LinkedIn is unparalleled in its ability to connect professionals across a vast array of industries and fields, but for many small business owners LinkedIn too often represents a missed opportunity rather than an outlet for success. This is because running a small business often means that your time is at a premium, and getting familiar with the site often drops to the bottom of the to-do list. Most business honors spend significantly more time working IN the business as opposed to ON the business. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five simple steps. Each one is a bite-sized task easy and simple enough to complete over your lunch break. So grab your ham sandwich, pop open your LaCroix and follow this simple guide to get your Company LinkedIn profile set up for success.
Note: This post is about creating your LinkedIn Company Page, not your personal profile. Creating a company page for your business requires that you have a personal LinkedIn profile which take only a few minutes to create. If you don’t know how, see these instructions on how to create a personal LinkedIn profile.
Build Your Company LinkedIn Page
Once you have created your personal LinkedIn profile squared away, your first step is to build out your company’s LinkedIn page. To do this:
- From your main home page, move your cursor to the top right over the “Work” tab.
- Near the bottom of that menu find “Create a Company Page” and click on it.
- Select the type of industry your company is in.
- Fill in your company details such as company name, address, number, etc. and click “Create Page”.
Note: If you just recently created your personal LinkedIn profile and/or you don’t have enough connections yet you may recieve an error when trying to click the Create Page button. Learn how to resolve this error here.
Optimize Page Content
Just like on your company’s main website, the content on your LinkedIn Company Page should be optimized for maximum visibility to users. Here’s a quick rundown on how to optimize your company LinkedIn page quickly and efficiently:
- Upload your company logo. LinkedIn’s minimum and recommended image size is 300 x 300 so make sure you have a clear appropriately sized profile image for this step. Here’s more LinkedIn image specifications.
- Upload a high quality, engaging banner image. This should be at least 1192 x 220 but recommended size is 1536 x 768 and should be, clean, simple, and visually striking. It should be an extension of 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). Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing.
- Use a keyword strategy when you are writing your 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. This will help your page come in LinkedIn’s search results.
- If your market is primarily local, be sure to include your location in your About Us 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.
- Select several Hashtags to follow that pertain to your industry (this will be useful when you start to post content on your page using hashtags).
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. To find groups click on the Work tab in the upper right corner and select Groups or do a search using the search bar for industry-relevant groups, and join them (both from your personal profile and your company page).
- Hashtags: On the side of your home screen you will see a Hashtag section. Below it is a “Discover More” selection. Click that and it will send you to a discovery page where you can browse all of the specific hashtags you can follow (again, this will be useful once you start posting to your page).
- 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 Complete, 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? Do the same.
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. Once you get to the point were you are starting to post content your employees will serve as a free and organic way to spread your company page to their networks.
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:
Hi xxx! 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. This will help to get the ball rolling and start to gather a following on your 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, at webFEAT we 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 to and expect to connect with you.
Of course, if this is still al too overwhelming for you we have professionals on staff that deal with these services every day and are experts when it comes to optimizing your social profiles. You can learn a bit more about LinkedIn and its importance by visiting our LinkedIn Archive as well as our Social Media page.
Have more questions about what LinkedIn can do for your small business? Say hello! We’d love to chat!