When it comes to LinkedIn, many don’t realize the various ways the professional social network can leverage your bottom line.
According the latest study of 2015 LinkedIn stats compiled by Digital Marketing Ramblings, LinkedIn now has 332 million users, attained 28 billion views in Q3 of 2014, and the average user has 930 connections. This is clearly a space where people are spending time and in a deliberate manner.
In addition to optimizing your personal profile and creating a complacent business page for your hotel or restaurant, there are numerous other components that can be utilized to take your LinkedIn marketing for business to the next level.
Three Approaches to LinkedIn Business Pages
In visiting Four Seasons’ LinkedIn page, it’s evident they focus a lot on sharing photos. They portray recipes and their chef creating meals.
This isn’t as common on LinkedIn specifically which makes this tactic sound out. Chef photos and the like are usually reserved moreso for visual platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, so it’s a diverse approach to leverage LinkedIn for this purpose. Sharing photos helps humanize the brand and convey a more personal element to it, even among a more professional environment.
Hilton Worldwide is setting a high bar with regard to their LinkedIn business page. They have over 320,000 followers, and rather using this page as a sales tool which may seem inherent, they use it to highlight various other aspects of their company.
For example, the post they have pinned to the top is one in which they discuss how the company supports veterans, and they also have a weekly segment in which they highlight military spouses.
As a large portion of active LinkedIn users are putting their best feet forward to seek employment, this is the perfect place to share available positions and be able to selectively vet candidates out the gate. They’re also able to cast a wide net in terms of locations of the job openings and positions available.
While Four Seasons, Hilton, and Starwood, all take varied approaches to their LinkedIn company pages, they all can be worthwhile if in alignment with the company’s goals and mission.
Leveraging Groups, Content, Networking, and Advertising on LinkedIn
Participating in LinkedIn Groups can be useful for individual hospitality pros, too. Participating in groups is great way to meet others in the industry and show your expertise. There is a wide variety of hospitality groups on LinkedIn that can be explored.
Last year, LinkedIn debuted its own blogging platform, which can tie seamlessly into your content marketing strategy. By using the “Discover” feature, LinkedIn will recommend individuals whose blogs you may be interested in, and you can therefore interact with these individuals and their posts to further network with industry influencers while also learning at the same time.
This feature also allows your own posts to be featured by others who may deem them relevant. There is a business travel niche that shows a variety of articles related to travel.
Another useful, often overlooked tip is to check out where you rank among other hospitality industry professionals. In a recent article with 2015 LinkedIn hacks, Kristi Hines recommends visiting the profiles of the most viewed similar professionals and connections to see if there’s anything you can add to your profile to get more views.
Perusing those similar to you can also be an efficient way to network and assess collaboration or other beneficial opportunities. For example, if your hotel is looking for influential travel bloggers, this may be a useful way to locate some and facilitate discussion around potential partnerships.
As attaining group and meeting business is an elemental part of most hotels’ business, the LinkedIn advertising platform also mustn’t be overlooked. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with the world’s largest audience of active, influential professionals. Several ad options are available (text and image ads; video ads; text-only ads) and you can set your own budget on a pay-per click or impression model.
Similar to the specific targeting allotted by Facebook ads, LinkedIn provides precise B2B targeting based on job title and function; industry and company size; or seniority. For instance, I’m being served an ad for a hospitality management degree because Cornell is clearly targeting individuals in the hospitality space.
While it’s clear there are many options for which you may approach your LinkedIn presence and its various components, as always, it’s important to assess your overall strategy and goals and then incorporate LinkedIn as best suited for what you’re trying to accomplish.