At first, it was used to search for jobs and employees. Then, it became known as “Facebook for professionals”. Today, with over 575 million users, LinkedIn is a platform that has become indispensable for any business. Using LinkedIn for business will help you drive traffic, raise awareness and generate leads.
Still not sure if you want to spend money and effort on building a LinkedIn account?
Here’s a fact for you: according to research conducted by Hubspot, LinkedIn is the most efficient social media platform for generating leads – it is 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter.
Now that you understand the value of using LinkedIn to promote your business, it’s time to start working on your profile.
Creating an effective profile
Just like with all social media networks, it’s not enough just to have a profile. It has to be fully optimized and personalized if you want it to make an impact. Here are some tips that will help you make the best out of it.
1. Profile image
Having a profile without a profile image is a rookie mistake. Many people don’t bother adding it because they don’t understand its importance. Profile image on social media is the first thing that your visitors will remember about your profile. If the image is missing, no one will take your profile seriously.
Make sure it is recognizable, as it will not appear only on your profile, but as a thumbnail next to your posts as well. The best practice is to use an image of your face, without anything distracting in the background.
For best dimensions, check out our guide to social media image sizes.
Tip: Use the same picture on all your online profiles – consistency is appreciated on social media.
Your profile headline shouldn’t just be your job description. Instead, use it to show that you offer value, let your visitors know how you can help them. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include a CTA – a simple “let’s connect” in your headline will make a lot of difference. Finally, add several keywords so that your potential customers can find you more easily.
Let’s face it – most people who come to your profile won’t go through the whole page, they will only read the headline. For that reason, write it carefully, without any hurry.
The summary is the place to introduce yourself to your potential customers. You can mention some of your experience, proof of your expertise, and let them know that you are ready to help them. The most important is to show your proposition value.
Tell them how to reach you, add several CTAs, and try to engage them. For example, you can even include a link to a lead magnet in the summary.
LinkedIn will offer you an automatic summary, based on the information from your profile. You can use it, but don’t forget to edit it and add all the important info.
Of course, it is important that you include all the necessary information, both business and personal. Make sure to add:
- your website URL
- blog URL (if your company has one)
- email address
- phone number
My final tip is to personalize your LinkedIn URL. You can do that in the sidebar on the right. Custom URL should be recognizable, short, and simple. You don’t want to use any numbers in it as it is supposed to be easy to remember. The best practice is to use your own name if it is available. Then, you can add the URL to your business card or your company’s website.
LinkedIn offers plenty of connecting options. When you first create your profile, it will show you a list of contacts recommended based on your line of work and interests.
One way to find your potential clients is to look for your keywords in the search bar. Thus, you will see who talks about them and in which context they mention them, so you will know if the person is worth connecting or not.
However, your best option and the proven way to get relevant followers is looking for second-degree connections, i.e. followers of your followers. Unlike other people that you don’t know, second-degree connections are likely to accept your friend requests once they see that you have a lot of shared connections.
LinkedIn search offers numerous filters that could be useful when looking for prospects. You can search for second-degree connections based on their location, industry, position, current and previous companies. If you have a defined buyer persona and know your customers well, you will easily find people interested in what you have to offer.
Don’t limit yourself. You can look for prospects, but also for potential business partners, strategic partners, your competition, and other business owners. As you grow your profile, the number of your second-degree connections will rise, as will your reach.
You can use the same strategy to find third-degree connections, that is the connections of your connections’ connections. However, I wouldn’t recommend focusing on them as it is less effective.
Communication with connections
Once you have built your following, it’s time to start paying more attention to your posts and general engagement. It is the best way to connect with your prospects.
Always post relevant content with a clear goal. Whether it is to educate, to entertain, to gain leads or to promote your product, everything you post on your profile has to be there for a reason.
Try to be creative and original with your posts. Use rich media, such as images, GIFs, videos and infographics. Sponsor your best content to use its full potential. Also, people on LinkedIn generally tend to like news. Share the latest news and events in your field and your chances of high engagement rates will rise.
Another crucial thing is to be friendly and communicative. To get engagement, you must engage first. Talk to people on LinkedIn, write comments on their posts, ask them open-ended questions and start conversations. That way, you will not only increase your reach, but your authority and popularity as well.
LinkedIn Publishing Platform
LinkedIn is a very useful tool for blog promotion. If your company owns a blog, the Publishing Platform is the place you mustn’t miss.
LinkedIn Publishing Platform works similarly like a blog. For that reason, if you just share links to your blog posts, they will not successful – LinkedIn prefers its own blogging platform. However, you can turn that to your advantage.
The trick here is to avoid posting the whole articles on the Publishing Platform. Instead, add several opening paragraphs that don’t really say anything. Just before you get to the most important part, end it and then add a link to the original blog post on your website, where they can read the whole thing.
This way, you can establish yourself as a leader in your industry by solving your prospects’ problems and boost your blog traffic. Also, LinkedIn will notify your connections that you have published a post, so it will gain more visibility than just a blog link.
Of course, if you are trying to promote your brand on LinkedIn, you must have a company page. It is the perfect place to teach your potential clients everything they need to know about your company, keep them up-to-date with your latest projects, and highlight your best features. Show them what makes you different.
When setting up your company page, make sure that you use your company’s logo as the profile picture. As the background is light, you should avoid using cover images with a white background. Instead, pick one or two bright colours and create contrast.
“About” section should include all the necessary details about your company. There, state what you do and how your product or service would benefit your prospects. Other information that you should ad is the location of your headquarters, some history, or even some fun facts about your company.
Now that you are familiar with these practices, go on and start promoting your company on LinkedIn. You will soon find that using LinkedIn for business will help you generate leads, raise awareness, and significantly increase your reach. Good luck!