Most people understand LinkedIn from a personal perspective. It’s a great way to grow your network, connect with old colleagues, share professional accomplishments and see what your old college buddies and co-workers have achieved in their careers. But, when it comes to your business, how can you use LinkedIn and is it worth the investment of time and money? Here are a few actionable tips to understand LinkedIn from a business standpoint, and find out how to apply best practices for growth.
Determine if it’s Right for You.
Who is your audience, and are they even on LinkedIn? Even with LinkedIn’s growth over the years, still not everyone has climbed aboard the LinkedIn train. Generally that platform has an older demographic, with its sweet spot being in the 30-49 year old range. See if your target demographics fit within their audience. If the answer is no – move on. It’s not worth your time and effort to try and create content and connect with an audience who isn’t interested in your business or service. If your audience is active on LinkedIn, read on.
Create a Quality Page.
Don’t just set it and forget it. Your LinkedIn profile should be hand-crafted to match your brand’s identity and convey your messaging. Include appropriate images such as a creative custom cover image and your business logo. Also add details such as: your business summary, which can include your company’s mission statement and UVP, your website, industry, company size, type and when it was founded. You’ll want to make it easy for potential customers to learn more about you from your page, but also provide them with the opportunity to click through to your website for additional information.
Determine Your Strategy for LinkedIn.
Why are you on LinkedIn? What are you hoping to achieve by using LinkedIn?
- Increasing brand awareness
- Developing a community
- Generating leads
- Sharing unique content
Once you determine your goal(s), then you can determine your strategy. While the strategies may overlap, keep them in consideration when crafting your content. If you’re trying to generate leads – you’re going to want to create content that will encourage people to click through to your website and either fill out a form or call. If you’re trying to develop a community, then you’ll probably want to share content that evokes a response.
Plan a Schedule.
Just like every other platform, you should have a plan to share content. While it doesn’t require the constant upkeep like Twitter does – you don’t want the content to become stale or stagnant. Be sure to have a consistent posting strategy in mind.
Remember, it’s for business.
Your Facebook page or your Instagram are great places to share collages of employee birthdays and anniversaries, but keep more personal content to a minimum on LinkedIn. It’s great to show off your company culture on LinkedIn so that not only potential customers but potential employees can see it, but do so sparingly. Funny memes that perform so well on Instagram don’t necessarily belong on LinkedIn, unless it directly relates to your business. Hourly updates sent out on Twitter – should stay there. Simply put – don’t share on LinkedIn, unless there is a real purpose behind the post.
Use a budget.
Yes, you can promote ads and updates on LinkedIn as a business. This is a great opportunity to really hone in on your target audience. Sponsored updates are a great way to get your content in front of people right on their homepage and these tend to be the most effective as more users become numb to right hand rail ads (guilty). Audiences can be selected based on their industry, work title, company name, education level and so much more. While Facebook’s ad targeting is really robust, the targeting on LinkedIn is equally useful – if you know about your audience and their professional life.
But wait, didn’t I just say to keep the personal updates to a minimum? Yes. What I mean here is – let your team get active on LinkedIn. Have them join industry-relevant groups, engage in conversations, answer questions and represent your business positively on LinkedIn. This isn’t so much something that you can do from a business page, it’s done on a personal level – but if you have an expert in your field, let them show it off. Share your own content and blogs on LinkedIn, join the right groups and get involved. It will show your business on your profile and shows just how knowledgeable the staff is. It’s a win-win.
This is just a start to using LinkedIn for your business. But, hopefully it will guide you in the right direction. And if you need some help, remember that’s what we’re here for.