How to use LinkedIn for business networking
LinkedIn has become the go-to place for professional networking. Founded in 2003 it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 expanding from a platform for individuals to now encompassing business, job vacancy posting, and business advertising. LinkedIn has in excess of 500 million members who can connect with others and grow their networks for both personal and commercial reasons.
How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page
Step 1. Add your company
Step 2. Add a cover image and logo
Step 3. Create a company description
Step 4. Fill in your company details
Step 5. Publish your page
Step 6. Add page administrators
Step 7. Optimise
Promoting yourself on LinkedIn
Whether you already have a LinkedIn profile or are creating one for the first time there some important points to bear in mind:
- Use a professional looking photo of yourself.
- Invite people and business acquaintances that you no to ‘connect’ with you.
- Ask them if they would like to endorse you on your skills as this will raise your profile.
- Consider using a customised URL.
- Make your history interesting so that people will want to connect with you.
- Let others know if you are open to offers of new employment.
- Write articles and post them that are of interest to your target group.
- Search for LinkedIn members with like-minded interests and businesses.
- Share your LinkedIn status on social media.
- Search Engine Optimise (SEO) your LinkedIn profile.
- See who has been viewing your LinkedIn page.
- Keep your profile relevant and up to date.
Strategy for marketing on LinkedIn for Business to Business
There are few businesses today that do not have a social media profile. LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to showcase not only yourself, your business and to promote your brand. In order to do this, you could take the following actions:
Create a LinkedIn company page
This will help you establish your business, brand, products, services and job opportunities. To do this you will need a personal LinkedIn account and a verified email address. You will be asked to enter a business description, information about your products and company contact details,
Create a career page
If your business is looking for employees, then this is an effective page to create.
Create and Join LinkedIn groups
You can promote your business on LinkedIn by creating a LinkedIn group connected to your company page. This is an excellent way of building a community that is related to your business and who will help it grow.
LinkedIn Groups can help you be an industry expert and have more people visit your company page. It is not somewhere that you place or share ads for your business.
Publish and share relevant content
You need to know who your audience is and what their interests are. Publish and share content that benefits your followers – not just content that promotes your company. Try to aim for 4 articles out of every 5 to concentrate on information that educates people and does not sell to them.
Use LinkedIn’s tracking and analytics.
Monitor and track your posts determine what works and what doesn’t, identify trends, understand your follower demographics and learn more about your visitors to your post.
You can find more about LinkedIn Analytics at Company Page analytics
Try using videos and photos
Videos and photos add interest and are also effective in driving viewer engagement than other media types on LinkedIn.
Create LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages helps to generate additional content and publish messaging that is highly relevant to subsets of your target audience.”
Use sponsored ads
Sponsored Ads are more effective than regular content because you can target a specific audience and can be customised.
To find out more click on sponsored ads on LinkedIn
Understanding the LinkedIn algorithm
The LinkedIn algorithm controls how your page is seen by using several processes:
- LinkedIn uses a bot to evaluate your content to see if it is spam, low-quality, or clear.
- The algorithm measures initial user engagement to see if your post is getting likes and shares?
- The algorithm does additional checks for spam and credibility based on the quality of your account and your network.
- At LinkedIn Human editors review content and determine whether it should continue to be displayed, or even boosted.
LinkedIn has exceptional targeting capabilities, allowing you to make focused strategic decisions about incorporating LinkedIn ads into your social media marketing strategy.
LinkedIn advertising options include:
- Sponsored content: Amplify your content to reach a wider audience than you could reach organically.
- Text Ads: These are pay-per-click or CPM ads that appear on the LinkedIn homepage, profile pages, Groups pages, search results pages.
- Sponsored InMail: Sponsored InMail allows you to send personalised ads to LinkedIn members’ inboxes. Messages are only delivered when members are active on LinkedIn, making them likely to be noticed.
Using LinkedIn Analytics
LinkedIn analytics help you learn what kind of content your followers are most likely to engage with, understand your follower demographics, and track traffic and activity on your company page.
To access LinkedIn Analytics for your Company Page:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn Page
- Choose your company page under the Manage section
- Click the Analytics tab
- Choose Visitors, Updates, or Followers.
The Dos and Don’ts when using LinkedIn
What to Do
- Use LinkedIn as a professional resource
- Create a professional profile with your key achievements
- Post-professional articles
- Choose connections and groups carefully
- Be prepared to actively participate in groups
- Seek endorsements
- Use videos with applicable content
- use the project section in your profile for references and include project or publication URLs
- Use a personal message that starts a relationship
- Write meaningful recommendations for people
- Learn about the people you invite to connect before sending the invitation
What Not to Do
- Don’t blanket connect
- Don’t over-promote yourself
- Don’t be just a reader, continue to update your content
- Don’t include links that do not work
- Don’t spam
- Don’t use long-winded sentences
- Don’t blanket connect
LinkedIn is a powerful business tool that can be used to your and your company’s advantage. Taking the time to understand what it can do for you is well worth the effort.