Social Media Management On LinkedIn: A Guide
On LinkedIn, strategic networking meets professional storytelling. The platform offers CEOs, thought leaders, and founders the opportunity to define their company’s narrative. It’s a marketing channel for business, a chance to amplify a company’s presence, and a direct line to customers, clients, potential recruits, other thought leaders, the media, and more.
And the platform is growing. It recently passed the 1 billion users milestone.
But to get the most use out of the networking behemoth, strategy and thought are required. A combination of creativity, strategic thinking, and technical proficiency, the right social media management approach brings intentionality to your LinkedIn voice.
In this guide, we’ll start with a brief look at social media management in general, then look at how it applies to LinkedIn. We’ll also get into the benefits of social media management on LinkedIn, share a few tips and best practices, and explore some of the tools you can use.
Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or a long-time user, a small business owner or a seasoned exec, you’ll find something in this post that you can use to leverage LinkedIn’s potential for thought leadership and corporate branding.
What is Social Media Management?
Anyone who’s used a social media platform before probably has some inkling of what social media management is, whether or not they’ve thought of it in those terms. Basically, it’s taking what we normally do—posting and engaging with content—but adding strategy to the mix. This includes purposeful content, engagement, scheduling, and analysis.
Social media management can also refer to hiring a specialized agency to manage your social media for you. A firm that specializes in strategic branding and thought leadership can help you decide on and achieve your goals. These might include building and maintaining an online presence, connecting with your target audience, finding new employees, finding new clients, and achieving other marketing and branding objectives.
Whether you choose to invest the time and energy, or decide to hire a team of professionals, social media management can be broken down into several components:
- Content Creation and Curation: An effective LinkedIn account demands a steady stream of attention. Original content, including articles, insights, opinions, images, videos, articles, and relevant content from sources other than yourself should align with brand messaging and resonate with the target audience.
- Scheduling and Publishing: How much should you post, and when? Scheduling enables you to plan and publish content at optimal times for visibility and engagement.
- Community Engagement: Actively engaging with comments, messages, and mentions, as well as participating in conversations related to your brand or industry, will help you build your network and presence as a thought leader.
- Analytics and Reporting: By looking at reach, engagement, click-through rates, and audience demographics, you or your agency can see where best to direct time, resources and talent.
Social Media Management on LinkedIn
LinkedIn differs from other social media channels in many small but important details. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, where connections might have little in common other than a fondness for cat memes, LinkedIn is where professionals connect on the basis of shared business goals. To this end, you will want to approach the platform differently by doing the following:
- focus on connecting with other professionals, industry leaders, and potential clients or partners
- post content that is business-oriented and gives value, such as news or thoughts on industry trends, thought leadership, and other career-related topics
- showcase your company’s culture and share job opportunities to engage with potential candidates
- participate in or create industry-specific groups to facilitate discussions and networking opportunities
- build B2B relationships and lead generation
Benefits of using LinkedIn
There are several benefits to using LinkedIn, some obvious, some not so much. Here are a few:
- Professional networking. The savvy LinkedIn user is able to navigate the platform to find and communicate with peers and industry leaders. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, is someone who has built his network through smart interfacing with other industry leaders, professionals and influencers on the platform.
- Relationship building. LinkedIn lets users not just connect with other industry leaders and professionals but to build relationships. LinkedIn’s own Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner proved adept at this alchemy through sharing thoughtful content, engaging with followers, and telling personal stories.
- Talent acquisition. LinkedIn has proven to be a valuable recruitment tool for companies across various industries find top talent. According to a recent study, more than 58 million companies are listed on the site and 77 percent of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn.
- Brand and Crisis Management. Because LinkedIn serves as a direct pipeline to your peers, CEOs can use the platform to address concerns, share updates, and demonstrate transparency and authenticity.
- Industry Insights and Market Intelligence. LinkedIn is a two-way platform; it’s not just for messaging and disseminating information, but for learning and receiving. Information about industry trends, latest developments, competitors, and market dynamics are there for the asking. Simply follow relevant influencers, join industry groups, and monitor discussions.
Tips for Effective LinkedIn management
No matter how much time or energy you want to put into social media, incorporating some basic tips can amplify your message, increase followers, and generally spruce up your presence.
Some basic social media management tips for LinkedIn include:
Profile Optimization. For both your personal and company LinkedIn profiles use a professional profile picture, write a compelling headline, and provide a summary that reflects your expertise and the values of your company. Include detailed information, endorsements, and recommendations to build credibility.
Example: Tobias Lütke, the CEO of Shopify checks many of the boxes for optimization on his profile: professional headshot; a well-crafted summary (“Tobias Lütke is CEO and co-founder of Shopify, the marquee shopping cart system of the e-commerce industry); and inclusion of skills and endorsements, recommendations, projects and achievements, education and certification, and a customized URL.
Craft Engaging Content That Resonates With Your Target Audience. Post news, behind-the-scenes video, and opinions/insights that bring value to your audience. If you’re unsure of who your target audience is, a thought leadership branding agency can help.
Example: As CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella has positioned himself as a thought leaders in the tech industry. He has done this by posting about the future of technology, artificial intelligence, his company’s role in shaping the digital landscape, and Microsoft’s vision and values.
Define Your Strategy. What are your goals and objectives? Whether it’s thought leadership, lead generation, or brand awareness, having a well-defined strategy will guide your content creation and engagement efforts.
Example: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, uses LinkedIn to bolster her mission of social change through philanthropy, global health, and women’s empowerment. She does this through posts that highlight the impact of her foundation’s initiatives.
Engage with Your Network. This should go without saying, but at the same time it bears repeating: the more you give the more you get. Engaging with your connections builds relationships and enhances your visibility on the platform. Comment on and share your connections’ content, respond promptly to comments on your own posts, and join relevant discussions in industry groups.
Example: Ryan Smith, co-founder and former CEO of Qualtrics, has been known to engage with comments and foster discussions within his LinkedIn community.
Tools for Social Media Management on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers several in-house tools. There are also many third-party apps and services that can help target your advertising to specific demographics and maximize your marketing ROI.
LinkedIn Live lets you broadcast live video from your profile. Viewers can engage with the live stream in real time. A bonus is that live video content may be featured on the LinkedIn Live platform, beyond the user’s immediate connections.
LinkedIn Events is a space where you can create professional networking events such as webinars, conferences, and meetups.
LinkedIn Analytics allows you to analyze the performance of your content, helping you understand which posts resonate most with your audience. You can also track engagement metrics and adjust your strategy based on the data.
Third-party tools like HootSuite and Buffer allow you to plan and schedule posts in advance as well as track engagement. With content recycling tool MeetEdgar you can create evergreen content that automatically schedules and reshuffles posts over time. Sendible and Zoho Social offer social listening and brand-mention monitoring features.
Social media management on LinkedIn isn’t rocket science, but it’s certainly no walk in the park either. Time, effort, and energy are required to get the most out of the social media platform, especially for CEOs and founders who are intent on building their brand as a thought leader. You might be able to take on these tasks yourself, but for executives busy building and leading companies, hiring a thought leadership branding agency with social media management services may be your best bet.