How To Use LinkedIn For Business
With working from home and more business being conducted online since the start of the pandemic, using LinkedIn for business networking has become the norm. With company pages, individuals’ posts, InMails and the rise in advertising banners filling the newsfeeds, standing out from all the noise is becoming increasingly difficult.
Our 7-step guide below is designed to help you get the most out of LinkedIn for your business.
Step 1 - Create your LinkedIn Company page
There is currently 30 million company pages on LinkedIn across the globe. However, there are another 500 million companies on the platform with automatically generated pages (LinkedIn generates a basic listing when someone adds a company name to their employment history). So, making sure your company claims its page is imperative.
Creating a new company page is quite simple. Visit the LinkedIn Pages tab on the Marketing Solutions section and click Create a New Page. You’ll be guided through a few fields to complete and can see a page preview on the right-hand side as you go.
Step 2 - Complete all your Company Details
Adding more details to your company page will help with both organic listings on Google and rankings in LinkedIn searches. Completed pages are known to receive 30% more visits than basic pages, so ensuring details are completed accurately is worth the time.
Your profile picture is usually your company logo, so make sure it’s set to the right size to display properly (300px x 300px) and don’t leave the cover image blank! The cover image is the header to your whole page and the first thing seen, so make sure it represents your company professionally and communicates what you do. The cover image recommended size is 1128px x 191px.
A good company description is recommended. You can include 3 or 4 paragraphs on what your company does, products or services sold, and how you can benefit potential customers. The first 156 characters are what usually shows in Google search results, so make sure your company description is SEO friendly and the first couple of lines speak the most volume!
Work through and complete all details including location, hashtags, specialties tags and language. If you have a global brand or customers who speak various languages, you can create your name, tagline and company description in up to 20 other languages.
You can also create a custom button that will sit in the top section of your page. Depending on your desired outcome, you can choose from:
- Contact Us
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Visit Website
- and add the url you wish the visitor to follow.
Step 3 - Share your Page to Encourage Followers
On the right-hand side of your company page, you’ll find an ‘Invite Connections to Follow’ box. Here you get 100 credits a month to invite your connections to follow the company page. One credit = one invite, and these are reimbursed every time someone accepts your invitation. At the start of every month, they’re also reset to 100 invites.
Just above this, you’ll find a ‘Share Page’ button. You can ‘Share in a Post’ or ‘Send in a Message’ and the text is automatically generated for you. You can copy the link to include in an email footer or in a marketing email, as well as share to Facebook and Twitter.
Step 4 - What’s your Marketing Strategy?
Now you have a company page, how are you going to engage with people and grow your brand awareness?
LinkedIn has several options to communicate depending on your budget. You can create organic posts, and also message contacts from your personal profile for no cost. However, it’s recommended to not undertake more than 250 actions per day on LinkedIn. An action includes likes, follows, posts, connection requests, messages and more. Accounts creating more than 250 actions are at risk of getting flagged by LinkedIn’s monitoring system and eventually being blocked.
Paid content includes sponsored messaging, sponsored posts and several different advertising options. However, although it is effective LinkedIn paid options can be expensive. So it’s vital to ensure your messaging, content and call to action on any paid exposure is accurate and fielded correctly to the right target audience to avoid wasted spend.
Step 5 - Create Content to Engage Followers
The quality of content you post reflects on the quality of the company. Poorly thought-out content won’t generate the perception of your company you likely desire. Original copy will engage far more than reposting other’s content too so it’s worth taking the time to create interesting, original posts.
Finding the right balance between sales-oriented posts and non-sales content is also key. You don’t want to be seen to push your products or services constantly or people will switch off. Including a healthy dose of article posts, hints and tips, industry news and posts that show an insight into your company (meet the team etc) will help to create a content strategy that engages effectively.
Including images or video content in your company page posts will also increase engagement. There have been several studies over recent years and its generally the consensus that adding an image to a post increases the engagement rate.
It’s also worth notifying employees when a new post of interest has been made! LinkedIn makes this easy for you with a simple ‘Notify Employees’ button at the top of a post. Employees are 14 times more likely to share content from their employer than any other content, so take advantage and further your organic reach.
Finally, when creating posts, it’s prudent to include relevant hashtags. People can follow hashtags so if you pick ones that are both popular and relevant to the content, your post will more likely show up in search results or people’s newsfeeds. It’s generally accepted to use no more than 3 or 4 hashtags in a post, otherwise you run the risk of not appealing to the LinkedIn algorithms that control impressions of organic content.
Step 6 - Use LinkedIn Analytics
LinkedIn Analytics is a free feature that lets you measure stats such as increase in followers, post engagement and company page button clicks.
Keeping an eye on results in the Analytics section will help you identify quickly which posts have performed particularly well and which haven’t, such as which ones have generated the most shares, likes or comments. This in turn will help you gain an insight into how to shape content going forward to increase exposure and engagement.
Step 7 - Use Tools to Schedule Posts
Social media posting doesn’t always make it to the priority list in the working day. So, it’s a good idea to schedule posts for the month using one of the popular tools available such as Hootsuite or Later. Both offer free account options to get started.
Spending a little time curating social posts in advance also gives you an overall view of the content layout for the month, so you can space out different types of post to keep things fresh.
There are so many more options than the few above to increase your company’s exposure and use LinkedIn for business effectively. From joining groups to commenting and engaging on other’s posts, creating Slideshares or using LinkedIn Live, the possibilities of creating the right LinkedIn marketing mix for your company is endless.
It’s worth remembering that LinkedIn is a professional network, that gives you direct access to many of your target prospects. Taking the time to use it wisely, creating a meaningful following and engaging at every opportunity will dramatically increase your brand exposure.
At FWD, we cover all disciplines in-house from marketing, design, development and print. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01246 439045.
Author: Nic Wilson-deRoze