How to use LinkedIn to Promote Your Business
LinkedIn has grown beyond its original purpose of connecting professionals with potential clients and employers. While Facebook and Twitter can be (and definitely are) used for business, LinkedIn is specifically geared toward building valuable business connections. The professional social media site has also become a terrific business-to-business marketing tool. In addition, it’s likely that LinkedIn recommendations will be taken into account for search engine rankings in the future, similar to how Facebook Likes, Tweets and Google +1s are today. There are many benefits to building and using a LinkedIn company page, but it can be tricky trying to get started. A poorly planned LinkedIn company page is worse than no company page at all!
Start With Your Own Profile
Building an effective company page isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming. Before you even consider promoting your company page, you need to beef up your own profile. This goes for everyone who works for your company, or is involved with the product you want to sell. Build your personal contacts, especially with professionals who may be interested in your company. Don’t be afraid to talk about or list non-work related interests on your profile. Social media isn’t just a group of people who are all marketing different products to each other. Sure, this happens quite a bit, but effective use of social media is for real networking: building valuable, lasting connections with other people.
By keeping this in mind, using your own LinkedIn profile to promote your business becomes easier. Try treating every contact as an existing customer. Before you post anything related to your business, ask yourself a few questions. Is this relevant, valuable or interesting to my contacts? Have I posted this or something nearly identical before? Promote your company page when something big happens: maybe you’ve rolled out a new product, or you have a great sale going on. You could even offer something extra to people who come to your company page through your own profile. By providing valuable information or making your contacts feel as though they’ve got an inside scoop, you’re more likely to turn these pretend customers into actual customers.
Promote Your Company Page, But Don’t Spam Your Contacts
Once you’ve built a network of professional contacts on your own profile, it’s time to start promoting your company page. If you’ve been posting content your contacts find valuable, your contacts are more likely to be interested when you post about your company. The key is to be genuine, instead of spamming links to your company page, or trolling your contacts to coerce them into following your company page. LinkedIn and other social networks aren’t just platforms for shoving links at the people foolish enough to have followed you in the first place. Building valuable relationships is how social media really works for business.
Talking about your company page on your own profile is a great way to promote your business. However, this shouldn’t be the entire scope of your promotional efforts! LinkedIn makes it easy to promote your company page on your company website or blog, by adding a simple line of code. You can post about your new LinkedIn company page on other social networks, and offer an incentive for customers to follow your company page. This incentive doesn’t have to be a new iPad, or anything extravagant. Offer something related to your brand that your customers would find valuable, like an ebook with tips.
The most effective use of any social media platform for business really comes down to one thing: treating people online with the same consideration and respect you’d treat them in real life. People will always respond better to valuable information and content than to an endless stream of advertising. We’re all after conversions, and you’re likelier to convert through social media by being human, not just another social spambot.
Tyler Moore lives and works as an SEO and marketing consultant in Indianapolis, IN. Tyler currently works for DocRaptor, an HTML to PDF API. DocRaptor converts HTML to PDF or Excel format with a simple HTTP POST request, and is easy to integrate with your own web applications.