In part two of our conversation with LinkedIn expert De-de Mulligan we learn more about how to optimize your LinkedIn Company page. We talk about taking controversial stands, your company culture, job postings and how to get better engagement.
How to Improve Your LinkedIn Company Page: Part Two
Sandro Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, their brand and get the word out. Today, we are concluding our interview with De-de Mulligan of De-de Mulligan Management Group. We’re talking maintaining your LinkedIn business page. We went over some basics in part one. Today we’re going to dive a little deeper into how to make yours stand out. Without further ado, here’s part two.
Liz OK. And as we were prepping for this episode, this might be next on your notes. You said evergreen content, just sharing blog articles. That doesn’t seem to really resonate.
De-de No. Because if they can get the content somewhere else. Number one, it’s just, you’re just….
Liz Why would they go there?
De-de You’re just kinda pushing…yeah, you’re just, you know, creating the domain authority, you’re, improving the domain authority of Adweek or somebody else. You’re not really…. I mean it’s, the curated content has its place. And I’m not saying it doesn’t have its place on LinkedIn company pages, but it doesn’t seem to, the algorithm doesn’t seem to like that as well as the pictures where you’re actually somewhere doing something, showing something. And you can take live video on LinkedIn too.
Liz I have seen that. Yeah.
De-de Where just like Facebook Live.
Sandro Can you write posts, original content, blogs on LinkedIn?
De-de You can.
Sandro Does that do better than a third party or, like maybe LinkedIn doesn’t want you to leave their site? So they’d rather you write something for LinkedIn than link to Forbes.com or something.
Liz So it used to be called Pulse, right?
De-de Right. It isn’t called Pulse anymore. Right. Right. So yeah, they’ve gone through a measurable change. And so you as a user can publish content and you can write. I recommend you write original content, not something that resides on your website or wherever. You can’t write it on your company page, but you can share that content with your company page. So you would write it on, you would write at Liz on your…
Liz Like as Liz Hersh, I’m the author.
De-de Yep, and you would write it and you could share it through back to your company page and it would link to your profile. And there is some authority value in doing that because you’ve written original content, especially if it’s something that you personally experienced. Like, somewhere you went through a PR nightmare or something like that. And you could share something like that and it didn’t really belong in a blog and it didn’t really, it was too long for a post and you can add some imagery and you can do H1, H2, H3 tags in that post as well. So there’s some searchability as well in that as well. So yes.
Liz So as we’re talking about some better ways to use a company page, I’m just sitting here thinking, OK, maybe I need to shift how I view LinkedIn and instead of reaching for my phone to update my Instagram channel, which I could still do, but…
Liz I could share that same real-time or whatever content on the company page. And that would be more valuable than just saying, hey, here’s my latest blog post. Check it out. Am I kinda understanding that correctly?
De-de Yes. Yes. And it’s still valuable to push it back to your website and to your blogs. I mean, it’s valuable. You’re just going to get more value if you post something original on a published article on LinkedIn.
Liz Got it. OK.
De-de So yeah. So there is some value in both. And you just want to as you all know, it’s just about try, test, learn, repeat. Try, test, learn, repeat. Same thing with LinkedIn isn’t any different than any of the other social channels. And then you have to determine, and we talked a little bit about this before we started. But sponsorship of posts is very expensive on LinkedIn. That’s the number one criticism LinkedIn gets about, about the, they say, you know, it’s three times more expensive than Facebook.
De-de And it’s less expensive than Google AdWords. But Google AdWords isn’t necessarily for B to B. It’s more B to C. So. So one of the things that I just listened to a podcast recently from Michael Stelzner on Social Media Examiner and he had someone on there that was a LinkedIn expert on ads. And he said if you have your demographic really, really defined, you know where they are, who, positions too.
Liz Job titles.
De-de Job titles and where they are coming from and company sizes and verticals. That the sponsorship this gentleman felt was four times more valuable than any other social platform because you’re really honing in on that buyer persona and you’re going to get the lift from it and you’re going to see value from it. So we’ve tried it, but we don’t have clients that have thousands of dollars to spend on testing. So it’s, it’s…
Liz It can become cost-prohibitive.
De-de Right, right. And a lot of our clients are not exclusively B to B. So a lot of, some are more than B to C or B to B or kind of a hybrid. It depends. So. So anyway.
Liz Yeah. And I’ve never, I don’t criticize LinkedIn for being more expensive. I, all of the things you just said I’ve summarized to clients as well. Typically three times as much. So on and so on. I always kind of position it like, well, it’s a smaller network and you’re probably going up against some big corporations. Like I’ve seen Microsoft and big companies advertising on LinkedIn. And you know, it’s, we’re bidding against them. So you gotta, yes. Deep pockets.
De-de Right, right.
Liz And just, you know, not that it’s right or wrong, good or bad, but just be prepared to drop a little bit of extra change on your LinkedIn ads.
De-de Well, it’s not like Google AdWords isn’t expensive either, so.
De-de So you could be paying almost as much as AdWords. I mean, depending on your budget. So, but if you, but I do believe if you’re targeting exclusive B to B and you’re targeting a specific geographic area and you know who is buying your services…
Liz Wow, you’ve got the foundation of a great campaign there. Yeah.
De-de Yeah, exactly. And you know your content calendar coming forward. So all of those things. So.
Sandro So what else could a business profile do better?
De-de Well, two things that I’ve, other things that I’ve seen is, they don’t post regularly, so they might post but it’s like three months ago or six months ago when they post only infrequently and they only post a lot of times when they have a job. OK. They have a job opening. They want to, they want to skirt the LinkedIn paid thing because they’re too small.
Sandro You can pay to promote a job opening. Right, okay.
De-de Yeah, yeah. I get, yeah. So they want to just skirt that. And so what they’d rather do is post it on their company page and hope that people will see it. Well, usually they won’t see it because you’ve posted infrequently so you’re not even going to come upon a Google search for your company page.
Sandro A LinkedIn search or a Google search?
De-de Yeah. Well, even a Google search for LinkedIn. So how are they going to know that you have a job opening? And as we were talking earlier, even if they came to your company page and all they see are job opening, job opening, job opening, job opening. They know nothing about your culture. So they know nothing about your work environment or what kind of people do you hire. And so what people are looking for now…
Liz Or why do you have all of these job openings? That seems suspicious?
De-de Do you have a lot of turnover? Are you growing? What’s going on here? So most of the time we recommend that you have photos, high-quality photos, but not stock photos of people that are engaging in work or at an event or smiling, enjoying their work. Or do work anniversaries. New employees. All the things that we normally do but might not do on LinkedIn.
De-de And those sorts of things that the company culture. Right? So they people can go to it and find out what kind of, what kind of place is this? What kind of business dress is it? What are the hours expected? Do people have fun? Do they look like they’re having fun? Or does it look really serious? So. So those sorts of things are good things to post as well. And then when you have a job opening, people will be like, hmm, oh, I understand this culture. I get it, right?
Liz I love it. Yeah.
De-de So that’s one thing that they need to do. And so rather than just posting. Now, LinkedIn has recently gone to hashtags. I’m not sure what their strategy is with that because it’s definitely not Instagram. It’s not searchable. And they’re trying to make up to 3 hashtags that are your own. OK.
Sandro So like, #HershPR hashtag.
Sandro Like that would be your own.
Sandro Your company hashtag. #AlwaysCoca-Cola or something like that.
De-de Right. Right. And…
Liz But the search functionality is not what it is on a Twitter or on Instagram. Yeah.
De-de Correct. Correct. So that whole strategy is yet to be defined, but they really, really are pushing companies to put these hashtags over there and then incorporate them in the posts. So that’s OK. But you have to have text in there. We had one company we worked with who had a lot of job openings and they were just posting the picture of the job opening with a lot of text in it and then just using hashtags. Well, Google can’t read the text that’s on the image. So I said, you know you need to actually put some words up there and why someone would want to come to work for you. And what sort of talent you’re looking for. So, it was a little bit of an educational process to do that.
Liz Always. Always handholding with clients.
De-de Right. And then the other thing that people love are like company awards or wins or people, somebody won something. And the coverage of that. Or even someone close to the company. Like a lot of companies, I know that you are aware of this, but there’s a whole big campaign right now to be transparent and tell us where you stand on these issues that are controversial.
De-de The thing yesterday with one hundred and fifty CEOs signing legislation or a letter that said, hey, let’s do something about gun control, let’s get on the way again about gun control. Enough is enough. This wasn’t done even a year ago. So there’s just seems to be a lot more transparency about who you are and what you stand for. And those sorts of things belong on your company page as well.
Liz Interesting. Very important to a lot of the younger buyers right now.
Liz Yeah. Millennials want to work for, purchase from companies that are pretty clear about… Yes. Socially conscious.
De-de Right. So they want to know about sustainability. What’s your position on sustainability? Are you going to get rid of plastic? Because there’s a big move in the country now to get rid of plastic bottles.
Liz I know, this will be my last…
Sandro Dede is pointing to a plastic bottle that we gave her.
Liz This will be my last batch of ice mountain bottled water. I will get glasses and a pitcher. I have my YETI. This is what I use.
De-de She has a YETI and she has a stainless steel straw. I have stainless steel straws as well because there’s a big movement to get rid of plastic.
Sandro I want to see a picture of that on Hersh PR’s LinkedIn and business page.
De-de Yes, exactly.
Sandro What about the plant? Is that plant real?
Liz Of course it’s real. But I need more plants in here because we’ve got to improve the air quality in my office. Always something.
De-de And then one other thing. I mean, I could go on and on, but people don’t look at the analytics. There’s analytics built into the company page that they really need to take a look at. And one of the key analytics is not only the engagement with each post, but it’s kind of how they will actually pluck out who they think your competitors are. And they will put those listing down there and will say how many followers they have. How many posts they post per month and what their engagement is.
De-de So you can actually go on their pages and kind of learn from that. If you’re not getting the engagement that you really desire. But if you’re really getting the engagement, like I mean I’m, I mean four or five percent is probably the best you can hope for on a company page. But I’ve seen some company pages and we’ve seen it, too. It’s 10 percent. It just depends on what’s being posted.
Sandro Going back to your competitors, LinkedIn adds that? Your competitors to what you can see? Or you have to go in?
De-de Well, if you’re the admin, right, you’re the administrator on the page. Yes. They’ll just add it. They’re doing AI on reading all, you know, your text. That’s why the profiles need to be complete so they can figure out who you are and what you do.
Sandro Facebook has something similar, but they really bury it. You can see your competitors’ insights, but you have to add your competitors.
De-de Yes, you do.
Sandro And then you can go through and see what they posted, what their engagement was, things like that.
De-de Right, right. So if you’re really struggling as a small business. Oh, you know what should I be posting? Look at the engagements each month and go to your competitors and see what they’re posting. Get some ideas about that too.
Liz And if you were willing to put a little bit of money behind your posts. What would be reasonable in terms of engagement? Like could you get it up to 20, 30 percent?
De-de If your buyer persona is really well-defined, I think so.
De-de Yes, yes. Yes.
Sandro And so you’re talking 20 to 30 percent of people who follow your business page? Do people have to come and follow your page?
De-de Yes. They have to come and follow your page. Yeah.
Sandro Just like Facebook? Okay.
De-de They have to follow it. And so… But on the sponsored, they call it “sponsored content,” they don’t call it “boosted post.” They call it “sponsored content.”
Liz Using the wrong terminology for the platform.
De-de That’s alright. That’s OK. That’s OK. Your sponsored content not unlike Twitter will go to people that don’t even follow you yet. So it will go in your buyer personas feed. So that’s just like Twitter. Alright. So it’s more like that.
Liz And then they could end up following you and starting to see more of your content, and again, that engagement could snowball over time.
De-de Right. And then, you know, ideally, one of the ways to increase your followership and in getting more people to follow you is have your employees share that content with their social channels because that will drive the content back to the company page and hopefully it will increase. So there’s some nice metrics on the analytics page or on the page, I’m sorry, on the home page. Right when you see it, as you go into the home page.
De-de And it will tell you, increase, decrease in followers. Increase, decrease of engagement. All those sort of things. And then you can go into a level deeper to get more analytics. It’s not as good as Facebook’s analytics. Facebook has much deeper analytics. But the one thing I do like about it is, it’ll tell you how many H.R. Managers you have like, that are viewing your page. Or how many Grant Development. It will tell you by title, the percentage that are looking at your post or following your page. So both.
Sandro Do a lot of non-profits have their own pages?
De-de Some do. Yes.
Liz We do manage one.
Sandro So then they can see how many people like, potential sponsors? Or if, can you see the company that looked at your company page? Individual.
De-de Just the type of title. Title. Yeah. And then you’ll see the monthly engagement. But generally speaking what you’ll see is, if someone posted, like you could probably go to any of your clients or prospects, people that you’re trying to sell and you could see on their LinkedIn company page they might have posted six months ago or a year ago, but yet, they’re posting three times a day on Instagram. But maybe they don’t…that’s OK, because their buyer persona isn’t B to B. Somebody just convinced them to put a LinkedIn page up somewhere, sometime.
Liz Someone’s, “Yeah. Go ahead and claim it and we’ll come back to it,” or something to that extent.
De-de But if you don’t have B to B customers, it’s OK to have your personal profile up there and have the LinkedIn page. If it’s not important, then just set it and forget it. I mean, you know, you’re just not going to come up in search and spend most of your time on the other ones, you know. And then start looking into TikTok because that’s the new one that’s coming up.
Liz Sandro, I feel like every time we get together, Sandro mentions TikTok and I, I don’t. Admittedly, I don’t have an account yet.
De-de I don’t either but I’m gonna start to look into it.
Sandro Once a week I pick up my niece and nephews and she was 7 years old telling me, talking about TikTok, and I’m like, “What’s this TikTok?” That was two years ago or a year ago. So what if I’m a B to C company? But then I realize I could do B to B. What if I’m a tailor that can come to your office? But I generally I have my own storefront. Can you then start focusing on LinkedIn? Is that a good thing to do? If you’re a restaurant, and you start catering?
Sandro I don’t think there’s a job title called, for Sherwin-Williams, let’s say ‘Caterer Intake’ or something, I don’t know.
Liz Well that would be. That would be like an event management department in Sherwin-Williams. Probably.
Liz And let me tell you, those people are hard to find. Because we…on LinkedIn. Yeah. Yeah, we have a B to B client who’s trying to get their foot in the door with that type of work and they’re tough to find.
De-de Right, right. Yeah. You know, usually it, you’ll have a fair amount of clients that are hybrid like what you said, you know, they’re like a Panera, for example. They’re B to C but they want the catering clients from the corporations in the area, right? So they should have a LinkedIn page that describes some of how, but of course, it’s going to be tailored to catering. Right? Or their offerings or the change of the menu or the catering manager or whatever the situation is. So I don’t recommend on those company pages that you put the same content that you would put on TikTok or Instagram. You know?
De-de Don’t just, one for all, all for one.
Liz That strategy is not going to work.
De-de Yeah, so. But if you’re trying to grow that aspect of your business, then you will come upon search. You will. I mean, no doubt about it. And the other thing, don’t forget. I mean, I know you probably all do monitor it, but Yelp is still an important, vital thing because they are going to look at reviews, even if they’re a corporation too because if you’re going to be catering, they’re going to look kind of along those…
Liz Other B to C channels.
De-de They’re going to look at other resources as well. But. Yeah. Yeah. It’s important. I think it’s important. But just post different style of content.
Liz So here’s my final question and I want your take on this.
Liz Because as I’ve witnessed LinkedIn evolve over the years, I’ll hop on to my profile and I’ll be looking through the feed and I look at it and I’m like, is this, this is not all that much different from Facebook. Maybe the level of professionalism is a couple of steps above Facebook, but not much. Is that kind of your take as well?
Sandro Wait, am I seeing pregnancy pictures on LinkedIn?
Liz OK, I get it. A couple of steps above Facebook.
De-de Alright. So, here’s the thing with social media in general. Is everyone loves a great story, right? And they want it to be conversational. So if you can turn whatever that event is into a story that’s worth hearing, then people are still people and they still emote to that story, whatever that story is. So yes and no, I mean, I think there’s still a fair amount of people still think LinkedIn is exclusively jobs. They just, that’s why they don’t pay any attention to it until they lose their job. And then all of a sudden they’re connecting to 50 people a day, which is not what, I’m also Hudson job search advisor. So we don’t recommend that people just do that.
Liz Suddenly hop on and start interacting with a bunch of people.
De-de Right. Ignore their LinkedIn profile. But yes, I mean, there is some level of professionalism linked with storytelling. So those are the ones that seem to resonate with people.
Liz And so even if, even if I’m on there as Liz Hirsch, the business owner. It would still be OK to tell a story from my personal life. You think?
De-de Yeah, as long as it relates to business or something you’re seeing or some trend that you’re picking up. Or, for example, not pregnancy pictures. Not this, but I mean, it’s okay to show the personal. Like, bring a kid to work day sort of thing or what, something you’ve learned or something you learned in second grade that still resonates today or something along that. So it can be cute. And people do like cute and edgy to some respect still on LinkedIn. And they want transparency. So I think what you have to do is you have to be you still on LinkedIn. Your voice has to be your voice. And don’t try to be something that you’re not. You know, so. I don’t know if that answers your question.
Liz No, it does. I mean, I think my personal struggle with LinkedIn at times has been that I go to it thinking, oh, oh, OK, I’ve got to be super professional here. And not that I’m unprofessional, but I do like to have fun.
De-de Right, right.
Liz And sometimes I again, a personal struggle. I kind of get lost trying to balance the professionalism and fun on that channel. It’s a tricky channel.
De-de Yeah, it is.
Sandro So if you bring your dog to work, can you, is that OK to post a picture of your dog here?
Liz Yes, but I tried to bring Charlie here once and it did not go well.
De-de Well, I think if especially if you’re trying to do, your company culture is a dog-friendly company culture. It’s certainly something to think about, right? And if you have two or three dogs running around and they’re calm and so forth. I mean, that’s great. So I think whatever you think is going to benefit your company culture. Share a story about that. But it still has to be, it can’t be just kind of random. I mean, forgive me, I’m on Instagram, but it’s, Instagram seems very random to me. Like, it’s like, oh, I just, I gotta take a picture of this, whatever I’m eating. And then. I don’t know. Something else. It doesn’t seem so…
Liz Whereas I don’t feel like that and I think it may be, could be because some of these people I’ve been following for so long, I’ve got a relationship with them. So when I see the picture of whatever, I’m like, oh, well, yeah, I know they’ve got a new grill last week, so. Makes sense. Like but if you’re only hopping on there once every couple weeks and suddenly you see a post and it leaves your head-scratching. Yeah. Then I could see why it would be. It would seem random.
De-de Yeah. It just seems… Of course, they bring the stories into Facebook which is nice. Also a little bit like, OK, what is this? Where is this story going? But anyway. So that’s pretty much it. I hope I helped some.
Liz I love this insight.
Sandro I may consider thinking about maybe joining LinkedIn.
De-de Six hundred and seventy-three million people are on it. So just remember that.
Liz Yeah. It may not be the Facebook or the Instagram of the social media world, but that’s a big number.
De-de And then do remember, 70 percent of those are international people. So if you’re trying to connect with other people that are international, that speak a different language and you’re proficient in another language that opens a door too.
Liz I love it. Well, this has been great. I would consider myself a fairly savvy LinkedIn user, but I’m really impressed with everything you shared today. So thank you.
De-de Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.
Liz Of course. And if any of our listeners have questions, comments, feel free to jump in. You can reach us on social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We are not on LinkedIn. But maybe we should be.
Sandro Our podcast on LinkedIn?
Liz I guess it would have to be a group, right? Or could it be a page?
De-de You can put a…
Liz Sandro goes, what’s a group?
De-de Well, groups are, I would stay, I would stay away from groups honestly. I think I would just put a link from your LinkedIn profile to the podcast.
Liz OK, yeah. Which I think I have, I have that on my, for sure. Yeah, for sure do. When I updated my profile like that was one of the things.
De-de When I get the link, I’ll put it on my company page and on my personal profile. So there you go.
Liz Love it. Yes. We will have De-de’s contact info on our website in case you want to reach out to her directly. Email, social channels. Yeah. Or in our, in our show notes, I should say. Don’t forget, you can find us on iTunes, Google Podcast and Spotify. That wraps up today’s episode. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time.