How can your business use LinkedIn?

You’ll probably already know that Facebook and Twitter can be great platforms for growing a business and reaching customers, but you may not have thought about how business LinkedIn could also help you reach out to your audiences.

With over 500 million users and counting, and a third of professionals using LinkedIn, the social platform has powerful potential if you know how to get the most out of it.

In this article, we’ll show you how to get started on LinkedIn, with some tips on the different ways your business can benefit from joining the social platform.

Building your company page

The page you have for your business is different to what you may already have for your personal LinkedIn profile. A business LinkedIn profile is called a ‘Company Page’ and is where LinkedIn users can find out about your business.

This is also the page that is linked to when your staff list themselves as working for you on their personal profiles, and is a place for you to share your latest business news and new job opportunities. Customers, clients, staff, and anyone who has an interest in your business can choose to follow you to receive your updates.

You can start setting up your company page on LinkedIn, but first take a look at our helpful tips:

  • Make the name of your LinkedIn company page the same name as your business.
  • Complete as much detail about your business as you can, including the description where you can state who you are, and what your business offers.
  • Select from the menus your business size, industry, and other category options. Don’t forget to also include some information on your products or service so that people new to your page can understand exactly what you do.
  • Include any specialities and keywords to help people find you when they search on LinkedIn or Google.
  • Pick a unique URL, rather than the letters and numbers LinkedIn automatically assigns to your profile, again this should be your business name.
  • Include a link to your website.
  • Use an up-to-date, high resolution logo as your profile picture, and select a suitable photo for the banner image too. The look of your LinkedIn page should match the look of your website to keep your branding consistent.

Once you’re happy with your company page and you’ve proofread it, hit “publish” to set your page live. You can now keep an eye on its success in the “Follower Insights” section where you can monitor useful analytics on your page’s performance and the demographics of your followers.

Share regular updates

LinkedIn is a social network, meaning you need to use it a bit like you do a Facebook or Twitter profile, including posting regular updates that will appear on your company page and within your followers’ news feed. People can like, comment, and share your posts on LinkedIn, similar to Facebook, and all these interactions will help get your posts and business seen by more people.

The next question is, what should you be posting about? This is where LinkedIn differs from Facebook and Twitter profiles. Company updates are a great starting point, for example if you’ve recently won an award or launched a new product line, tell your LinkedIn followers about it! You can also share links to blog posts on your website and any other company culture updates, for example interviews with current employees.

To grow your audience and spark conversations on LinkedIn, you could look to share links to any news stories that are relevant to your industry and business. Why not ask followers what they think about the story to encourage interactions and debates?

Here are a few more tips when it comes to posting on LinkedIn:

  • Include images and videos where you can for better engagement as they typically result in a 98% higher comment rate, while videos produce a 75% higher share rate.
  • Where appropriate use the @ symbol to mention a person or business to expand the reach of your post, similar to Facebook.
  • Use hashtags, again where appropriate, to tap into wider, searchable discussions, similar to Twitter.
  • Set aside some time to respond to comments on your updates, remember social media is a two-way conversation.
  • Don’t connect your LinkedIn account with your Facebook or Twitter profiles as you don’t want your Facebook posts and tweets automatically published on LinkedIn – what works on one social network doesn’t necessarily always work on another.

As LinkedIn is a professional networking site, naturally updates are generally of a more serious nature compared to the more fun updates you might consider sharing on Facebook or Twitter. This doesn’t mean you can’t inject a bit of humour on LinkedIn though, as long as it’s relevant and part of your brand personality. Click here to find out more on crafting compelling company updates.

Join in conversations

One of the great things about LinkedIn is you can reach lots of potential new customers without necessarily having to pay for advertising. LinkedIn is primarily a networking site, so make sure you make the most of it for connecting with new contacts in your industry. You can find LinkedIn Groups where people are discussing relevant issues and get involved in the conversation. Start your own discussions and contribute to those of other people, following other influencers in your industry will also help you to keep up with news and may spark ideas for content of your own.

Become a thought leader by publishing your ideas

Using LinkedIn Publishing to publish articles can help raise your profile and could potentially get your thoughts seen by a larger audience. It’s a great way to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, and each time someone likes or comments on your post, it will appear in their news feed too.

If you already write a blog on your own website, you can republish your content as LinkedIn articles, including a line at the bottom saying the piece was originally published on your website. Include a link to your website too and you’ll help drive traffic to your site.

Include your business on your personal profile and get recommendations

Fill in your current work information with your position at your business on your personal LinkedIn profile to link yourself with your company page. Encourage your staff to do the same as well so your business will be seen by their connections.

You can then ask your clients and customers for recommendations on LinkedIn to help build your personal and business credibility. You may find you even get some nice quotes that you can use on your website, with the reviewer’s permission. Not only does this look good on your own profile; it also gets shown to the network of the person who wrote the recommendation if they share it, so others will get to hear about you and the great things your customers are saying.

Use LinkedIn for market research

When you’ve got a good following on your company page, you’ll find it a really useful tool for free market research. For example, if you’ve launched a new product you can ask your followers whether there’s any improvements they’d make to refine it further. Or, if you’re thinking of expanding your business into a new service area, you could use LinkedIn to see whether there’s a demand for it by asking your followers if they’d be interested.

You can also use LinkedIn Groups in a similar way, start by finding groups that are relevant to your business and begin a conversation by asking for opinions. You could even just browse these groups to identify any challenges other customers are facing that your products or services could help with.

Fill job vacancies

Anyone who is serious about expanding their career will be on LinkedIn, making it a great place to find talented people who might want to work for you. You can post job adverts on the platform, or even use it to headhunt potential candidates and approach them directly. You can find out more about posting jobs on LinkedIn here.

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