Most people know LinkedIn as the social network for job seekers and professionals to connect. But LinkedIn is also a valuable resource for new business owners as well as a viable small business marketing tool. Whether you’re looking to make connections, generate leads, establish partnerships, or increase brand awareness, LinkedIn’s significant social engagement makes it a unique place for businesses to grow.
10 Ways to Promote Your Business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers many opportunities to promote your business in a seamless, authentic way that feels right at home. Unlike Facebook or Twitter where ads and marketing tactics are more transparent, LinkedIn is supposed to be about business. As such, it’s a great place to build brand awareness, stake your authority on certain subjects, and attract new customers.
This being said, let’s take a look at a few different strategies you can use to promote your business on Linkedin:
1. Create a company profile.
The first step to promote your business on any digital channel is to create your company profile. A company profile separates your individual page from your business, and it’s just as simple to build. Your company profile should include information about what your company does, how long you’ve been doing it, and how interested parties can get in touch with you.
Your company profile may be the first thing people see when they Google your business, and it will definitely be what they see when they look you up on LinkedIn. That said, it should look complete and attractive. A good LinkedIn profile has:
- Your logo as the page’s profile picture.
- An attractive cover photo that flows with your logo.
- A description that incorporates keywords about what you offer and what makes you different.
- Social proof like “200 positive reviews on Yelp”.
On the back-end, it’s also important to add as many relevant specialties as you can, so you show up in LinkedIn search placements.
Once you have your company profile, it’s time to put it to use
2. Connect your personal profile and your business profile.
Your company profile is important, but it’s people who make companies work. Once you have your company profile, link your personal profile to it by updating your job description. This shows that you’re the individual behind the business and it makes you more synonymous with your company’s brand.
Just think of the difference between Tim Cook and Steve Jobs. Many people know Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple; everybody knew Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple. Personality has power in business.
Your personal LinkedIn profile should also reflect your company profile. Repost and share what your company profile is posting and link to important pages. Likewise, if you have business profiles on other sites, use your personal profile to send traffic there, too.
Most of the time, people want to connect with a person before a product or service. If you present yourself on LinkedIn as well-spoken, engaging, and interesting, you’ll be a great face for your business.
3. Make highly targeted connections.
Targeting on LinkedIn is, frankly, outstanding. B2B businesses can zero in on the precise industry, company size, and job role of the people that they believe will buy their product or service and target them. For instance, if you sell customizable coffee mugs, you could target American-based businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and identify the profiles of people with “HR,” “Administrative Assistant,” or “Office Manager” titles.
On other small business advertising platforms, you may have to shoot ads blindly at targeted demographics. On LinkedIn, you can actually connect with the people you think are likely to purchase your products. Simply identifying those people and reaching out from your company or personal profile with a special offer or sales pitch gives you a much better chance of converting them into customers.
When you make high-value connections, you can collect high-value data, too. Tools like LinkedIn Polls also let you create polls and distribute them to your network to get real-time data on what people like or don’t like about your company.
4. Grow your marketing lists.
Speaking of target audiences, LinkedIn makes growing those audiences a little easier. When you create your company profile, you can draft a thank you letter to all of your prospects, regardless of how likely they seem to connect with you.
LinkedIn allows you to message 50 people at once with the same message, so after you send hundreds of connection requests, you can follow up to say thanks and invite connections to sign up for your email list or newsletter.
Most people will politely decline to reply. The ones who sign up are probably more likely to buy your products or services than any old person who stumbled across a web form. When you send this message, make sure you explain what your business is about and what connections will gain by signing up for your list.
You can also use LinkedIn to grow your lists and improve your business by making company announcements, offering special promotions, and driving traffic to collection pages. If you’re sending people to a page where they’ll have to provide their email address for access, though, you should make that transparent on any LinkedIn post.
5. Keep your company profile up-to-date and active.
LinkedIn is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of social platform. Once you set up a company profile, you can take some great steps immediately to raise brand awareness only to taper off a month later. The best LinkedIn profiles are the most active ones.
Use your company page to share anything worth sharing. Post news and update your professional community on updates at the company. Updates might include recently completed projects, new employees, new partnerships, news coverage, or even creative tips. Just make sure your page is active and always sharing high-quality content, whether it’s text, imagery, or video.
If you really want to grow through LinkedIn, however, you can use that activity a little more wisely.
6. Participate in discussions and join groups.
Always remember: LinkedIn is a social network. Be social. Be nice. Sharing your business knowledge and expertise, helping others find solutions to their problems, and answering questions is a great way to grow both your business’s reputation and your own reputation in your community.
LinkedIn makes it very easy for you to participate in important conversations. LinkedIn Answers is a forum where people ask questions to the LinkedIn community. By answering them, you can build your name or your company’s name as an authority on a particular topic.
Additionally, the groups feature helps connect small businesses with audiences that are more targeted and relevant. Being involved in relevant groups helps you see what your audience or competitors are talking about and what’s trending in the industry. Plus, you can invite participants to connect with you to continue growing your highly targeted connections.
Better yet, you can create your own group. As you build clout and make connections in other groups, you can begin to build your own group where you can offer special promotions, unique insights, and other perks of being in the “inner circle,” so to speak. Just be sure not to overwhelm or spam your group members, because these very well may be your best customers.
7. Post and share high-quality content.
In addition to being active in communities, company profiles should also frequently post and share high-quality content. People on LinkedIn want to learn how to solve problems or how to improve in their careers or their lives. When you share high-quality content—even if you didn’t create it—it shows that you and your company have a pulse on what’s important in your industry and in the world.
Better yet, post your own content directly to LinkedIn. Direct posts are the most powerful tool on LinkedIn because if they gain organic momentum, LinkedIn spotlights it for the entire network, not just your followers or connections. It’s worth taking the time to write a few thoughtful posts each week that answer questions and provide value to readers. This establishes you as a thought leader in your space and raises the likelihood that you and your company go viral.
8. Use sponsored updates.
Sponsored updates are a form of paid online advertising in which businesses pay to push their post onto an individual’s LinkedIn feed. Like its targeting tools, LinkedIn’s sponsored updates are also much more granular than other platforms.
Whereas most advertising platforms let you target updates based on location, gender, and age, LinkedIn lets you customize audiences based on company name, job title, job function, skills, schools, and groups. This can benefit your company in two ways:
- You can pay to promote your thought leadership content and cut through the noise of other companies and messages.
- You can accept payment from other companies to promote content to your own network.
Either way, LinkedIn’s outstanding targeting tools can help you earn a little more revenue, generate leads, build brand awareness, and more.
9. Get your employees involved.
Everyone at your company should have a LinkedIn, with a profile that links back to your company page. Even if you only have three employees, you should get complete buy-in.
Everyone’s profile should include an appropriate photo, relevant job history, and a description of what they do for your business. If some employees are having trouble, hire an expert to come in for an hour or two to set up employee accounts.
The thing is, more people are likely to look at your company’s LinkedIn rather than your company website. If they are on your company website, they’re probably not going to crawl to the Employees page unless they’re already in the interview process.
LinkedIn helps convey a team environment and a positive culture online. When all of your employees have up-to-date, thorough profiles, it shows that they care about their work. Plus, they all become brand ambassadors who can promote company content, share their own thought leadership pieces, share job postings to their network, and help your company be the best it can be.
10. Track your company buzz.
The LinkedIn app has a feature called Company Buzz that tracks what’s being said about your company on LinkedIn and Twitter. When your pages reach a certain size, this can be an extremely useful tool.
Similarly, you can track mentions, comments, and general social activity regarding your business in the “activity” tab on your business page.
When you see what people are saying about your company, you can respond quickly. That means, if a manufacturing defect affected a number of orders, you’ll know fast and be able to orchestrate an apology and a fix.
Additionally, Company Buzz is simply a great tool to measure the impact of your brand. Although you may not be a brand as big as Coca-Cola, this feature still can give you a better idea of where you stand in your market and how engaged your customers are.
The Bottom Line
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, sure, but it’s also the social network for businesses. With a number of unique tools and technologies designed specifically for companies, it can be an outstanding resource for building your business.
Whether you’re looking to increase brand recognition, authority, or attract new leads, promoting your business on LinkedIn is a time-consuming, but relatively straightforward—and very rewarding—process.