When brands talk about using social media as part of their marketing strategy, regardless of if it is for business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) it usually involves Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Only a few brands actually embrace one social platform that can get their products and ideas in front of the movers and shakers of their industry: LinkedIn.
For years, LinkedIn was thought of as a place to showcase your resume and network to get a new job. But not only are the days of keeping your profile locked down long gone, but also the era of businesses ignoring a social platform that sees 40% of their users check their account each day.
Let’s start with the personal profile.
Creating a robust personal profile doesn’t mean that you are job hunting. Whether you are in sales or sit behind a desk, a completed LinkedIn profile is a great way for others to find out about you. First impressions do not happen at the handshake any more. Many professionals will review a LinkedIn profile before a big first-time meeting. How your profile looks will be a reflection to employees, vendors, and potential customers. Think of it as your personal brand that you get to control.
Your LinkedIn profile is also important if you own a business and need to network. Networking on the platform is a fantastic way to introduce your business in a causal way, in group conversations or with short posts on your own feed. While it is still beneficial to attend area breakfasts and lunches hosted by your local chamber of commerce, your networking is limited to only those who are also in attendance. On LinkedIn you can spend time reviewing and contacting the profiles of people you know, your competitors, people they know, and so on. All from the comfort of your home or work computer.
But your brand needs a profile, too!
A LinkedIn company page isn’t the same as your company’s Facebook page. On LinkedIn, you can post job openings, press releases, industry-related insight, and other content that reflects your business and brand. Save the fun, behind-the-scenes posts for Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn is about business.
You can also create a showcase page from your company page. Again, another under-utilized feature that brands are not taking advantage of on LinkedIn. A showcase page is a way to highlight a product or intuitive offered by your company. You can create up to ten different showcase pages. Let’s say you rent cleaning equipment to various sized businesses. You can create a showcase page that features equipment to specific verticals, like construction, or a showcase page for a piece of equipment that does a specific type of cleaning action. Use those showcase pages to post, update, and discuss the product.
Just like your Facebook and Instagram accounts, promote that you have a LinkedIn company page. Ask people to connect and follow with it, and then be sure to post regularly every week.
Let’s not forget about groups! It’s one thing to network with potential suppliers, vendors, or customers, but you can let out a sigh of relief when you join a group and start to chat. Find a group for people who in the same industry or just one that has shared interests. While you can still network within the groups to help grow your business, sometimes it is nice to talk “the talk” with others and learn from how they handle the day-to-day. A LinkedIn group is not the right place to push product, but to find like-minded individuals, learn, and have a bit of fun.
And you thought LinkedIn was just for job hunting!