With new social networks being created regularly, LinkedIn can be a platform that’s often forgotten about and underused. However, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for marketing your event – especially if you’re aware of many of the platform’s hidden tools that don’t seem to get the attention they deserve.
To help you learn how to use LinkedIn effectively to promote your next event, here are some tips to show why it shouldn’t be overlooked.
What is LinkedIn?
Before we jump into the tips here’s a quick overview of LinkedIn as a social media platform. It launched in 2003 and is the fourth most popular social media network among US adults. It’s primarily centred around careers and business and enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues, potential employers, business partners and new employees. If you run a B2B or career-focused event, LinkedIn can be a fantastic marketing tool.
24 tips on promoting your event on LinkedIn
- Customise your public profile URL. Make your personal profile look more professional and easier to share by customising your LinkedIn public profile URL. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers, it will look more clean and professional.
- Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile. In June 2014 LinkedIn jumped on the ‘cover photo bandwagon and started rolling out the ability for users to add a background photo to their personal profiles. This gives your LinkedIn profile a little more personality and can be a great way of promoting your event if you have a social media banner prepared. Don’t forget, LinkedIn is a professional network so make sure you choose your photo accordingly!
- Add a ProFinder badge to your profile. LinkedIn has made some changes to the types of badges that are available over the years. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you may want to consider adding a ProFinder Badge, which is used to identify freelancers and services within LinkedIn’s ProFinder network. This is a service that matches contractors with project managers seeking help.
- Take advantage of the blog/website links on your profile. Instead of using the default anchor text links in the website list within your LinkedIn profile’s contact info section, you can now add links to your portfolio and social networks. You can also add links to your work under each job description, so if you’re looking to increase clicks through to your event, make sure you populate those areas with the online presence you want to draw the most attention to. There’s now also the option to upload multimedia for a given job or project. For example, if you have some photos or video content of your event you can add those in to help promote your event.
- Search engine optimise your LinkedIn profile. SEO isn’t just limited to blogging. You can also optimise your profile to get discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms. You can add these words to various sections of your profile, such as your headline, your summary, and your work experience.
- Add, remove and rearrange entire sections of your profile. LinkedIn also enables you to reorder entire sections of your profile in any way you prefer. When in edit mode simply hover your mouse over the double-sided arrow in each section. Your mouse will turn into a four arrowed icon, at which point you can click then drag and drop another position on your profile. This way you can prioritise event-related media to the top of your profile.
- Use open messages to send messages to people you aren’t connected to. With the exception of your fellow group members, LinkedIn only allows you to send messages to people with who you share a first-degree connection. But some people let you send message to them anyway, even if you aren’t connected. The ability to be a part of the Open Profile network is only available to premium account holders, but it allows users to choose to be available for messaging by any other LinkedIn member, regardless of their membership level. This is perfect for reaching out to people who may be an asset to your event team or simply promoting your event to a larger network. There are other options for sending messages to those you’re not yet connected with, like sending a request to connect with a note attached. We don’t recommend overusing this. If you’re a premium account member you can also use InMail.
- Check your network updates or share your own. Found on your LinkedIn home page, network updates are essentially LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook newsfeed. Check this feed periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing, or share updates of your own, such as noteworthy content related to your event. You can also sign up for email notifications and sort by top updates or recent updates to filter your feed one way or another.
- Be identifiable. Allowing others to see who you are if you view their profile. To enable this, visit your settings (click your thumbnail image on the top right and click Privacy & Settings) and then click “Profile Viewing Options” under “Privacy”. Make sure you check off the ‘Your Name’ and ‘Headline’ (which is the recommended option), as it will allow you to take advantage of the next tip on our list!
- Check out who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile. The ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ tool, which is accessible in the main navigation via the profile dropdown, allows you to identify which other LinkedIn users have visited your profile page. In fact, LinkedIn gave this a facelift in February 2014, so the information it provides is better than ever. You can now also see how you stack up against your profile views for your connections, people in your company, and other professionals like you. This is useful if someone has been checking out your profile who you’d like to connect with or who could be potentially interested in your event. This could be the ‘in’ you’ve been waiting for to connect. This feature is only available if you follow the above steps though.
- Easily find new connections – or reconnect with old ones. The connections tab in the top navigation offers multiple tools to grow and connect with contacts in your professional network. When viewing your connections, click the “Manage your synced and imported contacts” and from there you’ll be able to sync your email contact to see who’s on LinkedIn and who you can invite to join. These contacts can be essential when it comes to spreading the word about your event and offering support on the contact you may share regarding your event.
- Make the most out of LinkedIn groups – Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user you can bypass the need to be a first-degree connection in order to message them? As long as you’ve been a member of LinkedIn for at least 30 days and a member of a particular group for at least 4 days, LinkedIn allows you to send up to 15 free 1:1 messages to fellow group members a month (across all groups you belong to). In addition to this group, members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups relevant to your event and industry to enable more direct messaging possibilities and make sure you participate in discussions to build trust within your group.
- Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter. Ever since the LinkedIn/Twitter breakup of 2012, you can no longer automatically sync your tweets to publish on LinkedIn. However, as long as you add your Twitter account, the opposite is still possible. So if you’re posting an update about your event to LinkedIn that you’d also like your Twitter followers to see, you can easily syndicate that update to Twitter by selecting the Public + Twitter option in the dropdown menu within the LinkedIn update composer. This tool is perfect for making sure your event updates are consistent across both platforms.
- Leverage @mentions in your status updates. In 2013, LinkedIn rolled out the ability to tag or @mention other users and companies in status updates – much like the way it works on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So if you want another LinkedIn user or company to see your status update, you just need to include the @ symbol immediately before the user or company’s name in your status update. As a result, that user/company will get alerted that you mentioned them and their name will also link their profile/page in the status update itself. This is great if you have event partners you wish to mention and promote your own updates. It will also encourage them to reshare your update to their network.
- Optimise your LinkedIn company/event page. The design of the LinkedIn Company page has changed a lot over the years. Make sure yours is set up correctly and optimised for the latest layout, featuring a compelling and high-quality banner image. If you’re setting up your page for the first time, LinkedIn has a great walkthrough process to make sure you don’t miss anything out.
- Created targeted LinkedIn showcase pages. LinkedIn Showcase Pages are niche pages that branch off from your main company page. Think of them as extensions of your main company page that allow you to promote specific events/products, or use them to cater to a more individual marketing persona. This provides a more personalised experience for your company page visitors.LinkedIn users can also follow more specific Showcase Pages without having to follow the company’s main page or its other Showcase Pages. This allows your business to tailor the page closely to the audience of the specific page. This makes this feature perfect if you’re a business that runs events as a side project instead of an ‘events only’ business. To create a Showcase Page, go to your Company Page and click “Manage page.” At the top, click “Admin Tools,” and select “Create a Showcase Page.”
- Post company status updates and target them. Make the most of your LinkedIn company page by publishing company status updates for all your page followers to see. This will give LinkedIn users even more reason to follow your company page, growing your LinkedIn reach. Here’s some of LinkedIn’s advice for sharing company status updates. If you’ve already mastered updating your company’s status, you can take it to the next level by using the power of segmentation with LinkedIn’s targeting options. These enable you to target your status updates to specific users. Company page admins can target their updates using criteria like company size, industry, job function, seniority, geography, language or even by including/excluding company employees. These targeted updates will appear on the company/showcase page itself for those users as well as in the user’s network updates feed on their LinkedIn home page. This is perfect if you’re running a medical conference, for example, and you only want to target people who work in the medical profession instead of your entire network who may not be interested. This ensures their own feeds aren’t getting clogged up by posts that aren’t relevant to what they want to see
- Check out LinkedIn’s ‘Content Marketing Score’ & ‘Trending Content’ resources – If you’re a LinkedIn Business Solutions customer, you can learn how impactful your organic and paid LinkedIn content is with the Content Marketing Score and Trending Content resources. Your content marketing score measures user engagement with your sponsored updates, company pages, LinkedIn groups, employee updates and influencer posts when applicable. It then provides recommendations for how you can improve your score, and thus the effectiveness of your LinkedIn content.
- Experiment with LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Updates – If you’re looking to complement your organic LinkedIn marketing efforts with some paid advertising, LinkedIn Ads are a smart choice. One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn advertising is the targeting options. LinkedIn’s PPC ads let you target specific job titles, job functions, industries, or company size, to name a few. You’ll be reaching people who are more likely to be interested in your content and your event. For more information on LinkedIn, Ads click here.
- Create your own industry LinkedIn Group, and join other relevant groups. Create a group based on a relevant industry-related topic, and become a LinkedIn group admin. You may use this to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, grow a community of advocates, generate new marketing content idea and eventually generate new leads. You should also consider joining and getting executives from your business or event to join other relevant groups and positively participate in discussions to exhibit thought and leadership in your industry and event.
- Email your LinkedIn group. One of the perks of managing a LinkedIn group is that you can email all the members of your group, up to once a week. These emails take the form of LinkedIn Announcements, which are messages sent directly to the email inboxes of group members (if they’ve enabled messages from groups in their settings). It’s the perfect opportunity for generating new leads for your event from LinkedIn, particularly if you’ve managed to build up a solid group of users.
- Experiment with publishing content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Publishing is available to all users. Experiment with how this feature can support your event marketing goals by creating content for the platform and promoting it through your company page. For example, you could experiment with syndicating content from your events blog to LinkedIn Pulse and using it to promote a subscription to your full blog.To publish an article, click “Write an article” on the update box on your LinkedIn homepage. From there, you’ll be taken to the publishing platform where you can compose your draft.
- Add the ‘Company Follow’ and ‘LinkedIn Share’ buttons to your website and content. Promote your company’s LinkedIn presence and help grow the reach of your company or event page by adding the ‘Company Follow’ button to your event’s website. Also consider adding the ‘LinkedIn Share’ button to your various content assets like blog posts, emails, and landing pages to extend the reach of your content to LinkedIn users.
- Analyse your LinkedIn marketing performance with the Analytics tab on your Company Page. Use your Company Page Analytics to evaluate the performance of your Company Page. This feature offers data about the effectiveness of your page’s status updates, engagement, and reach, as well as information about your page’s followers — demographics, where they came from, how your following has grown over time, how your data compares to other companies.
Over the last few years, LinkedIn has had a huge overhaul that’s led it to be one of the most prevalent social media platforms in the world, carving out its niche by focusing on the business community. It’s added a variety of features that make it perfect for promoting events, through both personal profiles and company pages.