This may seem like a strange analogy, but hear me out… LinkedIn profiles are for many companies the social media equivalent of a wok. There was almost certainly a time in your life when you fancied whipping up an authentic stir-fry and invested in a wok only to use it once and retire it indefinitely to the back of a kitchen cupboard – and for many businesses their experience with LinkedIn will have followed a similar pattern.
But in the same way that a wok is not just useful for stir-fries (why not try paella, it works!) there are so many more things that a LinkedIn account is useful for than simply setting up a company page and leaving it for people to find.
One great thing you can use LinkedIn for is promoting any event, conference or talk that you are holding, potentially to at least a portion of LinkedIn’s 200+ million users – a veritable goldmine of business professionals who are just waiting to hear about your next exciting event.
Using your company page
Your main priority when it comes to LinkedIn is ensuring you are updating and adding events to your company page. It is an ideal place to promote your events to your existing connections and by correctly wording your updates with engaging calls to action you can pique the interest of business professionals with whom you have connected.
A great way to do maximise the effect of the event updates is to use a question related phrase to engage potential conference visitors. Most importantly you should look to add a link to the registration page for your event, so that those who do show an interest can take the next step and sign up.
Spreading the message
Another good technique is to use direct messages to your connections to publicise your event. If you are a LinkedIn Premium user you can collate a list of your connections in different sectors and niches, which you can then mine for contacts appropriate to your event.
It is important that, even if you are not a Premium user, to select a list of people to direct message who you think will actually be interested in your event. Not only does this cut down on the logistics of sending multiple direct messages it also ensures that you are not bothering people who are never likely to be attracted to your event.
Get into groups
LinkedIn Groups are another potential destination for event publicity. You can find a comprehensive list of all LinkedIn groups at http://www.linkedin.com/directory/groups/ within which you may be able to find groups that are applicable to your event.
Join up to some of these groups and take some time to gauge the type of content that works well, and when you feel you have done this a softly softly approach to promotion works best. Perhaps try and incite a discussion around one of the topics you are planning to cover in your conference and within that conversation you will be able to mention your event.
Invest in ads
If you are lucky enough to have been bestowed a small advertising budget to work with in the promotion of your event, then you may wish to consider investing in a small campaign of LinkedIn ads. These ads work in a similar way to Google adwords, in that you can specify how much you would like to spend over how long a period.
You can also target these ads at specific business types, specific roles within those companies and company location. The great thing about LinkedIn ads is that you have the potential to spread the word across all of LinkedIn’s users, rather than just your own business connections.
This article was provided by Banks Sadler, an event management company based in the UK.