The Wall Street Journal surveyed 835 small-business owners and asked which social media network could help their business the most. According to the results, 41 percent of small businesses said LinkedIn could be beneficial to their companies, compared with 3 percent saying the same of Twitter and 14 percent of Facebook.
Here’s how brand reps can mine the gold of LinkedIn:
1. Use the “services” tab on your company page.
As Social Media Examiner points out, HubSpot has mastered generating leads through LinkedIn. How did the company do this? First, it made good use of the “Products” tab on its company page. Click it, and you’ll see a buffet of free e-books and tools so users can get a taste of what the company offers. You can do the same with your LinkedIn presence so users can get a better sense of what your company does without ever having to open a new tab. People love convenience, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is convenient. Just be sure to feature your most important product first, though, so that it doesn’t get lost in the mix.
2. Ask for recommendations.
Just as you want to collect recommendations on your expertise for your personal LinkedIn page, you also want to get recommendations on your products and services. Here, again, HubSpot shines. The company has an impressive number of recommendations from people who have tried its product. Take another cue from HubSpot, and have your LinkedIn connections sing your praises. Tooting your own horn will get you only so far-it’s the recommendations of others that really make your business shine.
3. Add visuals.
Let’s talk about this by comparing LinkedIn with Facebook. You may not be able to fill your company’s profile page with as much visual content as you can on Facebook, but that’s no reason to neglect images altogether. Use a banner image to make your profile more appealing and professional-looking—it’s sort of like a cover photo and profile picture combined into one visual. You can also share status updates with visual content, much like you can share status updates on Facebook with images. You can take a page from American Airlines’ playbook and use images to announce contests or sweepstakes, so that the post is more likely to get shared.
4. Post job openings.
Besides getting the word about your brand, LinkedIn can also help you build your business by attracting top talent. To post job openings on LinkedIn, you must pay a fee, but considering the caliber of applicants you’ll get in response, the money may be worth it. LinkedIn shows its users job openings they may be interested in based on their current job titles, so you might even get a great applicant who wouldn’t have found you otherwise.
5. Publish links to other social media.
Say you want your LinkedIn viewers to get a better sense of your brand through tweets or Facebook posts. In the same way you make accessing your products convenient by adding them to your “Services” or “Products” tab, you can make finding your other profiles easier by adding links to your profile. Under the Products/Services tab, you can have up to three banner images for your company’s profiles. Design a banner with the link to your Facebook or Twitter feed, upload it into the page, and-voila!-it’s cross-promoted.
6. Complete your “About Us” section.
Even though the “About” section is at the bottom of the page, you don’t want to alienate those really thorough people who scroll to the bottom and see nothing but a big white blank, do you? Use well-chosen keywords to attract people to your business, and tell them what your company does, and what makes your business great.