BEST PRACTICE

3 things I taught my Dad about LinkedIn over the holidays

Eddy Prugh By Eddy Prugh, Copywriter, Extra Mile Marketing

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and now TikTok. Pick your poison, you have choices.

In the last decade+, the world has been overrun by social media. Usually accompanied by an eye-roll or some negative connotation, older people in business have been forced into accepting that these platforms are here to stay and can have a dramatic impact on business.

However, when it comes to business and the professional realm, one site stands a full head above the aforementioned: LinkedIn.

Over the holidays I tried to explain to my now-retired father how LinkedIn worked and how we use it to build relationships. I was not shocked to see the puzzled and skeptical brow of a man who built a business from the ground up in the 70’s, before such tools were invented. Frankly, I didn’t feel the need to explain to him that some things that took him years to accomplish can be done in a matter of days or even hours with a site like LinkedIn…but he was curious.

With over 800 million users in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to solve a whole host of business problems. Hands up if you, as a business owner or employee, have used LinkedIn to positive effect in the last year?

Raises own hand*

I, for one, got my current job from a post on LinkedIn. Since then, I’ve used it to follow a variety of marketing pages and experts for more perspectives and insights. I’ve also taken a few classes from LinkedIn Learning that I can’t recommend highly enough.  

With the genius algorithms that power these social mega-sites, companies can embed themselves in an ecosystem of relevant peer companies, job candidates, resource-rich thought leaders and everything in between. Let’s have a look at three ways businesses can use LinkedIn to broaden their horizons…and my dad’s reaction to each.

Paid marketing campaigns

Because LinkedIn segments users based on their industry, geography, experience and dozens of other categories, paid campaigns can be directed to a highly targeted audience. In recent years, LinkedIn has emerged as the most successful platform for B2B paid content marketing.

For marketers who used paid social campaigns in the last 12 months, 75% preferred LinkedIn, followed by 69% on Facebook and then a steep drop to 30% on Instagram. The results show that this is for good reason as LinkedIn clearly produces the best results for paid social. 79% of respondents say that LinkedIn produced the best results, followed by a distant 54% on Facebook.

“Well, when I was starting my firm here in the 70’s, all you had was an advertisement in the newspaper and your reputation. You had to do good work or nobody would ever recommend you. Simple equation.” My dad said upon learning about paid campaigns.  

Network your heart out

The future belongs to the youth. I say this with a trace of spite as I, myself, abandon my younger years but the times they are a changin’!

True to the nature of social media as a whole, users on LinkedIn are made up mostly of Millennials and Gen Z. By far the biggest demographic on LinkedIn are people aged 25-34, making up 60.1% of users. A generation notorious for having their noses buried in their phones, 80% of all LinkedIn engagement comes from mobile devices.

Once again, my dad’s brow wrinkled staunchly with confusion.

“I thought LinkedIn was just for recruiters and college grads looking for jobs.”

I explained to him that it’s much more than that, and that most people use it to keep their finger on the pulse of their industry by watching videos and reading articles, staying connected to clients and colleagues, and demonstrating thought leadership.

“Clearly you don’t know what a rolodex is…” my dad says with a grin.

I tell him that thanks to LinkedIn, rolodexes probably only exist in museums now.

An information hub like no other

If nothing else, LinkedIn is a library of industry-specific encyclopedias. By following popular pages and thought leaders, LinkedIn will take the reins and serve up more content that pertains to your interests and industry, as well as people that might be beneficial for you to connect with.

Executives rank LinkedIn as the single best source for professionally relevant content and it’s no wonder when 2 million posts, articles, and videos are published every day. Even more impressively, LinkedIn is rated as the most trusted social media platform for factual articles and content, a distinction that shouldn’t go unappreciated in today’s mis- and dis- information crisis.

LinkedIn has changed the professional landscape forever and it’s hard to find any professional today that doesn’t use the site for one service or another. Even if it’s learning a new skill to add to your toolbox, LinkedIn Learning offers over 16,000 classes taught by professionals. I can personally attest to the quality of these courses.

For once, my dad’s brow softens as he hears of the ways that people can use LinkedIn to learn and improve their own professional outlook.

“Well that seems like a good service to offer.” He says in an uncharacteristically understanding voice.

Use it to your advantage!

The writing is on the wall.

In 2010 LinkedIn’s revenue was an impressive $243 million. In 2020…$8 billion, and there’s no reason to believe that it will slow down any time soon. This growth has led to the addition of classes, job opportunities, and thought-leadership. Upon hearing this statistic my dad is sold on the value of LinkedIn.

“Well you can’t argue with that. The only way to boast numbers like that is to offer a service of real value.”

Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks! And while times continue to change faster than ever before, social media, and LinkedIn in particular, offers powerful tools for both businesses and individuals.

Use it a lot or a little but in this day and age, only a fool will not use it at all!

Like any social media, there is a treasure trove of secrets and tricks to make you and your company stand out amongst the sea of job seekers or thought leaders. For instance, did you know that your LinkedIn profile has a unique score? Or that you can use LinkedIn to target specific companies and individuals within those companies? If you are looking for ways to make your social media work harder for you, or you just want to ensure your LinkedIn profile gets a high score to showcase your value, call, email or message me. I’d love to find ways to help!

 

 

STATS & FACTS

With over 800 million users in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to solve a whole host of business problems.

 

In 2010 LinkedIn’s revenue was an impressive $243 million.

 

By far the biggest demographic on LinkedIn are people aged 25-34, making up 60.1% of users.

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