LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking platforms in the world, with over 260 million monthly active users.

LinkedIn is for the professionals, the driven individuals looking to succeed, well not really, that’s just the stereotype – but it is definitely a career based social media platform designed for networking.

Essentially, every picture, video, and article you post carries your reputation with it. A potential employer or your current boss could be watching your every move, so is it really worth sharing?

On a personal level, posting articles and industry-related content, but marketing your business on LinkedIn, well that’s another story. One wrong move and your business’ reputation could be put into an unrecoverable state, but don’t worry, this article is going to tell you the risks involved with LinkedIn marketing, and how to overcome them.

1) Controversy

An established business or any business for that matter does not want controversy.

Why is there a risk of controversy on LinkedIn?

As I mentioned, LinkedIn is full of industry professionals, clients, and potential customers, who all have strong opinions on pretty much everything. You may think this sounds good, it’s engagement right? Well, it’s the wrong type of engagement, the type that could damage your reputation.

Posting your opinion on controversial stories is a big NO. These stories may be important and relevant, but LinkedIn is not the place to share them.

Even as little as posting the services you offer can seem needy and unprofessional, resulting in others posting nasty comments that make you look bad. At the end of the day, it’s bombarding the platform with pushy advertisements, leaving less space to network and actually share what’s important.

Dealing with controversy is a difficult one, your response must be professional and polite, trying not to initiate any further conflict. Your best option is to not put yourself in a vulnerable position in the first place.

Here is an example of what not to post:

(Source: Top Dog)

 

2) Consistency

In order for your network to recognize you in a crowd of other businesses, you must be consistent.

There are two factors that must remain consistent throughout your LinkedIn profile, tone of voice and content. Each bit of content or written messaging that is released must sound like it is coming from the same person, this creates a more personal relationship with your audience and sounds like you are communicating directly with them.

However, tone of voice and content work hand in hand. Content must be posted on a regular basis to keep your page engagement high, but you should restrain yourself from posting too much as you run the risk of being regarded as spam.

Marking your latest product/service on LinkedIn could definitely bring in results, but once the campaign is over unless you deliver consistent content, people are going to become uninterested and leave (unfollow you or unsubscribe from your services, etc).

Finally, your content must be visually consistent. Every time you post something on LinkedIn, you want to be recognized immediately. It must be visually appealing and relay some form of value to the consumer.

3) Spam Connection Requests

Sending 100’s of company page invites can seem appealing, but it is probably one of the worst ways to grow your following on LinkedIn.

Personal customer relationships are driving today’s market. Loyalty and trust are two of the most important factors when building your client base and presence online.

Therefore, the best thing you can do on Linkedin is to simply send out personal messages to a relevant audience that are interested in the same niche your business operates in. Your message should come across informal, friendly and polite, outlining your reasons for wanting to invite them to your page.

Think of it like this, when you walk into a shop you don’t want to be immediately hassled, all you would like is to take your time browsing until you need assistance. Take the same approach on LinkedIn, provide value to customers as a means of invitation, then continue to provide value until your customers are prepared to convert into consumers.

What makes a personal message effective?

When sending your invitation, use the recipient’s name, act like you already know them. An added surprise to grab their attention could be a promotional discount specific to them, providing a personalized checkout code.

4) Employee Involvement

A marketing agency is quite often the first port of call for a business trying to boost its presence online, but the benefit of using LinkedIn is its ability to connect a business page with its employees.

Say you employ 20 people, those 20 LinkedIn profiles connect you with potentially 100’s of different connections that have never been exposed to your business. This is a great opportunity to promote your latest product/service to boost your page engagement and visibility.

Now I know what you are thinking, I said marketing your business on LinkedIn can seem needy and unprofessional, but not if it’s coming from employees that are proudly announcing their involvement in a recent product launch for example.

Although the purpose behind using your employees to market your business is to drive brand awareness, it allows your employees to feel like they are making a difference and play a valued role within your company.

5) Interesting With Reviews

Displaying your reviews on your website is important, but having them on social media is key. In 2019 alone, 53% of traffic online came from mobile devices, so it’s crucial to have product reviews easily accessible on your social media pages.

No business is immune to negative reviews, there isn’t too much you can do about it. But actually listening to your customers is essential when converting these negative reviews into ones that provide useful information on how you efficiently deal with problems.

As I said, no business is perfect, to be honest, if a product only had 5-star positive reviews it would look suspicious.

The more you confront issues and address how you intend to act on them, customers will understand that you are constantly developing and striving to produce what’s best for them.

6) Embracing Change

LinkedIn like any online platform is constantly updating along with its users, so it’s important you embrace these changes and update your existing strategy.

Change of this sort can seem like a big deal amongst a busy schedule and the daily running of a business, however, if you fail to do so, it can negatively affect your online presence, sales and have a knock-on effect to the rest of your business.

How can you tell when your strategy is ineffective?

If you see a drastic change in your page following or engagement, it may suggest you are doing something wrong. Break your engagement down into page views, visits, and specific post engagement to identify what is happening.

If you fail to identify it, search the web for recent LinkedIn trends or even see if any regional/global events could be affecting you.

At the end of the day, just ask your customers what they want to see in your future content–listening to your audience will gain their respect.

Key Take-Aways:

  • LinkedIn has over 260 million active users
  • Your reputation is on the line with everything you post
  • Avoid covering political or religious topics in the news that could introduce controversy
  • Content must hold a consistent tone of voice, be visually consistent and posted regularly
  • Spend time inviting relevant customers instead of spamming large groups of people
  • Try marketing your business through your employees as an alternative approach
  • In 2019 alone, 53% of traffic online came from mobile devices, therefore, product reviews should be shown on your LinkedIn page
  • Confront negative reviews with a professional and constructive response
  • Embrace change if necessary to stay relevant
  • The customer always comes first, just ask them what type of content they want to see, they will respect you for it

Tom Welborne founder and director The Good Marketer is a Marketing Agency in London which drives more traffic, generates conversions and increases sales for Small-To-Medium Sized Businesses.

LinkedIn stock photo by Natee Meepian/Shutterstock