LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. It has massive potential to help connect your business with prospective clients, partners, and future employees—if used correctly.
Today, LinkedIn has over 400 million members.
Incorporating this social media channel into your marketing strategy is crucial. From lead generation to client retention to talent attraction—LinkedIn puts you in front of the types of prospects you’re targeting. And with the recent acquisition by Microsoft, you can be sure the channel isn’t going anywhere.
Many businesses underestimate the potential value that LinkedIn has. They often neglect some of the (simple) best practices, which prevent them from getting the most for their company out of the channel.
Here’s how to set up your LinkedIn company page according to best practices to drive leads and recruit talent to your brand.
Set the Foundation
Set your profile up for success by optimizing the first few sections a user will see when they land on your page. This content is also extremely important for strengthening the discoverability of your profile—that is, the likelihood that people will find it when searching for your industry keywords:
- Write an Accurate & Interesting Description: Complete your company description leading with a keyword-rich account of your business, expertise, and industry focus.
- Create a Clear Profile Image: No matter what image you upload, LinkedIn displays it inside a small, white rectangle. Be sure to test out the image to see how it appears before deciding on the final one.
- Add a Banner Image: Your banner image should be 646 pixels wide x 220 pixels tall. Consider using timely images—display a product you’re promoting or a recent milestone, show off your company culture or office space, promote upcoming events, etc.
- List Products & Services: Take advantage of this space by describing exactly what your company offers. Use industry keywords to appeal to search engines and users—but be careful not to keyword stuff.
Best Practices to Build Followers
While it’s generally true in social media that the more followers you have, the more audience your posts will reach, LinkedIn also offers access to your connections’ networks based on varying degrees.
For example, if you view a profile of a prospect who is connected with a person who has followed you (your first-degree connection), that prospect would be your second-degree connection. These connections may help you get your foot in the door in specific situations.
Follow these steps to expand your LinkedIn network connections:
- Link to Your Profile: Include a link to your LinkedIn page on your website, blog, other existing social channels, or any other sites the company runs. This will drive traffic and optimize for search using your unique LinkedIn URL.
- Invite Employees to Follow You: Ask your employees to follow your page and list your company on their individual pages under their Professional Headline and Experience sections.
- Have Employees Link to Your Profile: Ask employees to link to your company on their individual LinkedIn profiles. Have them share company updates when appropriate in order to reach their first-degree network audience.
- Spread the Love: Ask employees who may be interested in creating professional LinkedIn posts under their name, then share their updates on your company page.
- Cross-Promote: Schedule occasional tweets and Facebook posts that encourage your followers on each respective channel to check you out on LinkedIn.
Best Practices to Engage Followers
Being active and engaging followers on LinkedIn is crucial to keeping their attention, and it makes sure that your followers keep you top of mind.
- Share Interesting Content: Ask yourself if your content adheres to followers' interests and needs. How is it valuable to them? Use A/B testing to further understand your audience and figure out your perfect balance.
- Share Updates Regularly: Many companies post every once in a while. Companies that post 20 times a month, on average, reach 60% of their followers with 1 or more updates; and 20% of followers are typically reached with one status update.
- Keep Everyone Updated: While sticking to your editorial calendar, don’t forget to post about timely events, news, topics, and trends.
- Use Images: Always include an image or some type of media in posts (and double check that your image appears before posting). Share YouTube videos when appropriate (less than 3 minutes in length); they play directly in the news feed, so users won’t be sent away from your content by watching what you share. Videos also result in higher sharing rates.
- Don’t “Post and Leave”: Monitor your comments, respond to positive comments to keep the conversation moving, and handle any customer service issues that may arise—when appropriate.
- Keep it Brief: Use short form updates to ask a question to involve your audience. Think like a journalist: give the audience what they want, include a clear call-to-action (CTA), and aim for 16-25 words per update.
Use Headline “Hacks”: With long form posts, use “how-to” and list style headlines, but don’t pose questions. Break up your post with sub-headlines to make it more digestible and skimmable, and include at least one image per post.
- Be Positive: Always use positive or neutral language, and steer clear of anything negative. Remember, people want to follow people they find fun.
- Don’t Forget the Weekends: Consider posting throughout the weekend in addition to the work week to see if engagement increases.
- Track What Works: Track available analytics—pay attention to audience targeting, content types, and time of day the posts with the most interactions have.
Best Practices to Get Even More Reach On LinkedIn
Once you’ve got the basic best practices down, focus on acquiring new followers and reaching a larger audience with the following tactics:
- Sponsor Updates: Distribute your content across a wider, more targeted audience on LinkedIn. Sponsor education or opinion content that you feel is especially important. These updates appear in the news stream, which theoretically leads to a higher engagement level.
- Publish on Pulse: Pulse is LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Use this to post about your company’s expertise areas, and publish whenever you have something valuable to share with LinkedIn’s users. This is a key strategy, as the more long form posts you publish, the more credible as a thought leader you will become. Remember to stay focused, keep a genuine voice, and offer your opinion on topics while staying professional.
LinkedIn Can Help You Win Over Top Talent
An active LinkedIn page with industry- and culture-centric content can win over top talent in the market during their search for an employer.
When people search for a new position, they’re likely using LinkedIn to size up your company. This is true throughout the interview process as well—so make sure you’re constantly sharing relevant content that will help them understand the value of working for a company that invests in thought leadership.
Is All the Work Really Worth it?
Following all these steps can be time consuming, sure. But the value of investing into your LinkedIn company profile could yield significant results.
Consider the impact of a prospective customer following your LinkedIn account and finding that you frequently share interesting content that influences their daily decision making. Or, having a top recruit investigate your company to find that you’re a thought leader in the industry.
These “micro-moments” are brief moments that can have a huge impact. Take advantage of LinkedIn—it’s a great way to connect with potential customers and business partners.