We all have LinkedIn pages, but few of us even recognize the digital marketing potential behind the social networking platform for professionals, let alone use it to the fullest.
Jon Kinsella of Association Headquarters is out to change that.
On Thursday, he came to Domain Computer Services in Cranbury to show about 40 members of NJBIA’s Small Business Network how to make the most out of LinkedIn.
Even though LinkedIn has been around for a while, it has remained well-suited to the changes in digital marketing over the years, Kinsella said, particularly with smart phones. On average, each person checks their smart phone 110 times a day, and 71 percent of internet activity now happens on a mobile device. LinkedIn is formatted to work on smart phones with the LinkedIn app.
“If you’re not leveraging the tactics that work on smart phones, you’re going to leave massive amounts of upside on the table,” Kinsella said.
So what should you do? Kinsella provided six steps to get started.
Step 1: Optimize your personal profile.
Social media is a human activity, so things coming from you as the business owner are going to work better than what your brand can push out, Kinsella explained. At a minimum, you need a picture, a sharp headline, a summary that tells your story, and a description of your work experience.
Kinsella stressed, fill in your full personal profile. Complete profiles get 21 percent more views, 36 percent more messages and nine times the connection requests than incomplete ones, he said.
Finally, as you’re describing everything, make sure you use the keywords related to your company’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. LinkedIn performs well on search engines and can boost your company’s SEO scores.
Step 2: Create a company page.
Yes, you do want both a personal and a company page. “Business leaders with a company page will receive four times more profile views,” Kinsella said.
Include your logo and cover image, fill in the “About Us” section, again using your company’s SEO keywords. Then fill in the initial URL, and simply click “Create page” to publish it.
If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while, you may need to go back to create your company page. Originally, LinkedIn didn’t have company pages, so people would just create a personal page for their company.
It’s worth the effort. A LinkedIn company page essentially serves as a second website attached directly to your LinkedIn account. It will also play an important role if you decide to advertise on LinkedIn in the future.
Step 3: Sync your email address list to your personal page.
You’ll discover people you know who are already on LinkedIn and stay up-to-date with business contacts.
“The great thing about that is it’s giving reminders to prospects, current clients and past clients and customers that you’re still around,” Kinsella said. “It’s a great way to nurture existing clients. It’s a great way to re-establish contact with past clients.”
The mechanics are pretty simple. On your personal page, hit Network, and create the message you want for people to join. However, don’t use the default invitation message; always customize your messages with a personal note, and keep it short and sweet.
“You’re creating a second first impression,” Kinsella said. “It’s an opportunity to nurture, one-on-one, clients, customers and potential customers.”
Step 4: Use the search bar to add the right kind of people to your network.
The search bar on LinkedIn is a lot like search bars on other sites. Simply use the “All Filters” options to sort by job titles, expertise level, etc., and add more contacts to your network.
The idea is to find like-minded people from an industry-leading, thought-leading standpoint.
“By you establishing relationships with credible thought leaders that are like you in your industry, those connections are promoted on your followers’ news feeds and builds brand enhancement and brand credibility for you, and in turn, your business,” Kinsella said.
Step 5: Encourage your employees to add your company page to their profile.
Another advantage of having a company page as well as a personal page is to give exposure to your staff and their expertise.
“More faces to the brand are just better in a mobile-first world,” Kinsella said.
Step 6: Add a follow button.
It’s basic html code, but goes above and beyond the usual social media follow buttons.
Go to your company profile page, use the search bar and type in “follow company plug-in button.”