With over 313 million members in more than 200 new countries, and 2 professionals joining the site every second, if your business doesn’t already have a presence on LinkedIn, you need to rectify that as soon as possible. All 2013 Fortune 500 companies are represented by executives on LinkedIn, and its corporate talent solutions are employed by 94 Fortune 100 companies; clearly it’s worth being on.
So as a business, you need to know how to take advantage. LinkedIn’s forte is in building and maintaining professional relationships within your networks. Whilst not always the most useful for building brand awareness or revenue generation, networking with professionals within your field can be very important, especially for B2B businesses.
The first step is to completely fill out your profile. It helps to build trust and gives people a better idea of who you are. You should encourage all employees to create their own personal profiles as well, and to then link with each other as well as follow the company page. Building your company network and developing a strong following can reinforce your trustworthiness and also increase your exposure outside your company. Of course, you need to ensure that people within your company keep their profiles professional. Once you have a company page fully set up, include your LinkedIn URL on all branded material including print and online, to spread awareness and provide prospects with more information.
Joining industry and alumni groups relevant to your industry can expand your network. Get involved in discussions within these groups and become a trusted source of information on your industry to boost your standing within the community. Sharing relevant content on your company newsfeed that may be of interest to customers or potential clients is another way to add to your credibility. Try to keep your page active by posting 2-4 times per week, and try to keep them scheduled to weekdays.
The 4-1-1 rule for Twitter, popularised by TippingPoint Labs and Joe Pulizzi, is a good place to start if you aren’t sure how to plan out your content posts. It states: “For every one self-serving tweet, you should re-tweet one relevant tweet and most importantly share four pieces of relevant content written by others.”
Applying this to your LinkedIn feed is a good way to engage in conversations about relevant content and build awareness without appearing to continuously peddle your own interests.
Another good way to engage people on your page is by asking and answering questions – it can be useful to show your authority on a subject or to gauge the feelings of customers or prospects. It was found that 50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from a company when they engage with them on LinkedIn, so make sure to use it to your advantage. If you’re active on other social platforms, such a Twitter, cross post your LinkedIn content there to maximise exposure. In addition, if you have happy customers willing to give testimonials, try to request that they post a recommendation on your LinkedIn page to add to your credibility.
LinkedIn also has a useful service with which you can purchase advertising and sponsored posts directed at your target market to raise awareness of your business. Of course, if you want to take advantage of this, it can be quite costly, so bear this in mind.