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 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 600 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.
Tip #1. Start with Your Own LinkedIn Profile
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?”
Tip #2. Create a LinkedIn Company Page
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.
LinkedIn has a set of questions to get you going with your Company Page.
Tip #3. Define Your Audience and Goals
Common LinkedIn marketing goals involve generating leads, raising brand awareness, and establishing professional networking connections. Or all three – why not? Before you can begin working on any of these, you must define your target audience.
Tip #4. Optimize Your Company Page for Search
A LinkedIn Company Page optimized for SEO can help you gain visibility among 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:
Tip #5. Update Frequently
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.
Tip #6. Add Company Page Followers
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?
Tip #7. Publish Interesting Content on Your Company Page
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.
Tip #8. Use Rich Media to Increase Company Page Engagement
Posts with images get over six times more engagement than text-only content. Add images, YouTube videos, and SlideShare presentations to your updates.
Tip #9 Start a Group.
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. The idea is not to spam groups with posts about your business but to engage in an actual conversation that creates real connections.
LinkedIn helps you out with suggestions for discussion topics.
Take LinkedIn Seriously
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 circles of connectivity; i.e., 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.
Like any other marketing channel, LinkedIn will work well for you if you take it seriously and put in the effort to understand how it can best 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.
So you Googled your company name and discovered some negative comments. What happens now?
Is it possible that you can quash negative internet content?
The only way to remove negative search results is to have the owner of the website do it. That’s probably not going to happen.
If you can’t get it removed, the next tactic for lessening the effect of negatives is to SUPPRESS the bad things.
When an embarrassing result appears on your search engine results page, you can try to suppress it by pulling up more positive search results for your pages, products and social media, using the steps outlined in Part Two of our ORM series.
The operative word here is “try.”
The tough part about improving web reputation by suppressing bad articles is that to push a negative mention off the first page of search results, there must be at least 10 better pieces of content
This requires a lot of work and is a job best left to professionals, like the pros at Kitchen Design Partner.
What’s to be done?
You know the saying: the best defense is a good offense. BE PROACTIVE and avoid negative comments in the first place or have so many positive mentions that the negative doesn’t appear so bad.
Here are some general tips to manage your reputation online PROACTIVELY:
At a minimum you should be on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn (if your business is B2B). If your products are visually-oriented, get busy on Pinterest and Instagram. Top business Instagrams appear high up in Google search results.
When your social media accounts are interlinked with each other and linked to / from your blog / website, they should rank really well in the search engines. Facebook and Twitter carry a lot of SEO power.
Link building can seem like hard work -- and it is -- but it’s worth it. Backlinks are still one of the top ranking factors for search.
You Can’t Opt Out Of Reputation Management
For many small businesses, the lack of proactive online reputation management makes them a sitting duck.
With only a website to show your business online, you’re in a bad position if anyone posts negative things about your business on social media, as those negative comments can show up in searches for your business.
For local businesses, people search for you by business name, so having negative reviews or comments rank in search results can directly impact your bottom line..
If a your business doesn’t invest in developing its online presence and reputation proactively, you will more than likely pay later in terms of lost sales and profits and having to pay to repair damage.
Don’t let this happen to you.
What do people who haven't contacted you yet see when they Google your business? Are the results: Positive? Negative? Non-existent?
Your business’s online reputation starts with Google (or in the case of voice search - Google Home or Echo). It’s where people go to learn more about your brand, or when they want to buy what you sell. If business success is your goal, you’ve got to invest in how your business is seen by people who might buy from you.
The first step to managing your business’s online reputation in this 2017 environment is to take Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seriously.
That’s because when a potential new customer first sees or hears your business name, what do they do? They Google you. What they find could be what decides them to buy from you or not.
Most people think SEO is a way to promote your website to get more business drawn to your site so you can make some profit. And that’s true… in part.
But that’s not all SEO can do for you. In fact, SEO is used to help manage your online reputation.
In the first part of our look at Online Reputation Management, we examined how Online Reputation Management (ORM) and SEO are similar, but not the same.
Now we’re going to dig a little deeper to see how those two principles can work to protect your online reputation, attract new customers and increase your sales.
As we said, the goal of SEO is to make your online content more visible to search engines, to get your business to page one of search results for relevant keywords. If your SEO campaign is successful, then competitors trying to rank for those same keywords will see their content fall down the results page, because you replaced their name with yours.
Numbers don’t lie: search engines get over 6.5 billion searches every day, making search engines one of the best places to connect with consumers, and businesses are missing out if they don’t focus on SEO. Since the majority of web users only look at the first couple of search results, SEO done well can boost traffic to your site, and ideally, convert those searchers into buying customers.
Google would have you believe that SEO is simple. Just post some great content and people will flock to your site!
Hold the phone and not so fast.
The Internet is a big place, competition for your keywords is fierce, and it’s filled with people who have a lot to say—not all of it good. What do your potential customers see when they search your business name? You can’t address problems if you don’t know what they are. Perform searches with "reviews" or "complaints" at the end of your name if you want to see the real dirt.
An efficient ORM plan involves constant monitoring for mentions of your name, business name, and products you sell.
When someone searches your business, every result on the first page should support a positive view of your company.
Consumers are easily influenced by negative mentions of businesses, and with so much competition out there, one negative review is often enough to send someone to your competitor.
If your online reputation is just not what you’d like, you can’t necessarily have negatives removed, but you can do some damage control. Lessening the harm of negative search results is a big part of ORM
The best method to lessen the impact of negatives is to use some or all of the most well-understood factors that affect search engine results.
YOU CAN'T OPT OUT OF REPUTATION MANAGEMENT.
In Part Three of our investigation of Online Reputation Management tactics, we'll look at proactive steps you can take to reduce the impact of any negatives that may pop up about you and your business.
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