LinkedIn is a powerful tool whether you’re a small business, professional, or recent college graduate launching your career. LinkedIn is all about networking and building your connections.
Using LinkedIn as a part of your small business marketing strategy is smart. Mostly because it’s the top-rated social network for lead generation. Here’s how to use LinkedIn for business:
Step 1: Complete your company page and personal profiles.
You must have a personal LinkedIn profile before you can create a company page. Personal profiles act in the same way as a resume, discussing past achievements at all the places you’ve been employed. The company page, however, is specific to your business. Users can follow your business and stay up to date about your business, your brand, and job opportunities.
Be sure to complete your company page entirely. According to Hootsuite Insights, complete company pages receive twice as many visitors than those with incomplete pages. Here are some tips for completing your company page:
Update profile image and banner. Add your business logo. Size your business logo to match LinkedIn profile image specifications of 300 x 300 pixels, PNG format, maximum 8 MB, in a square layout.
Add a cover photo (i.e. banner photo) of something that represents you or your industry. Ideal LinkedIn profile banner specifications are 1536 x 768 pixels, PNG format, maximum 8 MB, and rectangular layout.
Write a compelling about us section featuring keywords. Optimize your “About Us” section telling followers everything they need to know in 2,000 characters or less. This section would act like your elevator speech. What would you want someone to know if you were in an elevator and only had 30 seconds to tell them?
Add presentations, awards, and certifications specific to your business. LinkedIn is a professional network, so be sure to share your accomplishments! Has your business been rated as a top place to work? Is it certified as a women-owned small business? Maybe you’ve given a TED Talk – all good things to include.
Step 2: Make connections to find new, high-quality leads.
Now its time to tap into the 562 million LinkedIn users. You can do this by searching for colleagues or potential customers. Follow keywords (hashtags) so your feed is updated regularly with matching content.
When you’re soliciting a new connection, sometimes its nice to add a note. However, refrain from giving your sales pitch. This can seem like spam. Your headline and profile should be strong enough to do the talking.
Step 3: Join an industry group.
This is where your personal LinkedIn profile can interact with your business page. Use your personal profile to join an industry group where your business would act as a resource.
Get active in the conversation by sharing your personal perspective.
Offer tips and answer questions where appropriate.
Share articles and offer a fresh perspective.
Step 4: Engage with your network.
Social media is only effective if you use it! Engage your network by sharing meaningful content. You can do this by posting industry specific tips, how-to articles, or discuss trending topics. Remember, always add value to your audience’s life and offer a new perspective.
The best time to post on LinkedIn is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 9 AM and 4 PM. Hootsuite says, “posting activity on social media across all companies tends to follow a bell curve, with very little activity during the early morning hours, most content being posted during work hours, followed by reduced posting activity in the afternoon”.
Step 5: Ask your connections for introductions to their connections.
Finally, once you’ve built your network, it is a good idea to start asking your connections for an introduction to their connections. A similar concept to in-person networking, LinkedIn creates a digital space to nurture networking.
Need additional help navigating LinkedIn, either for business or personal use? We’ve got a LinkedIn session that is sure to do the trick. It's $125 for an hour of consultation. We can help you revise/optimize an existing profile or get your new profile (or company page) up and running. Interested in hearing more information? Click here!