More than 57 million companies use LinkedIn for business. If you take the time to scroll on LinkedIn, you know it’s not just for recruiting top talent. With over 690 million daily users, companies take advantage of LinkedIn for networking and sales.
Since Banzai's marketing optimized our positioning and awareness in the market, our wonderful VP of marketing thought it would be fitting to assign an objective to grow our LinkedIn audience by 20% (our annual reviews are coming up).
While Banzai has always maintained an average following on LinkedIn, the content we were sharing wasn't engaging. There was a lack of human-ness to our presence, and it showed in the absence of engagement from our followers. As a marketer working at a marketing technology company whose mission is to make marketing more human, I knew we needed to change up our LinkedIn strategy. The answer? Engagement marketing.
Engagement marketing is defined as the use of strategic, resourceful content to engage people and create meaningful interactions over time. We know that when marketers build relationships throughout the buyer’s life cycle (rather than simply focusing on lead and SQL numbers), they boost their opportunity to increase revenue. Banzai is already applying an engagement marketing strategy to our email marketing, sales enablement, webinars, and business structure. So, why not for social as well?
After mapping out what engagement marketing looks like on social media, I put it to the test. And, guess what?
In 10 weeks, we grew our follower count by 20%, expanded our reach by 38%, and our interactions increased by 71%.
So, how exactly can you get 20% more connections on LinkedIn in just a few months? More importantly, how can you bring the human element to a company page, establish connections with your audience, and generate sales despite your profile picture being a company logo? The answer is engagement marketing, and in this post, I’ll go over the five engagement marketing tactics I used for LinkedIn growth.
Tactic 1: Publish Valuable Content
While it might seem straightforward to publish “valuable” content on social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of quantity over quality. The best way to ensure you post valuable content is to have a clear understanding of who it is you’re posting for, their story, your brand story, and how they align.
To organize the creation of valuable content on LinkedIn, I sat down and laid out five value pillars (content pillars). These are topics or issues that Banzai’s audience is interested in.
I added subtopics underneath so I would always have discussion points to pull from. This is immensely helpful if you’re a social media team of one.
For example, one of our value pillars is event marketing. A subtopic here would be event success. One of our recent blog posts discussed ways marketers can create successful hybrid events that their audience won’t want to miss.
This was a great blog to re-post, because it aligned perfectly with our audience and the values we share, but it was also timely: This was a topic they not only wanted, but needed to read about since we were all searching for ways to run events in a safe and inviting way.
Your audience is on autopilot while scrolling. Even if they stop long enough to consume your content, they’re not necessarily engaging. You need to have a call-to-action that tells them what they should do next.
Some of my favorite call-to-action prompts are asking for comments, a reaction, a follow, or to click on a link.
I highly suggest rotating your calls-to-action to ensure the audience remains excited to interact with your posts and doesn’t fall into the habit of just hitting the thumbs up each time they see your post on their feed.
Why Is This So Important?
The whole point of engagement marketing is to “create meaningful interactions” that can turn into relationships with the potential to generate sales. Your audience has to be interested in your content in order to want those meaningful interactions, which is why understanding their needs is so important.
A snowball effect occurs when you post content that’s both valuable and engaging. It pushes your audience to react, think, and interact. Their engagement on your post provides more secondhand value, whether they share their perspective, experience, or support. That single interaction encourages other members of your audience to engage, as well as shows visitors the value of being a part of your community.
Tactic 2: Show Up in the Right Places
Who You Follow Matters
Your engagement marketing tactics shouldn’t apply to your profile alone; they should extend outward into your community.
Following and engaging industry leaders, popular accounts within your niche, and those that follow you fosters opportunities for more engagement and naturally garners more interest in your brand.
You can follow influencers and leave thoughtful comments on the content they post.
You can engage in several ways. If you leave the best comment on a post that has a wide reach, people will notice, especially if you stay consistent with it.
Once you follow them, you’ll see their content frequently, which will remind you to engage with them and their audience.
Don’t stop at leaders either; follow your customers as well. If a certain user tags you multiple times, give them a follow. Or, take time each week to follow new customers.
When you follow your customers and genuinely engage with their content, you provide a memorable brand experience, which often leads to them wanting to engage with you in return. Remember, your LinkedIn strategy should be about building relationships for the long term.
Your Audience Leaves Breadcrumbs to Content
If you struggle to craft content that will resonate with your audience, go through the list of people your followers are following. Once you land on someone in your industry, examine their content. What’s working? What topics evoke conversation and connection? What generated the most engagement? Leave comments yourself, re-share, or make something of your own on the same topic.
Are you ready to revamp your engagement marketing strategy? Take our engagement marketing assessment to learn what you need to improve.
Keep Up With Trends
A great way to engage with your target audience and highlight your authority is to leave intentional comments on trending posts. A trending post is one that’s receiving a high volume of traffic and engagement.
Showing up in this way exposes you to a large group of people, draw more eyes to your company's page, and support LinkedIn growth.
LinkedIn has tons of easy ways to find trending posts in your industry.
For example, you can use the “LinkedIn News” section to see what topics are being discussed at that moment. Once you click on a topic that pertains to your industry, you’ll see the trending posts from people adding their two cents about it.
Also, you can follow trending hashtags for your industry and check the most recent and popular posts using those hashtags. Your comments should be intentional and genuine. Think about what someone is saying before you respond. (I sometimes attach an article on the subject that I think they or their audience would be interested in.)
This goes without saying, but make sure you do this for topics relevant to your brand. If someone likes your comment, clicks on your company page, and sees a bunch of posts on a completely different topic, they’ll be confused and won’t follow.
I perform this engagement strategy for about one hour a day. I usually split up that hour throughout the day and try to do this on at least 40-50 posts.
If you want to build a community of followers, you have to add value to the community intentionally.
Tactic 3: Leverage Employee Accounts
Leveraging employee accounts on social media has been a major asset for Banzai. We have a number of employees with a highly engaged audience, so we often ask them to post about upcoming Banzai events, or to share Banzai content.
This expands the reach of the post and allows our employees to become the faces of our brand (adding that human element that marketing often neglects).
In return for sharing our content, we share theirs. If they post something related to the workplace, we re-post it and ask our followers to share their thoughts.
Every employee at Banzai embodies our core values of learning, serving others, and “10,000 years” in their personal lives, and sharing their content shows our audience the foundation of our culture.
We believe culture and brand are the same thing. We love to leverage our employees because it reflects our culture and brand unilaterally. Externally, sharing their experiences allows our audience to glimpse our culture, humanizes our brand, and, therefore, attracts our target audience.
Tactic 4: Use Rich Media
For this experiment, we didn't want to rely on the same media formats we constantly used. We needed to focus on posting interactive pieces in order to stand out and spark engagement.
Social media offers a few options to achieve this, but the two that have generated the most interest for us are video content and interactive graphics.
This year, a study by Wordstream found that marketers who use video grew revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
Followers, especially on LinkedIn, are more likely to stop scrolling for a video since it’s more captivating and feels less time-consuming than a written post.
This is another great way to share brand faces, a story, your product, or even your audience’s story. People relate more to visual content, especially video content, because it’s easier to see themselves in the story.
An engagement marketing tip here is to link the video back to something else. There should still be a purpose or a call-to-action. The goal is to keep your followers on your brand for as long as possible.
When applicable, using custom graphics can be a great way to captivate an audience. For example, when sharing a blog post, rather than including the link in a written post, create a graphic that highlights an important point in the post, then put the blog link in the comments.
It’s a great way to hook someone into not only reading the post, but also sharing or saving the graphic. Make sure you always cultivate the original company's trust by placing your logo and branding on the graphic.
Tactic 5: Post 2-3 Times a Day
The idea here is simple: Show up consistently and intentionally to expand opportunities for conversation, education, and content.
Take stock of where your target audience is most active, and intentionally post two to three times a day there. For us, that’s on LinkedIn, but for your brand, that may be Instagram or some other platform.
One way to locate your audience is to compare your engagement, clicks on links, and new contacts on each platform over a three-month period. The platform with the most engagement, clicks to links, and new contacts formed is most likely where your audience is, as it shows the audience finds the content valuable and sparks interest in your product.
I prefer to post two to three times a day on LinkedIn. I usually devote one post to sharing Banzai-specific content, a second post to resharing, and a third to industry updates. Please note, these posts need to be valuable, relatable, and in line with your brand. It’s far more profitable to publish one quality post a day than three lackluster ones.
This way, when someone lands on your profile, they can see who you are as a brand, what type of content to expect, and whether or not that content will be delivered to them often.
Since posting two to three times a day Monday through Friday, we’ve experienced a 55% increase in unique visitors on Banzai’s LinkedIn page. This means more new people are eyeing our profile each day than before thanks to our engagement marketing tactics.
How Engagement Marketing Increased Banzai’s Social Media ROI
Social media ROI is a metric that displays the amount of value generated by your investments in social media.
ROI is commonly measured in terms of monetary value. However, in cases where the direct impact on revenue is difficult to attribute, ROI can be measured using non-monetary metrics.
For example, if the goal of a campaign on social is to increase brand awareness, your ROI could be the amount of growth in follower count or post-impressions.
As mentioned earlier, the metrics used to measure social media ROI for your business should depend entirely on your objectives.
In our case, we found implementing engagement marketing tactics proved to be effective and lead to impressive LinkedIn growth including:
- a 239% increase in new followers
- a 67% increase in unique visitors to our LinkedIn profile
- a 22% increase in post interactions
- a 69% increase in unique button clicks
All of this is to say, more people found us on LinkedIn, interacted with our content, and engaged with our links than ever before.
Although we’re not able to tie these results directly to revenue just yet, we can certainly confirm that engagement marketing does what it’s intended to do. It engages, prompts interactions, builds relationships, and creates content your audience finds valuable.
It’s Time To Grow Your LinkedIn Following:
This engagement marketing experiment completely changed our social media strategy.
Prior to centering our strategy around engagement, we always focused on vanity numbers. Each post was built with one question in mind: “How will this get us closer to our desired follower count?” Now, our focus is, “How will this impact one person today?” “How will they find this valuable?” “How can this make them feel seen?”
By switching the lens I used to view our LinkedIn strategy, I was able to connect with our audience, employees, and peers in a deeper, more meaningful way. Ultimately, this is what engagement marketing is all about: connections, building trust in one another, and forging relationships that extend beyond your product or service. It’s about the humans behind the following.