Not that long ago businesses operated from a central location in the town they operated in. The geographical distance between a business and its clients or customers was never very far and we made new connections by literally bumping into each other on the high street, chatting at an event or by arranging meetings.
This still happens but the networking has to stretch over larger distances and we are now connecting with a much wider audience. That’s where LinkedIn comes in.
LinkedIn is the social media channel to make connections with people with a business mindset. While it’s often used for job hunting or recruitment, it’s also a great tool for businesses to build networks, and collaborate. Most of us have a Personal Profile on Linkedin. But if you own a business, then you should have a LinkedIn Business Page too. Business pages are a great platform for building your firm’s profile and your audience.
Setting up a Business Page
The more detail on your page the better. This not only allows for LinkedIn members to learn about you but completed pages get 30% more views per week.
- Set up your business page by clicking on the ‘work’ icon in the top right corner of your LinkedIn personal profile homepage. Create a Company Page and choose the page type (small business, medium to large business, Showcase page or educational institution). LinkedIn will suggest a URL (web address) for your company page. Use an address that makes sense for anyone that is searching for you and is easy to remember.
- Fill in as much detail as possible to describe your company and industry. This will help people find you which helps increase the activity on your page. Write a strong tagline and include the keywords that your audience uses when they search for your services. You can also upload images, blogs and white papers such as a guide on cash-flow.
- Add hashtags – Your audience can search on topic hashtags so you’ll have a better chance of being found. Read more on hashtags.
- Link to your profile and website. Adding a custom call to action button that you can track is a good way to measure new visitors to your website from LinkedIn.
Now Build Your Network
Individuals on LinkedIn have a much wider reach than company pages, so inviting your existing connections is a great starting point. The new connections they make will be prompted to follow you.
- If you have employees, they can update their personal LinkedIn profiles by adding their role at your company and linking it to your page.
- Invite your personal connections to follow you using the admin tools at the top of the page.
- Make it easy for people to find and follow you by adding a LinkedIn button on your website and in your emails
- Reshare your employees' content and comment on their achievements on your business page.
- Let your staff know when you post on your company page. They can tag your page in their work-related updates or reshare your content.
- Post regularly and check your activity tab to see if you have been mentioned – you can reshare these comments.
What to Share
The more activity and engagement the better on LinkedIn. Organisations that post more regularly gain more followers but quality is better than quantity. The frequency of your posts will depend on your audience and your objectives.
Sketching out a content plan will make it easier to know what your audience will find valuable when it comes time to create or share content. If you are not sure what to share here are some ideas.
- Showcase your business expertise – Share helpful advice, tips, and commentary on recent news or events. Bring your people to the fore by celebrating team achievements, and reshare posts and articles written by employees and partners.
- Images, links, and videos – Add images to your posts or bring readers back to the blogs on your website. Offer useful business tips in a short video series. Adding rich media increases engagement on your posts and can amplify your reach too.
- Content Suggestions – LinkedIn’s Content Suggestions is a great tool to understand what your network is interested in. From your business page click on ‘content suggestions’. Select the audience you are interested in and LinkedIn will show you what content they have been responding to. You can review and share the content you see here or gain ideas on what you want to write next.
- Follow other businesses – What are your competitors sharing or where are the gaps that you could address?
- Articles – Articles sit in the LinkedIn publishing ecosystem and on your personal profile which you can then share on your business page. If you have a larger topic to address, create an article (rather than a post) via your personal profile and share it on your business page. Members that aren't in your network can follow you from your article so that your next article will be surfaced in their feeds.
- Third-party content – You don’t need to write it all yourself. If you have read something from an external source that you think is of interest to your followers, share and comment on it.
- Ask questions to stimulate activity on your page – keep them open-ended so you get more interesting responses and be ready to take part in the discussion when you get comments.
Linkedin Groups are places for people to build a community around their shared interests, roles or industries. Members of a group are there to build connections, learn and ask questions. Participating in group discussion as your company can boost your profile, just make sure you are there to add value or learn about your audience and not just to promote.
- If you are a member of a professional association check to see if they have a members-only group and request to join.
- Search for LinkedIn groups using the search bar and request to join – you can search by name or keywords.
- Read the ‘about this group’ text to understand the guidelines on what to share.
- Set up your own LinkedIn group and add it as a featured group on your company page.
For professional services buyers, the single most important factor in selecting a provider is expertise. LinkedIn allows you to demonstrate your firm’s expertise to clients and prospects – strengthening client relationships and helping the growth of your business.
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