We know you. And we like you – a lot. You’re hip, cool, the smartest business owner on the block. You prefer your breakfast with extra blog posts on the side (you read blog posts!), and you accept new technology with open arms. You might even own a Roomba.
You heard about Facebook, and the way it can humanize your brand. “No problem!” you said. “I already spend all my time on there anyway!”
You heard about Twitter, and how much closer it brings you to your customers. “No problem!” you said. “I already spend all my time on there anyway!”
You heard about Google+, and its growing tie to many of the most popular websites on the Internet. “No problem!” you said. “Not very many people seem to be using it… but I’ll, uh, make a profile I guess.” (Just kidding! Check out our Google+ eBook)
THEN, you heard about LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals, already over a decade old. You hesitated. “I’m not a job seeker, nor am I looking for someone to employ. I don’t really have anything I can do with this business page of mine, right?”
With no one there to answer you, you moved on with your life, posting on Facebook, Tweeting to your heart’s content, and sharing with friends in your Google+ circles. Well, Mr.Hip-Business-Owner…
You’re missing out.
Your Business Needs LinkedIn
With entire résumés and work histories ready to be scrutinized by the world, no one can afford to post pictures of last night’s party or today’s lunch.
While many pad their Facebook profiles with everything from their first school to their favorite color, neglecting to update their LinkedIn profile with much more than their company name, others are so engrained into the LinkedIn network that they consider it to be a very serious and legitimate part of their daily agenda.
This means that you can concentrate on specific areas of business without the clutter of your typical social media feed. Reaching people in an environment where they are already prepped to “talk business” immediately sets you apart from the competition, allowing you to connect with a target audience that is much more likely to actually buy your products or services.
How to Get More LinkedIn Traffic
1) Be Available
Potential customers may not even know your company exists if your LinkedIn business page is missing or nothing more than a name. Just as it is with a website or blog post, the more thorough and rich your content, the better. After creating a company page, do the following:
– Fill in the details as accurately as you can: type, industry, location, website, etc.
– Upload your logo.
– Upload a banner image; remember that putting some extra effort into the design can only help you. (Min. 646 x 220 pixels, Max. 100 x 60 pixels)
– Create an accurate and detailed description of your company.
Congratulations! You now exist on LinkedIn.
2) Be Found
Believe it or not, keyword strategy and search engine optimization (SEO) rules apply to your social media too. Not only do people sometimes look for services or companies within LinkedIn itself, but LinkedIn pages actually get crawled and indexed by search giants like Google and Yahoo, potentially aiding your website in page rank. For this reason, you may want to focus on a particular family of key phrases, and you want it to be extremely clear to your audience what your company does. Do the following:
– Go back to your company details and description. Make sure that the first few sentences of your company description accurately address the phrases (ex. “Austin marketing agency”) that you would want your company to be found for.
– Add your products and/or services to the “products” tab of your company page. It may seem to be an intimidating and tedious task— but that’s exactly why you should do it. it is an excellent SEO opportunity with limited competition. Adding a picture for each product/service is not necessary, but recommended, as people will be more likely to click on them.
3) Be the Experts
Your company page is now available and searchable, but now you need to show people why they should care about it. Positioning your company (and its employees) as thought-leaders within your industry can help. Gather ‘round some of your most cunning and involved employees and consider doing the following:
– Connect your employees to your LinkedIn pages (make sure they are listing the correct company page as their current employer) and associated products/services. You are able to list up to 3 employees as “contacts” for each product or service. This will help to humanize your company and provide several points of contacts for potential customers that stumble across your page and express interest in a product/service.
– Create a reliable source for industry-specific content, and use it to consistently stimulate thoughtful conversation, engage followers, and share relevant news on your company page. Some of your employees may already be content fiends— like you. If not, a great place to start is by creating a feedly.com account.
– Join a handful of industry-relevant LinkedIn groups, and allot time to get involved in conversation on a daily basis. On LinkedIn, you are a representative of your company. When you offer helpful and interesting information, people will recognize that.
4) Be Credible
Gain trust by requesting that some of your past and present customers fill out a recommendation for one of your products or services. “Recommendations” are a particularly powerful form of review because of the transparency of LinkedIn. Your audience can rest assured knowing that the review is coming from an actual customer.
5) Be Proactive
Now, you can’t just assume that all that availability, findability, expertise, and credibility will do all the work (though it may do most). Sometimes it will take some effort from your end:
– Consider adding a Call-to-Action button (ex. “Get a Free Trial”) on your company page. This makes it easier for the indecisive stragglers that were just a click away from visiting your website.
– Consider adding a Call-to-Action (ex. “Contact me for a consultation.”) to your own LinkedIn profile.
– Stay tactfully engaged in industry-specific LinkedIn groups. People occasionally visit these groups for questions or help. While you don’t want to make yourself look sleezy by pitching your business to everyone who does, sometimes you will find that your product or service is their solution. You can take that opportunity to create a meaningful business connection.
The powerful influence of social media for personal and business use is here to stay. Connecting a complete LinkedIn presence to Facebook and Twitter can extend your reach and help to grow your business to ever-greater successes …while your competitors are still looking at funny cat memes.