For many professionals, LinkedIn is the place for making contacts industrywide. But many small business owners don't realize that LinkedIn can be powerful not only for professionals looking to network, but for companies looking to generate leads and grow sales. These seven steps will help you make the most out of LinkedIn for your business.
1. Complete your personal profile and company page
Create a company page that contains the most important facts about your business. Your company page is your chance to impress potential customers and clients. Be sure to talk up your company on your personal profile, too. Create an inspiring headline, upload a professional photo, and demonstrate your company’s ethos with a powerful and well-worded biography. Also, include links to your website and other social profiles.
2. Optimize your profile
Search engine optimization helps your LinkedIn profile stand out among millions of others. To increase your chances of appearing in search results, incorporate the keywords related to your business on your company page and personal profile.
3. Strike up conversation
Use your company page to share news, blog posts and industry articles that show off your company's expertise, and contribute to conversations with other users. You can also send targeted updates using your LinkedIn to ensure your posts reach the right people.
4. Start your own group
The great thing about LinkedIn is the feeling of industry-specific community. You or your company can engage in a series of groups in order to share your expertise, boost credibility and expand your network even further. Groups provide an excellent avenue to meet and liaise with influential connections who may be outside your network. Join two to three groups and regularly interact in each to establish yourself as a true professional in your niche.
5. Encourage employee involvement
Encourage employees to add the company as their employer and share your company's updates with their connections. The more your employees engage on LinkedIn, the more you expand the reach of your business.
6. Use your profile for testimonials
Endorsements and recommendations are the LinkedIn equivalent to testimonials. Don't be afraid to ask satisfied customers and colleagues for recommendations: They might help you win the business of a prospective client.
7. Include a call-to-action
The ultimate goal on any social platform is to move the user from your social page to your website. When you post on LinkedIn, don't forget to include a call-to-action that inspires the next step, like "Read the report," "Register now" or "View a demo."
Brittany Thorley is a business and social media blogger who works on behalf of office space provider and business service Forsyth. For more social media tips, follow her on Twitter @brittany_moodie.