10 ways LinkedIn can help your business
LinkedIn is generally considered to be the most professional of the online networks. This means any posts are seen by your wider network which is likely to include work colleagues, clients and suppliers – not to mention potential future employers. The nature of these posts should be professional and relevant to LinkedIn.
1. Create a LinkedIn profile
You have 1895 characters to create your profile. Use it! Include your keywords as LinkedIn is one large database and it’s loved by Google.
2. Don’t forget it’s an American system
When developing your profile, where you are asked for a ‘school’, this means higher education – university, college or training. It does not mean junior school! Add in relevant training or higher education.
3. Create headings in your profile summary
LinkedIn uses its own formatting which means it is useful to add some pointers in your summary. My favourite headings, in BLOCK CAPS so they stand out, are:
- HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR COMPANY
- CONNECT WITH ME
4. See the degrees of separation between you and a potential customer
LinkedIn identifies if your connections know your potential customers. It starts by connecting with other people, who are known as your ‘connections’, and by building connections online within LinkedIn groups. You add connections by inviting people to connect to you.
5. Find potential customers in a LinkedIn interest group
Once you have started building connections, join a group on LinkedIn. You can join up to 50 groups from The White House, to the University of Derby, from procurement professionals to the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Then strike up a conversation!
6. Drive traffic to your website via LinkedIn which is searched by Google
Attract Google’s attention within LinkedIn by developing your company page.
7. Professionally connect your team
Your LinkedIn ‘Company Page’ connects all the people in your business that work for that company. Make sure they’re all listed – it all adds to the visibility in Google.
8. Integrate your website and LinkedIn Company Page
Don’t forget to add ‘Follow Us on LinkedIn’ to your website and build your Company Page web address into your email signatures.
9. Use the Company ‘Follow’ tool to observe companies of interest
If you search ‘Companies’ and find those you’re interested in, you can click on the ‘follow’ button and this will give you the latest information on all the employees connected on LinkedIn, company news and updates on new staff, promotions and changes to company details. This is useful for research and sales teams.
10. Remember that LinkedIn is not a business card competition!
Don’t forget if you add connections to your network, each person can see your connections. Think carefully about adding connections and only click the ‘add connection’ button if you’re happy to share your address book with that person.
By Annmarie Hanlon, Lecturer in Digital and Social Media Marketing at the University of Derby.
According to research conducted in 2013 by CPAFRICA, there are over 7.5 million LinkedIn users across the continent.