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By Gemma JoyceAug 13
Published July 23rd 2014
LinkedIn is the social network for businesses and business professionals. It is the best way to connect with others, source leads, find jobs, and network online.
Most businesses can greatly benefit from having a presence on LinkedIn. In fact, all 500 of the Fortune500 businesses have established a presence on LinkedIn.
As of February 2014, there are over 3 million company pages on LinkedIn.
As with any social channel, just setting up a page for your business is not enough. Engagement is a key factor; you get back what you put into it.
One surefire way to get the most out of LinkedIn for your business is to optimize your business page. Here are 4 crucial features every business should have on their LinkedIn page:
Just setting up a page won’t get the attention of other LinkedIn users. However, what you post is very important.
Just as with all social media channels, your LinkedIn posts should not all be related to sales.
Even though LinkedIn is for professionals, it is still social in nature and the types of updates that will get the most attention are informative and engaging.
One of LinkedIn’s newest features gives you the ability to target posts to a specific audience. Post with the intent of establishing yourself as an authority in your industry or area of expertise. Post often and also engage with other pages and groups.
There are over 2 million LinkedIn Groups. Find groups that are in your niche or your community.
If there isn’t one, then create it.
An excellent example of a company offering thought leadership in their LinkedIn engagement is ADP. LinkedIn highlights ADP in a case study which shows how the company displays its expertise in human resources, employee benefits, talent management, business processing outsourcing, time management and payroll.
The results of their efforts lead to doubling their followers to 85,000 and LinkedIn is the number-one social reference for their website.
Using keyword rich content on your LinkedIn page is advised for a few different reasons. Descriptive content lets readers know what you do.
However, those keywords also tell LinkedIn’s search feature what your page is about so that it will return your company page in the results for relevant searches made by users. Consequently, it also helps get your LinkedIn company page ranked in the search engines for those keywords.
Just as with any search engine optimization effort today, it does not mean saturating your page with a list of keywords, but rather using those relevant keywords to describe what your company does, your products, and services.
LinkedIn features a case study on Service Brands that illustrates how they increased brand awareness with their company LinkedIn page.
Adding relevant keywords to their page and their status updates not only increased their LinkedIn followers by 83%, but also attracted new target customers and leads while improving the search engine rankings for their brand.
Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates on LinkedIn. All you really have to do is ask them and send out frequent reminders.
Make it easy for them to copy and share. Interaction from company employees on LinkedIn can amplify the messaging exponentially.
Employees sharing company updates with their own LinkedIn connections not only increases exposure, but can also act as an endorsement.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the best uses of social media for companies.
In addition to enlisting employee interaction, it is important to share LinkedIn’s best practices for maintaining their own professional profiles on LinkedIn.
SalesForce was featured in a LinkedIn case study that exhibited how they met the challenge of engaging followers, increasing event attendance and reaching regional audiences. One of the tactics that helped them achieve their goals was through empowering localized teams to create their own content and then targeting the message to specific regional audiences.
Reviews and recommendations drive social interactions and conversions online more than company advertisements or messaging.
Oddly enough, it is a rather simple concept because most of the time when a company asks for reviews or recommendations from its customers or clients, they respond, and it is usually in a positive way.
Hewlett-Packard is the subject of a LinkedIn case study that shows how activating the recommendations and asking for company reviews helping increase the exposure and create over 2,000 brand advocates in just two weeks.
If you put forth the effort, LinkedIn can be a valuable asset to your company.
The exposure and connections that your company can gain on LinkedIn can be one of the best assets you have because of the social nature of the channel. When you establish your company as a leader and authority in your area of expertise, region, or industry, people are more likely to do business with you.
According to Entrepreneur.com, “LinkedIn research suggests that members are nearly 50% more likely to purchase from a company they’ve interacted with on LinkedIn, and 80% say they want to connect with companies on the platform.”
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