You probably know this already, but LinkedIn is amazing.
When it comes to networking with professionals, there is simply no better place to hang out.
Not Snapchat. Not Facebook. Not Huzza. Not Blab. Nada.
LinkedIn is the professional’s jam.
Sitting at 433 million members (as of April 2016) and growing at a rate of 2 new members per second, LinkedIn is a great place to attract business users who are serious about their stuff.
Get a load of these statistics (as of April 2015):
To break it down even further, here are some key demographics of the LinkedIn user base:
Although 128 million members reside in the U.S., LinkedIn’s reach is global. The site has over 1 million users in each of 38 countries.
This large user base makes LinkedIn an ideal platform for marketing B2B products and services.
But here’s the thing. You need to grow your network for these marketing efforts to be effective.
In this article, I’ll discuss LinkedIn hacks that will triple the size of your network, which in turn will lead to more engagement, conversions, and revenue.
This article, in other words, is about you making more money.
Growing your LinkedIn network is how it happens.
1. Include Images in Posts
This might sound like a simple thing, but it’s really important on LinkedIn specifically.
It’s no secret that images increase engagement on social media posts. On LinkedIn, research shows that including a photo increases views 11x.
This means you need a header pic, profile pic, and pictures on all posts you publish to maximize your profile’s viewability.
You can’t just post any images, however. They need to be relevant to your target audience, in which case you’ll need to understand who that audience is.
Let’s deal with that point.
2. Cater to Your Audience
Do you know what your LinkedIn audience wants, likes, needs, and will benefit from?
Everyone’s network is different, but you can make a few assumptions based on the data.
For example, comScore broke down the demographic composition of each social media network. Although LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks among adults aged 30 and older, younger Millennials tend to avoid it.
What this means is you don’t have to worry about being trendy like BuzzFeed on this network. A traditional approach should work just fine on these professionals.
Generate quality leads on LinkedIn by posting unique and sensible content that encourages clicks.
A premium or paid membership on LinkedIn gives you a robust set of data on who’s viewing your profile, reading your posts, and interacting with you. It makes sense to analyze these metrics from time to time.
Whether you look at the data or not, there is one thing you should be doing — getting to know your network.
Interact, message, like, follow, post, and comment around. It will pay off as you get to know your network on a more personal basis.
3. Create a Group
One of the best ways to expand your network is to create a focused LinkedIn group. This will help you attract professionals who are interested in specific topics and give you a platform for your posts.
Another advantage of LinkedIn groups is the ability to share information with people without needing to add them as connections.
Creating a group is an awesome first step to blowing up your network in an amazing way.
4. Engage Your Employees
If your business has employees, you’ll want to engage them on LinkedIn to show off your company culture and help grow your network.
Engaged employees improve your company’s revenue as well. How? Check out these benefits of highly engaged employees.
When your employees are connected to your network and actively engage, you greatly increase the reach of your posts. All it takes is for them to add your business page as their current employer, and they’ll automatically follow your page.
Boosting engagement on LinkedIn should happen close to home — with your current employees.
5. Connect with Customers
Satisfied customers are great brand advocates as well. LinkedIn provides developer tools to allow you to add a “Follow” button to your website.
These customer connections are very likely to endorse you for skills and share your posts to their circles.
Also, adding the LinkedIn Follow button to your website helps you cast a wider net to expand your network beyond just LinkedIn.
6. Share Videos
Video content increases engagement online, especially when used for marketing purposes. It also increases conversions by 80 percent.
Right now, video is huge. And the story is no different on LinkedIn.
Adding video to your LinkedIn posts makes your profile more enticing for visitors and attracts more views.
More information can be relayed in less time, so you’ll grow your network faster.
7. Track Your LinkedIn Analytics
Data analytics are the only way to truly know how any online campaign is doing, and LinkedIn is no different.
Though you can’t track LinkedIn views through Google Analytics or SEMrush, you can track them through the site’s internal analytics.
The Next Web already has a great article detailing which LinkedIn analytics are available and how to access them, so I won’t delve too deeply into it here.
What I will tell you is it’s a great idea to export these metrics into your own spreadsheet or database and track them offline in conjunction with other social networking and web traffic.
8. Start Conversations with Current Connections
There’s no point in building your network if you don’t engage with your current connections. Engaging with your current network allows you to see who’s active and who may be fake.
Fake social media followers can negatively impact your brand’s image, both by people and algorithms, a problem I discuss in more detail on my blog.
The long story short is you’re wasting valuable marketing money for lower returns when engaging with click farms and other fake profiles. Here’s an infographic to drive the point home.
9. Connect LinkedIn to Your Blog
In WordPress, you can easily connect your account to LinkedIn in order to automatically share your posts using the Jetpack plug-in.
This is a key component of your online conversion rate optimization efforts as it helps lead potential customers deeper into your sales funnel. Lead generation is an important aspect of LinkedIn, in case you haven’t been paying attention.
If you’re not already using Jetpack, I honestly don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
10. Create LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Chris Raulf wrote a great post for Social Media Examiner about LinkedIn showcase pages for business.
Whereas your profile and company page are a resume, your showcase page is your LinkedIn portfolio.
These pages allow you to be creative and really focus on SEO-optimized topics. Fill showcase pages with valuable and engaging content that will draw interest from people searching through LinkedIn, Pulse, and other platforms they’re connected to.
Remember that LinkedIn is a predominantly desktop-accessed website, so don’t go barebones; opt for media-rich visual, clickable content.
11. Add Your LinkedIn Page to Your Email Signature
While it seems sexier to add a Twitter or Snapchat profile to your email signature, LinkedIn is where you want to direct business contacts.
This allows them to research your company and learn more about your brand in a professional context.
Although everything you do online should tell a cohesive brand story, LinkedIn is a professional network where B2B sales rule the roost.
LinkedIn is a place to connect with business partners, clients, and others in a business setting. Twitter and Snapchat are places to connect to consumers, so it’s fine to include those profiles in communications to the general public, but business partners should get a separate entrance into your conversion funnel.
12. Post Regularly on Pulse
Pulse is a brand LinkedIn purchased to expand its mobile profile. It’s currently installed on 0.13 percent of Android devices, including being preinstalled on the Samsung Galaxy S7. This app gathers news stories from around the web, but you can also publish a post on Pulse yourself.
Visit LinkedIn Pulse to draft a blog post and publish it. Keeping a steady stream of content on Pulse provides you with more exposure to the LinkedIn audience, especially on mobile devices.
Since people are spending more and more time on mobile devices, that time has eclipsed the time they spend on desktops.
13. Time Your Posts Wisely
Since LinkedIn has a different audience than Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+, the best times to post are different as well. You want to time your LinkedIn posts for what’s popularly known in the radio business as “drive time.”
The beginning and ending of a banker’s hour’s workday are the ideal times to post on LinkedIn (7am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm).
While time of day is important, the day you post matters as well. Weekends are bad, and everyone occasionally gets a case of the Monday or Friday fever, so Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the days of the week when people are most focused on work.
Watch old movies and TV shows, and pay attention to how the father or boss handles a newspaper. Those are the times people are reading LinkedIn.
14. Create a Job Posting
Job searching is one of the most popular uses of LinkedIn.
Obviously, then, posting a job on the site will get you attention from interested professionals and give you an opportunity to network.
Since LinkedIn houses resumes for 1 in every 3 employees, it only makes sense to use it as a tool to find the right people to work with in your business.
And there are benefits to posting a job beyond filling a position. A job posting gives you some extra exposure, and it usually sends a signal that your business is doing well.
LinkedIn is a great place to network with other professionals who could become business partners, clients, or even employees.
Although it doesn’t have the flash and pizzazz of consumer-facing, personal social media sites like Snapchat and Instagram, LinkedIn is a great platform for disseminating professional information and catering to a B2B audience.
Growing your network on LinkedIn will help drive larger revenue clients; so, although you’ll pick up fewer leads, each lead will have a much higher lifetime value than those found through other sources.
What LinkedIn hacks do you use to grow your network?