PODCAST REPORT: The Science of Social Media// Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn Marketing to Monetize and Grow Your Business with Candice Galek of Bikini Luxe, By: Buffer.
A major part of your business plan is deciding which social media platforms would be the best fit to market your product to your desired target market. You do your research, check out your competitors and look at trends.
Let’s pretend you’re a B2C e-commerce business selling luxury swimwear. Being on Instagram and Pinterest is a no brainer. Yeah, Facebook too. Twitter, meh. LinkedIn? Well, you’d certainly look silly trying to fit in amongst the power suit wearing, briefcase toting demographic there, right?
Enter Candice Galek, founder of Bikini Luxe, a luxury swimwear brand who’s number 1 social media platform for engagement is LinkedIn. WTF, right? Wrong. Candice is a marketing genius. Early on, she made it her focus to really understand all social platforms. Her company really performed on Pinterest and the other platforms you’d expect of an online swimwear company. However, Candice felt as though she was neglecting the business world demographic: one she knew she could nail through LinkedIn. So she joined with the mission to make connections and be taken more seriously.
What she noticed right away was the types of interactions on LinkedIn vs. Facebook or Instagram posts. On LinkedIn she was getting more real comments with genuine feedback and opinions. She kept posting questions, as users seemed to enjoy answering them. She realized that Pinterest users are people looking to collect and buy, but not necessarily have a conversation. LinkedIn quickly became the platform that she found her highest engagement rates on.
Candice posts from her personal profile, as she believes it is more relatable than a business page. People are more likely to engage in conversation with a person as opposed to a brand. LinkedIn users are also always looking to connect with influencers and network.
So what makes LinkedIn such a powerful platform? LinkedIn’s demographic doesn’t spend much of their time on other social platforms, so when they are on LinkedIn, they want to make their point know, and engage more. And this engagement goes a long way. When a user comments on a post, that comment becomes visible to all their connections, landing on their homepage newsfeed. This is so important from a marketing standpoint. The best referrals a business can ask for are referrals from a trusted friend.
Candice has a few other tricks up her sleeve that have proved wildly useful when building her brand on LinkedIn.
The most impressive one is simply changing your job description. On LinkedIn, when you update or change your job description, it sends out a notification to approximately 10% of your network. You’ve probably noticed this after a few of those “Congrats on the new job!” auto-replies hit your inbox. Candice has learned to make the most of this feature. When she updates her description, she likes to add a call-to-action, possibly a link back to the site, or anything that could spark engagement. When she receives these congratulatory direct messages, she takes the time to respond, not only because it’s polite, but also because she can use this as another checkpoint to engage with her network. It could be as simple as a “Hey! Thanks so much. You should check out my new page. Let me know what you think. I love feedback.”
These types of results are why Candice says it is so important to take the time to actually respond to each and every person that reaches out and engages. This is crucial to building a community around your business that feels wanted and appreciated. These connections can so easily be turned into business contacts. Be honest and straightforward with them. They’re people too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for help or favors, and never forget to offer your assistance
It’s the give and take scenario that is very important for building the foundations of your business. Candice has found that as the business grows, you won’t always have the time to engage with everyone, which is why building this loyal community early on is important. As the business grows, so will your connections.
Her last tidbit of advice for LinkedIn is making it a point to stand out. It is easy to get lost in the sea of corporate headshots and Account Managers that is LinkedIn. Infuse your personality into your profile and use your creative writing skills to make it unique. Take advantage of your headline: be sassy and use emojis. You have 2000 characters to describe yourself: brag (shameless self-promotion is cool). Try your best to have referrals and recommendations from your past positions. Endorse others and they will feel more inclined to endorse you back.
Your business is your baby. If you don’t put effort in, you won’t get any back. There is potential opportunity with every connection, so be nice! Don’t be afraid to stand out. People are more likely to remember something that shocked them. Be like Candice. Break the stereotype.