LinkedIn is unparalleled in its ability to connect professionals across a vast terrain of industries and fields, but for many small business owners, LinkedIn too often represents a missed opportunity rather than an engine for success. This is because running a small business often means your time is at a premium, and getting familiar with the site often drops to the bottom of the to-do list. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five simple steps – each one bite-sized enough to complete over your lunch break – to get your small business LinkedIn Page noticed on LinkedIn.
Note: This post is about creating your LinkedIn company page, not a personal profile. Creating a company page for your business requires that you have a personal LinkedIn profile, with a company email address. A few other requirements for building a company page also apply. If you don’t know how, see these instructions on how to create a personal LinkedIn profile.
Build Your Company LinkedIn Page
Once you’ve got your LinkedIn profile squared away, your next step is to build your company’s page:
- From the home page, move your cursor over Interests and select Companies.
- Click Create in the Create a Company LinkedIn Page box on the right side of the screen.
- Enter your company’s name and your work email address (this must be a company email address). If this is not the email address listed on your personal profile, a verification email will be sent to your company address.
- Click Continue and enter the rest of your company information.
Optimize Page Content
Just like your company website, the content on your company page should be optimized for maximum visibility to users. Here’s how to optimize your company LinkedIn page:
- Upload your company logo (if you haven’t already).
- Upload a high quality, engaging banner image. Your banner image should be 646 x 220 pixels, and should be, clean, simple, and visually striking, extending your brand’s identity and messaging. Ensure color scheme, typography, and copy are consistent with your company’s other marketing materials (this includes your website).
- Use a keyword strategy when writing the About section. This will most likely mirror the same keywords you’re using on your website. Look to your website’s About page for inspiration.
- Put the most important information about your company in the first 190 characters of the About section. When a new visitor lands on your page for the first time, the About description is previewed with the first 190 characters. Make them count.
- If your market is primarily local, be sure to include your location in your About description.
- Be sure your company page links to your website, and also includes phone and mailing information.
- Select the appropriate Industry for your company page. This will help LinkedIn index your LinkedIn page for user searches.
- List several specialties.
Find Your Audience
Even with perfect optimization that places your company page in all the right search results, you still need to proactively probe through LinkedIn and find your audience. Here are a few ways to find the right folks to connect with:
- Groups: Groups are where LinkedIn users go to interact. Individuals and companies can share content or engage in discussion within a group. Hover over Interests and select Groups. Do a search for industry-relevant groups, and join them (both from your personal profile and your company page).
- Pulse: Hover over Interests and select Pulse. Pulse provides a number of topics or “channels” that you can follow. After following a channel, shared posts relevant to that topic will appear in your homepage news feed.
- People: Think about the various job titles held by the people you want to engage with or possibly convert into a customer. For instance, here at webFEAT, we tend to deal with marketing managers, sales managers , or CEO’s/Owners. Perform a keyword search for these job titles, and take a look at the results. What groups have they joined? What topics are they following?
Pro-tip:LinkedIn’s Advanced search is very powerful. Don’t bother with basic search. Jump right to advanced and really target.
Spend at least the full half-hour on this step. This is a crucial part of any successful LinkedIn presence.
While it is up to you or your superior whether or not to require team members to join LinkedIn, you should at least make sure that those who do maintain LinkedIn profiles have listed your company in their work experience, and have followed your company page. Be sure to connect with all of your co-workers, as well.
While you’re at it, start mining your customer and contacts lists, and start making connections if you have not already done so. When you connect, include a note mentioning your company page and providing a link. The message should be simple – something like:
It’s been a pleasure working with you. Let’s connect here, as well! To make sure you stay up-to-date on what we at [insert company name here] are up to, we’d love if you followed our company page: [link] Thank you!
Ask your team members to include a similar message when making connections on your LinkedIn Page.
Spread the Word!
Now that you’ve built your page and engaged potential followers and current customers/contacts, take stock of your company’s various modes of external communication. Emails, invoices, a website, a “Contact Us” form, other social media platforms, newsletter, brochures, other correspondence. All of these should not only contain a link or URL to your company page, but should also contain a call to action, encouraging the recipient to find your company on LinkedIn.
The steps outlined in this article are only the beginning of your LinkedIn journey. Now that you’ve got your company page set up, the next step is to start participating in the community. Share interesting articles – preferably content you’ve written for a blog or your website – or company updates that you feel your followers will value. Post links to an industry group page. Engage in group discussions. Answer questions. Ask questions.
And now that you’ve gotten in the habit, a half-hour each day is more than enough time to maintain an active, healthy presence on LinkedIn. No matter the amount of LinkedIn content we produce for our clients, we at webFEAT always find that the clients who get the most out of the LinkedIn profiles we create and manage are those who participate in the process themselves. After all, you are the experts in your field, and ultimately your connections want – and expect – to connect with you.
Have more questions about what LinkedIn can do for your small business? Say hello! We’d love to chat.
Also published on Medium.