A Guide to LinkedIn for Businesses
Whether your business is purely online or you have a brick and mortar shop, you will likely need a social media account like LinkedIn to promote your business. Social media accounts not only create visibility and brand awareness for your business but also mean you’re opening a two-way, interactive conversation with your audience.
But what are the main differences and advantages of a LinkedIn for business account compared to a personal LinkedIn account? And how do other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram fare compared with LinkedIn?
LinkedIn vs other social media platforms
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn was originally intended as a professional platform rather than simply personal use or entertainment. So instead of sharing cat videos, LinkedIn users (normally) share work-related tips and network with potential employers and co-workers.
Jobseekers can create online profiles similar to resumes. Employers can pre-screen job seekers based on their LinkedIn profiles. Professionals can create networks of other professionals in their fields through LinkedIn.
Other social media channels don’t quite have the professional demeanor of LinkedIn (although that’s not to say they can’t be highly effective tools for businesses):
- According to a survey by CNN, around 83 million accounts on Facebook are fake. Facebook is also more vulnerable to hacking
- On average, about 500 million tweets are sent each day. Twitter is a good platform for the latest trends and news but it lags behind LinkedIn in terms of online marketing because users easily shift to other topics as new topics trend. It lacks the necessary focus. Twitter also does not allow long posts
- Instagram is more limited as a marketing platform compared to LinkedIn as it can only be used for sharing photos and videos. It is also primarily compatible with iOS and Android
- Unless your business is focused on fashion, home design, cooking, or something with great visual appeal, Pinterest is probably not your ideal marketing platform. Similar to Instagram, you will need great images to succeed on Pinterest
What is LinkedIn?
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn was acquired and became a subsidiary of Microsoft in 2016. LinkedIn is unlike other social media platforms in that it is more focused on employment and professional networks. Users can upload their CVs, create a profile, write and share content, and look for potential employers. Vice versa, companies can search for potential employees or talent amongst the 675 million monthly LinkedIn users.
LinkedIn’s functionality includes:
- Individual users can create profiles
- Companies can post job vacancies
- Job-seekers can search for jobs and get notified for job matches
- Individuals can connect to companies as followers
- Professionals with the same expertise or from the same industries can connect (and really, anyone can connect with anyone!)
- Articles and other media can be shared
- Private messages can be sent to contacts
You can use LinkedIn to promote either your business or your personal brand, and can select relevant demographics to target.
How LinkedIn works for businesses
A LinkedIn for business account is similar to a personal LinkedIn account but more focused on establishing business contacts or networks of potential clients, employees, and partners/investors. You can create a LinkedIn company page that generates awareness, interest, and leads for your business.
Setting up a company page is pretty easy:
- Add your business – Go to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions portal. Create a company page by clicking the corresponding button and complete the details as prompted.
- Upload your cover photo and logo – The cover photo should be 1536 x 768 pixels in size while the logo should be at least 300 x 300 pixels.
- Write a short description of your business – The maximum number of characters is 2,000 characters with space. Focus on the specializations of your company and make sure to use your brand messaging so you’re speaking in a consistent voice across all channels.
- Complete your company details – Use the dropdown menus and forms to complete the details about your company.
- Publish – Click the “Publish” button to make your page live. You can make further tweaks by selecting the “manage page” options.
- Invite administrators – Several people can manage the page. You can invite employees or business partners as administrators.
- Optimize your page – Make sure that the page is optimized in terms of information, hashtags, keywords, content, navigation, and calls to action. It’s also important to encourage employees to link to your page.
Why LinkedIn works for businesses
LinkedIn can work well as a marketing tool for businesses because of its professional demographics. You can also easily connect with other businesses that might complement your own business.
These stats show just how effective Linkedin can be in generating targeted professional leads:
- The 675 million registered members are mostly professionals
- 4 out of 5 members have an important role in driving business decisions
- 30 million companies have LinkedIn business profiles
- 2.74% visit-to-lead conversion rate (Facebook only has a 0.77% rate by comparison)
- 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content platform
- 80% of B2B leads through social media come from LinkedIn
- 12% of the entire world’s population can be reached with a LinkedIn ad
- There’s a 52% average open rate for sponsored mail (email is between 15-25%)
14 tips for using LinkedIn for your business
You can maximize the power of LinkedIn marketing and attract more leads and potential customers by following best LinkedIn practices. You must be able to stand out and reach out to the right audience. Here are some things you can do to increase your chance of success:
- Use a customized public URL such as the name of your company so you’re easy to find
- Use an eye-catching background photo for your business profile
- Include a website link on your business profile
- Optimize your profile for SEO
- Keep your job postings up to date
- Use the endorsements function and encourage your followers to shout about how great your brand is
- Regularly update your network
- Export connections from your personal profile to connect with all your existing contacts
- Join and create LinkedIn Groups
- Share new content such as blog posts and write bespoke LinkedIn articles
- Regularly post company status updates
- Take a look at LinkedIn’s trending content resources
- Test paid or sponsored ads
- Use analytics to measure your LinkedIn marketing performance
Does your business need to have LinkedIn?
Having a LinkedIn company page for your business should always be an advantage if you maximize its use. Even if your business is not purely online, it can still benefit from LinkedIn marketing. However, there are some pros and cons to consider:
- You can use SEO to your advantage
- Strong professional demographics, particularly good for B2B businesses
- The free to use functionality is quite comprehensive
- You can get great visibility online
- It can be a goldmine for easy and free research into your target audience
- Requires time and effort
- Must be consistently updated for best results
- Additional expenses for premium accounts
Examples of businesses that use LinkedIn effectively
Big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Tesla don’t attribute their success to LinkedIn or social media in general although of course these businesses have their own profiles. LinkedIn can have a greater impact for small and medium enterprises like these ones, who have used it to great effect:
- Hotmart: Hotmart is a digital company that puts great emphasis on its employees and on having a strong company culture. This shines through on their Linkedin page, with celebrations of their people through images, video, and fun posts.
- Lemonade: A homeowner and renter insurance company based in New York, Lemonade uses Linkedin to provide visitors with relevant, useful content written in an open and transparent way that really builds trust.
- Recorded Future: Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future simplifies the complex and daunting world of IT security for businesses with helpful articles that are relevant today, as well as detailing trends to look out for in the future.
We can help you build your brand on LinkedIn and attract the right audience. If you need support for your social media marketing, let’s chat.