LinkedIn is a business oriented social platform that is designed by and for professionals. One in three professionals have a LinkedIn account, 40 percent of whom check the platform every day. With that said, all small business owners should consider establishing a presence on the network. The site provides a variety of benefits to small business owners who can use the site for a range of different purposes, including lead generation, marketing and hiring. We’ve compiled a Small Business Guide to LinkedIn to help small businesses use this professional social network.
Develop a Strong Profile Page
To begin developing a LinkedIn presence for your small business, you will need to create a company page. While this is a simple step, it’s important that you think through your company page and develop a strategy beforehand. This page will reflect your overall brand and give potential employees and customers a look into your business. It should provide viewers with a unified and overall positive experience. Luckily, LinkedIn allows you to create your page in multiple stages and gives users various features that allow you to make your company pages standout. Below are some great tips to creating a compelling company page:
- Use video and rich media: Research has shown that viewers are twice as likely to view and engage with posts that include videos or images. Make sure to include a profile and banner image, and integrate rich media throughout your profile.
- Grow your followers: It takes time to build your company’s audience, however, there are a variety of easy steps that you can take to grow you follower base. One great way to do this is to embed “follow” buttons in your website footer, emails to customers and clients, and employee email signatures.
- Engage your audience with targeted status updates: Make sure to keep your followers coming back to your page with interesting status updates. These posts can include interesting and relevant facts, expert tips, or compelling lists.
Make the Most of Your Network
While your posts will only show on the feeds of your followers, your employees and other connections may have an entirely different following base. It’s important to leverage your network to reach a larger audience. This is particularly important if you are trying to reach new candidates. To do this, encourage your current employees to link their pages to your company page. This will place your small business’s logo on their page to showcase your small business and make your network of current employees visible to job seekers. LinkedIn also allows you to expand your network by connecting with friends of friends.
Join and Participate in LinkedIn Local and Industry Groups
Once you have established your company page, you should take advantage of LinkedIn groups. These function as a great networking tool for small business owners, based on their industry and their location. Look through the various LinkedIn groups that the company has to offer, and join the ones that you feel are most relevant to your business. These groups will allow you to reach a much wider audience than your follower base that may include potential customers, candidates, and business partners. Once you join the groups that best match your goals, make sure to participate in the group’s conversations. Groups are an easy and convenient way to connect, network and build your small business’s presence.
Share Content on LinkedIn
A great way to grow your business’s LinkedIn presence is through sharing engaging content. If you have a blog, make sure to share links to your blog post on your profile. You can also share interesting articles, infographics and videos. Make sure that this content is not too promotional, but interesting to your followers. Consider posting “How-To” guides or list type posts which tend to have higher engagement rates.
Use LinkedIn Paid Recruitment Products
While you can build your business presence on LinkedIn for free, they also offer a variety of paid services that are particularly useful to recruiting. LinkedIn Premium, which runs from $19 to $75 a month, allows you to send InMail messages to people outside of your network, which is a great way to reach out to potential candidates. You can also publish sponsored updates, which allow your posts to reach beyond your network. The great thing about sponsored updates is that you can target very specific audiences to reach the candidates that you are looking for.
With LinkedIn’s growing user base and its wide range of services, you can use this social network in the way that best meets your specific business needs. At no price and with relatively little effort, you can build a compelling presence for your small business that will help build your business’s brand and network. If you’re looking for even more information, make sure to check out the wide range of resources that LinkedIn offers.