LinkedIn, as the largest professional platform is no longer the boring hiring tool that we used to know - it's developed into being an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool you should be utilising as much as possible. No matter the size of your business, we recommend using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy. I’ve collated my best tips and tricks on how to use LinkedIn effectively to grow your business:
Create a Company Page
LinkedIn Company Pages rank highly in search engines, so even just entering the basic details regarding your business will be beneficial for SEO purposes alone.
Quick and painless to set up, simply click the 'Work' tab along the navigation bar, scroll to the bottom to select 'Create a Company Page' and follow the wizard's instructions. It's a great opportunity to get in front of your ideal customer demographic - describe your product and service in detail within the About section, link to your website and add your company logo. I also recommend adding a tag headline summarising what you offer. For examples of this, it's always a good idea to have a search on other pages, even of competitors to see how best to sell your business.
Linking your (and anyone you employ) profile to your Company Page increases the likelihood of receiving more visitors to both your Company Page and profile. LinkedIn kindly provides analytical data on your Company Page such as the demographics and metrics of your visitors which you can use for your future promotional efforts. Knowing your audience and what they want to see will increase your effectiveness and engaged followers, so make full use of this handy tool.
Create and share engaging content
Creating engaging content for your Company Page is the most effective and fastest way of drawing visitors. The same can be said for your personal profile - update it with any new projects you're working on and add a link to your website. If you’re stuck for copy, put yourself back in the role of consumer - think about what you would be looking for and what makes you follow particular pages.
Adding regular status updates and tagging your company within the relevant posts (avoid being too spammy) will also enhance traffic. People like to know what you’ve been up to in a professional capacity and if there are any pieces of advice or you have found an interesting article, share away. It's of great benefit to be seen somewhat frequently on a person's feed so they don't forget about you and the passion(s) you have.
As with all of your platforms, don't be afraid to re-post older content; if it was an effective piece and not too topical for that particular time period, share it again every few months as it will still be relevant and useful to readers.
To ensure all of your marketing efforts are cohesive, add a LinkedIn social media button to your website so visitors can easily find you and follow your content on there also.
Update your personal profile regularly
Keeping your personal profile updated allows your visitors and connections to identify the person behind the scenes, which builds that all important trust. Add a profile photo - people are curious and like to see who you are, how you've started your career and grown. By adding your employment history, and detailing your company and role within, people will easily be able to click through to your Company Page.
Joining LinkedIn groups of individuals who share the same interests as yourself and your business is a great way to start and become connected with like-minded people. To do this, search a particular topic for example, 'freelance marketing' and within the same banner as 'People' and 'Content', select the 'More' option and click on groups.
Participating in group discussions is a great way to get yourself noticed, even if you simply want to learn or share some of your expertise. The rule of thumb is just don't solely talk about your business as people don't want to continually be sold to.
Connect with people
Start connecting. Friends of old and new and alumni from school and uni are a great way to get started, and even your former teachers are likely to have a profile. Also, search for those you've met at networking events or social gatherings. Don't be shy with this either, people are usually more than happy to accept a request if they can see you have something in common or that you might be of benefit to them. Has someone viewed your profile? Have a look back and see if they’re worth connecting with.
You will be able to import your current email contacts by selecting the 'My Network' tab and selecting contacts accordingly. On the same page, it will also suggest 'people you may know' and you can easily scroll through and request a connection. Once you’ve started connecting with a few people, you can visit their profile and look to see if any of their connections would be of interest to you too.
If you're using an active strategy, you can even send them a professional courtesy message explaining why you have looked to connect and don't send the same message to all. Personalising and adding why you’ve asked to connect delivers an increased conversion rate as it shows you're more transparent. For example, how you came across them via a shared connection, you've seen that you have a a shared interest etc. They may not wish to start a conversation, but that's ok - they might just be a passive user.
Search for people who have used your product or service, or you have worked closely with and ask if they would be willing to write a testimonial for you. This can be formally requested by clicking on the specific person's profile, selecting 'More' and 'Request a Recommendation'. Once a recommendation has been written and accepted, you can choose for the statement to be seen by your network, which will enhance the legitimacy of you and your business.
Engage, engage, engage
If you've found a post or article you've found interesting, not only should you share it to your profile and explain why, engage with the original source. A simple reaction and a comment will allow you to be seen to others and perceived as somebody with something to say. This is particularly recommended if it's from a connection you're looking to develop a relationship with.
Want to connect? Please do, we don't bite! Follow us on the IGC LinkedIn Company Page.
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