LinkedIn is a lot like Facebook, except it’s for business exclusively. There’s no Bejeweled Blitz on Linked, only people looking for jobs or businesses looking for new employees, people looking for answers to questions to help them with their business or people looking to connect with other people in their industry.
It’s a social networking site, yes, but one that allows your business to connect with more than 500 million professionals from around the world. It’s the perfect tool to help generate leads, build brand awareness and/or establish professional connections.
We’ve assembled a few tips for creating an active LinkedIn presence for your business.
Just as on Facebook, your personal profile lets you present yourself as the individual behind the brand. When people search your name, you want them to discover something that makes you stand out from your competitors. Profiles form first impressions, where people decide, “Can I see myself working with this person?”
Treat your LinkedIn Company Page as your business’s LinkedIn profile. Unlike personal profiles, LinkedIn company pages are set up to represent your brand. Even small companies can benefit from using a company page and connecting it with to personal profiles.
If you have different brands or personas, you will want to set up a Showcase Page. A Showcase page is a niche page off a company page devoted to promoting one brand. As an example, Gap has separate Showcase pages for Banana Republic and Old Navy.
LinkedIn has a page of instructions to get you going with your Company Page.
Common LinkedIn marketing goals:
Or all three – why not?
Before you can begin working on any of these, you must define your target audience. Once again, LinkedIn provides helpful instructions.
A LinkedIn Company Page optimized for SEO can get your page noticed by the people searching for what your company offers. The content you post on LinkedIn should be the same as what you post on your company website or blog.
To optimize your LinkedIn Page for search:
Updates can include recently completed projects, news coverage, creative tips, new features or products — anything that shows your business as an active and serious operation.
When people follow your Company Page, your updates appear directly in their LinkedIn feed. The more Company Page followers you have, the higher the reach potential of each update you publish.
How to add followers?
Your content has to be interesting to engage your target audience. When you get clicks, shares, and comments, these all indicate your content is reaching readers.
Don’t to try to sell your products and services. “Salesy” content doesn’t perform well on LinkedIn.
You can also share content from others with your followers.
Posts with images get over six times more engagement than text-only content. Add images, YouTube videos, and SlideShare presentations to your updates.
A great social feature on LinkedIn is the ability to start a group with a specific interest. If you can connect your business to a general topic that engages people, you can set up a group, start a discussion and make sure members know about your business.
Tip #10 Participate in Other Groups
It’s not enough to create your own group; you need to be active in existing communities and interact with other users. Do not spam groups with posts about your business. Engage in the conversations to create real connections.
LinkedIn helps you out with suggestions for discussion topics. See box at left.
Despite its professional focus, LinkedIn is still a social network. To succeed here, you need to be a social player, one who engages with people.
The good thing about LinkedIn is that it helps you interact with the right people by showing who your connections are connected to. Browse through profiles of your connections and see who they’re involved with. You might discover a valuable lead.
LinkedIn will work well for you if you take it seriously and put in the effort to understand how it can work for you. If you want to see results, LinkedIn should be included in your overall social media marketing strategy.
Creating and maintaining an active social media presence can be overwhelming for small businesses, who often lack the resources to devote to it. Kitchen Design Partner can get you started or they can manage your LinkedIn presence alone, or they can take on all of social media for your business, whatever you need. Contact them to find out about their programs.