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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.

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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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

As we head into the holiday shopping push, Instagram has announced that it’s testing out some new ad options, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake, while also providing new opportunities for brands.

Though I can’t imagine that these will be entirely popular additions with users.

First off, Instagram’s adding new ads into Explore, with the first page of Explore now set to feature a new ad unit in the content feed.

As you can see in this example, that’s a pretty big ad. Instagram hasn’t clarified if all of these new Explore ads will be featured as prominently as this, but the option will provide another means to reach IG users ‘in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about’.

It could be a good consideration, with a chance to get your products featured in the main discovery feed in the app.

Instagram’s also testing ads in profile feed – ‘which is the feed experience that people can scroll through after visiting another account’s profile and tapping on a post’.

So now, if you check out someone’s profile, and tap on a post, you’ll also be eligible to be served ads in that dedicated stream of their content, essentially inserting ads into another surface in the app.

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Instagram’s also looking into whether this option could also be used as a monetization opportunity for creators, as that activity will be tied back to an individual profile and content.

Instagram’s also testing what it’s calling ‘Multi-Advertiser Ads’, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they’ve engaged with an ad.

Instagram ad updates

As per Instagram:

“When a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad, we deliver more ads from other businesses that may be of interest, powered by machine learning.”

So Instagram’s looking to push even more related businesses at you, stacking ads upon ads. I don’t know how effective that will be, but in theory, it could get your brand in front of interested users based on previous ad engagement.

Finally, Instagram’s also launched an open beta of its AR Ads, which will be available in both feed and Stories in the app.

Instagram ads update

As you can see here, Instagram’s AR ads, built in its Spark AR platform, will invite users to interact with their ad content, which could also include positioning virtual furniture in their home, or test driving a car in the app.

Which Meta also says will help brands align with future engagement shifts:

“By giving businesses tools to create more personalized and immersive experiences today we’ll help them drive performance and prepare for the metaverse.”

I mean, AR and the metaverse, which is largely VR-based (going on the examples we’ve seen thus far) are not the same thing, but the creation of 3D objects will play a part in that next stage, and could help to advance your thinking on ad approaches.

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These are some interesting ad considerations, but they’ll also see a lot more promotions being squeezed into your Instagram feeds, which, as noted, likely won’t be welcomed by users.

But with parent company Meta under rising pressure, Instagram has to do its part. And while leaning into further Reels, and forcing in more ads, may not be a great play, long-term, the usage and engagement data will ultimately tell the tale.



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