LinkedIn Basics for Your Business
LinkedIn is the platform for growing your company’s professional network. Twitter and Facebook are great for connecting with your fans, to have a laugh or share lighthearted content, but LinkedIn is all business all of the time. If your company is heavily B2B, or you want to solidify your business as a thought leader in your industry, you need to create a business page on LinkedIn. I repeat, you need to create a business page on LinkedIn.
Let’s review the facts:
- LinkedIn has over 300 million members, with 100 million here in the United States. Simply put, you probably know at least one person on LinkedIn.
- About 40 percent of users check LinkedIn every day. They are posting an update, taking a few minutes to check in on the activities in one or two groups they belong to and looking at a few competitors and business associates.
- It only takes a few minutes each day on LinkedIn to reach a wide professional audience. This is why 46 percent of people spend less than 2 hours a week on LinkedIn.
How to Use LinkedIn for Your Business
A Page vs. A Profile
Let’s clear a few things up. Individuals have a LinkedIn profile. This is an online version of your resume. Save the silly selfies for Facebook or Twitter. Your profile picture should look like you are heading to a job interview. Here’s some solid advice about what is appropriate for a LinkedIn profile picture. Be sure to include keywords and phrases in your summary and job descriptions because all of these elements are searchable.
Your business should have a LinkedIn page. When creating your company page on LinkedIn, be sure to fill out all of the information. Leaving areas blank makes your page look unprofessional. Describe your company culture, products and services. Encourage all of your employees to update their profile so they show up on the company page as well. Also, you must have an official company email address to create a company page. Linkedin will not allow you to set up a page with an aol.com, hotmail.com, msnbc.com or even gmail.com.
Add at least one update a week on your company page to show you are interested and active on this platform.
Share Content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not the platform for sharing photos from the office holiday party, Internet memes or motivational quotes. Definitely do not share motivational quotes on LinkedIn. Please keep those on Facebook. Give your LinkedIn audience exactly what they are looking for: product or service updates, job opportunities and behind-the-scenes information about your company. Post links to company blog posts, downloads and other important industry information. If you have to stop and ask yourself, “Is this really appropriate to share on LinkedIn?” don’t share it.
Use LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform
LinkedIn is a terrific place to share your professional expertise through their blogging platform. This feature was originally limited to a small group of influencers, but now it is open to everyone. Before you use the excuse that you don’t have enough time to blog on your website and on LinkedIn, I’m going to tell you you’re wrong. There is no requirement for you to publish original content on LinkedIn’s blogging platform, so you can publish posts on your company blog first and then share it on LinkedIn later. See, it’s super easy.
Connect with other professionals in your industry by joining a few groups. People who share content and engage in group discussions get four times as many profile views. Again the point is not to join as many as possible, but to pick a few interesting, active groups and participate in the conversation. Not sure where to start? If you want to get noticed, join a few groups. Not sure which groups are right for you? Check out the ‘Find a Group’ feature which will help you find groups that are relevant for you based on the keywords in your profile.
Your business can thrive on LinkedIn, if you use the platform correctly and take advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer. Don’t wait another day to set your LinkedIn company page, do it now.
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