As LinkedIn is growing by three new business professionals every second, marketers have started to take advantage of the opportunities that exist on this social media platform. However, LinkedIn is still being underused by PR pros at both the agency and corporate levels.
Here’s why you need to start adding LinkedIn to your communications programs:
▶ More media professionals are on LinkedIn than any other social network. According to an Arketi Web Watch Media Survey, 92% of today’s journalists are now on LinkedIn. That’s more than any other social media platform, including Twitter. And, as I have been approached by bloggers, podcasters and top business publications, including Forbes.com, for interviews and articles I know they are active inside myriad LinkedIn groups.
▶ Media professionals will start self-nourishing and feature those who are in their social ecosystem. Studies show that B2B buyers are 70% ready to make a buying decision before they even speak to sales professionals.
They are self-nourishing by reviewing articles, case studies, reviews and videos. I predict that the media will start acting the same way and make 70% of their decision on who they will feature, quote, or publish before they even approach an expert.
▶ LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to build long-term relationships with the media. Twitter is great for seeing what the media are talking about—so you can create content based on the topics they are covering now. However, your 140 characters with links to your content can get lost with all the other updates. On LinkedIn, you can personally connect with media reps and invite them to your LinkedIn group where they can see and focus on your content without the din.
So, how can you get more publicity using LinkedIn? Here are the action steps you should be taking.
• Research the websites, blogs, publications and other types of media that your audience goes to for information. Then, go to LinkedIn and invite the editors, journalists and other media professionals to connect. Personalize your connection invitations—let the media know that you liked their article on X topic, and that you’d be interested in providing them with additional information on the subject.
• Complete competitive intelligence on your competitors. Why should your competitors get all of the traffic, publicity and profits? Research where they are being quoted, featured and interviewed and then invite those particular media professionals to connect on LinkedIn.
• Start your own LinkedIn group—and begin sharing your content and information freely. You want the media to see your value through the discussions you start, your comments on other people’s conversations, your answers to your group members’ questions and the case studies, articles and videos you share.
• Create content that challenges the way people think or act; content that is based on case studies and content that offers real value. The media don’t want the same old regurgitated content. They are looking for thought leaders who can provide alternative solutions and have real proof that their strategies, ideas, technologies or processes work.
• Create discussions on the PR that you generate through LinkedIn and content distribution. By creating discussions based on your articles and PR, you are displaying credibility and thought leadership.
Here’s an actual email that I recently received from LinkedIn to become a guest expert in their upcoming ebook.
We’re hoping to tap into your savvy marketing expertise for LinkedIn’s new eBook, The Definitive Guide to Marketing on LinkedIn (working title).
Your previous post, “Are You Calling Yourself a Marketing Expert on LinkedIn? Then Prove It” is exactly the kind of in-depth, thought-provoking analysis we’re looking for, and it’s why we immediately thought of you. Would you be interested in getting interviewed and featured in our upcoming eBook?
Social media is changing the way companies get the publicity they need.
You have a choice. You can start embracing LinkedIn and build relationships with the media in your social eco-system so you get featured, published, interviewed and quoted. Or, you can get left behind. PRN
This story originally ran in the Feb. 17, 2014 issue of PR News. To read more articles like this, become a PR News subscriber today.