Stuart R. Crawford / Stuart Crawford
So you’ve decided to promote your managed services business on LinkedIn. Social media platforms like LinkedIn provide an opportunity for MSPs to offer their products and services to members. And with the numbers of companies and individuals joining LinkedIn today, this would seem like a great marketing investment for any business.
Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Report reveals that the third most common question social media marketers ask today is “How do I measure the return on my social media investments?” This suggests that the usual measures of marketing aren’t transferrable to social media marketing.
Some Interesting Facts About LinkedIn
Four years ago, LinkedIn had a member network of about 30 million. Today, LinkedIn is adding two members per second to their network, with approximately 225 million members. These statistics were reported at the 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, May 14-16, 2013 by Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience.
LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to purchase from an MSP they’re connected to on LinkedIn, and nearly 80% of members stated that they’d like to connect with their MSPs. LinkedIn says the company pages they offer can improve brand image, and increase members’ purchasing of products and services.
LinkedIn’s Company Pages and Followers Guide (PDF) portrays the results of three different companies who have engaged their members on LinkedIn. However, only one of the three companies actually realized a direct revenue growth from their LinkedIn efforts. Regardless, some businesses did find value in LinkedIn having received an increased number of recommendations, followers and increased exposure. It appears the value of LinkedIn marketing depends on a company’s use of the page features made available to them.
In September 2012, LinkedIn made changes to its company pages. These changes were initially distributed to selected companies, then later made available to everyone. This mainly consisted of cosmetic changes, such as how the pages are displayed.
Some Dissenting Points of View
Jason Alba, author of I’m On LinkedIn — Now What?, doesn’t believe that LinkedIn Company pages should be a strong part of a company’s marketing strategy. He says that people on LinkedIn aren’t looking to buy products or services, but merely want to do research about MSPs and their employees.
Patrick O’Malley, of 617-PATRICK Social Media Consulting, believes that social media pages are extremely overrated, and that they’re a simplified version of a web page with restricted formats. He recommends that the primary focus should always be on the company’s own website.
Ulistic agrees. Your focus should always be on your own MSP website first. We’ve found that In many instances, once an MSP has committed to creating and managing a LinkedIn company page, they find there are numerous challenges to overcome—such as of how much effort to invest, or how to take advantage of new features that are constantly emerging.
The Top of Your LinkedIn Page
Miles Austin is a sales and marketing technologist for Fill the Funnel, a company that helps businesses choose and implement web sales tools. Mr. Austin says that companies using LinkedIn company pages should ensure that their header image is new, and incorporates quality design elements. He also believes that it makes no sense to use a stand-alone logo; that a company should coordinate their LinkedIn page header and branding with other social or web presences they have.
Miles also encourages the use of the LinkedIn Products and/or Services tabs, and fill them with current content and specific information about what a company has to offer.
Neal Schaffer, author of Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing and President of Windmills Marketing, recommends taking full advantage of the services pages.
“Don’t stop with just a robust page,” Schaffer counsels. “Build out a page for every service that you offer and completely customize it, taking advantage of the real estate that LinkedIn provides you.”
Mr. Schaffer believes that LinkedIn company pages are constantly evolving—becoming a huge database of companies that includes their products and services.
It’s important for others to “recommend” your products or services on LinkedIn, because this creates greater credibility for your business. It’s important to continually monitor your LinkedIn company pages using the built-in page and follower analytics tool. Austin recommends participating in a continuous LinkedIn Update and Training Services, updating information regularly and obtaining customer recommendations.
While publishing, make sure your content is relevant to your audiences, and publish as often on your LinkedIn page as you do on your Facebook page. Schaffer highly recommends getting employees involved with your company page, instead of just following it. They should be sharing relevant updates between their own network and the company’s page.
Ulistic Can Help
Do you need assistance with social-media marketing for your managed services business? Ulistic can help—however, we have much more to offer—well-rounded, well-executed marketing strategies for MSPs that utilzed many aspects of marketing. Contact Ulistic today at 716.799.1999 ext 102 to learn more about how we can support your MSP marketing efforts.