 6STEP01Step 1: Establish acompany presenceBefore you build your follower community, it’simportant to lay the groundwork of a greatCompany Page—your company’s home onLinkedIn. Here’s how to get started.Provide a great narrativeClick the “Admin tools” button in the upper right ofthe page to edit your company description, specialties,industry, website, and more. Use rich, descriptive languagethat helps readers understand your vision, purpose, andthe value you offer. What makes you unique? Make surethe spirit of that story lives within all the content andconversations you publish on LinkedIn.Include a description, 1-2 paragraphs longCompany Pages are very SEO-friendly, and yourdescription and company name are prominent data forsearch engines. Google search engine results pages showpreviews of your page text (up to 156 characters in length),so be sure your description leads with powerful sentences.Insert high-value keywordsOur search bar also lets members search for companiesby keyword directly from any LinkedIn page. You canhelp your target audience find you by including targetedkeywords that describe your business, expertise, andindustry focus in each Company Page field.Craft a compelling storyShowcase Products & ServicesConnect members with solutionsAfter you’ve added products to your page, youcan design multiple configurations based onone or two of the following criteria: members’geography, company size, seniority, job function,or industry. With this feature, you can select tofeature relevant products to a specific audience.We’ve found that marketers who build out their free Products &Services Page tend to have twice as many company followers.Located as a tab within your main Company Page, Products &Services allows you to showcase everything your company doesbest and, most importantly, gives members a compelling reasonto follow you.Go beyond productsYou can link to just about anything on yourLinkedIn Company and Products & Servicespages. Give members a reason to follow you bydirecting them to white papers, case studies orhow-to content. Rotate this content regularly.Tell a story through videoVideo is a proven method for increasingengagement on a site. If your company has aYouTube channel, embed product or customertestimonial videos that tell a compellingnarrative about the value you offer.
linkedin.com/companies | 7STEP02Join the discussion on LinkedIn GroupsThere are over 1 million LinkedIn Groups serving ascommunities for like-minded professionals worldwide.We have groups covering virtually every industry, andoften the members you’ll find in groups are also themembers who are most eager to engage with companies.Contribute to discussions in popular groupsTarget groups that are relevant to the industries or customersyou serve. The search bar on the LinkedIn homepage letsyou look for groups by keyword.Post ideas and questions that reflect members’ interestsInclude a link to your Company Page at the end of your post.Advise members to follow your Company Page if they’reinterested in gathering more insights and helpful information.Share the micContribute to popular discussions that members havestarted. As people “like” and reply to your comments, youhave a chance to become a “Top Influencer” in the group.You can also earn trust with members by using the group’sbuilt-in sharing tools to promote their discussions on majorsocial sites.Be a connectorWhen you post to groups, aim to drive responses thatwill help members solve problems and share insights withone another.Step 2:Attract followersCreating authentic relationships is central toachieving success on LinkedIn. Once you’veestablished your company presence on LinkedIn, youcan begin fostering these relationships by attractingfollowers to your Company Page. Here are somesimple, effective strategies for attracting companyfollowers and getting those relationships off to astrong start.Engage your colleaguesEmployees are your most reliable advocates. Encouragethem to complete their profiles and include a link to yourCompany Page in their email signatures.Announce your Company Page in an email newsletter toexisting customers or partnersAsk recipients to reply to that email with feedback about thekinds of content they want to receive through your CompanyPage. This will help you focus your conversations.Add a “Follow” button to your websiteYour web team can pull simple code for a “Follow” buttonfrom developer.linkedin.com that you can add to your blogor website. This allows LinkedIn members to follow yourcompany with a single off-platform click.Celebrate your new page on the company blogOnce you set up your Company Page and start addingcontent, drive traffic to it through a compelling blog post.
linkedin.com/companies | 8STEP03LinkedIn U.S. survey-based Follower report, January 2012Step 3: Engage followersOnce you have followers, it’s important to nourish those relationships. The best follower relationshipsare rooted in great conversations—and your tool for developing those conversations is theCompany Status Update.At the most basic level, it’s helpful to think of every update as a chance to convey your brand promise. But it’s alsoimportant to think of what LinkedIn members expect to receive from status updates. As a rule of thumb, all content youpost to LinkedIn should help members become more successful professionals. When you build a reputation for wantingto help your followers, you’ll be more likely to convert them into loyal customers.So, what makes a good status update?Keep your content informativeA total of 68% of LinkedIn members say they would like to receive relevant news articles or insights from companies.Be helpful and friendly, not sales-yHave you ever had dinner with someone who always talked about him or herself? Avoid this pitfall, and don’t post overly promotional messages.If you do post occasional company-related news or product announcements, be sure you’re providing content that delivers a specific benefit toyour followers.Say it succinctlyWe find that updates receive higher engagement if you keep it short - a brief sentence or two will do.Post at least once per weekdayIn general, companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60% of their unique audience.Think about timingUpdates posted in the morning usually earn the highest engagement, with a slight bump occurring again after business hours. Experiment tosee what works best for your company.Link to great contentStatus updates containing links can have up to 45% higher follower engagement than updates without links. Just remember to write acompelling sentence to accompany the link, inspiring members to click through.
linkedin.com/companies | 9STEP03Include your biggest brand advocates: your employees!Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your posts.Don’t target ultra-granular segmentsLimit yourself to one or two targeting criteria per updateto ensure that your content receives many high-valueimpressions.Engage locallyYour company has a presence all over the map. UseTargeted Status Updates to let employees in regional officescontribute content that speaks directly to your customers orprospects in different areas.Target your ideal customer profileAim to reach followers who match your target customer.Tailor your contentto specific audiencesWhat resonates most with followers? Content that’scustomized to their professional interests. WithLinkedIn’s Targeted Status Updates, you can reachdistinct follower segments with content they’relikely to find interesting.When you write an update, you’ll notice a featurethat lets you share it either with “all followers” or a“targeted audience.” Selecting the second optionlets you send your update to a subset of followersbased on geography, job function, industry,company size, or seniority.We’ve seen promising results from early tests ofTargeted Status Updates. Philips, for example,saw a 106% increase in follower engagementafter posting Targeted Status Updates duringa six-week period.Audience targeting best practicesLinkedIn U.S. survey-based Follower report, January 2012
linkedin.com/companies | 10STEP03Enterprise cloud computing companysalesforce.com used Targeted StatusUpdates to promote its CloudforceLondon conference to a U.K. audience.During a five-week period, the companyexperienced a 30% increase in the rate offollower engagement. In addition, thesetargeted updates showed a 30% increase inamplification (the ratio of “likes”, commentsand shares to total update impressions).Case studies:learn from the bestAcross LinkedIn, companies are seeing the benefits of engaging their followers: Recent research showsthat LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.7How are leading marketers engaging their followers? Here are some helpful case studies to guide you:HP wanted to engage professionals andgather recommendations for its products.The company launched its own page,inviting members to recommend andcomment on the items in the Products& Services area. The company also ranLinkedIn ads to generate recommendationsat scale. The results: More than 2,000recommendations, 20,000 new followers,and 500,000 viral updates about HPproducts in two weeks.A relative newcomer to the HR space,Reconverse wanted to raise awarenessand create conversation around its missionto change the corporate recruiting model.Speaking to an audience in the HR field, thecompany used status updates to stage acontest, igniting a dialogue. The first updatealone generated 1,403 “likes”, 120 comments,and 87 new followers. Reconverse attributes90% of its revenue to its LinkedIn community-building efforts.HubSpot Blog. Jan. 30, 2012
linkedin.com/companies | 11STEP04Nothing impacts peoples’ perceptions and behavior like the recommendation of a trusted friend, colleague, or familymember. When you post content to your Company Page, your followers can “like”, share, or comment on your updates,which “amplifies” your messages to their entire first-degree networks.Each amplification action is an endorsement of your content and brand. As members amplify your posts acrossLinkedIn, you have the chance to build relationships with even more members who discover your company through therecommendation of a close contact.Amplification plays an important role in engagement. A LinkedIn study found that non-followers actually engaged withstatus updates 30% more than followers did.1This is likely because many non-followers—who saw the updates once theirconnections “liked”, shared, or commented on them—reacted to the implicit endorsement.Also, a study of thousands of company updates found that over one-third of all impressions were due almost entirelyto amplification.2Each additional impression is a chance for your company to reach members and convert them intofollowers.LinkedIn analysis of over 9,800 company Status Updates that received at least 500 impressions, during January 2012Based on a study of all company Status Updates with at least 1,000 impressions posted June 1-15, 2012Step 4:Amplify through the networkWhat is amplification and why does it matter?
linkedin.com/companies | 12STEP04Make your content viralHow do you encourage followers to amplify your content?Here are some ideas to get you started:Ask coworkers to share your content withtheir networksEmployees can show their corporate prideand “shout out” fellow colleagues.Link to “best-of” lists that focus onindustry insights or relevant company newsResearch shows that, on average, posts canboost their amplification rate by nearly 40%if they steer followers toward “Top” lists(e.g.: “Top 10 social media tactics in B2Bmarketing”).Invite customers to write reviews on yourProducts & Services pageTheir recommendations will get amplifiedthroughout the network.Post interesting videosOne recent study found that when a statusupdate linked to a YouTube video, followerswho engaged with it took twice as manyamplification actions (“likes”, shares, orcomments) compared to posts that did notcontain videos.Ask members for feedback about anindustry trend, business problem, newproduct, and moreYour followers will welcome the chance torespond to questions. On average, statusupdates received nearly 50% more commentsif they contained questions.Listen to conversations that occur offLinkedInCollect findings from your various contactforms, call centers, and blog comments, andcreate status update content around the mostpopular topics. When you post content thatbetter reflects your community’s interests,your followers will find your updates moreworthy of a share, “like”, or comment.Based on a study of all company Status Updates with at least 1,000 impressions, posted June 1-15, 2012. Viral reach measured in number of uniques. Best-of list analysis based on updates that includedthe words “Top...”: 10, ten, 5, five, 3, three, 100, one hundred, 50, fifty, 30, thirty, 25, or twenty-five. Video analysis based on updates with links to youtube.com/ or youtu.be/.
linkedin.com/companies | 13Encourage amplification off-siteSTEP04While your followers spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, yourrelationships should continue off the site as well. With thisin mind, we’ve provided you with tools to let you startconversations with members in multiple settings—not juston LinkedIn.com. Here are a couple of plugins (available atdeveloper.linkedin.com) that will help you further amplifymembers’ enthusiasm into endorsements for your brand.Recommend plugin: Embed this simple plugin on yourwebsite, on all pages that showcase the products you’ve alsoadded to your LinkedIn Products & Services page. With oneclick, your site visitors can recommend a particular productto all their first-degree LinkedIn connections.Share plugin: When you add a share plugin to your site, youempower all readers with LinkedIn accounts to share yourcontent with their networks. This turns every visitor into apotential champion for your brand.Dive into thecommentsAs you post engaging content, certain followerswill leave comments below your updates.Don’t let these comments go unrecognizedor unanswered—as a page admin, you can diveright in and start interacting. This will help buildloyalty among members, keep the discussiongoing, and amplify conversations throughoutthe network.Here are a few ideas for capitalizing oncomments:PraiseUse the comments section to thank followers who contributethoughtful remarks about your products or industry.ShowcaseConnect with your most passionate, prolific commenters andinvite them to write a guest post on your blog. Link to the postin a status update.OrganizeAppoint a team of coworkers as ambassadors to your followercommunity, empowering them to respond to comments.
linkedin.com/companies | 14STEP05Step 5:Analyze and refineIn any marketing campaign, success dependson your ability to measure performance andoptimize resources. LinkedIn’s analytics toolsempower you to do just that, ensuring youhave the insights you need to strengthenfollower relationships.The best way to improve follower engagement andamplification is to experiment with different kinds of content.Once you understand what works, you can easily refine yourapproach. Page admins can see statistics (engagement rate,impressions, “likes”, shares, and comments) below eachstatus update starting 24 hours after they post.Measuring EngagementAn important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a post’sEngagement Rate—the ratio of clicks, “likes”, commentsand shares to total update impressions. This is an importantglobal metric for understanding how often members takeaction on your updates. If you include a link in an update, besure to generate it with a link-shortening service like bitly orOw.ly. This way, you can keep track of total click-throughs.Measuring AmplificationAs you post updates, note which subjects and formats seemto drive the highest amplification rate—the ratio of “likes”,comments, and shares to total update impressions. Thishelps you understand how often members are sharing yourcontent. For example, you might notice that you drive highamplification whenever you post about your company’sphilanthropic initiatives. This might tell you that many ofyour followers are interested in learning more about yourcompany’s values and culture.Take note: what content drives conversation?
linkedin.com/companies | 15Measure lead generation andfollower conversionAre your updates driving leads? Find out byfirst tracking sign-ups from your LinkedInlanding pages (e.g., webinar and eventregistrations). Your conversion rate is thenumber of leads generated from these pagesdivided by the number of visits. Remember,you can track click-throughs if you use aservice like bitly or Ow.ly to create links foryour updates. You can also estimate how wellyou’re converting followers to leads: Divideyour number of new monthly or quarterlyleads by the number of new followers you’veacquired during that time.Track your progressYour Company Page includes helpful Follower Statistics and Page Statistics tools that let you viewchanges in the size and composition of your follower community, as well as activity on your page.Here are a few best practices for getting the most out of these features. It may be helpful to create asimple spreadsheet to track these KPIs over time.Establish goals for growing yourfollower communityUse the Follower Statistics page tounderstand how your follower community isgrowing over time and what kinds of followersyou’re reaching. Set targets for acquiringfollowers who match your ideal customerprofile.Get to know your recent followersYour Follower Statistics page displays threeof your most recent followers. Click throughto their profiles to learn more about them.Record info like job function, location,company, etc. This will help you understandhow your audience is changing at the margins.Set engagement targetsThe Follower Statistics page also displaysmonthly engagement metrics for all yourposts collectively. As you optimize yourupdates based on individual performance,you should see an uptick in the overall month-to-month engagement rate.STEP05
linkedin.com/companies | 16Let your followerrelationships thriveLike any good relationship, your followers requirecare and attention. By following thefive-step model in this guide to deliverconsistently high-quality content that addressesmembers’ professional needs, you will notonly grow your follower community, but alsoforge bonds and foster honest conversations withpotential customers.As always, please keep in touch and stay ontop of the latest news and advice by visiting ourCompany Page [linkedin.com/company/linkedin],or check out our blog [blog.linkedin.com]. Thankyou for reading, and happy posting!