LinkedIn is the Internet’s principal center for individuals and businesses to connect and exhibit their brand, experience, and abilities to the rest of the world.
As a LinkedIn user, you may create a professional profile and manage one of the top search results for your name, build a large network of professional connections whose knowledge you can tap into, and discover new business prospects.
A LinkedIn corporate page allows businesses to share additional information about themselves, their products and services, job opportunities, and expert expertise. Any LinkedIn user can follow a firm that has created a company page in order to receive updates on the home page and interact with them, providing you the opportunity to raise awareness of yourself and your brand.
According to LinkedIn research, your company profile only needs 100-200 followers to hit the tipping point of creating an impact and boosting engagement. It pays to ensure that both your corporate page and your personal profile are performing optimally.
With this guide, you will learn how you can use LinkedIn to improve brand awareness, share your marketing content, and grow your business.
What is LinkedIn Marketing?
A LinkedIn marketing strategy focuses on building relationships, generating leads, improving brand awareness, creating business relationships, and driving website traffic.
LinkedIn isn’t merely a social network for job seekers to get their resume to the right people. It’s also a wonderful marketing tool for businesses. LinkedIn Pages enable you to connect with a different kind of audience — a more businesslike audience.
The people who network on LinkedIn are professionals — yes, some are looking for work but many are looking to meet and learn from other professionals. These same professionals are using LinkedIn also to research businesses because they want to work for or with the brand or they want to become a customer of the brand. You don’t want to miss out on an important opportunity because you didn’t start a company page on LinkedIn.
Why is Marketing on LinkedIn Important?
LinkedIn can play a significant role in the effective marketing of your business. LinkedIn’s value as a marketing tool gets a lot of buzz from most companies’ finance departments, especially because they see LinkedIn as a free way of marketing the business. Although you don’t have to pay anything in terms of money to take advantage of most of LinkedIn’s functions, you do have to factor in the cost of the time you put in to manage your profile and use LinkedIn to the fullest.
Currently, LinkedIn offers your company promotion through its Company pages section. LinkedIn ties status updates, job titles, and other pertinent information from company employees’ profiles directly into the Company page. From each page, you can see those people you know in the company, open career positions, recent updates from their employees, and other pertinent facts.
If you own a business, you can create your own Company page. You need to have your company email address in your LinkedIn profile and be established as a current employee, manager, or owner of that company in your profile as well.
LinkedIn Marketing Best Practices
Marketing your business on LinkedIn involves working through your own network, employing both your current list of contacts as well as potential contacts in the greater LinkedIn community. Your efforts should also include making use of links from your online activities to your LinkedIn profile and promoting your business online from your LinkedIn identity. Here are some things to keep in mind as you develop your LinkedIn marketing strategy:
1. Encourage every employee to have a LinkedIn profile and to connect to each other.
Extending your network in this way increases your exposure outside your company. And if someone in your organization is nervous about preparing her profile, just tell her that LinkedIn can be an important asset in her professional or career development.
You can mention that even Bill Gates has a LinkedIn profile. That should do the trick!
2. Make sure your business websites and blogs contain a direct URL link to your LinkedIn profile.
By offering your website visitors a direct view to your LinkedIn profile, you’re allowing them to verify you as an employee of the company because they can see your experience and recommendations from other people.
They might also realize they share a bond with you and your business that they never would have discovered without LinkedIn.
3. Make sure your LinkedIn profile links back to your business website and blog.
You not only want your visitors and potential customers to be able to verify who you are, but you also want them to go back to your website and do some business with you! Make sure that you, and every employee of your company who’s on LinkedIn, include a link to your business’s website and, if there is one, the company blog.
4. Make sure that your most popular keyword phrases are in your company or personal profile.
Use sites such as Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com) or Moz Keyword Explorer (www.moz.com/explorer) to find the hottest keyword phrases in your field. If your business is doing any online ad campaigns, make sure those keyword phrases are the same as the ones in your profile. Presenting a consistent image to potential customers makes you and your company look more professional.
5. Develop relationships with key business partners or media contacts.
When you search for someone on LinkedIn, you can be precise about whom you want to reach. So, for example, if you know that your business needs to expand into the smartphone market, you can start targeting and reaching out to smartphone companies such as Apple, Samsung (maker of the Galaxy and Note), and Huawei (maker of the P20 and P20 Pro). If you want to increase your visibility, start reaching out to media members who cover your industry.
How to Use LinkedIn for Business
The following steps will help you set up, grow, and promote your LinkedIn company page.
Step 1: Create a LinkedIn Company Page
A company page on LinkedIn is an important marketing tool. Because people will be researching your brand and interacting with you online, you definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with others on LinkedIn.
You have to have an existing personal LinkedIn account to create a company page. If you make up a fake account and LinkedIn suspects you’re using a fake account, you receive notification and your page may become unpublished.
It doesn’t take much time to set up a LinkedIn Page. Just follow these steps:
- Select the Work icon (a square made up of little boxes), located on the top right of any LinkedIn Page.
- From the drop-down list that appears, select Create a Company Page.
- Choose a page type. Your options are Small Business, Medium to Large, Showcase page, and Educational Institution.
- Fill in your company name, select a LinkedIn URL, and add your website and other pertinent business information in the appropriate text boxes. You can also upload your logo and include a tagline at this time. As you’re adding in your company information, you can see a preview of your page on the right side.
- Select the I Verify That I Am the Official Representative of This Organization… check box.
- Click Create Page.
Step 2: Optimize your Page
Once you create your page, you’re faced with a lonely looking page. It’s time to add some additional content and fill it out. After all, your page is live for the world to see, and you don’t want to keep it empty for too long.
Uploading a cover photo
To upload a cover photo, perform the following steps:
- Click the Pencil icon that appears in the top right of the cover shot area and select either Upload a photo or choose one to support a cause.
- In the file pop-up window that appears, select the photo you want to use and click Open.
- Drag your cover photo to properly position it within the cover photo area.You can also click Discard Edits to remove the photo, allowing you to start the upload process over.
- Click Save to save your photo.
Writing a company description
The company description area of your LinkedIn business page is prime real estate for your keywords. It’s also where you can describe your business a little bit more to give people an idea about what you do and the passion you have for doing it!
To add a company description, follow these steps:
- Click the Edit Page button that appears underneath your cover photo. The edit pop-up box shown in Figure 2-4 appears.
- In the Description box, type an overview of your company and services. You have 2,000 characters to work with, so make them count!
- Click Save when you’re finished.
Be sure to use your primary keywords at the beginning of your company description to ensure they quickly catch the eye of your audience!
Step 3: Appoint an administrator
You may want to appoint an administrator or two for your LinkedIn Page. Most businesses let the marketing or social media department handle LinkedIn updates.
You must be connected to the person whom you’re appointing as an administrator. Invite that person to connect if you haven’t done so already.
To add an administrator, follow these steps:
- On your company page, click the Admin Tools drop-down at the top right of the page and select the Manage Admins option.
- Your company’s Manage Admins page appears.
- In the Designated Admins section, type the name of the person who will be handling the company page. If you want to remove someone as an administrator, click Remove Admin to the right of the person’s information in the Designated Admins section.
- Click Save Changes, located on the bottom right of the page.
Step 4: Share your brand’s content
Of course, you shouldn’t have a company page and not do anything with it. Just like you would on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you should share content on LinkedIn.
Some types of content that do well on LinkedIn include the following:
- Company news: Share new hires, product launches, event announcements, promotions, and anything of note happening with your company.
- Industry news: Share news of interest or related to your niche.
- How-to’s and tutorials: Show how to use your product or service or offer tips for others in your industry.
- Business-oriented images and videos: Don’t forget to add visual elements to your company page.
- Blog posts and articles: If your business has a blog, share posts on LinkedIn. Also, share related content from other brands.
Be mindful of how often you post. If you batter your LinkedIn community with a constant barrage of updates, they’ll consider you too spammy to follow. Most brands update one to three times per day at most, with updates spaced out several hours apart.
Step 5: Highlight products and services with showcase pages
LinkedIn provides you with the perfect opportunity to highlight products and services with showcase pages. Showcase pages are standalone pages that you can use to announce product launches, websites, events, and any kind of product, service, or opportunity.
Basically, a showcase page is an additional LinkedIn business page where you can engage your community and share a particular aspect of your business. For example, if your company has several smaller brands, you can use a company page as your main page with the smaller brands highlighted in the showcase pages.
People enter showcase pages through the right sidebar of your company page or a link on each individual showcase page. For example, each showcase page links to all of your brand’s other showcase pages (if you have more than one). So people can see at a glance what’s being showcased whenever they visit any of your pages. Best of all, people can follow the pages that interest them without having to follow all pages.
Only a company page administrator can create showcase pages. Before you begin, you need to know the following:
- The name of the showcase page
- A short and sweet description — up to 200 characters
- The industry your page falls under
- The name of at least one showcase page administrator assigned to each page
You also need to have a hero image (a cover image) for your showcase page, preferably one highlighting the showcased item, as well as two logo images.
To create a showcase page, just follow these steps:
- From your company page, click the Admin Tools link on the top right.
- From the drop-down list that appears, select Create a Showcase page.
- Enter the name of your showcase page. The LinkedIn URL is automatically filled in, but this time you can’t change it to keep it associated with your company page.
- Click Create Page. Your LinkedIn showcase page will be listed in the Affiliated pages section of your main business page.
Most of the same features you have to take advantage of on normal LinkedIn Pages (content posting capabilities, analytics, and so on) are available on showcase pages.
LinkedIn used to be a social network strictly for making professional connections. Now it provides you with some wonderful tools to promote your business and drive sales. Don’t miss this opportunity to reach a whole new audience.
4 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business
1. Grow a community with a LinkedIn group
Businesspeople like to network. They want to have career-related discussions with others and ask questions while also establishing their own expertise and making new connections. By participating in a LinkedIn group, they’re helping to make that happen.
In the following sections, we discuss how to set up a LinkedIn group, as well as how to set guidelines and restrictions for it.
You can set up your LinkedIn group in a matter of minutes. Follow these steps to create your group:
- At the top of any LinkedIn Page, click the Work icon and then select Groups from the drop-down list that appears. Your personal Group page appears.
- Click the Create Group button on the top right.
- Fill in all necessary information about your group, including group name, description, and group rules. Be as descriptive as possible about the purpose of the group so you have the right type of networking happening in the group.
- (Optional) Upload a logo or photo. You can also upload a cover image just like you can with LinkedIn Pages and personal profiles.
- Select the Unlisted box if you want your LinkedIn group to be unlisted. Otherwise, your group will be open to the public.
- In the Permissions section, select either the option of allowing current members to invite people or require new post moderation by admins.
- Click the blue Create button.
After you create a group, you need members. You can increase your membership by inviting connections or approving requests to join.
2. Post job listings
LinkedIn offers a Talent Solutions page for companies to manage their job listings. Click the Work icon on the top navigation bar on the home page, and select LinkedIn Talent Solutions from the drop-down list that appears.
The Talent Solutions home page appears. This is where you can start the process of creating a job listing, reviewing the applicants you get, and paying LinkedIn to post the listing.
You can also post a job without using Talent Solutions, but if you’re managing a company account that will need more than the occasional job posting, you may want to investigate Talent Solutions further.
You set the cost for each job listing with a daily budget, and are charged only when potential job candidates click your job listing. You can cancel the job listing at any time, so you don’t have to run the listing for a long time if you get enough candidates quickly. You can pay for your job listing with PayPal or a major credit card such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.
If you know you’re going to need multiple or ongoing job postings on LinkedIn, consider LinkedIn Recruiter to get discounts on job postings and InMail. You can get more information by completing a request for a demo at https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/recruiter.
You can choose to renew your listing at the end of the 30-day window. Your date posted (the date you set up the job listing) is updated with the renewal date instead of the original posting date, so the listing appears at the top of search results. Renewing a job listing costs the same as the initial job posting.
3. Advertise on Linkedin
One of the powerful aspects of LinkedIn ads is that you can really target your target audience. Given that LinkedIn knows a lot about its members, it can help deliver your ad to a specific audience, depending on your needs.
Perhaps you’re targeting only business owners who live in the Pacific Northwest and have more than five years of experience. Maybe you’re marketing a financial software package for accountants who work in large companies.
Then again, you could be trying to reach all company presidents or CEOs of small, medium, or large companies. With LinkedIn, you can set one or more filters to target the most relevant audience for your ad, which should increase the participation and effectiveness of your ad.
There are many LinkedIn ad formats to choose from, including:
- Sponsored text ads
- Sponsored posts
- Sponsored messaging (sent to a user’s LinkedIn inbox)
- Dynamic ads that include user details like name, profile photo, and employer
- Sponsored job ad listings
- Photo carousel ads
LinkedIn ads can be highly successful because four out of five LinkedIn users influence business purchases.
4. Publish original “thought leader” content
LinkedIn allows you to post full blogs on LinkedIn that become part of your professional profile, and they are also sent out to your network as a status update.
Ideally, you want to use the publishing platform as a way to share value-driven (non-salesy), expert content to both your current and potential audience. Potential topics include important trends in your industry, what advice you would give to someone hoping to enter your field of work, the biggest challenges your industry needs to solve, etc.
There is no word limit, but some of the best examples so far aren’t “full-on blog replacement” in length either. If you are inspired to come up with something between 400 and 600 words once a week that will build your credibility and strengthen your standing on the site, that is just what LinkedIn is looking for.
A bite-sized version of a recent blog article isn’t a bad idea (link to the full version at the end of your post), and – for SEO purposes – make sure to give it a compelling title that differs from the original.
To start writing, click on the pencil icon in the usual status update box, and a familiar word processing layout (complete with the options to add links, videos, and images) will appear. Once you’ve finished writing, conclude your post with a call to action if necessary, but definitely include a quick few lines of bio with links back to your LinkedIn profile, website, or blog.
When the post is shared to LinkedIn, re-post it on your Company page and other social networks for maximum exposure, then keep an eye on the metrics LinkedIn provides to help determine how well your content is resonating with your audience.
As you publish more and the breadth of your statistics grows, you will be able to replicate the kind of post that does well.
5. Mining for clients
It’s a big world out there. In terms of clients, you need to ask yourself whom you’re looking for. Is everyone a potential client, or do you have a specific demographic in mind? A specific skill set?
Maybe you’ve written the greatest plug-in tool for accountants who work in the financial services industry, and you want to sell this tool directly to your likely users.
With LinkedIn, you can conduct a search to find people who match your criteria. Then after you locate those people, it’s up to you to approach them and close the sale.
Before you start your search, ask yourself some questions that can help you with generating your leads:
- Are you looking for people with a specific title or in a particular industry?
- Are you looking for high-net-worth or well-connected donors for your nonprofit organization?
- Are you looking for decision-makers in a company, or are you seeking a general audience? (That is, are you trying to sell into a company or directly to people?)
- Besides your main target industry, can you approach related industries, and if so, what are they?
- Does the location of your potential contact matter? Does making the sale require an in-person visit (which means that the contact needs to live near you or you have to be willing to travel to this person)?
When you’re ready to start looking for leads, I recommend jumping right in with the LinkedIn Advanced People search, which allows you to search the database consisting of hundreds of millions of LinkedIn members based on the criteria you’ve established for the leads you want to generate.
3 Important LinkedIn Marketing Tips
The way you market your business on LinkedIn depends on your goals. These are the three most important things every marketer should do.
1. Optimize Linkedin posts
The ever-changing algorithms of LinkedIn make even reaching your audience of followers a challenge, let alone trying to engage an audience outside your network.
There was a disproportionate amount of engagement going to LinkedIn’s “top users,” which left those with fewer followers behind.
The following tips will help you optimize LinkedIn posts in order to rank higher on LinkedIn and get more views and engagement:
- Use images that fit and look professional: You can find free, high-quality photos on sites like Unsplash.
- Use hashtags: LinkedIn now actively encourages and supports hashtag use, since they can be searched and followed. With hashtags, people can easily find their posts when searching for content on a particular topic.
- Tag companies and users: When companies see you are mentioning them, they may share your post on their feed if it suits their brand.
- Proofreading: When your posts are full of spelling and grammatical errors, you’ll damage both your credibility and engagement. Grammarly, an online grammar checker and proofreading tool, can help you avoid embarrassing writing errors.
- Consider bullet pointing: Consider bullet-pointing the main points of your post if it is long, but you believe it is full of value.For those who skim-read your post, highlighting the main points is ideal.
- Use emojis correctly: When used correctly, emoji become a powerful way to appear “in the know” and improve engagement.
- Make your LinkedIn videos short and digestible.
2. Participate on a regular and consistent basis
The easiest way to ensure a steady stream of contact with as many people as you can handle is to dedicate a small but fixed amount of time to regularly interact with the LinkedIn community.
Some members spend 15 to 30 minutes per day sending messages to their connections, reading through their news feed, the Groups, Companies, or Influencers page, or finding one to two new people to add to their network.
Others spend an hour a week, or as long as it takes to create their set number of recommendations, invite their set number of new contacts, or reconnect with their set number of existing connections. You just need to establish a routine that works with your own schedule.
3. Post at the best time
To find out when to post on LinkedIn, HubSpot recently surveyed more than 300 social media marketers nationwide. They have found that posting at the right time of day is a great way to increase engagement, but also that understanding your audience’s motivations and intentions can give you quite a bit of insight into how they use LinkedIn.
According to HubSpot’s findings, the best times to post content on LinkedIn are:
- Between 12 to 3 pm, 3 to 6 pm, or 6 to 9 pm
- Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday
In 2016, HubSpot conducted a similar survey with very different results. In 2016, they found that the best time to post content on LinkedIn was between Tuesday and Thursday, early in the morning, after lunch, or early in the evening.