Work project completed for a B2B company on how they could leverage LinkedIn to generate leads for their business.
Work project completed for a B2B company on how they could leverage LinkedIn to generate leads for their business.
XYZ CompanyLinkedIn Recommendation June 10, 2011 Erin M. Wiles Chattanooga, TN 37415 T (901) 871-0147 email@example.com www.ErinWIles.com
LinkedIn Overview 1 What is LinkedIn? 1 LinkedIn Stats and Metrics 1 Why should XYZ Company use LinkedIn? 2XYZ Employee Proﬁles 3 A “Complete” LinkedIn Proﬁle 3 Proﬁle Enhancements 4 SEO for LinkedIn 4 Begin Connecting with Your Peers 5 Updating Your Proﬁle Status 6 Get Recommended 6LinkedIn Employee Proﬁle Checklist 7XYZ Company LinkedIn Proﬁle 8 What the LinkedIn company proﬁle could include 8 Company Proﬁle Basics 9 Audience Segmentation 9LinkedIn Company Proﬁle Checklist 10Other LinkedIn Considerations 11XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn OverviewWhat is LinkedIn?LinkedIn is a social network that was launched in 2003 and as of March 2011 has over 100 millionprofessional users worldwide. This social network is traditionally used for professional networkingand regular communication with business contacts or prospects.This service has functions that allow a professional to not only ﬁnd new connections and interactvirtually with existing connections, but also post or ﬁnd out about potential jobs, ask and answerquestions though a group of industry peers, search peers who share related interests, and identifyinﬂuencers at local and national organizations.LinkedIn takes traditional person-to-person networking and enhances it to maximize and fullyleverage your new or existing professional relationships.LinkedIn Stats and Metrics• 50% of all accounts are owned by the decision makers in the company• There are 45+ million accounts in US followed by India with 8+ million accounts• 2 billion people searches were performed on LinkedIn in 2010• LinkedIn has grown in such popularity that one new member account is created per second• LinkedIn is most commonly used for generating leads, job search, and recruitment.Sources:LinkedIn by the Numbers, http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6147/LinkedIn-by-the-Numbers-Infographic.aspx and How LinkedIn Is Taking Care of Business, http://mashable.com/2011/03/24/linkedin-overview-infographic/XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Why should XYZ Company use LinkedIn?Besides being able to expand the company’s presence on the web, LinkedIn could be beneﬁcialfor other reasons.1. Updates can be sent regularly to XYZ Company users via email on the status of their connections, thus giving them reason to reach out to that connection again and again.2. More and more email browsers (including Outlook and Gmail) are incorporating social media display features in their applications. This allows people receiving email correspondences to also see what social networks are associated with that business email address. It not only lets receivers connect with you immediately through their inbox, it also helps add a “face” to the sender of the email.Please note: There is a risk that XYZ Company employees will be contacted by recruiterson LinkedIn concerning external positions. This is something that should be planned foror expected by upper management.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
XYZ Employee ProfilesCreating a LinkedIn proﬁle requires no upfront cost and minimum effort on the part of the user.Employees who have and use a LinkedIn account have the opportunity to learn more about theirexisting or new business relationships. It can also immensely help a sales representative make aconnection with a person that may have no previous relationship with them or give them talkingpoints before any cold calls are made.To maximize the effectiveness of a proﬁle, a strategy should be deﬁned and used by employees asa guide in creating their “complete” LinkedIn proﬁle.A “Complete” LinkedIn ProﬁleIt is my recommendation and LinkedIn’s that a user have a “complete” proﬁle. To be “complete” byLinkedIn standards, a user will need to: • Add a photo • List their current title • List their previous places of work or previous titles at XYZ Company • List their schools attended • Get recommendations from peersThe more complete your proﬁle is, the more likely people will be able to ﬁnd you or make thedecision to connect with you. A proﬁle picture is an extremely important part of an account because it not only allows the connection to recognize you, it immediately establishes there is a live person behind the account. The picture should be very business like and professional.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Proﬁle EnhancementsA LinkedIn proﬁle can have additional enhancements incorporated into the layout. These couldinclude additional links to related websites, blogs, twitter feeds, and other LinkedIn applications.While these proﬁle enhancements are great additions, they are not required to have a successfulLinkedIn presence.At the very least, all XYZ Company sales employees should have a “complete” proﬁle andkeep it as professional as possible. Avoid posting any personal information or updates.Personal sharing is better suited for other social networking sites. LinkedIn is considered aprofessional and business environment.SEO for LinkedInOne big beneﬁt of your LinkedIn proﬁle is that it can be optimized for search engines and helpensure your LinkedIn proﬁle is visible when someone does a search for your name on Google orany of the other search engines. The three places that SEO are really applied in your proﬁle includethe URL that you select for your proﬁle, the summary section that detail your specialties, and theanchor text in your website links.1. XYZ Company Employees should make sure that their proﬁle or personal URL is as close to their actual name as possible to what is available on LinkedIn, not an alias or nickname.2. XYZ Company employees should use this summary section to list business related keywords as well as keywords associated with the brands they specialize in (Round Widget management, Square Peg sales, Logistic management, Compliant specialist, etc.) as well as any additional keywords that have to do with their current position requirements.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
3. XYZ Company employees have the option to add links to related websites on their proﬁle. They can use this section to post links to all the XYZ Company websites related to their brand and also capitalize on keywords (i.e. “Marketing” is a keyword listed below). When adding a website you input the actual URL into LinkedIn, but have the option to anchor certain keywords to the link.XYZ Company employees should in their proﬁles list at least one or at max of three of the followingsites with the following anchor text: • XYZ Company - http://www.xyzcompany.com/ • Round Widget Store - http://www.roundwidgets.com/ • Square Peg Store - http://www.squarepegs.com/Begin Connecting with Your PeersOnce your proﬁle is setup, start connecting with people you know. These could include family andfriends, but most often with LinkedIn, it includes peers, coworkers, business partners, and clients.LinkedIn has built in features that help you locate existing contacts using your email service. Thisshould be the ﬁrst step in increasing your LinkedIn network of connections.You may also do searches within LinkedIn for names of your peers or search for companies andtheir employees that you would like to connect with.Once you have made connections with other LinkedIn proﬁles, LinkedIn will be able to distinguishwhat networks you share with another person either through direct connections or connectionsthat are two or three people deep. If someone would like to connect with you, but may not knowyou directly, they have the option to request an “introduction” through the person you areconnected with. This can also work in the reverse and is an excellent prospecting tool.The goal of LinkedIn is to have as many real life connections as possible. The larger yourLinkedIn network, the larger your reach for prospects or current customers.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Updating Your Proﬁle StatusAll LinkedIn proﬁles allow you to put a status that can remain static or be updated frequently. Thestatus can be changed manually once logging in to your proﬁle or integrated with services such asTwitter to automatically be updated when a new post is made. The purpose of the status is toshare with your network what is happening with you professionally. Suggestions for status updatescould include:• Dates and locations of upcoming events and trade shows• Announcements of new product lines in your brand• Conferences you are attending or cities you will be visiting for work• Links to read industry related articles or websites of interestXYZ Company employees should take advantage of the status feature to keep their connectionsup-to-date with what is happening at the company. If the updates aren’t made on a regular basis,then a schedule should be put in place to make regular status updates. It is not advised to leavethe update section stagnant.Get RecommendedLinkedIn proﬁles have the ability to give and receive recommendations from other LinkedInmembers. Recommendations on LinkedIn have the same basic rules as they do in the real world.They cannot be forced from another member and the recommendation is only as strong as theperson writing makes it.XYZ Company employees have the option to ask their connections directly for recommendations.While this will work in most situations, I have found it more effective to ﬁrst recommend someonethat you are looking to get recommended by. After your connection has received notice that youhave written a recommendation about them, the user has the ability to approve thatrecommendation and post to their proﬁle. LinkedIn then prompts them to “return the favor” andrecommend you back. Most connections will take this friendly gesture and recommend you asthey see ﬁt.Recommendations are important to proﬁles because it gives third party insight into your skills as aprofessional and a closer look into how you interact with your peers in real life.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn Employee ProfileChecklistPlease have all participating XYZ Company employees use the following checklist as a guideline forsetting up their LinkedIn proﬁles. Add Proﬁle picture Add current and previous job descriptions Add Education Add links to related XYZ Company websites Select Proﬁle URL close to your name Start adding connections to your network Determine a status update schedule Recommend key people in your network (ask them to do the same) Seek out and join industry related groups (participate when applicable)XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
XYZ Company LinkedIn ProfileIn addition to being able to have individual employee proﬁles, LinkedIn also allows companies tocreate company proﬁles. These company proﬁles can act as a micro site for the company’s coreproducts and services, give an outsider a view of what that particular company does or stands for,and be a place for companies to post new job openings.What the LinkedIn company proﬁle could include • The company logo • Company bio or description • A list of all employees who are registered on LinkedIn (must be listed in their proﬁle) • A list of open positions (posted as needed) • A Products and Services Tab to describe each brand • A sliding banner of images (three max - 640 x 220) with links to outside pages or websites • Embeds of existing YouTube videos • Product recommendations from customers (must be submitted by customers)XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Company Proﬁle BasicsIf XYZ Company is planning on pushing key employee proﬁles on LinkedIn, they should also planon creating a company proﬁle. At the very least, the company proﬁle should include the companylogo and company description. I would also recommend creating and putting some thought intothe “Products and Services” tab and fully deﬁne all the different XYZ Company brands.Audience SegmentationOne of the more appealing features of the Company proﬁle page is that your can tailor its lookbased upon the LinkedIn user who is viewing it. LinkedIn allows you to “create an audiencesegment” which could be divided among a particular proﬁle’s job title, seniority, company size,industry, location, etc.For XYZ Company, this feature could be especially useful when appealing to the different brands orindustries. For example, someone in the Round Widget industry could see more tailoredmessages on the company page that could be completely different from one seen by a proﬁle inthe Square Peg industry.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn Company ProfileChecklistPlease use the following checklist as a guideline for setting up the XYZ Company LinkedIncompany proﬁle. Designate an XYZ Company employee who will mange and take ownership of the companyproﬁle Add company logo Add company description Create a Product and Services tab for the XYZ Company brands (Round Widgets, SquarePegs, etc.)Optional: Add any open positions to “Careers” tab Create multiple audience segments Create three 640 x 220 banners to feature the XYZ Company brands and link to their sites Upload existing XYZ Company videos to YouTube then embed them into the company proﬁle Request product recommendations from existing XYZ Company customersXYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Other LinkedIn ConsiderationsThe following are other capabilities or opportunities to be taken advantage of on LinkedIn. Manywere not included in my initial recommendations because they did not ﬁt with the company goalsand may require more attention and resources than the XYZ Company is willing to expend.Monitor Company page analytics • Company pages have a built in analytics feature. This will help you gauge how often visitors are coming to your page. If you notice larger amounts of trafﬁc to company proﬁle page, then more enhancements should be added to your proﬁle.Answer LinkedIn Community Questions • This is for employee proﬁles. Existing LinkedIn users pose questions to the whole community having to do with issues they are having in their ﬁeld. By answering questions posed by other LinkedIn members, XYZ Company employees can establish themselves as industry experts. Every time they answer a question it also appears on their proﬁles for the other users to view. Questions should only be engaged and answered by an employee if they will be able to constructively contribute to the person posing the question.Create an Industry Related Group • XYZ Company employees are urged to join industry related groups in order to expand their LinkedIn connections. But what if there is no current group that ﬁts XYZ Company’s niche? They should start their own group to attract related prospects.Contribute content to your new group or third party industry related group • Any group created by XYZ Company or joined by an XYZ Company employee should not be solely focused on promoting XYZ Company and its products (that is what the company proﬁle is for). Groups should focus on promoting the industry in general and include constructive and quality discussions with members.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation
Create events within your industry related group • LinkedIn Groups have the ability to create and invite members to a particular event. It allows for event RSVP and comments to be made by group members. XYZ Company could use this feature to promote upcoming trade shows and invite prospects to attend.Set up a LinkedIn DirectAds Campaign to promote your services • There have been conﬂicting reports on the effectiveness of LinkedIn DirectAds. Many of the reports suggest that LinkedIn ads tend to come at a higher cost to companies who advertise with them in comparison to other mediums such as AdWords. However, there are reports that show the targeting for LinkedIn ads is thorough and could help XYZ Company reach business prospects who are the decision makers for a company.XYZ Company LinkedIn Recommendation