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LinkedIn is social media that means business

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Think of LinkedIn as Facebook for business professionals. Users ask to “link” their accounts with each other, building their own networks of contacts. With more than 500 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It’s a great platform for B2B and B2C connections, as well as employment and recruiting.

LinkedIn also works. According to one report, 90% of C-suite executives and 88% of business decision-makers who are LinkedIn members feel their respect and admiration of the organization increases when engaging with thought leadership content.

Much of what we’ve discussed about other social media sites applies to LinkedIn. Post consistently. Share content to boost your rankings and search results. Posts with pictures or video usually generate more engagement.

Building an account for your company by creating a business page, which allows you to create LinkedIn Showcase Pages. These are extensions of your LinkedIn page that spotlight your brand, specific units of your company or initiatives you’re involved in.

Create your page with a solid strategy. Are you trying to increase name awareness? Generate leads? Support recruitment and retention? Drill down as deep as possible, and let that goal guide your content.

Your LinkedIn profile is critical. When filling out your work experience, for example, don’t stop at listing the years you spent with each job. Include a few details on what you did and the marketable experience you gained. While you’re at it, think about the kinds of users you want to reach. Which keywords would they likely use in a search? Include them in your profile.

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Shoot for at least 500 connections that are strategic. Members of your LinkedIn network should include influencers and thought leaders within your industry, along with customers, media, etc.

LinkedIn’s analytics provide great insight into your audience and the effectiveness of your posts. Here are several metrics to watch:

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Engagement — Track how your audiences engage your content with clicks, likes and shares. Note which topics or types of content spark interest and post more of it.

Follower demographics — Use this data to determine who you’re reaching and how to fine-tune your content for target demographics.

Competitor comparison — Keep an eye on how your metrics compare with those of your competitors and decide what you should improve or make different.

You might consider creating a LinkedIn group to share industry news, trends and thought leadership. Open the group to your employees, and encourage them to share brand content. Promote your company’s LinkedIn page in relevant spaces like your website, newsletter and other social media.

When reaching out to your connections, try using LinkedIn Inmail. It has a response rate that’s up to 300% better than regular email. Use LinkedIn ads and sponsored content, especially for posts that perform well organically.

One last tip: If you’re invited to connect with someone you don’t know, check the person’s profile and shared connections before accepting. You’re perfectly within bounds if you want to click the “Reply” button and ask why the person wants to connect before accepting.

Ann Edelman is Vice President of Public Relations and Media for Zehnder Communications, a fully integrated advertising and marketing agency. Reach her at aedelman@z-comm.com.

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TikTok Launches New ‘Branded Mission’ Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

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TikTok Launches New 'Branded Mission' Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

TikTok’s looking to make it easier for creators to make money from their clips via a new program that it’s calling ‘Branded Mission’, which will enable creators to take part in what’s essentially branded content challenges, with the brand then able to select from the submitted clips for their promotional campaigns.

As explained by TikTok:

“To make it easier for brands to tap into the creative power of TikTok communities and co-create authentic branded content that resonates with users, we’re launching Branded Mission. Branded Mission is an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”

As outlined in the above video, the process will enable brands to post challenges, which creators with over 1k followers will then be able to participate in.

“TikTok creators can decide what Branded Missions they’re inspired by and choose to participate in the Mission. Brands will select their favorite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic.”

The chosen creators then get a cash payment, though the payment amounts, at least at this stage, won’t vary based on individual video performance.

Instead, each Mission will list earnings potential, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.

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Allocate more cash and you’ll pique the interest of more users, expanding the potential of tapping into a viral hit.

The option will broaden the creative options for brands, and with organic-styled content performing best on the platform, it could open up major new possibilities for marketers looking for ways to tap into the app.

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It’ll also provide TikTok with another critical revenue-share element. Clearly the app of the moment, if TikTok wants to maximize its opportunities, it needs to ensure that its top creators get paid – because with more lucrative monetization offers available on other platforms, it logically makes sense that big-name stars will follow the cash, and focus on those platforms instead.

But monetizing short-form video is harder than longer content, which is why TikTok is also rolling out 10-minute clips, and emphasizing live-streaming, as a means to drive more money-making opportunities.

Branded Mission is another step in this direction, which will ideally provide a more direct link between creating content in your own style and making money, without having to incorporate merchandise sales or arrange your own affiliate deals.

Interestingly, Meta is trying out similar on Instagram, where product tags were recently expanded to all users.

Instagram product tags

Creators don’t get paid for adding these tags, not yet at least, but you can see how Meta could eventually take a similar approach to provide creators with more revenue opportunities.

For TikTok, the process could make it much easier to bring in cash for your uploads, expanding well beyond the Creator Fund, which top creators have already been highly critical of.

You will, of course, need to create specific, themed videos, as opposed to YouTube, where you upload what you like and switch on ads. But it’s a fairly distanced relationship from the sponsor brands, which reduces management workload, while also providing new content prompts.

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It’s a good idea, and as more and more brands look to tap into the app – especially as it surges towards 1.5 billion users – you can bet that it’ll be a popular option for a range of ad partners.

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TikTok says that Branded Mission is now in beta testing, and is available to brands in more than a dozen markets. The option will be made available in more regions throughout the year.

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