BusinessSocial Media

LinkedIn for small business

LinkedIn is a social media platform with more than 160 million members. It is likened to Facebook, except it is for professionals. Your personal profile reads more like a resumé rather than focusing on your personal interests.

Last year, LinkedIn started to increase its offerings for companies wanting to take advantage of the social media site. The new company pages are a valuable way to share information about your business, products, and industry with followers.

If choosing to create a page, you can’t just make it and then leave it and expect people to find you. You have to make the page work for you and stand out from other company pages. If looking to start a company page, or ramp up your involvement on the site, try these easy steps.

Post updates

Like Facebook, you can now post updates to your followers. This can include information about your company such as job opportunities, new clients, or links to articles or blogs that relate to the industry you are in or are targeting.

Try and post at least once a day on a topic that is related to your industry, but doesn’t be over-zealous or promotional, and make sure the updates have value for your followers. Pick a few areas that you are an expert in and stick to these topics when posting updates.

Update your products and services

Your products and services can be highlighted on your company page. This allows you to share with your followers what your company offers. You should name each service and write out a detailed overview of what that service entails, and its key features.

You can also add a video, the key contact within the company for the service, a URL, or the details of a promotion to make sure your followers truly understand what you can do for them and their business.

Ensure all of your employee’s profiles are up-to-date

Followers of your company page are able to click on your employee’s profiles. Therefore, you should ensure that their profiles suit your business’s goal and tone. They can also view employee information, which graphs similar companies based on factors such as the number of employees, growth, and education.

Ask employees to update their profiles, and write a standard summary about the business for them to put on their profiles. Make sure all of their job titles are up-to-date (yours too!) and they all have professional-looking profile pictures, so you are showing the business in the best light possible.

Use the analytics function

This function shows you who’s following your company, including which industry they are from, their job function, and which company they work for. It also shows you how many members are following you on a monthly graph, so you can see any surges in followers or drop-offs.

Having this information easily accessible means you can better understand if your approach is working and if you’re attracting the right followers from your targeted industries. Put this information alongside a baseline of your activities on the company page to see what is attracting visitors and what is turning them off.

Add your blog

Add your blog’s RSS feed to your company page. It’s a great way to get more clicks on your blog and showcase your expertise in the areas that you are writing about.

If you do this, make sure to update your blog regularly. Having a blog that was last updated in 2009 looks worse than having no blog at all. Also, make sure your blog topics are relevant to your industry – no posting about your breakfast choices, please, unless you are a cereal company, of course.

Use the events function

If your company holds events, make sure to add them to the events section of LinkedIn. Get employees to click ‘I’m attending’ to gain further publicity for it. Also have employees click the ‘I’m attending’ tab on other industry-related events they are attending. This allows other attendees to see who will be at the event, which can lead to networking opportunities. It also shows that your company is keeping up-to-date with the latest in industry information and trends.

Link it

Add share icons to your email signature, website, and blog. Make it easy for people to connect with your company and advertise the fact that you have a presence on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is constantly adding and changing functions and capabilities for users. Make sure to check consistently for new features, and when they arrive, take advantage of how they work. LinkedIn is only going to grow in popularity and is a fantastic tool to promote your business.

Catriona Pollard is the director of specialist PR and social media strategy firm CP Communications.

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