How to get your LinkedIn page under the nose of the CIO
You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.
People often make their judgement within the first few seconds of an initial encounter. While it’s possible to gradually overcome a negative perception over the course of several meetings, it’s so much easier if you get it right first time.
In the world of B2B tech, where IT buyers research online extensively before purchasing, that crucial first impression often happens on LinkedIn and involves vying with your competitors for the CIO’s attention.
Here we outline a four-point checklist for your company’s LinkedIn page to help get it under the nose of IT buyers and ensure that, once it’s there, it gets that first impression just right.
LinkedIn’s position in the IT buying journey
Chief information officers and LinkedIn were made for each other.
Research shows that IT buyers are 50% more likely to buy on LinkedIn than any other social network and two thirds are happy to connect with vendors on there.
CIOs are also more likely to share content about tech products and services on LinkedIn than any other network, making it a crucial platform for achieving social proof for your business. The credit from that kind of activity can clinch a deal for tech businesses, with research showing that IT buyers turn to recommendations at every stage of their buying journey.
1. An easy-to-find (and understand) page
To increase your chances of your business being seen by the right people, you need to nail the company description section of your business’s LinkedIn page.
Make it easy for the right people to find your company’s LinkedIn page by adding keyword terms in the description and ‘Specialties’ sections.
Pinpoint exactly what it is your company offers and think about the terms your ideal customers might use when searching, then match the two.
It can be tricky to get that right, especially if your product is niche or difficult to explain – here’s a blog post that offers a practical approach to kick-starting an SEO and keyword strategy.
2. Does it pass the blink test?
You can spends hours upon hours crafting beautiful copy for your page, but, if it’s not easy to digest, visitors will probably leave without taking any further action. The decision whether it’s worth their time to stay on your website or look elsewhere happens over a few seconds, and it’s often called “the blink test”.
The same test applies to your company’s LinkedIn page and is crucial for getting that first impression right.
Time will be against you if your company’s product or service is a complex one, so you need to stack everything in your favour. An effective way to do this is to use images.
The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and LinkedIn lets you upload a banner image to your company’s page, so take advantage of this by spending the time to find/create one that captures what your business does in a way that text simply can’t.
You can change the image as often as you like. Use one that reflects your company’s value proposition, accomplishments, upcoming events, or latest product offerings and benefits.
3. Targeted content
LinkedIn lets you publish updates linking through to other content, such as your company’s blog, and it’s worth spending time creating your own content – our Tech Heads report showed that 75% of CIOs value vendors who create their own content over those who don’t.
That same report found that 41% of IT buyers cited “content that’s too generic” as their biggest bugbear with vendor content. It’s not enough to simply create. It needs to be genuinely adding something valuable for your audience and be different to what your competitors are doing – here’s a blog post with four steps on how to find your niche and own it.
4. LinkedIn Etiquette
Our Tech Heads report revealed that 24% of IT directors find vendor content too product focussed. While it’s important to keep content relevant to work, bear in mind LinkedIn’s unspoken etiquette:
Keep it conversational and related to work. LinkedIn users are keen to learn and get ahead in their careers – much like traditional networking, the focus must be on being personable and credible.
Directly messaging or reaching out to your LinkedIn contacts could be considered spam, unless you add some sort of value. Make sure that people you contact want to hear from you and that your message is positioned as being relevant and helpful to them.
Remember that every Like, Comment, and Share that’s clicked increases your reach. Prompt your followers to take action on your updates by asking thoughtful questions and sharing helpful insights.
Turning social success into business numbers
While a first impression won’t necessarily make or break a business deal in the long term, positive and negative ones will colour the likelihood of future interactions occurring. LinkedIn is an influential tool for IT buyers – get it right first time and you’ll be more likely to get a shot at making a second impression.
Photo via flickr.com/photos/drewleavy/