Every business professional needs to know how to network for business using LinkedIn. With more than 660 million users worldwide, the social networking site has become a staple for professionals and entrepreneurs in the world of business. As an effective tool for building connections, LinkedIn is also a great way to grow your brand and gain access to new opportunities. Business owners and entrepreneurs may find that using LinkedIn can provide many advantages for marketing their business.
Set Up Your Company Profile
First thing’s first; if your company isn’t online on LinkedIn yet, set up that profile! Many companies make the mistake of not being LinkedIn, which harms your marketing strategy. Every business should have their company page on LinkedIn, as this lets others learn more about their business and gain some insight on who they are. Having an official company page on a professional platform such as LinkedIn also gives the impression that the business is genuine and established.
When setting up your profile, it’s important to fill it out as much as possible. A complete profile is essential for personal branding. LinkedIn’s internal algorithm only finds profiles that are ranked as “complete,” and get them 20 times as many views compared to incomplete profiles. Here are some ways to make sure your company profile is filled completely:
- Include a profile picture and cover image (use your company logo for corporate branding)
- Add your location
- Add links to website and other social media accounts
- Mention your industry and headline
- Fill out your biography/summary of your business and what you do
- If applicable, add some samples of your work (e.g. show off your bestsellers and exclusive specialty products that you have to offer)
Reach out to others and connect with them! While it’s best to focus on those who work in a similar industry, it certainly doesn’t hurt to connect with other professionals in different industries. You’ll never know if you collaborate with different industries in the future! Connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn can keep you updated on events and important news in the industry. You may also find opportunities to learn something new as others share their own content.
Engage with other professionals by commenting or liking their posts as a way to start building relationships.
Joining groups on LinkedIn can increase your reach to audiences. By joining groups, you can share industry news and discuss ideas with other print professionals in the field. Groups are beneficial for a few reasons:
- They’re more targeted towards prospects related to your industry
- You have the option of participating in a discussion or being a leader by starting a topic to talk about (this offers great leverage for an introduction)
- They attract other professionals outside of your immediate circle to explore and view your company business page
Make the most out of these hubs and grow brand awareness as you connect with others in the industry as you learn new things along the way.
Showcase Your Best Stuff
LinkedIn provides extensions to your main page, known as Showcase Pages. These extensions allow you to present certain brands and projects for a targeted persona. A Showcase Page appears under the Affiliated Pages section of a brand’s main business profile.
A few examples of businesses using Showcase Pages:
- IKEA features a Showcase Page targeted towards their Italian audience
- Cisco has 11 different products and services pages, with their Cisco Data and Cloud Center with the most followers and regular updates
- LinkedIn highlights its social projects
- HP Software separates its target audiences and manages to engage with users through live Q&A sessions and video talks through their Showcase Pages
- Adobe Creative Cloud showcases numerous different content, as the software caters to different audiences from visual platforms such as Adobe Photoshop to marketers using Marketing Cloud
Even if users don’t follow your main business page, they’re still able to follow your brand in a new way through Showcase Pages. Whether you want to promote a certain product or shed some light on a topic, a Showcase Page is always a good idea for networking your business on LinkedIn.
Give & Receive With Endorsements
The Endorsements feature on LinkedIn is a valuable tool in giving others a good impression of you and your business. It allows others to recognize your skills and accomplishments, and vice versa. Encourage employees and other print partners to endorse you as you do the same for them! This helps promote the business and also shows off to outside professionals what you have to offer in your industry. Having others endorse you and throw in a good word is impressive when showing off your profile. It also shows others that you can be reliable and a pleasure to do business with!
If you’re not active on LinkedIn yet, it’s time to get started! More than 90% of professionals have chosen LinkedIn as their top choice of platform for gaining relevant content, and you can too! Island Media also has a LinkedIn page, where you can follow it to stay updated on the latest news and blog posts.