How to use LinkedIn for Small Business?
With over 720 million users, LinkedIn has become one of the leading social media platforms. Compared to Facebook or Instagram, however, LinkedIn is specifically designed for professionals to connect and cultivate their careers and businesses. That is why it works so efficiently when using LinkedIn for Small Business.
Your company profile can be considered a welcome mat for your LinkedIn community, and therefore, it is essential to represent your brand accurately and professionally. Unlike other social networks in which you might become “friends” with someone, LinkedIn is about building strategic relationships. Thus, the number of connections is less significant than the type of connections.
Here are ten helpful tips to get LinkedIn for Small Business on the proper footing when using this strategic platform.
1. Use A Professional Picture or Logo
Your visual identity is an important way for your audience to get to know you and remember you. This enables your target audience and customers to identify your across social media platforms and to distinguish you between companies. Having a professional picture or logo as your profile picture is an easy way to accomplish that consistency. Though most people stress having formal business attire, it varies between industry so make sure to match your clothing choice to the audience. Whether you use a photo or logo, however, make sure that the image is not pixilated or low quality — first impressions matter.
2. Customize Your LinkedIn URL To Your Company or Brand Name
LinkedIn generates a URL that becomes associated with that person or company every time a profile is created. Typically, the URL consists of a series of random numbers and letters – making it hard to know if the URL is designated to your company or brand. Some people don’t know that you can change that and customize your URL, thus enabling people to identify your LinkedIn profile account quickly. To do this, go to your profile and locate the “Contact and Personal Info” section. The process is straightforward from there.
3. Setting up AND Completing your Company Page
As mentioned earlier, your LinkedIn profile is like a home away from home, with your home being your website. It’s where people researching your company familiarize themselves with what you do and learn about your brand. An incomplete profile page is a sure way for someone to continue researching other companies. An incomplete page suggests that you are not invested in presenting a cohesive brand image and suggests you won’t do the same for your clients.
In order to ensure you are presenting your company completely and in the best possible light, here is what to complete and include:
- Company description – Include your vision, mission, values, and offer a description of your products and services in three to four short paragraphs. Google results preview up to 156 characters of your page’s text—so make your description SEO-friendly by including keywords.
- Insert keywords – Incorporate keywords that potential customers might use to search for your product or service. Include them in the About tab overview, clearly representing who you are and what you do.
- Hashtags – Up to three hashtags can be added to make your profile more searchable. Pick hashtags that are commonly used in your industry and that best suit your business.
- Cover photo – Add some creativity and dimension to your profile with a background photo. Choose an image that showcases your business and avoid shots that are too busy.
- Custom button – Add a button to your profile to encourage action. Options include visiting the website, contact us, learn more, register, and sign up. Links are essential for boosting your search ranking.
4. Consider Keywords
A well-optimized LinkedIn Company Page allows your target audience to find you easily and off LinkedIn (on Google, for instance) and helps you gain visibility among those searching for what your company offers.
There are two places on your profile where you can insert keywords: your company description and specialties.
If you are unsure which keywords to use, think about it this way: What words or phrases would a potential customer use when searching for your product or service?
5. Publish Educational Content
LinkedIn isn’t a place to promote your company or sell your products, or at least not all the time. The most successful content on LinkedIn is meant to educate your readers, answer common questions that arise in your industry, and help your audience solve their business problems. In general, use the 80/20 rule – 80% should be educational, and 20% can be promotional.
Here are the three types of thought leadership that can be used on LinkedIn for Small Business:
- Industry thought leadership: Your perspective on news and trends – As soon as new developments hit the industry, be the first to offer your perspective on it. Audiences will start to turn to you for insights and advice.
- Organizational thought leadership: Embodied in the vision and ethos of your company.
- Product thought leadership: Centered on being the best solution for your customers.
6. Post Consistently and at Optimal Times
When looking to use LinkedIn to grow your small business, consistency and timing are the names of the game. LinkedIn estimates brands that post once a month gain followers six times faster than those that don’t. Companies that post weekly see two times the engagement. Brands that post once a day gain even more traction.
That being said, a weighted average and good aim for a small business would be to publish content two times per week in order to keep your audience engaged.
Hootsuite research finds the best days to post are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 5:45 p.m. EST. However, all audiences are different, so use LinkedIn analytics to verify that these times work for you and your followers.
7. Leverage Hashtags
Even if you’re used to seeing hashtags only on entertainment social media, this strategy will be efficient on LinkedIn for Small businesses. A hashtag is used to index keywords or topics and allows people to easily follow topics they are interested in. People use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase to categorize those posts and help them show more easily on LinkedIn searches.
Hashtags can be included anywhere in a post and help increase your posts’ visibility and reach on LinkedIn, particularly if you utilize hashtags on trending topics. Clicking or tapping on a hashtagged word in any message shows you other posts that include that hashtag.
8. Strengthen Your Thought Leadership with Relevant Articles
Publishing an article on LinkedIn is one way to gain exposure that builds your brand and reputation online. When you write articles on LinkedIn, you want to demonstrate your thought leadership, expertise, and industry knowledge. News and updates from your industry make good topics to write about. You could also answer a question your audience has.
Here are three things to think of when creating an article on LinkedIn for Small Business:
- Creating a captivating headline that tells the reader the main point of your article is essential since people are constantly bombarded with digital content and usually quickly scroll through a page or website. Basically, the headline should inform the reader what to expect from your article.
- Always include a call to action in your article. Links to your website, podcast, or social media are some suggestions.
- To increase article engagement, encourage people to get in on the discussion by asking them to comment or to get in touch with you.
9. Leverage Your Network and Industry Influencers
Growing your community and increasing your reach is an obvious objective when investing in social media. There are a few ways that you can accomplish this without investing in ad spend.
One of the best groups of people that can help you with your LinkedIn marketing is your colleagues. LinkedIn found that employees are 70% more likely to click, share, and comment on an update than a typical LinkedIn user. You can encourage others on your team to create content to post, thus giving your more content to use and humanizing your brand. Encouraging your board members and employees to share your posts helps increase your post’s reach and visibility. Asking for engagement is sometimes all it takes to get your colleagues involved.
In addition, connecting with well-known and respected people within your industry can help you grow your brand. Because networking is essential in this platform, you might need to connect with several influencers to gain clout and stand out. The best way to interact with influencers is by asking them to contribute a quote in your upcoming post. If you mention an influential person in your content, tag the person. He or she may repost your content. Not only does this give your content and brand more exposure, but it also helps to reinforce the influencer’s reputation. It’s a win-win when using LinkedIn for Small Business.
10. Take Advantage of Industry Groups
LinkedIn offers people and businesses a place to convene around a specific subject or topic. These “groups” can be beneficial marketing tools.
Just like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups provide your community with an online forum. As a brand, you can be part of the conversation, not just the subject of it, and make meaningful connections with clients. For small businesses, groups tend to include people who are already interested in the topics that are relevant to your brand and thus allow you to speak to an engaged audience.
You can join groups in your business niche to stay on top of trends, spot influencers, and connect with community members. Chances are you’ll also be inspired and gather a few business ideas along the way.
LinkedIn for Small Business, Key Takeaways
LinkedIn has become an effective and ideal platform for small businesses to reach professional audiences and partners. Creating a desirable profile, publishing regularly, and engaging your followers helps you grow your brand to greater lengths and reach more potential clients.
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