If you’re thinking about adding LinkedIn to your marketing plan, but aren’t sure how to best utilize its features to benefit your small business, you aren’t alone. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn is a great platform with numerous amount of ways to connect, promote and grow your small business.

The goal with LinkedIn is to make it easy for people to find you, and to do that, you’ll need to fill out as much information as possible for your company’s page profile. The more information available, the more potential customers can learn about your company and what sets it apart from the competition. Highlight your businesses’ unique story, mission, and company culture, as it will ultimately help build trust in your brand. Include brief descriptions of both products and services, using keywords that highlight your businesses’ experience and skills.

Once your company profile is complete, it’s time to start attracting followers and promoting your page. Be sure to announce the launch of your new company page on your personal LinkedIn profile, and encourage your employees to do the same. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees garners eight times more engagement than the brand sharing it.

Cross promotion across multiple social channels is another great way to showcase your company page. Providing a link to ‘follow’ on your company’s website, as well as in marketing emails and newsletters can also prove beneficial.

So you’ve created your company page, promoted it and gained some followers, what’s next? Now’s the time to start creating and sharing content. Remember, content is king, so the more of it you have, the better. According to Hootsuite, more than 1 million people utilize LinkedIn’s publishing platform, sharing over 130,000 posts per week, so it’s important to find unique ways to stand out from your competition. Be sure to include relevant links and images within your posts, as both increase engagement (45% and 98%, respectively) tremendously. To ensure that your followers have a sufficient amount of content to engage with, make sure you’re staying updated and posting consistently. When a post is well received, you may want to consider promoting it using LinkedIn Sponsored Content to further its visibility with a broader audience.

If you come across a roadblock on what to write about, consider posing questions to your followers: What do they want to learn more about? What questions do they have regarding your industry? You want to establish your business as a resource that people can trust and learn from, and what better way to accomplish this than by being direct. You’ll also be providing your followers with a unique perspective by sharing your opinions and expertise.

Having a solid profile with informative content is excellent, but it’s not enough. It’s also very important to engage in relevant groups, as it will help build credibility and establish your business as an expert in your field of work. It’s a great forum for growing your community of followers, and engaging in meaningful discussions that relate to your industry. Make sure the groups you join are active, and that you can provide added value to them. Avoid self-promoting content, as it will hinder your mission, not help it. Remember, you’re simply looking to showcase yourself as an expert in your field, not boast about your brand.

When utilized correctly, LinkedIn serves as an invaluable networking resource for small businesses. Establishing your SMB as an innovator in your respective field through LinkedIn will provide you with endless possibilities for growth.

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