BEST PRACTICES FOR MARKETING YOUR EDUCATION BRAND THROUGH LINKEDIN
Known for its extensive networking capabilities, LinkedIn is an effective platform for making connections and promoting your brand. Use the following LinkedIn tips to generate leads, make connections and raise awareness of your education company.
LINKEDIN BEST PRACTICES FOR PERSONAL PAGES
#1 Polish your profile.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: social media is an effective tool for your sales team. Your personal LinkedIn profile should clearly display your expertise, while also being a platform for your company.
“We love our community; social media is a powerful way to connect one-on-one with our audience,” said Eda Gimenez, Strategy & Business Affairs Manager at Buncee.“Being able to learn about and share our partners’ successes is a huge benefit.”
No matter your position within the organization, there’s a way for you to leverage your LinkedIn profile and network.
“Our sales team will do background research and leverage their existing LinkedIn networks to build relationships,” said Katie Baird, Content Marketing Specialist at Codelicious. “It may not be our primary method or where we spend the most time, but it’s definitely an avenue that we leverage.”
As Growth Marketing Expert John Dodson shared in our guide to leveraging social media for sales: “I can’t express enough how important it is for field sales teams to use social, especially LinkedIn. Putting your profile out there is key to becoming a familiar face to prospects, and helping them feel more comfortable.”
#2 Publish and share useful content.
LinkedIn boasts a valuable content feature: LinkedIn Pulse. Pulse is LinkedIn’s publishing platform, where you can share long-form content with fellow thought leaders in your industry. An effective Pulse article will provide useful information that helps you build credibility and gain visibility with your target audience and peers.
TIP: TAKE A STANCE IN YOUR PULSE ARTICLES. THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR READERS TO GET TO KNOW YOU – NOT JUST WHAT YOU SELL.
While publishing your own content is important, sharing posts from prospects, customers and other stakeholders also is critical. If a customer posts about an accomplishment, congratulate them. When you see a helpful resource, share it. These small actions all contribute to building your presence on LinkedIn.
“When it comes to engagement, do what you can,” recommended Quentin Allums, Co-Founder at Strange on Purpose Studios. “Most people will recommend posting daily, but most aren’t actually posting that often – make sure you’re engaging daily through likes and commenting, and doing what you can when it comes to actually posting content.”
TIP: DON’T FORGET TO SHARE YOUR COMPANY’S POSTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN FIRST PUBLISHED.
#3 Establish and maintain relationships.
LinkedIn is all about networking – use this to your advantage. Connect with sales targets, industry leaders and peers. Maintain existing relationships by engaging with posts – something is always better than nothing.
TIP: TWITTER ISN’T THE ONLY PLACE FOR HASHTAGS. USE AND FOLLOW YOUR FAVORITES ON LINKEDIN, TOO.
“Having a large LinkedIn network isn’t always best, making the right connections is more helpful,” Allums said. “Keep your company’s goals in mind, and connect with people accordingly.”
“My number one strategy for business folks is for the sales team to use LinkedIn’s advanced search functions and filters to find people in their target audience,” said Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. “Make the connections, nurture those new connections and continue to engage with them over time.”
“Hashtag research is especially helpful in the education industry,” Codelicious’s Baird said. “You can reach a larger audience when you find a relevant hashtag that people regularly engage with.”
Here are a few of our interviewees’ favorites:
“We use hashtags to inspire citizenship during events,” Gimenez shared. “By having teachers share the ways they are using Buncee, outreach is meaningful rather than sales-focused.”
You may be wondering: Is paying for LinkedIn Premium worth it?
According to Allums of Strange on Purpose Studios: “I used to forgo the premium option, but now I use it so that I can see who is visiting my profile, use LinkedIn’s InMail function and, most important, have access to unlimited search.” He emphasized that it’s important to consider what you’d be using it for, and to ensure it aligns with your goals.
LINKEDIN BEST PRACTICES FOR COMPANY PAGES
#1 Know your audience.
Every social media platform has its benefits. It’s important to remember the audience you’re catering to, and the style of the platform you’re using. The language you include in your Twitter posts isn’t going to be the same as what you share on LinkedIn.
“A lot of our LinkedIn activity comes from organizations and administrators – it doesn’t usually include teachers and other folks who are in the classroom every day,” Baird said. “On Twitter, we’re talking with teachers who are in the classroom, we use LinkedIn to target administrators and big education organizations, like ASU GSV.”
#2 Optimize your page for SEO.
You optimize your website and content assets for SEO, so why leave out your company’s LinkedIn page? By refining your page’s content, you’re increasing the odds of being discovered through LinkedIn and Google.
“SEO is important, and it’s something that a lot of people forget about – it’s in your headline, description and your ‘about’ section,” Allums said. “When I started my eSports podcast, I added relevant keywords to my profile and began receiving a lot of related outreach.”
According to HubSpot, there are some simple, yet vital steps to make the most of your company page, including:
- Complete all of the page details.
- Keep your images up-to-date.
- Share content and engage with your followers.
- Encourage your colleagues to follow and engage with your company’s page.
“Make sure you have keyword-optimized your profile for search engines,” Power Formula’s Breitbarth said. “LinkedIn’s search engine in particular gives favor to certain keywords in certain spots, it’s something you can easily update.”
#3 Share useful content.
The same sharing and engagement rules we outlined above apply for LinkedIn company pages.
“Blog posts shared from our company page tend to do very well on LinkedIn,” Baird said. “We’ve found that administrators enjoy reading our long-form content, so that’s typically what we’ll share.” Codelicious’ 2020 CSTA Standards for Teachers blog post is one such example.
If you have a content asset targeting the administrator audience, share it from your company profile. Most importantly, make sure members of your team are ready to engage with it.
“When sharing content from a company page, team members should be liking and sharing it,” Breitbarth said. “The engagement of a post is increased when there is more engagement – this is especially true in the first hour.”
Take a moment to clean up your personal profile, share a post from your company’s page and comment on an industry update. The sooner you start leveraging LinkedIn, the better.
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About the author
Liz Myer is a content specialist at C. Blohm & Associates, where she develops and executes content marketing campaigns to propel brand strategy and communicate positioning for her clients.