How to Use LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is often regarded as one of the trickiest social media platforms to use to its full potential because it works so differently from Instagram or Twitter. But it’s worth getting to grips with the platform – after all, it’s growing to provide more and more opportunities for businesses. Instead of falling into the routine of posting the occasional job or business update and a bi-monthly status, why not experiment with all of the features and opportunities that LinkedIn has to offer?

As you probably know, LinkedIn is best suited to B2B companies because it’s focused on industry professionals. In this article, we will give you some tips to help you begin creating a social media strategy that’s specific to LinkedIn and start generating leads by building professional relationships.

How do I customise my LinkedIn Business profile?

Anyone who visits your LinkedIn profile should be able to immediately recognise your brand. Ensure that your profile’s name, headline and images are on-brand with your other marketing content, including your website and other social media channels.

You can use LinkedIn Showcase Pages to draw attention to any projects or campaigns that you are working on. Showcase Pages are a great way to extend your main LinkedIn profile to promote specific products or cater to different parts of your audience, creating a more personal experience for your profile visitors. This can help expand your network, as users can follow Showcase Pages without following your main page.

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How can I build professional relationships on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is based on connections, and you should spend time building and nurturing these before you start on the sales pitches. It’s about building trust in your brand and establishing yourself as an industry expert, and letting this reputation bring sales to you.

1. Who do you already know? Using your existing business contacts is a great place to start. You can use the ‘My Network’ tab to import your email contacts, and then select those that you would like to send connection requests to. 

2. Who do they know? You will also get suggestions of ‘People you may know’. Make sure you aren’t sending out connections indiscriminately, and only send requests to those that share an interest in your industry. Adding a personalised note will increase your chances of being accepted.

3. Engage with your industry. Joining relevant LinkedIn Groups is another great way to connect with people in your industry. You can demonstrate your industry thought leadership by taking part in discussions, helping to establish your business’ reputation and grow your contact list. You can find groups to join by searching for relevant keywords – select ‘Groups’ from the dropdown menu.

4. Grow your mailing list. LinkedIn also allows you to export your contacts and directly input them into your email marketing list. However, do not be tempted to add connections to your email marketing list without their permission. This will lead to spam complaints and isn’t good for your business’ reputation. Instead, you can directly message contacts to see if they would be interested in being added to your mailing list. Once again, personalised messages are much more likely to be opened. 

How do I create engaging status updates?

1. Engage with your industry. Showcase your expertise by sharing relevant news, blog posts and industry articles, along with your own thoughts on them. Where relevant, talk about how issues or news have impacted your business, or how you’ve overcome issues to help clients.

2. Prompt your audience. To ensure these posts lead to website engagement, include a call-to-action to inspire your connections to visit your website, like ‘register now’ or ‘find out more’. Otherwise, why not pose a call-and-response question? These could prompt users to comment, or hook them into reading a long-form post.

3. Get visual. Photos and videos can help engage your LinkedIn audience more effectively. Videos automatically play when users view them on their feed, so they are especially effective at capturing attention. In fact, using video can drive up your engagement by five times. Posting custom images rather than stock images can also bring up to twice as many comments on your posts, hugely increasing your reach and engagement rate.

4. Get blogging. LinkedIn has a publishing platform where you can post original content. This is great for sharing your expertise if you don’t yet have your own blog, or to boost engagement with your existing blog. 

Key takeaways:

  • LinkedIn has become a creative and interactive space for industry professionals and can add incredible value to your digital marketing strategy.

  • LinkedIn is built on individual connections that eventually lead to sales and trust in your brand.

  • You can use Showcase Pages to promote specific products, services or events.

  • Interacting with connections through groups can help you build professional relationships.

Written by Annabel Mulliner for Little Seed Group

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