Q&A: Everything You Wanted to Know About Using LinkedIn For Free

October 10, 2015

Using LinkedIn For Free

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Carolyn Pawelek, Vice President of Services at Spredfast.

LinkedIn and Spredfast recently hosted a webinar focused on how to get the most from your LinkedIn Company page without having to dip into your budget. Our speakers included LinkedIn, Spredfast customers Highmark Health and Level3 Communications, as well as myself from Spredfast. All of the speakers did a phenomenal job offering strategies and practical advice. So much so, in fact, that we used most of the hour and only had time for a few questions right at the end. But, after looking at the unanswered questions (and there were a lot) we decided to answer a few here below.

How to Use LinkedIn For Free: Your Questions Answered

Q: Do you find specific styles of content work better than others?

Every LinkedIn Company Page has a unique audience makeup with their own content preference. So figuring out your audience’s preference should be first. Research done at Spredfast and many other sources have found strong evidence that videos and images far outperform your standard issue text update, and LinkedIn offers many ways to incorporate different media. For example, SlideShare Decks and YouTube videos shared in status updates will play directly within your followers’ LinkedIn feed. Rich media like this helps your brand stand out and drives higher engagement rates.

During the Webinar, Level 3 Communications shared the type of content that resonates best with their audience:

  • Case Studies
  • Blog Posts
  • Maps/Visuals
  • Infographics
  • Social Events

Q: Can you provide additional information on the reporting and dashboards mentioned?

During the webinar all of the speakers talked a lot about understanding your audience and creating content that is relevant to them. Using the Spredfast Conversations product we can quickly determine not only the professional demographics of a LinkedIn Company Page or Showcase Page, but also the top content resonating with that audience.

You can also use these dashboards to look at engagement rates on posts, both individually and as an aggregate, over a specific period of time, and within the context of a specific campaign.. This all goes to say, the power is in LinkedIn’s knowledge of the type of folks that follow your Company Page and learning the type of content that will most likely resonate with them.

Q: How do you schedule posts?

The best way to schedule posts on LinkedIn is to use a platform like Spredfast. This allows you to take full advantage of all of the targeting attributes available to you natively, as well as plan out your content within the context of an editorial calendar.

As an example, within Spredfast you can target your posts across a variety of attributes on LinkedIn.

Q: Can you comment on the usefulness of auto-posting and how it works into your strategy?

Auto-posting certainly has its place in many strategies, but it’s generally not a good idea. You must be very careful not be spammy or run afoul of LinkedIn’s own policy regarding auto-posting. Whether you are trying to automate the syndication of company blog posts, activate employees to share company content, or even announce job openings, auto-posting could come across as disingenuous and (even worse) annoying.

Q: Any advice for a small, time-strapped small businesses? Would you use LinkedIn differently?

I think the same rules apply for both large and small companies on LinkedIn. The real difference is in the ability to create content and support the page offline IRL. I would bet the person asked this question has LinkedIn as one of many responsibilities and has exactly 5 minutes in a week to think about LinkedIn. Sound familiar? I would also bet they would be surprised to learn that this can be the case even at large corporations with huge budgets.

The advice I have is to consider what you want folks who visit your page to get out of that experience. Put thought into the type of content you want to share. As an example, our webinar presenter from Highmark Health shared that their goals are to be thought leaders in the space and to position themselves as a diversified business to recruit talent. They do this by mixing up their content into a few strategic topics:

  • Showcasing Leadership
  • General Wellness at Work
  • Showcase Employees
  • Company News and Innovation
  • Career Tips
  • Benefits of Employment (cool perks)

For a small business this can be as simple as sharing industry news that you find by following other industry-related pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs. Using your own company blog (or starting one) is another great source of material to post to your LinkedIn Company Page. Probably the best thing you can do is map out a weekly calendar of when you want to post and what you want to post about.

Q: For company blogs shared on LinkedIn, do you recommend citing the author's name or going anonymous?

By making that blog anonymous, you are missing a huge opportunity to show off the talent you have at your company. At Spredfast we revel in putting our employees front and center. This empowers our employees to share with their own network, creates a positive moment for them to remember, and promotes others to contribute as well. So yes, cite the author name and even consider encouraging users to publish posts on their own. Who knows - it might make it into Pulse!

As you can see, we covered a large variety of topics related to success on LinkedIn Company Pages. The popularity of LinkedIn Company Pages continues to be a reason it is a crucial part of any business's online strategy. To learn more about how to get the most out of your LinkedIn Company Page, check out the full  on-demand webcast here or check out the SlideShare below. For more information on Spredfast and how we can help with your LinkedIn Company Page, download this helpful tip sheet and request a demo today!

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