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The Microsoft + LinkedIn Deal, and Why It’s Interesting

Thursday, June 23, 2016 | Posted by to Harebrained Ideas, Internet Marketing Strategy, Online Communities, Social Media Marketing, Underwire Newsletter

I love James Allworth's post on the Microsoft-LinkedIn Deal. 

Who's going to be having sleepless nights after Microsoft's LinkedIn deal? Salesforce.

Nail. Head.

I've been thinking a lot about marketing automation and CRMs because I'm co-authoring a chapter on B2B social media marketing for a textbook being published next year.

My basic take on LinkedIn, grounded in recent data from TrackMaven and Content Marketing Institute, is that B2B brands tend to restrict themselves to LinkedIn. They can amass a following on LinkedIn but have trouble engaging those followers.

LinkedIn has built up its reputation as the largest social network for professionals, and I do see great engagement when it's P2P (professional to professional) but not B2H (business to human).

My recommendation is to have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook, avail yourself of the targeted advertising tools on both platforms, but find ways to stand out on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Back to LinkedIn for a moment. Here's why Salesforce should be anxious. Microsoft has a CRM that competes with Salesforce, but where Salesforce has about 20% market share, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has 7% (CRMsearch, 2016)

The problem with CRMs are the people, the sales people, who have to doggedly update all the information related to their contacts' change of job, role, details, etc.

Now, if only there was a place where people naturally went to update all their connections when they change jobs or roles? Oh, hello. LinkedIn. /p>

Imagine the power of a CRM that taps into LinkedIn data, with access to all the targeting functions for advertising and insights into all the first-, second-, and third-level connections within personal networks. Hm. Microsoft has made a good acquisition here. 

B2B sales has always been about who you know, but the competitive advantage is in how much you know about the people you know.

Now, back to our regular programming. How about some tips on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram? One word. Re-purpose.

What is the thing you are currently promoting? Here's a quick-wins checklist for that cool report, ebook, whitepaper, event or awesome doohickey.

  1. Pin the content to your Twitter profile and Facebook page. Make sure it's the best piece of content you have. When non-followers check out your profile it will be the first thing they see. Think of your social profiles the way you do your reception area. Put out the flowers.
  2. Grab some key insights or quotes or factoids from that content and make it into an infographic or mosaic or something shareable on Pinterest. Canva is a fun tool for this. Go for long and narrow. The more real estate your pin takes up the more visible it is. Remember to post the URL in the description and include it in the infographic.
  3. Convert that infographic into a landscape version and use it as your Facebook banner. Banner and profile pic updates tend to get good visibility and engagement. The banner with the pinned content together can look really smart. 
  4. Convert a portion of the infographic into a square and post it to Instagram. Mention that the link to the full piece is in your profile, then make sure the URL in your profile links to the landing page vs your homepage.
  5. Re-purpose the content into a slide deck and then save it as a movie and upload it to YouTube (load the slide deck to SlideShare).

Have other tips? Please share. 


Monique Sherrett

When not running Boxcar Marketing, Monique blogs about books, publishing and technology at SoMisguided.com See more posts by Monique Sherrett. You can also find her marketing tips on Twitter and YouTube.

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Filed under: Harebrained Ideas, Internet Marketing Strategy, Online Communities, Social Media Marketing, Underwire Newsletter | Permalink


Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Alex Hurst says:

I’ve always been a little curious about marketing on LinkedIn. It is, as a site, still a living CV for me, and I feel that the blanket connections people try to make (people trying to add me to their network in the dozens every month) weaken its authority and usefulness over time. If anyone and everyone can vet a skillset, for example, even when they don’t really know each other… is that system really valuable anymore? It’s sort of like the Kindle Scout program, which relies on popularity votes to make publishing deals (which, if we’re honest, can be gamed to kingdom come.) Anyway, good tips and an interesting article. It will be interesting to see how LI continues to change in the coming years.

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