How to use LinkedIn for Business

How to use LinkedIn for Business

You could be forgiven for not treating LinkedIn as a social media platform. Fundamentally, its foundations are built around the idea of a digital resume but in reality, it’s much more than this:  it’s become a platform to connect, create, and converse with your professional community in the same way you might network IRL.

LinkedIn is important to your business primarily because it’s a dedicated business network. It’s also a network of a staggering amount of people looking to connect on a deep, professional level—there are 260 million active monthly users on the platform, as well as a wider global network of 575 million registered users, that you could have access to.

Not sure where to start when building your LinkedIn for Business page? Here are a few tips and tricks.

Create your profile

  1. Visit the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions portal and click ‘Create a Company Page’
  2. Add your official company name and URL (this can’t be edited later, so make certain to have this correct). Click ‘create page’
  3. Make sure you add a cover photo for LinkedIn, logo, and company description. Cover images should be 1536 x 768 pixels and the logo should be 300 x 300 pixels. The first 156 characters of your company description are the most important—this is the metadata that appears in the preview pane of Google when people search for your company.
  4. Add all relevant details including company size, industry, company type, and location.
  5. Adding specialties can help people find your business on LinkedIn by acting as tags or keywords. You can add up to 20 specialties—check your competitors' pages for ideas about what specialties you could include.
  6. To add page administrators, click the profile picture icon at the top of the page, then ‘manage’, then your company page. Select ‘admin tools’ from the top right, then ‘page admins’. Search for your team members (who must be registered on LinkedIn and connected to you) by name, then ‘save changes’.
  7. Click ‘publish’ to finalize.

Create a LinkedIn marketing strategy

Start with marketing goals

You’ll go further with LinkedIn if you take the time to develop a focussed marketing strategy. Start by understanding what it is you’ll be trying to achieve with your strategy–do you want more clicks back to your business page? Do you want to build your network of connections? Do you want to hire more talent? Once you’ve decided on three-five tangible goals, work through SMART goals in order to begin tackling these objectives.

Optimize your profile

Companies with incomplete profiles don’t look genuine or professional. They also miss out on channeling an increase in engagement, too: according to LinkedIn stats, profiles that are complete receive 30% more weekly views. What constitutes complete? Adding on-brand and relevant information to the following sections: the logo/profile picture panel, the company description, your website URL, the company size indicator, your industry and company type as well as your location.

Don’t forget to optimize your profile in line with your wider style guide, too. You want everything you post and change on this page to fit in with your wider branding strategy, so start by understanding what that looks like to your business by creating a style guide, from content copy style to the visual aspects of and content you’ll be posting. Treat LinkedIn as an extension of your careful company branding —it should look and feel like all your other assets, from your packaging to your website.

All of this information works together to create a full picture of your business, enhancing your legitimacy and professionalism.

Add an arresting LinkedIn background photo to bring your profile to life. Canva has a range of templates for this purpose—from something like Orange Builders LinkedIn Profile to Nature Photographer General LinkedIn Banner—to suit every industry.

Connect your employees to your company’s LinkedIn Page

Who better to tell others about the strength of your company than those who are employed with you? Your employees represent a built-in network of people who can advocate for you simply by publicly connecting themselves to your organization and engaging with your content.

“Employees are every brand’s greatest asset with the power to build your brand and attract and retain the best talent,” writes content marketing expert Michael Brennan.

They’ll also bring their own networks simply by your connection, expanding your network with very little work. It’s also a mutually beneficial strategy in that by your employee connecting to your company page, they’ll gain legitimacy for their own profile by linking themselves to a company with a well-established public profile and you’ll have a way to immediately build your network.

Publish engaging and relevant content

Image by Alina Grubnyak via Unsplash.

Picture this networking scenario: you meet someone from your industry at a conference and while you’re both chatting about ideas that are relevant to your businesses, they launch into a discussion about obscure Russian authors. Would you feel included, heard, or keen to continue listening?

The same applies to the content you post on your LinkedIn page. Posting content for content’s sake is the quickest way to lose the attention of your network and it means you’re squandering the opportunities of your community to engage in impactful and meaningful conversation. Although posting content that comes directly for your network is doubly beneficial because it builds your brand identity, it also drives those users back to your content to generate great organic engagement.

Content doesn’t always have to come from you, however. Sharing content from like-minded companies or sources also helps build your network and show the content’s creator, as well as your connections with whom you’re aligned, further strengthening your network.

You can also generate ‘content’ by engaging in what’s happening in your wider network. LinkedIn has become a hub for a lively discussion about various industries, working cultures, and even productivity. If one of your connections posts about your industry or area of expertise, leave an insightful comment that adds value to the conversation. This allows you to promote your business values to a wider audience than just your immediate network.

A great image can help make your posts even more engaging and relevant. Create and customize your own image to make it on-brand using one of Canva templates such as Trends in Tech LinkedIn Post Header and Fun LinkedIn Post Header.

Follow LinkedIn best practice rules

Even your content is relevant, it might not be engaging. In order to capture the attention of your network, you need to treat your LinkedIn content in the same way you would content for any other channel.

LinkedIn Business resources offer endless tips and tricks when thinking about best practices for creating a more credible company page, especially when concerned with content. Posts with images, for example, attract two times higher comment rates. Additionally, videos posted on your feed attract five times the engagement, too. LinkedIn also enables autoplay for any YouTube video to make a posting (and engagement) that much easier.

Make the most of LinkedIn Groups

Image by Sean Pollock via Unsplash.

The easiest way to expand your network outside of a direct connection is to share your interests by becoming part of a LinkedIn Group. Strictly speaking, is “a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections” but it’s kind of like joining a club where members are interested in similar things. If you’re a graphic designer, you can connect with other graphic designers outside your immediate circle who might be more experienced or who work for companies you’re interested in connecting with, strengthening potentially useful connections that could serve you or your business in the future. BEing group members also allows you to send direct messages to anyone in that group, helping you to foster new connections.

You can search for relevant groups by selecting ‘groups’ from the dropdown menu or you can even create your own. Although it will require more work in times of content creation and moderation, creating your own group gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert or leader in the field that your group is centered on.

If you want to create your own group: To create a new group:

  1. Select ‘Create a new group’ from the right-hand column
  2. Complete the relevant details
  3. Personalize your group by specifying your industry and add your location for increased targeting
  4. Decide whether you want to allow your group to be public. Select ‘group discoverability’, then choose ‘listed’ to keep the group public or ‘unlisted’ if you want it to be private you want to keep your group public and discoverable by search, or select Unlisted.
  5. Finalize by clicking ‘create’

Help people identify with your group by creating a background header that suits its mission. Canva templates such as Blue Skyline Details General LinkedIn Banner or Pink and Purple Patterns General LinkedIn Banner are perfect for drawing the interest of new members.

Add some Showcase Pages

Showcase Pages highlight more specific subcategories of your business. This could include initiative, brand extensions, sub-brands, or brand extensions. Like a little internal club for your brand, you can foster a community of like-minded people who are interested in certain aspects of your business, rather than your business as a whole. Ernst & Young has a Showcase Page dedicated to women in the workforce, for example, and post relevant and thought-provoking content related to this specific cross-section of their wider audience.

To create a Showcase Page:

  1. Choose ‘Company page’ from the ‘Manage section’ in your profile section.
  2. Select ‘admin tools’ from the menu at the top right, then ‘create a showcase page’.

Understand LinkedIn algorithm and analytics

Image by Joshua Ness via Unsplash.

While most other social networks keep their algorithm secrets closely guarded, LinkedIn provides quite a bit of information about how its algorithm works. Here’s how the algorithm rates and ranks your content, in a nutshell.

There are a few things the LinkedIn algorithm favors including the quality of the content, user engagement, the credibility of the account the post originates from. In short, in order to rank well in respect to the algorithm, make sure your content is the result of careful planning and thoughtfulness, promote it to collect as many likes, shares and comments as possible and have a legitimate profile.

In terms of tracking this with your analytics, LinkedIn provides many resources to help you channel an engaged audience with help from internal analytics, including information on the best posting times (morning, followed by after business hours).

To access LinkedIn Analytics:

  1. Click your profile picture at the top of the page, then select your company page under ‘manage’.
  2. Select the ‘analytics tab’ to see visitors, followers, or updates.

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