LinkedIn is the most popular professional online platform. Here's how to use it for your business.
- A LinkedIn page can help your business find and recruit top talent.
- To make the most of LinkedIn, share and create posts that are relevant to your followers and build sponsored ads to further promote your brand and products.
- You can also create Showcase Pages to promote your products and brands.
- This article is for small business owners who want to learn how to use LinkedIn to benefit their business.
With options for job seekers and businesses alike, LinkedIn provides opportunities to find a job, attract top talent and establish your company as a thought leader in your industry. And with the rollout of its New Recruiter and Jobs platform in the summer of 2019, LinkedIn made it easier than ever for companies to find talented workers. To take advantage of that platform, though, you'll need a LinkedIn company page. Here's how to create a business page on LinkedIn and use this professional platform for your business.
Create a career page
A company page helps potential customers and job candidates learn more about your business, brand, products, services and job opportunities. To create a LinkedIn company page, you'll need a personal LinkedIn account and a verified email address. You do not have to pay to have a company page on LinkedIn; it's free to anyone.
1. Select your business type.
You can choose small business, medium to large business, Showcase Page or educational institution.
2. Add company details.
After crafting the company description, you will be prompted to fill in other company details, such as your business name, website, industry, company size and company type.
3. Include a logo and cover image.
Be sure to upload your company logo and cover image before hitting Publish. Your logo should be 300 x 300 pixels and can be a JPG or PNG file.
Share your login information with another employee in case you lose access to the page or leave the company. You should also let other employees know the page is active so they can edit their position on their personal account and add the company page.
Key takeaway: There are three steps to creating a LinkedIn company page, and LinkedIn will guide you through the process.
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Create a career page
Finding an employee who fits with your company culture and has the right skill set is a tough task for businesses of all sizes. LinkedIn career pages allow companies to tell their story, find the best talent and measure the impact of their goals.
The Life tab gives job seekers an inside look at the company's culture. This section allows you to showcase long-form posts, photo galleries, company leaders, company insights and videos. You can even create multiple versions of the Life tab to target different audiences, such as marketing candidates and IT candidates.
Key takeaway: A career page on LinkedIn allows you to find candidates who fit your company culture and goals.
Join and create LinkedIn groups
Once you create a company page and a career page, it's time to promote your business on LinkedIn. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a LinkedIn group connected to your company page, said Taylor Kincaid, social media director at Online Optimism.
"A LinkedIn group is a great place to build an engaged community surrounding your business and to grow your online community," Kincaid said.
To create a group, you'll need to add a title, logo and description. Then, you'll have to determine your group's rules. You can also join existing LinkedIn Groups that fit your interests, such as a social media marketing group if you run your company's social media accounts.
LinkedIn groups can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and industry expert, as well as send more people to your company's LinkedIn page.
However, a LinkedIn group is not a good place to post ads for your business; instead, share valuable content with people who are interested in your business and industry.
"Engage your network with insightful comments," said Marietta Gentles Crawford, a personal brand strategist. "You always want to add value to your network and focus more on helping others by sharing your expertise." [Interested in LinkedIn Groups? Check out these 20 groups every entrepreneur should join.]
Key takeaway: Creating a LinkedIn group is a great way to build a community around your business.
Tips for using your LinkedIn page
Once you've created a company page, a career page and a LinkedIn group, regularly use these tools and create content for them. Here are some tips on where to get started and how to build these pages:
1. Get followers.
Publishing and sharing content is pointless if no one sees it. You should constantly seek out new followers on LinkedIn. You can post a widget to your LinkedIn page on your website, add your LinkedIn information to your email signature and have staff members promote the company page on their personal accounts. You can also put your LinkedIn information on your business cards.
2. Publish and share relevant content.
As with any successful marketing campaign, you need to know who your audience is and what they want to see on LinkedIn. It's important to publish and share content that benefits your followers, not just content that promotes your company.
"Do not be overly self-promotional," said Kyra Mancine, social media specialist at Oldcastle. "Only 20% of your posts should be sales-driven. You want to provide content that is helpful, informational and interesting. Think about what you like to see in your feed. No one likes to be sold [to] or see commercials all the time."
Overpromotion is a serious pitfall of social media and could cost you followers and reduce engagement.
3. Set up a content calendar.
Publishing regularly is key for any successful social media account. Mancine suggested setting up a content calendar for your posts, because it's important to be consistent. An easy way to set up a content calendar is through a social media tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
But don't overdo it, said Eric Fischgrund, founder of FischTank, a marketing and public relations firm. "[Many] companies just start posting away. You'll see engagement spike initially; then people start tuning you out. Only share things that are impactful."
4. Vary what you post, and capitalize on holidays.
Switch up your content, and post a mixture of visuals, videos and regular articles, Mancine said. It's also helpful to cater your posts to special holidays or the time of year.
"There are so many days that are celebrated on social media now – National Coffee Day, etc.," she said. "Nine times out of 10, you can come up with a creative way to tie your business into those days."
For example, if you're a lawn care company, you'd do well to know that April is Lawn and Garden Month and to schedule posts around that throughout the month.
5. Use tracking and analytics.
The best way to offer relevant content to your audience is to know what they want. By monitoring and tracking past posts, you'll determine what works and what doesn't.
LinkedIn's Company Page analytics allows you to evaluate engagement on your posts, identify trends, understand your follower demographics and learn more about your page traffic.
6. Experiment with videos and photos.
LinkedIn has a video and photo feature. Within the mobile app, you can take a video or photo and post it to your timeline. In March 2018, LinkedIn introduced filters and a couple of text styles to its video feature. Filters include "Work High Five," "Side Hustle" and "On the Air."
You can share a behind-the-scenes look of your company or highlight new information on products and services. Video is also five times more likely to drive member engagement than other media types on LinkedIn, so get shooting!
7. Create LinkedIn Showcase Pages.
Tommy Burns, digital marketing specialist at Bluehouse Group, suggested using LinkedIn Showcase Pages to highlight your brand. With Showcase Pages, you can spotlight specific parts of your business and share content with a targeted audience.
"A Showcase Page is an extension of your company's LinkedIn profile," Burns said. "They allow your organization to generate additional content and publish messaging that is highly relevant to subsets of your target audience." [Interested in social media marketing solutions for small business? Check out our reviews and best picks.]
8. Use sponsored content.
As on other social media platforms, you can create sponsored content on LinkedIn. These native ads cost money, but they are more effective than regular content because you can target a specific audience.
"There's a lot of freedom and customization available with this feature," said Keri Lindenmuth, marketing manager at KDG. "You can select the geographic range you want your ad to target, the ages of the audience you're seeking, the profession and industries of the audience you're seeking and more."
9. Target your audience.
One of the best ways to ensure your content does well on LinkedIn is to cater each post to a specific audience. LinkedIn's organic targeting option allows you to target posts based on follower profile data, such as organization size, industry, job title, geography or language. Keep in mind that you must have at least 300 followers to use the targeting tool.
10. Think about what time you post.
As with any social platform, the time you post your content can have an impact on how much engagement you get. It's important to post consistently, so aim to add content at least twice a week (if not every day), and keep in mind that it may take some trial and error to find what time of day works best for you. According to research from Hootsuite, the best times to post on LinkedIn are 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. ET.
Key takeaway: To get the most out of your LinkedIn page, you can supplement posts with photos and videos, use tracking and analytics to find problem spots, and create a content calendar to plan your posts.
Best marketing tools for LinkedIn
There are several tools that can aid your LinkedIn marketing efforts. Here are a few of the most popular marketing tools for LinkedIn:
Canva is an image-designing app that makes it easy to create your own graphics and images to use in your LinkedIn posts. Images make your posts more engaging and compelling, and by making your own, you help your posts stand out. With Canva, you can also create GIFs and videos using your own recordings or stock footage.
If you have a presentation or whitepaper you want to share on your LinkedIn page, SlideShare is the best way. Because SlideShare is LinkedIn's built-in content sharing tool, it makes it easy to upload your PDF, Word, PowerPoint or OpenDocument files. SlideShare even records analytics, so you can track engagement.
Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media manager tool that helps you keep track of posting, scheduling, analytics, comments and more. Hootsuite even helps you boost your top-performing posts to reach more followers.
Key takeaway: Some helpful marketing tools for LinkedIn include Canva, SlideShare and Hootsuite.