LinkedIn for Business
Recruiters do use Linkedin very well, but could you ? Sometimes, Linkedin can be seen as just a Digital CV that is being updated regularly and a place to show off endorsements and testimonials. But it can be a good way to connect with your target audience and to show who you are and what your company does. What are the best ways you can use Linkedin for your practice or business or service? Here are some 20+ ways to use it and 10+ tips on how to get the most out of it. Plus, at the bottom a quick and simple guide to setting up a good Company Page.
20+ ways to use LinkedIn for business
Benefits of using Linkedin for Small Business – think of it as a Social Networking platform for business, that can generate results, if used well. But you should plan how you want to use it, to avoid getting distracted by all the posts.
1. Get found by people who are looking for you or what you offer – treat it as a Search Engine for B2B Business to Business, so update your personal Linkedin Bio
2. Find customers – in your target B2B Business to Business market. Connect from the persons profile and do NOT use the default Connect option when LinkedIn suggest people to connect with. Let the person know why you want to connect by utilising the add a note option. Be human, make a short introduction and say why you want to connect – maybe add a link to your website if appropriate, BUT do not try to sell a product or service
3. Find staff – advertise positions yourself or have an agency do it for you. Smart potential employees will connect with you through Linkedin. The good ones will be waiting for an opportunity. The very good ones will be using Linkedin to find a company with whom they want to work
4. Get Tips – simply watching your feed will allow you see tips from connections, advice on how to do things that will benefit you or your business. It could be marketing or sales tips for example
5. Showcase work – use the platform to show what you do by posting examples in your company page and post a case study every so often using the Linkedin editor
6. Establish and backup credibility – by showing your qualifications and experience, endorsements, testimonials and case studies in your personal page or company page or both
7, Discover connections – within your target audience, see who is connected to whom, join the dots, from your own existing connections to your target market – use the Search functionality and filter to people or companies, and geographic locations
8. SEO – LinkedIn is indexed by all search engines and content is well structured and found, so a well optimised LinkedIn profile and or Company page with the right keywords or terms, will generate search traffic to your website from Google search
9. Google – Search is an important aspect of generating leads and Google rates LinkedIn results highly. You will regularly see a Linkedin profile at the top of the search results when you search for a person or a company as mentioned above
10. Join a group – Learn about industry activity, innovation and events, share some tips or advice, add value to the group. Note: Be aware that currently in mid 2021, Linkedin groups are full of people spamming which make them pretty useless. So, do not waste much time here, unless you find a well moderated one that is in your space.
11. Contribute to useful Groups – Offer useful advice and useful information, show expertise. As a group member you are allowed to send a limited number of messages to other members each month.
12. Company Page – Showcase this page to promote your company and generate leads. It is like a small website, so add a good banner image and populate all the description fields. See a more detailed simple guide at the bottom of this page
13. Stay connected – with customers and potential customers, send the odd useful link or information to add value to your relationship
14. Career moves – see who is on the move and where they go, a professional buyer/customer may move from one company to another, opening opportunities for you with the new company
15. Connections connecting – see who your connections connect with, especially when they are connecting with competitors.
16. Competition – see who is saying what. It helps you see what competitors are offering or what customers are looking for. Check out their profiles to see if they do any smart things, that you are missing.
17. Customer conversation – allow consumers use Linkedin as another way to make comments or converse with you
18. Pay for a Premium Account and see who is checking you out or allow you connect with anyone and see who your connections are connected to
19. Signals – check out Recent Activity to see what your connections have been doing over the past two weeks – click on the down arrow in a Profile
20. Advertise – if Linkedin is the right platform for you, advertise to your Target market. Retargeting is also available, so you can add a Linkedin pixel to your own site or even upload a list of contacts to Linkedin. Because people add so much personal detail in their Linkedin profile, it makes it easy to get specific in your advertising, whether that is using text ads or sponsored content
21. Add Value – you will see connections asking for help or advice, where you can help and add value, not just for potential customers, but also for friends, colleagues and other connections.
22. Give Positive Reviews – Go to the profile page of someone you want to recommend. Click on the More button beside the Message box. Then click on recommend
23. Ask for help – why not post your question and allow people add value for you.
23. Video – Since autumn 2017 you can create and upload native video to your stream to increase engagement from others and Google. Linkedin loves this feature and it works well, so in 2021 it is gathering momentum as a popular tool
24. Navigator – Using Linkedin Sales Navigator allows you send in mail and see exactly who is checking you out. From US$780 a year or US$80 a month you can see when people move jobs. You can see who is connected to other members of your company in Linkedin. And you can integrate it with your CRM. With the CRM integrated you can make notes in Linkedin that update the CRM. Likewsie you can integrate your email client. You can send limited Inmail. Plus you can save up to 1500 leads and prospect lists. All very well for the bigger companies, who can prospect easier and even find lookalike prospects or research a potential buying team.
Read on Pulse
Pulse is a News Aggregator which publishes much of the content you see on your LinkedIn home page feed, much of which is also sent via an email weekly as a digest to subscribed members to show the suggested headlines, in chosen fields of interest. Some content is organically generated by a team of LinkedIn editors and some is contributed content, sent in by members, which is curated and monitored before publication. This includes video, especially ‘native’ video, recorded within the Linkedin platform. Remember Linkedin does not want you adding video or external links to video that brings people out of their platform.
Plus of course the “promoted” paid content which Linkedin shows in order to generate income.
Pulse has mobile apps for iOS and Android, so when you log in with your LinkedIn account you will see news based on the your industry and your connections or people you follow on LinkedIn bringing you up to speed with all your related business news or interests.
Based on your own LinkedIn profile, preferences and account settings, the Pulse app knows which industry you are in, so it offers up its best related stories and any items that your coworkers or contacts like.
Linkedin made getting access to Pulse a bit harder, so nowadays you click on the three dots in any article in your feed and select “Get recommended Sources to Follow” this brings you to a page that allows you “follow fresh perspectives”, so select what you want to see more of in your feed
Publish on Pulse
If LinkedIn is a good tool for you, then write articles within the Linkedin Editor and post them and hopefully get published, to get visibility and credibility with your target audience. LinkedIn are happy to have contributions, to beef up its own output with contributions. Post the article and tweet the Linkedin editors @LinkedInEditors
It is a form of Blog where your content can get seen by millions, albeit most members are not daily visitors, so your output can be missed. For that reason, publish first on your own website and then contribute in Linkedin by posting it as an article using the Linkedin Editor tool.
Amend it slightly for the LinkedIn audience, but do not worry about duplicate content, Google will not punish you, because Pulse is a news aggregator. Pulse itself does not care that the content has already been published.
Its ability to publish content that interests the right people is a fantastic way for you to connect and be seen, when you show competence in a given subject.
LinkedIn is a business social network, but keep it professional,no kittens or sales pitches please. In LinkedIn click on Interests and then Pulse. In Pulse click the hamburger menu on the left to see categories. Find the app in the app store and download. Train your feed by swiping an article to indicate that you do not like it or to save it for later to your profile page. You can select preferred publishers to help you make this your own personalised news feed.
Pulse content guide
Get a catchy relevant headline, add some good content, preferably long form, anything from 200 words up, ideally 2000. Add a good image or two and add video if you have it. Stick to your area of expertise or interest. Maybe do a useful ‘How to build’ guide or a List as in ’10 ways to generate leads’ or ‘5 Ways to get published’. Have a look at Top Posts in Pulse to see what is working or trending in your area of interest. Read the complete LinkedIn guide to publishing on Pulse here
Tips on using LinkedIn well
1. Connect by all means, but always add a note to explain why you want to connect or why it makes sense to do so
2. Never use the default ‘Connect’ option when profiles are suggested to you, go to the individuals profile page and then select connect, before writing the introductory note.
3. Never use connections or groups to spam
4. Populate your own profile page, every section, including the photo, using keywords throughout to optimise the entry. Use a good clear close up headshot facing the camera. And the backdrop image should also help explain what you do, rather than just be the default background.
5. Add a Company page if you have a company, include all relevant details and some video. You can add Showcase pages to promote specific items or services. Through this page you can publish articles that are of interest to your industry
6. Spend 20 to 30 minutes a day on it Monday to Friday. Put it in your Calendar to schedule it.
7. Engage with other people who post relevant, useful or interesting content.
8. Post your own useful content which will possibly be seen by 5 to 10% of your contact list, unless it gets lots of engagement. However it will still appear in your ‘activity’ and engage with anyone who responds to it.
9. Never engage in any arguments over posts or opinion.
10. Remember this is not Facebook, so do not post photos of puppies or kittens, political or biblical quotes.
11. Add the Linkedin badge to your website, and maybe to the About or Team page with a hyperlink to each persons Linkedin profile.
12. Export a copy of your connections list every so often, just in case Linkedin make that a paid option.
13. Connect from the company page if it is more appropriate than using your Personal Profile. When you are in Linkedin, go to Me on top right and click ‘down arrow’. Then choose the Company page you want to edit. When you are in that page as Admin, start searching for contacts and send them messages from in there.
* In 2021 the amount of Spam from people requesting to connect is mindblowing. You get asked politely to connect and when you accept, you get hit with sales messages. It is annoying and Linkedin/Microsoft need to do something about it. However, for now do not accept connections unless they make sense, you do not need the numbers. Also if you accept and then get spammed with a sales pitch, go to your Network tab, look at your connections and Remove the offender there. When enough people remove such an offender Linkedin will see the stats and may take action against them.
A Simple Guide to setting up a Company Page on Linkedin
When you create a Company Page on Linkedin via the Work button, it obviously gives the company an entry or listing on the platform. But it also allows people see your own company and the related employees within the actual Linkedin platform with no need to go elsewhere. So you do want to include details about your brand, products and/or services. Have staff create their own Linkedin entry and link to the company page. Encourage staff to use Linkedin too.
Creating a Linkedin Company Page
To create a Company page in Linkedin you need to have your own Personal page first. In your own page click on the ‘Work‘ icon (see image) which is in the top right hand side corner and select ‘Create a Company Page’. Start by entering the name of your Company Name and add a URL ie www.meanit.ie . All Company Page URLs within Linkedin will be structured as linkedin.com/company/yourcompanyname https://www.linkedin.com/company/meanit/ where it is a unique link that identifies who you are. You can use this link to send to people.
You will be asked then to verify the page and that you have permission to add it. Once you verify you can select ‘Create Page’. This will bring you to a Welcome page, so click on ‘Get Started’ and enter all your company information to the fields. Populate them all so that all your contact details appear. It is straight forward, but do not skimp when it comes to Company Description. You can add up to 2000 words, with a minimum of 250. Our advice is use the maximum allowed to you in each field. Likewise add optimised images with keyword descriptions in the alt text. Add testimonials or case studies. Make it as effective a tool as you can, by adding as much as you can. Add a good banner image at the top that shows what you do and includes your branding. Potential employees will view this page when they are researching your company
We recommend you use the Linkedin Editor to create and post useful articles about your products or services and the benefits they deliver. Or post articles with useful tips and advice. Do it without being salesy, but do offer insights and valuable advice or guidance. Use the Linkedin editor rather than just adding a url or link away from Linkedin. Any time you add posts in Linkedin they will appear on this page, so people can see all your activity. Good articles can get picked up by Linkedin and promoted to a wider audience than just your connections.
Adding an Article in Linkedin
To write a new article, look at your timeline and see it says Write an Article, so click that and start by adding a photo and then a headline, then whatever you like under that. There is an Editor menu option above to allow you add bold or italics or hyperlinks etc. When ready click on Publish in the top right hand corner. Via the Work button and its dropdown you will see Posts & Activity. Click on that to see any articles you have already written.
To write an article in Linkedin Editor:
Click Write article near the top of your homepage.
Click the Headline field to type the headline of your article.
Note: If you’re unable to click into the Headline field, you may have a browser extension that is blocking this functionality. The two extensions that we know cause this issue are Lazarus and Grammarly. This can be resolved by disabling these extensions and refreshing the editor.
Click in the Write here field to type the content of your article.
You can add images, rich media, and hyperlinks to your article.
Click Publish, and follow the prompts to publish your article.
Why create a Linkedin company page?
Linkedin is still under rated as a tool for connecting with your target audience. It is also a great platform to show off your expertise and have it seen by the target audience. It is indeed like a CV for a company, so do take it seriously. Many people use Linkedin every day to find suppliers and partners, tips and advice jobs and employees. It is a bit like Facebook for business, but it is not for social posts, so keep it corporate or professional.
Start today and get building your brand on Linkedin. For most B2B businesses, Linkedin is fast becoming a serious platform to use to find prospects and engage with them, to increase market awareness of you and your offering. If your firm does not have a Linkedin Company page it looks a bit like it is not keeping up with trends in Marketing.