Social Media Workshop: LinkedIn
While Facebook and Twitter are wildly popular because people can use them for anything from socializing to advertising, LinkedIn doesn’t have quite the same luster. But that’s what makes it so great for businesses. The Wall-Street Journal recently surveyed 835 small business owners and asked which social media network could help their business the most. According to the results, 41% of small businesses said LinkedIn could be beneficial to their companies, compared to 3% saying the same of Twitter and 14% of Facebook. So to help you mine the gold of LinkedIn, here is a social media workshop on how you can use the site to promote your business.
1.) Use the “Services” Tab on Your Company Page
As Social Media Examiner points out, HubSpot has mastered the art of generating leads through LinkedIn. How did the company do this? First, it made good use of the “Products” tab on its company page. Click on over to it, and you’ll see that it has a buffet of free eBooks and tools so that users can get a taste of what the company can do for them. You can do the same with your LinkedIn so that users can get a better sense of what your company does without ever having to open a new tab. People love convenience, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is convenient. Just be sure to feature your most important product first, though, so that it doesn't get lost in the mix.
2.) Ask For Recommendations
Just like you want to collect recommendations on your expertise for your own personal LinkedIn page, you also want to get recommendations on your products and services. Here, again, HubSpot shines. The company has an impressive number of recommendations from people who have tried their product. Take another cue from HubSpot and have your LinkedIn connections sing your praises. Because tooting your own horn will only get you so far—it’s the recommendations of other people that really make your business shine.
3.) Add Visuals
Let’s talk about this by comparing LinkedIn to Facebook. You may not be able to fill your company’s profile page with as much visual content as you can on your Facebook, but that’s no reason to neglect images altogether. Use a banner image to make your profile more appealing and professional-looking—it’s sort of like a cover photo and profile picture, combined into one visual. You can also share status updates with visual content, much like you can share status updates on Facebook with images. You can take a page from American Airlines’ playbook and use images to announce contests or sweepstakes, so that the post is more likely to get shared.
4.) Post Job Openings
Besides getting the word about your company out, LinkedIn can also help you build up your business by attracting top talent. To post job openings on LinkedIn, you must pay a fee, but considering the caliber of applicants you’ll get in response, the money may be worth it. LinkedIn shows its users job openings they may be interested in based on their current job titles, so you might even get a great applicant who wouldn’t have found you otherwise.
5.) Publish Links to Other Social Media
Say you want your LinkedIn viewers to get a better sense of your company through Tweets or Facebook posts. In the same way you make accessing your products convenient by adding them to your “Services” or “Products” tab, you can make finding your other profiles easier by adding links to your profile. Under the Products/Services tab, you can have up to three banner images for your company’s profiles. Design a banner with the link to your Facebook or Twitter, upload it into the page, and voila! Cross-promoted.
6.) Complete Your “About Us” Section
Even though the “About” section is at the bottom of the page, you don’t want to alienate those really thorough people who scroll to the bottom and see nothing but a big white blank now, do you? Besides, while pictures are indeed worth a thousand words and you want people to be drawn in with your company’s banner image, you want them to have the most complete picture of your company possible. Use the keywords you want to attract people to your business, and tell them what your company does, and what makes your business great.
LinkedIn is essentially the more mature and refined version Facebook and Twitter. That’s why you can’t afford not to spend as much time optimizing your LinkedIn profile as you can. Once you tap in to all of LinkedIn’s resources, your business can start to boom. And while all your competitors are breaking their backs trying to make Facebook and Twitter work for them, you’ll be coolly watching prospects and leads roll in.
image credit: vlado/freedigitalphotos.net