LinkedIn has changed immensely since I first wrote this article as the third instalment of my PPP series. Taking into consideration the changes occurred since then, this is the updated version of this article.
Before I prescribe the solutions to engaging with prospects, clients and suppliers through a LinkedIn company page strategically, let me reveal some of the questions most participants at my LinkedIn workshops raise, as these are the ones you may be grappling with yourself when engaging on LinkedIn.
Here are the Common Pains:
I have my personal profile, why do I need a company page?
What are the benefits of having a company page?
How can I list out the products and services we offer?
How can I promote my company page to my network?
LinkedIn Recommendations – How should I approach this?
Who will administer my company page?
What are the roles of an administrator and a follower of my company page?
Now that I’ve diagnosed your pain, here’s what I prescribe to help you get your Company Page work for your advantage.
Why you need a company page
As of September 2014, there were over 4 million companies represented on LinkedIn. The number has grown significantly since then. Clearly if you want to get the exposure your business needs, it’s a good idea to get in before your competitors do. Your Company Page is the face of your organisation on LinkedIn. It’s also provides your employees with a platform to exhibit their expertise. A Company Page, if set up properly, can pave way for your employees to promote
a) The brand
b) Products and Services
c) Important updates about your organisation to their contacts, resulting in massive networking potential.
This is far more powerful than trying to promote your business using your personal profile through the sheer power of numbers.
Here’s a little secret: Use keywords strategically to communicate the products/service you provide so that your organisation will rank highly on searches.
Your LinkedIn Company page – the next level of social media marketing
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, your Company Page makes it easier
for LinkedIn members to get info about your organisation without visiting an external source
to communicate important updates regarding company events or products/services
to provide industry information relevant to your target audience
for other members to follow your company activities, which results in
a) Connecting with your customers/suppliers/staff (stakeholders)
b) A greater likelihood of LEADS generation as a result of members outside your company connections starting to follow your company page.
to elevate your organisation’s presence and product/service offering in the minds of your target audience
to attract the best talent – the best professionals in a variety of industries are constantly on the look-out for potential employers. Your Company Page can attract the right ones!
Showcasing your company’s products and services
The Company Page provides the ideal opportunity to showcase your three most important products/services using the three prominent banners. These banners can also be hyper-linked to the respective pages on your website for added exposure to other areas of business.
Along with these banners, you can list other products/services using important keywords so LinkedIn members can have easy access to your range of products or services. Link building in this way will also help with your search rankings!
A brief description about these products/services can be provided on the company page and for further information these banner images can include the link to the actual product/service page on your website which may also result in more site visits.
It is important to remember that[bctt tweet=”The message you communicate needs to be consistent with the content on your website for brand uniformity.”]
Promoting your company page
Your first step to promoting your LinkedIn Company Page is through your network. You can message them directly or even post updates from your personal profile. Encourage your employees to do the same.
Further ensure that all your company correspondence (emails, newsletters etc.) prompt readers to ‘Follow’ your company. You can simply add the LinkedIn Follow button in a prominent manner or provide a link to your company page.
I’ve also used my other social media profiles such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to promote the LinkedIn Company Page to a wider network.
An option you may want to consider at a later stage, once you’ve taken advantage of all other options, is to advertise on LinkedIn. This will improve your results exponentially.
LinkedIn Recommendation – Your Approach
[bctt tweet=”Identify former employers and clients who have had a positive experience with you.”] Request them to provide you with personal recommendations on LinkedIn. These recommendations go a long way to enhance your online reputation.
Apart from personal recommendations, [bctt tweet=”Invite your customers to give endorsements or make comments via your showcase pages for additional credibility.”]
Over time, the many testimonials visible on LinkedIn will help you establish trust among your network and set you apart from your competitors who may be relying only on testimonials on their website
Administering your company page
Apart from yourself, you can appoint one or two of your trustworthy and social media proficient employees as administrators of your company page.
Employees equipped with excellent writing skills, marketing knowledge and the ability to think on their feet are valued assets to help you engage effectively on social media. A word of caution though. [bctt tweet=”Employees need to be made aware that when they post on LinkedIn, they are projecting your company’s voice. “]Proper care must be taken to ensure that the messages are accurate, timely and do not jeopardize your online reputation.
The role of an administrator and a follower
The key role of the administrator is to manage all content relating to your Company Page. The administrator needs to ensure that all information about your company is current. This includes the ‘About’ section, contact details, product/services and the posts. [bctt tweet=”Your LinkedIn posts should be interesting and educational in order establish a strong online presence.”] The administrator also needs to ensure he/she updates recommendations for the products/services at regular intervals.
Employees who are following the Company must ensure they engage positively in a professional manner. Also, they could play an active role in sharing the company’s posts among their personal networks for maximum exposure.
Being an administrator of your page, you might also be interested in keeping track of how well your page has been performing on four key metrics i.e
Creating a professional brand
Finding the right people
Building strong relationships
LinkedIn’s recently rolled out Social Selling Index now helps you to measure how well you are performing on each of these metrics on a given day.
Being an administrator, you can also drive more traffic to your Company page using LinkedIn Groups. Groups on LinkedIn are a great way to get more followers, showcase your offerings, launch industry related discussions or contribute to discussions initiated by people in those groups belonging to your target market.
So now you know why it’s important to have a Company Page, here are the action steps you need to take.
If you do not have a Company Page yet, go ahead and create one
[bctt tweet=”If you already have a Company Page, take an audit of the setup and ensure the information and branding are accurate.”]
Use high quality images and clear descriptions of products/services. Ensure they are in conformity with your other online (i.e. website) and offline (company brochures) medium
Take an audit of all your employees’ LinkedIn profiles and ensure that they are setup correctly in terms of messages of their title, job descriptions and posts
Ensure all your employees are following the company page
Display your LinkedIn Company tab prominently on your website so that visitors can follow your company easily.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend to [bctt tweet=”Make your Company Page a platform for your employees, customers and others to advocate your brand on LinkedIn.”]
Also, do not forget to provide adequate links to your website so that LinkedIn members can easily drop by your website at a click.
With over 380 million members, and 49% of these members being decision-makers, you do not want to be lagging behind your competitors. When online, you get one chance to make a good impression. If you fail, you’ve lost an opportunity, a customer, a chance to establish your organisation’s online reputation.
I’d love to hear of the challenges you’ve faced when setting up your Company Page and encourage you to share your experience in the comments section, along with the link to your Company Page. I will be glad to provide you with feedback and my suggestions at your request.
Don’t forget to check out the next installment of my PPP series, “Demystifying Social Selling”. Meanwhile implement what I’ve shared with you, so you’re ready to mitigate your pain of engaging on LinkedIn effectively!
If you are a small and medium enterprise seeking to improve your social selling skills and get the most out of your LinkedIn Company page, we can help! We can create and maintain your business’s LinkedIn presence in a way that will allow your business to build a strong online identity, find and connect with the right people, engage effectively and foster stronger and meaningful relationships with your target audience.
Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn or our website for my customised training sessions.