LinkedIn is the world's biggest international online network for business, with over 13 million or so businesses listed and around half a billion users. It costs nothing to set up a page for your business so whether you are a small trader or small business it is definitely worth getting involved.
Why should you have a LinkedIn company page?
A company page on LinkedIN, even if you don't update it regularly, will tell people about your business. What you do, what your brand is about and can let people know if you have any jobs available. Your page will get seen by people and you never know, it might just contain the exact piece of information, expressed in exactly the right way, to inspire someone to give you a call or send an email.
To really make the most of LinkedIN you need to start building your network. Start off connecting with people you already know – then add the people you meet through local networking and then once you get a little 'braver' start connecting with people that you have something in common with. Connecting with someone may mean that they might simply click through to your website, something Google's algorithm will take into account when calculating how visible your site deserves to be in the search results. Every little helps in that respect. And when you get busy and actually post to your profile, there's more chance than ever that someone will share your thoughts, comment on them, strike up a discussion, or 'like' what you've said and remember you as a result.
Stick with it long enough and magic can happen. You don't need to be big. LinkedIN company pages are just as powerful for small businesses, freelancers, sole traders, micro-businesses and start-ups as they are for big and established brands. As one of our freelance business contacts said recently:
“All I do is make friendly, positive comments on other people's posts whenever I have a minute spare, and post interesting things I come across myself. I don't do it regularly, I'm sometimes too busy. I never try to make a hard sell, or any sell for that matter, I just try to be nice, interesting and most of all interested. A few months after starting, I suddenly started seeing flurries of new LinkedIn contact requests and not long after that I started getting new business enquiries through. It takes a while to build up a head of steam but I reckon the network's a reliable place to pick up new custom."
How to set up a LinkedIn page
Now for the practical bit. It's very easy. First, if you don't have one, set up a LinkedIn account. Then follow these steps:
- - To create a LinkedIn page, first click the 'Work' icon at the top right corner of your homepage. Then click 'create a company page'
- - Choose your business type from the list – for a small business it'll either be 'small business' or 'SME'
- - Complete the identity, company and profile details
- - Tick the verification box
- - Then click 'create page' and you're done
If your account is recent or you don't have many connections you'll see a red error message – follow the instructions to find out how to grow your network effectively and quickly. Once your page is created you can go forth and do brilliant things, adding more detail to build a compelling message about your brand, including logos and pictures, an eloquent description, your location and more.
LinkedIn company page hints and tips
- - Take time over your profile image and banner – they're the first thing people see – in fact company pages with profile pictures get six times more visitors than those without
- - Profile images for LinkedIn are ideally 300 x 300 pixels in a PNG format, square with a maximum size of 8MB
- - Banners should ideally be 1536 x 768 pixels, also in a PNG format, rectangular an a maximum of 8MB
- - Your 'about us' section is the meat and potatoes, and it has to be truly compelling. You also need to include the keywords and phrases that people use to search for businesses like yours, so the LinkedIn algorithm can join the dots
- - A 2000 character or less paragraph will do the trick, letting people know exactly what they need to know about your company. Write the way you speak, never use jargon or corporate language
- - Want an idea about the structure? You might like to use this structure to keep things tidy and logical: Who are you, where are you, what do you do, what are your values, how can people contact you
- - Don't be afraid to blow your own trumpet. People need to know how good you are at what you do. But at the same time focus on what you'll do for your customers. It isn't all about you. It isn't about what you want to say. It's about what your customers want to hear. Say 'you' more often than 'we' or 'I' and you'll know you're on the right track
- - Complete all the boxes – they're there for a reason, and completing your page makes it work harder. It's interesting to note that fully-completed company pages seem to get twice as much attention as incomplete ones
- - Always include your website address, your street address, and all your other contact details. If you operate overseas, let people know via your page. It makes sense to let people know what sector you operate in, and it's also useful to know how many employees you have
- - Think about making showcase pages, where you can give all the fine detail and day to day information you couldn't fit into your company page. You can create as many as ten of them to showcase the best aspects of your business
- - Post comments, articles, videos, slides, memes, infographics, blog posts, you name it. But always comment on other people's posts more than you post yourself. The more engaged and interactive you get, the better
- - Give and request endorsements – they're powerful marketing magic
- - Keep an eye on LinkedIn's annual list of the 10 best company pages, and do everything you can to bring yours up to their standard
Ready to go?
It might sound a bit daunting. But the set-up process for a LinkedIn business page is really simple, and you don't have to do it all at once. Steadily build it up into something special, do the decent thing and get networking, and you should ultimately see new business flowing your way. If you're short of time, we can help you.