Unlike social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is exclusively intended for professional networking. The online social tool is used by a variety of people in different ways. For example, individuals create profiles in hopes of career development, recruiters post jobs in search of top-notch talent and business owners expand their online reach.
According to LinkedIn, more than 2.7 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages, and LinkedIn members conducted over 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches on the site in 2012. With so many businesses and users out there, you can’t afford not to use LinkedIn.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, building and maintaining a LinkedIn profile can take your business to the next level and play an important role in its success. This article offers tips and strategies for doing just that.
Creating and maintaining your LinkedIn presence
Before you do anything else, you have to create your LinkedIn page. Visit http://marketing.linkedin.com/company-pages/get-started/ for step-by-step instructions on how to create a company profile, add a “Products and Services” tab, put a spotlight on customer recommendations and add a “Career” page to direct talent your way.
When building your profile, consider the following:
- Feature a cover photo. Cover photos are the first thing people see when searching for your company or viewing your profile. Even if it’s just your logo, you’ll get more traffic on your page with a photo than without.
- Add connections to build your network. Don’t assume others will add you. When you create your page, connect with everyone you can think of (not only clients and employees, but also friends, family and other colleagues). As you meet new people or do business with new companies, connect with them to continue to build your network.
- Share updates and post articles and job openings to increase your visibility. Carefully choose the content you post—once you’ve posted multiple times, you can use the activity of those posts (comments, shares, likes, etc) to determine what types of content are received well and which types draw little activity.
- Make it easy for users to interact with you. Consider adding plugins, which allow users to follow your page or share your posts simply by clicking a button.
- Interact with others. Use LinkedIn to explore other people’s pages, view business pages and join groups. Be aware that interacting involves more than just updating your own page and sharing your own updates. Pay attention to what others are posting and get involved.
- Pay attention to your follower statistics. These can help you track the changes in your followers over time, and show you how well your updates and posts are being received. This information can help you keep an eye on your page and track what you are doing well and what could stand for improvement.
Put your business out there
Even if business is booming and you think you don’t need social media, don’t rule it out. Any business can benefit from using LinkedIn. Not only can LinkedIn increase your company’s visibility and help attract new clients, it can also help you find new talent and connect with other companies within your industry.