12 Secrets To Getting More Event Business From LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional social network that can drive traffic and leads. Here are 12 secrets for event planners to get the most out of the platform.
As probably the most underestimated social media platform, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you connect to potential clients, customers, partners or industry experts because it aims to cater to professionals and therefore it is the perfect place to reach a valuable audience. With a high B2B marketing focus it is also a great opportunity to establish you as a thought leader and industry expert.
That being said, there have been a lot of changes to the platform, particularly since the takeover by Microsoft. Here are 12 things you should be doing to get the most from LinkedIn.
Before anything else, fully complete your account profile and get an all-star rating. LinkedIn prompts you to add relevant details. Reaching all-star shows you are serious about LinkedIn as a social platform and it’s not that difficult to do. In order to reach this status;
- Connect with 50+ people in your network
- Add at least 3 skills to your profile (but list extra skills to make you more searchable)
- Upload an up to date profile picture
- Add your education experience and qualifications
- Include your industry, location, current position and a description of what you do
- Add at least 2 previous work histories
This is a good starting point that will give people something to look at when clicking on your profile and helps to make you searchable straight away.
Make It Visual
As with most social media channels, visual content performs much better in terms of engagement, sharing and helping to catch the eye in feeds, so when posting a status update or a post within a group include a vibrant and relevant image.
Also, a clean and professional header image and profile photo is a must for your LinkedIn profile and any pages you create because you are being judged in more of a professional capacity than other social platforms so avoid selfies, grainy images or holiday shots. Ideally try to have professional headshots taken.
Link To Your Websites
LinkedIn claims it has 500 million users, however it has less active daily users as Facebook and other social networks as the nature of the site favours more sporadic visits, perhaps a few times a week or month. It does however serve a very specific purpose and the user base are professionals, attracting director and c-suite executives. Make sure your websites and other relevant links are listed on your profile as LinkedIn can provide high-value referrals seeking more specific business information. Encourage connections from current and potential clients and connections by adding a LinkedIn button to your email footer and a direct link from your bio on your website. Make sure that you can be easily found in a professional context so that other customers and clients can follow you and be part of your network. Also be proactive yourself on the platform reaching out to people you have met in real life or communicated with in business. The larger your network the greater the potential to connect with new contacts and those you know have the opportunity to endorse your skills.
Linking to your website(s) helps to drive traffic and back up any skills or comments you have made on your profile by providing evidence of your company, job role and authority to be recognized as an online influencer.
Follow Up Leads
With a higher conversion rate of site traffic to lead ratios according to LinkedIn’s own research, it is 277% more effective than Twitter or Facebook. This is a powerful statistic and reason to invest some time into the platform. If you are not using LinkedIn effectively you can be sure that your competitors are.
Aside from potential contact via your website, LinkedIn allows you to see how many people and who specifically has viewed your profile page so you can pursue these potential leads or at the very least make new connections and expand your network.
Industry specific groups are the most valuable part of LinkedIn. You can find groups for every niche and join in with conversations with industry experts. Active groups are a wealth of information and a place to ask questions, learn from others, debate, gather inspiration, share valuable content and keep up to date. Groups are also great places to engage in new connections and even potentially to find more business.
There are many fantastic LinkedIn Groups for eventprofs to join. The largest and most active is the Event Planning and Event Management group, established by Julius Solaris, editor of EventMB, in 2007. With over 365k members there is a lot of expertise and value the group offers. There are also various related groups focusing on specific elements which are worth joining:
- Social Media and Event Technology for Event Planners and Meeting Planners
- Sales & Marketing Tips for Event Planners, Meeting Planners and Event Managers and
- Career Advice for Event Planning and Management.
Be Client Facing
A big mistake that many people make is to purely sell themselves and treat LinkedIn solely as an online resume. Although this can be beneficial it misses out on many opportunities. Instead, update and change your profile regularly so that it is always up to date and demonstrates to potential collaborators your recent achievements, key selling points, who your demographic is, what they can get out of partnering with you and what you can do to help them.
You are more likely to market yourself successfully if you are already telling potential clients or customers how you can help them to achieve their goals. Ultimately, it’s all about what they want and need from you and your profile should reflect this.
Be Creative With Your Profile Headline
Your professional profile headline should be relevant but enticing and urge potential leads to spend more time on your profile. It is tempting to just use your current job title as your headline, after all it is what you do, however this can be generic. Since your headline is searchable and affects your profile SEO, you could add keywords, industry relevant terminology and snippets of information to make it stand out against industry competition.
Focus on Analytics
While there are millions of users, there are a lot of “lurkers” that don’t always invest time engaging and responding directly on LinkedIn. They can however still read and click through so your analytics will be able to identify site traffic, views or leads referred from LinkedIn, even if the actual replies on your posts may be low. As long as you provide value in any content you are posting, you should still see positive results. You can always help engagement by posting pictures, including call to actions within the post to encourage people to respond and also by commenting back and liking replies from anyone that does take the time to engage. Be sure to post regularly to get noticed by those that only check in sporadically. It is important to remember that posting intelligently on LinkedIn can mean that you are more likely to get your content seen by who you want, e.g. decision-makers, as opposed to posts on Facebook or Instagram, which attracts a very different audience and conversion rate.
LinkedIn Showcase Pages
If you haven’t heard of showcase pages and are representing a brand or business, personal or otherwise, you should consider creating them because they are extra content that can spotlight your brand. They can be easily optimized as they are within LinkedIn and show up better in SEO ranking searches, making you more likely to be found within your industry.
In addition to this, showcase pages are particularly good at highlighting specific current business initiatives you are working on because you can use ads to target specific audience demographics and segments to drive engagement higher.
Engaging with followers on LinkedIn is possibly more crucial than on other social networks because followers naturally publicly respond less here so generally well-thought-out, higher-value content will have the best chance of seeing results.
One way in particular to achieve better interaction is to post statuses that ask questions and post discussion questions within groups. LinkedIn has found they receive around 50% more comments on these posts. Creating industry specific questions that suit your network of followers and encourage problem solving allow your connections to show what they know and think, and can be a great incentive to post.
Use LinkedIn Analytics and the App
LinkedIn has its own analytic system which shows who has been viewing your profile and whether this is more or less than previous weeks. LinkedIn will show a preview of some of the people who have visited your profile, although it will hide others, which are only made available to you if you have a premium profile.
There is a LinkedIn app which is a more convenient way to keep up to date on LinkedIn, including tracking responses to content you have posted, updates from contacts within your network and private messages.
Add Great Content
It is important that you add value to your followers and back up your own profile with project wins and achievements. This is the perfect platform to establish yourself as a valuable influencer and attract more leads and traffic to your website and blog. Valuable posts that include links create 40% more engagement. You can even write short blog posts and articles directly via the LinkedIn platform.
Although you want to show your website content off, your LinkedIn activity should include posting a healthy range of links, questions, visually appealing posts and also responding back to other posts and updates from your groups and networks.
Although LinkedIn doesn’t have the same daily traffic of other social networks the professional c-level users mean that is a valuable professional network. LinkedIn can be a great opportunity for event planners to attract business, get referrals, establish themselves as a thought leader and get advice from fellow eventprofs and others within their network.
What are your top tips for using LinkedIn? What do you find most valuable about the platform?
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