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Like nearly everyone in business, we have been building our social media presence over the past few years. As recruiters see us out on social media sites, we often get questions about the “right” way to use them. Because most of our exposure and experience is from LinkedIn™, many of the questions we receive surround this site. Here are the “Five Ws” of LinkedIn marketing we have learned through our own efforts.

Who?

As with any marketing effort, your success is dependent on reaching the RIGHT people. The best way to do that is to first ENGAGE with them in LinkedIn GroupsFind Groups in your niche, and then participate in conversations. Note we said “participate,” not sell. Comment thoughtfully on articles they may have posted within groups.  

Answer questions. Join in discussions. Share your ideas and expertise, but don’t be self-promotional.  Once you have conversed with someone in a group, they are more likely to accept your invitation to become a Connection.

What?

What should you post on LinkedIn? The simple answer is USEFUL information. But where do you get that useful information. Well, you can comb the web for industry news and ideas to share within your Groups. But the best source is your own blog – provided that your blog has informative, helpful articles that are not self-promotional. Don’t have a blog? You may want to start one. A blog not only gives you LinkedIn fodder but also brings more people to your website and establishes you as an expert in your niche.

When?

Due to its nature as more of a professional network, users are more apt to use it during working hours.  According to Inbound Marketing Agents, the best times to post are 7 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. The worst times, not surprisingly, are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. But remember, it all depends on your niche. If you work with an industry that doesn’t work the standard hours or where working from home is common, these standards may not apply for you.

Where?

This is one of the most common questions we hear. After all, it’s not like Twitter or Facebook where there is basically just one status field.  In LinkedIn, you can post on your own profile, your company’s profile, or within any of the up to 50 groups can be in.  The key point here is to keep self-promotional items, such as press releases or blog posts focused on your firm, OUT of the Groups.  Groups are particularly skeptical of members who are just trying to sell their services.  They could move all of your posts to promotions, or worse, not post them at all.  Keep your Group posts ultra-useful.  Self-promotional posts should be kept to your own profile or your company’s profile. But even in those places, be careful not to abuse the privilege.

Why?

Your goal should be to become an expert in your field so that when a candidate or company is looking for a recruiter, they think of YOU first. Thoughtful comments in Group discussions, posting relevant industry news, and writing your own blog articles with useful information are great ways to establish yourself as an expert and a thought leader.

How?

In order to provide useful information, you will need to find ways to gather and save possible articles to post or use for blog inspiration.  There are a couple tools we depend on to help us in our content marketing efforts. A RSS feed reader, such as Feedly, allows you to keep tabs on relevant websites, providing a list of new articles that have been posted to the sites you are watching. Another useful tool is Evernote, which allows you to save articles that you may want to repost later or use in blog articles.  These tools also have mobile apps to help you with your content marketing on the go.

So that’s what’s been working for us. But what about you?  What tips and tools have helped you learn how to recruit on LinkedIn more successfully?

LinkedIn® is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corporation.

 

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