LinkedIn for Small Business
Navigating LinkedIn for Small Business Owners
“I just have too much on my plate right now” Yeah, don’t all small business owners. Just hear me out. Take one hour a week, or month, whichever you see fit, and dedicate it to LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for those who don’t know, is a business and networking social platform with 260 Million monthly users. This platform is for anybody in the professional world, whether it be students, employees, CEO’s, but your small business page can put you ahead of your competitors.
I see LinkedIn as grown-up Facebook. It’s a place for you to learn, be social, share information, and be “salesy” from time to time. Don’t worry, as long as you’re a legitimate business and you’re not pushy, you won’t be the LinkedIn equivalent of that girl you went to High School with who is now trying to pawn her pyramid scheme beauty products onto you.
Being on LinkedIn is important because your target audience is likely on there. Plus, it’s free. You don’t have to pay anything, and you’re able to expand awareness of your brand, interact with customers and industry connections, and even find top candidates for job openings you have. Just think about it, if you’re hesitant to join LinkedIn, so is your biggest competitor. Your commitment to join could be the one thing that gives you the edge over them. So, let’s get started.
How to Setup Your Company LinkedIn Profile
Step one; create the account! Fill out everything you can, no one knows your business better than you do, and when people are looking for information on what your business does, you want them to have correct, up to date information. This also means uploading a profile picture with your logo and including a relevant banner image. Leaving out relevant information and your pictures blank gives off the impression that the page is neglected, and that you don’t care enough to finish it. This is not the image you want to portray to potential customers.
Once you set up and fill out your page, take some time to play around and get familiar with LinkedIn. Follow some companies you’re interested in learning more about, some companies you want to be more like, and make some connections with people you know. Once you have connections and follow some companies, you will start to see articles and posts on your Home Page. Pay attention to everything you see because you will be interacting with those posts very soon.
Interacting as a Small Business on LinkedIn
The purpose of LinkedIn is to build your network, and you won’t do this by just creating a profile and letting it sit there. There are many ways you can interact with companies and LinkedIn users. You can like posts they share, leave comments, share posts that others created, and even post your own content and links. Do these things whenever you’re taking the time to be on LinkedIn, and be thoughtful.
Don’t leave comments like “nice!”, but take the time to read the post and then write a couple of sentences describing your thoughts, and giving your insight to the topic. You can also share the article you read, and add your thoughts. Doing this regularly will start to solidify you as an authority in your industry.
Most importantly, don’t exclusively use LinkedIn to sell your services or product to people. Interact and give out your expertise while expecting nothing in return, and that will pay off later.
Types of LinkedIn Content for Small Businesses
As I said before, LinkedIn is Facebook for grown-ups. You can post statuses, pictures, videos, share articles, and message connections. Explore all these different types of content, by posting it yourself, but also studying the content your competitors and peers post. The main takeaway about LinkedIn content is to be thoughtful in whatever you post. If you’re posting a picture from a networking event you attended, write a few sentences about what you learned and enjoyed at the conference. This will make your post more shareable, and maybe even other attendees will comment and interact on your posts. This will not happen if you just post the picture. Our Founder and CEO, Andrew Mendez-Spera’s LinkedIn tip goes hand in hand with this; “have a purpose”. If you have a purpose for each post, the statuses will write themselves.
LinkedIn Small Business Features You Should Know
Join LinkedIn groups! Small businesses can join up to 50 groups, where you can interact with people interested in similar topics such as “Digital Marketing” and “Logistics Consulting”. Joining groups is one of the easiest ways to make connections and boost your brand on the platform.
Another important feature small businesses should utilize is LinkedIn analytics. Just like any other marketing tool, it is best to break down the analytics to see what is working and what is not. LinkedIn analytics breaks this down for the user so they can see how individual posts perform, what is trending, and even break down the demographics of their followers.
Quick Tips for Success on LinkedIn
- “Repurpose” content. Read articles, then share them on your feed, but add your thoughts and opinions. Double Tip: Leave your analysis open-ended, so your followers comment and engage with the post.
- Use Visuals, such as interesting videos or appealing photos to catch people’s attention, since LinkedIn is such a text-heavy platform.
- Download the app and keep your notifications on. As a small business owner, it is very easy to overlook LinkedIn because there are many items on your to-do list, but you don’t want to miss out on that star candidate who applied for a position or the potential customer who reached out, because you only log in every 6 months.
Are you a LinkedIn aficionado? We want to hear your tips and tricks for navigating the small business corners of the LinkedIn world! Make sure to check out our LinkedIn page and give Tipsy Social a follow!