How 2 Startups Drive Steady Growth through LinkedIn Marketing
February 19, 2020
Growing brand awareness, engaging a targeted audience through thought leadership, and attracting talent: These are key objectives for any business, but especially early-stage startups carving out their identity in the market.
Of course, they’ve set their sights on the world’s largest professional network to aid their growth strategies. To get a handle on where startups are succeeding on LinkedIn with these endeavors, we spoke with leaders from two emerging startups that are driving impressive results on the platform.
You can learn from their experiences and insights below.
Benefits of LinkedIn Marketing for Startups
Reaching the right target audiences is essential for founders and their growing startups. LinkedIn, as the world's largest professional ecosystem, offers an unequaled concentration of target audiences to make relevant connections and gain credible awareness.
With the right moves — beginning with a complete LinkedIn Page and followed by strategic activities to build upon it — startups can quickly develop a powerful community of prospective customers, influencers, employees, stakeholders, and business partners. This network is an indispensable asset for achieving the most critical objectives in creating sustainable growth.
To see this dynamic in action, let’s unpack the stories of two startups that hit key milestones and goals through savvy marketing on LinkedIn.
How 2 Startups Achieve Their Growth Goals on LinkedIn
In some cases, the actions conducive to growing on LinkedIn are those you might expect. In other cases, they are more subtle and surprising. You’ll find both types covered in these examples. Below them, we distill best practices from these stories to make the learnings actionable.
How this Child Welfare Startup Binti Boosted Awareness and Increased Page Following
The Company: Binti, a mission-driven tech company focused in re-inventing Child Welfare
The Goal: Increase brand awareness & recruit top talent
The Outcome: Doubled LinkedIn Page followers in six months
Binti, a mission-driven technology company focused on creating software to help connect foster parents with children in need of safe and loving homes, is a different type of tech company. Since CEO and Founder, Felicia Curcuru, launched the organization in 2017, they’ve helped over 18,000 families gain approval to foster and adopt children, and over 5,000 social workers now use Binti as their primary workspace in the office and in the field.
To continue realizing their vision and growing their organization, Binti turned their focus to LinkedIn. Their goals were to drive brand awareness and hire the top engineering talent. Jenn Gabriana, the first recruiter to join their team, took on the initiative of reimagining their organization’s LinkedIn Page. She knew that, in order for Binti to differentiate themselves and stand out in a competitive talent market, they needed to showcase their team’s unique and purpose-driven culture.
Over the course of her recruiting career, Jenn had built up her own LinkedIn Profile and grew her network considerably, picking up more than a few good learnings to leverage for Binti’s Page.
With these learnings in mind, the first steps she took were:
- Aligning the look and feel of the Page to Binti’s vibrant company culture. Jenn added their logo and a fun team photo as their banner image to show talent prospects what it would be like to work for Binti.
Drafting an “Overview” that put their inspiring mission front and center. Today, their Overview opens with, “We believe every child deserves the care and support of a loving family.” Simple yet powerful, this message conveys what their organization is all about and lays the foundation for building relationships with Page visitors and followers.
Updating their company size to reflect recent growth. After consistently adding top talent to the team, it was important for Binti to reflect their growing employee base in their Page’s About tab.
Posting with an always-on cadence, with an emphasis on employee stories. Jenn understood that diversity and representation played a huge role in Binti’s brand story, so she regularly spotlighted their diverse talent pool to stand out in the feed.
With these steps, Binti increased their visibility and community on the platform, growing their following significantly in under six months. Around the same time, they noticed that customers started to @mention Binti in their posts, even without being asked, helping them gain even further momentum. Binti is excited about its growing LinkedIn presence because this will help them attract great talent for their growing team and support them in fulfilling their mission of helping every child have a family.
AMP Robotics Supercharges Engagement and Shatters Benchmarks
The Company: AMP Robotics, technology provider of A.I. + robotics for identifying and recovering material to recycle
The Goal: Establish thought leadership to drive content engagement
The Outcome: 3.5X increase in weekly impressions per post on LinkedIn
AMP Robotics is an industrial artificial intelligence and robotics company with a bold mission: using technology to reinvent the way we approach material recycling. Through automation, the company is bringing greater effectiveness and efficiency to the identification, sorting, and process of material streams, with positive impacts on the planet and bottom lines. They took to LinkedIn to spread their important message.
In the spring of 2019, AMP Robotics had fewer than 200 LinkedIn Page followers. Seeking to create awareness and grow their impact on the platform, the company set its sights on growing organic engagement for its posts — an objective that laddered up to several others (brand-building, recruitment, earned media coverage). The team consulted with LinkedIn reps and received a list of optimization suggestions, which were duly implemented.
When we checked in again shortly after the start of 2020, AMP reported dramatic improvements. By following recommendations — which included posting more frequently, using relevant hashtags, and tagging stakeholders or companies when warranted — the company saw two of its posts reach unprecedented levels of engagement, while also observing an overall upward trend (average weekly impressions went from 200-300 to 700, trending towards 1,500+ per post). Most exciting, metrics showed an increase in senior-level visitors to the Page.
“It’s skyrocketing,” says Chris Wirth, Vice President of Marketing, of AMP’s LinkedIn Page engagement. “Total hockey stick. As a startup in an established B2B industry, LinkedIn has been a critical channel for us to build our brand and share our story.”
The post below exemplifies the enlightened approach to LinkedIn posting:
Promoting a company founder’s thought leadership: With a visionary purpose, its key to have leaders like Matanya Horowitz telling AMP’s story the world, and to highlight these moments on the Page. Tagging his LinkedIn profile helps get the update in front of his own personal network.
Tagging a partner industry publication: Tagging Robotics Business Review in the post gives AMP a chance to tap into a highly relevant audience and possibly earn additional coverage.
Using hashtags judiciously: Hashtags are definitely recommended, but we urge Page admins not overdo it – fewer than 10 is typically most effective. Here, AMP includes six hashtags and they’re all very pertinent to the subject.
Co-opting momentum from an event: One of those hashtags, of course, is #ces2020, where Horowitz gave the talk. We frequently see big boosts for LinkedIn Pages when they ramp up the content around major industry conferences and gatherings.
The end result illustrates the upward trend with 1,682 impressions.
Best Practices for Startups on LinkedIn
What are these companies doing right? We rounded up top takeaways from their successes:
Complete your LinkedIn profile by adding a logo, overview, organization info, and call-to-action.
Post and share content with regularity (we recommend at least weekly).
Develop a consistent message that strikes a chord with those you want to reach.
Leverage the networks of the company’s founder(s), who often have significantly more connections than the organization’s LinkedIn Page has followers, by tagging them and having them share Page content on their personal profiles.
Highlight your happy employees by sharing photos from work functions, touting their accomplishments, and tagging their profiles in your posts to gain more visibility in their networks.
Use relevant hashtags whenever possible — especially if it ties to a major event or trend in your industry.
When linking out to third-party coverage of your brand, tag the author’s LinkedIn profile.
You can find a comprehensive roundup of tips, recommendations, and examples in the LinkedIn Pages Action Plan for Startups. Happy growing!