Learning how to use LinkedIn for small business can be a game changer for any business owner. LinkedIn can be a strong social media platform if you know how to use it properly.
Let’s be real, when you think about the right social media platform for your business or services, LinkedIn doesn’t come to mind.
That is perfectly normal; the majority of people see LinkedIn as a social media platform for getting a new job or for making connections with human resources people in order to get a new job.
But the reality is that if you learn how to use LinkedIn for a small business you can actually find people to sell your services to, or even your products.
The reality is that small business owners forget this social platform in their social media marketing strategy, and it is because this social platform is not as popular as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, but you need to use it to get more leads and sales for your business.
A LinkedIn company page can be a game changer for your entrepreneurship because it helps with your reputation and the visibility of your brand.
Don’t forget about this social channel for your strategy. In just a few months you will see the benefits of using LinkedIn.
Why do small business owners need to learn to use this social platform for business?
It’s because right now LinkedIn has over 690 million members. That is a huge number for a not-so-popular platform.
But that number makes LinkedIn the biggest business-to-business (B2B) network in the world.
Also, you need to know that the audience on LinkedIn is top notch. You can find:
- Decision makers
- Vice presidents
- People with buying power.
One important thing that I want to mention is that 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn. If your small business is an advertising agency or a consultancy firm this is the social media platform for your business.
Let me explain. If you have a small business you need leads that drive clients to you, but we tend to think these clients are on Facebook or Instagram, because they are the biggest social media platforms.
But we shouldn’t automatically think that those are the social media platforms for our business.
We need professionals and other business owners to thrive, so we need a professional social media platform that generates leads, and 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
Also, it’s good to know that a study by HubSpot showed that LinkedIn generates three times more conversions than Twitter and Facebook.
I don’t want to say with that information that those platforms are bad for business, but, if you’re looking for decision makers, CEOs, or CMOs, LinkedIn is the platform.
Let me tell you this. Before Covid I was working on a B2B start-up. The start-up was selling a human resources platform that makes it easy to find the right person for a job.
On my first day, I saw a huge database with tons of emails but the ad campaigns on LinkedIn and Facebook weren’t good.
What I did was create Lookalike audiences for Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads.
For each platform I had $250 (it was a small start-up). I ran the campaigns for just five days until we got the leads we needed for the sales team.
On LinkedIn I got 80 leads, and on Facebook, 120 leads. The difference was that the sales team didn’t close a deal with the Facebook leads, but they closed 45 deals with the LinkedIn leads.
That is the power of LinkedIn.
I am going to give you the best tips so you can get the best results from your LinkedIn accounts.
You will need a company page and a personal profile.
Yes you will need both, and you need to grow on both of them.
If you are a small business owner it’s likely that only a few people know about your new company, but many people will know you and know about your professional career.
On the company page you can show your experience and demonstrate what your business is all about.
And, on your profile page, you need to show your audience that you are an expert in your field.
Company pages rank high on LinkedIn; like I told you before this is basically a B2B social platform.
So, after you upload content to your company page, your business will appear in the search results. What people do is look for the people behind the brand, and that is the moment when your personal profile has to shine.
For your personal profile you need:
- An inspiring headline
- A professional photo
- A powerful and well-worded biography
- Any SlideShare presentations, videos, published content, and infographics that can showcase your work experience.
This will be useful to:
This will be hard work. You have to think about your ideal client. This article can help: Customer Empathy Map. How to answer the 7 questions.
LinkedIn is full of good potential clients for your small business, but you need to find the right ones.
For that reason you need to go to the search bar on LinkedIn and type in keywords that are related to your business.
For example, if your small business is related to digital consulting, you could type in ‘Digital Marketing Manager’ or ‘Digital Marketing Director’.
And you will then have a list of people who have those jobs.
Ok, at this point it is very important to not click on make connections with everyone. LinkedIn might consider that spam.
What you have to do is prepare a small presentation explaining why you are requesting a connection.
If your request is accepted, don’t immediately pitch your business.
Take your time to make a real connection with that person.
Let that person get to know you; they have to see your content and realize that you are an expert in your field.
And then you can pitch your business through a DM.
I know this takes time and that you need leads right away, but making a good lead takes time, and you as a business owner need to have an impeccable personal brand.
Yes, don’t make connections just to have connections on your profile page; you have to engage with them.
Comment on their posts, answer questions, participate in the discussions—you have to make your presence known to everyone.
That is the best way to grow your personal brand and, in the future, get leads or make sales.
This point is important because, as you might have seen, LinkedIn is changing from a professional networking site to something more like Facebook.
For example, nine years ago a post from Jonathan Frostick, in which he shares how his heart gave him a new meaning of life, would at first sight be seen as a Facebook post, and not one on LinkedIn.
But everything has changed. Now LinkedIn is like the new Facebook, and positioning yourself as an expert is easier than ever before.
It’s because, on the journey to becoming an expert in your field, not everything will be a success. You will fail sometimes; nobody is perfect.
But years ago on LinkedIn, everyone was perfect. No matter what, everyone was a winner.
Now you can talk about how you’ve failed with a client, in your job or in your life, and explain what you learned from that experience—people will love that.
Luckily for all of us, LinkedIn is becoming more “human”, so what you can do is write about your experiences and make videos telling people what you’ve learned in your professional life.
In that way, you can show your expertise in your field and get the attention of your network.
Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network and you are talking to professionals who have a career.
If you got a lead on LinkedIn, and then that person became your client and your work for them was good, you can ask for a recommendation and an endorsement.
A recommendation and an endorsement is social proof that you are an expert in your field.
Don’t be shy when requesting recommendations and endorsements.
Endorsements and recommendations are the LinkedIn equivalent of testimonials.
Another important way of showing your expertise is by joining groups.
But you have to do this strategically. You have to investigate which groups can give you leads.
Now that you know some good LinkedIn marketing tips that you can use for your business, it is time to think about a good LinkedIn marketing strategy.
You need to be very clear on what you want to achieve. For example, do you want to have leads or sales? Do you want more promotionfor your products or services?
The goals have to be S.M.A.R.T.:
Specific: The greatest possible specificity must be sought. Is the goal detailed enough so that someone else knows what you will do and how?
Measurable: What cannot be measured simply does not exist. You always have to set quantitative targets.
Achievable: Goals have to bring out the best in you. They have to be an ambitious yet possible challenge.
Relevant: Each of your goals should align with your values and larger, long-term goals.
Timely: You must be clear with the time assigned to each goal, as well as develop a timeline where the different sub-goals or stages are marked to reach the goal.
I want 3 leads from restaurant owners every week.
To get that goal you only need one lead per day.
You need to know what your audience wants.
It is very important for you to get to know your customers, because social media is a two-way street.
You send information to your customers and your customers give you feedback in the comments.
For that, you need to think about what interests your customers, and what they want to find on your LinkedIn page, or what topics you think your customers would engage with.
Your company page should help your target audience learn everything they want to know about your business. This includes your information about your products/services, employees, etc.
Make sure you provide your company logo, website URL, industry, company size, and other details. Adding these details builds your company’s credibility and can indirectly help make your LinkedIn marketing stronger.
In addition, you should craft an appropriate description that conveys crucial details about your company and your offerings.
You can add a cover image that resonates with your brand. A comprehensive and up-to-date company page strengthens your brand’s image by reinforcing your credibility and professionalism.
Promote your LinkedIn company page
Your LinkedIn company site needs to be promoted. When you are new to LinkedIn nobody knows about your company so it will take time to appear on the search results.
If you have a budget, a good idea is to promote your site with paid advertising.
If not, you can ask all your employees and colleagues to become followers of your company page.
You should also add a “Follow” button in your email signature and newsletters as well as on your blog and website.
This allows your subscribers and website visitors to become followers with a single click. Additionally, you can invite your existing customers and collaborators to follow your company page.
The reason is that if people see you have followers they will trust your company’s LinkedIn site.
One of the best ways to utilize LinkedIn is to form your strategic network. Here are some tips for developing your strategic network to grow your LinkedIn connections.
- Start with the professional connections that you know first hand
- Expand your network by first reaching out to people that are shaping the industry
- Use LinkedIn to discover the professional connections you may not know first hand
- Use the advanced search to find relevant people
You might be able to find people who are no related to you and who might be able to provide you with contacts you would not have found otherwise. That way, you can build your network by searching for other members who fit the perfect niche.
Sharing content regularly is crucial to reach your potential audience and convert leads into sales. The top company pages on LinkedIn are updated consistently to ensure that visitors have new information every time to learn and share with others.
If you have just started, you should try posting at least once a week. It is not uncommon for businesses to share posts two to three times per day. You need to post anytime you have something worth sharing with others. Consistent posting shows that your company is quite active on LinkedIn.
You can utilize LinkedIn’s Company Page Analytics to see your top-performing posts, members you are most engaged with, and the best times to post. You can optimize the page content based on the data offered to you.
Here are some stats that will help you boost engagement:
- Posts with images witness 98% boost in engagement
- Posts with links receive over 45% engagement
- Posts that consist of relevant lists get over 40% more growth
If your posts are receiving good engagement, then choose to promote them to a wider audience by using the LinkedIn Sponsored Content tool to your advantage.
Don’t use this platform to showcase your sales and market promotional materials. Instead, base your LinkedIn marketing strategy off of value creation, by providing meaningful information, guides, or even entertainment for your ideal reader. Don’t forget to use at least three hashtags as part of your LinkedIn strategy.
Also, timing is an important part of your LinkedIn strategy. Post earlier in the morning or later in the evening because that’s when professionals are on their phones for non-work related matters.
Ask questions: When you post a question, the chances of a LinkedIn user leaving a comment are higher than if you hadn’t included a question in your post.
Jump on the news-bandwagon: Stay updated with the latest news in your industry and frequently state your opinion on it. Take a stance and post about it on time as a part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Use infographics: Share easily digestible information in the form of pie charts/graphs, etc. to catch the attention of your audience. You can also share quotes and professional memes (if that matches your brand personality) to increase engagement as a part of your LinkedIn strategy.
Share your pearls of wisdom: Even though visuals constitute an important aspect of your LinkedIn strategy, here’s a reminder that you can also post text – no links, images, no fluff. Just post a few lines of advice or an anecdotal tale that people can resonate with and engage with.
In your business profile on LinkedIn you have to share useful and valuable content from your blog, then people will see you as a useful resource for their personal and business development.
This will build people’s trust in your brand, and they will more likely become your potential prospects in the future.
You will see more engagement from your audience than you’ll see on other platforms.
It’s because people will share your content with others when they realize that you produce useful content.
Content like newsletters, press releases, webinars, achievements, endorsements, etc. all contribute to a higher credibility ratio, and in return it will also improve your visibility on Google.
Hashtags are relatively new to LinkedIn. My recommendation is for you to use two to three hashtags since they are beneficial to the platform. For example, tag your industry and some topic-specific words and phrases as a minimum. Additionally, try and use them at the end to make the post appear cleaner. Hashtags help LinkedIn users who are interested in a particular topic discover your content easier.
LinkedIn offers a lot of community features that enable you to conveniently communicate with other users, clients, or partners to expand your connections. There are two types of standard community features: groups and influencers.
Groups: By joining groups that focus on your interest or expertise, you can stay informed about what’s happening in your field and keep in touch with people or firms in your network. You can also create a group for your company. A great way to expand your influence and connect with others is being active in discussions in various groups.
Influencers: You can connect with many thought leaders through LinkedIn influencers. They often discuss the newsy and trendy topics. You can comment under their posts and get noticed by being deep into the discussion.
LinkedIn Ads offers various types of campaigns that drive brand awareness and lead generation effectively. It provides a diverse range of opportunities for marketers. The most used ad formats are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads. Importantly, the newest and the one expected to be the most powerful is LinkedIn Video Ads.
Sponsored Content is LinkedIn’s native advertising. It is a regular post that the publisher boosts with an ad budget.
Sponsored InMail enables you to send customized personal messages to your audience by using the private messaging system. It helps your content reach your audience directly.
Text Ads appear at the top or right side of the users’ feeds. It’s some short text within a small, optional image that is usually used to drive leads and promote specific offers.
LinkedIn Video Ads automatically play on users’ feeds. It is an effective way to increase engagement and views for your content.
Today, LinkedIn makes video sharing available for all companies and publishers. In just one year from the launch of native videos on LinkedIn, video posts generated more than 300 million impressions on the platform. The study indicates that a video post gains four to five times more engagement than a text post. If you intend not to conform to this trend, take time to think about it.
It is better to use a native video on LinkedIn. Native video is uploaded directly on the LinkedIn app or the browser version, rather than embedding links from YouTube or another site.
Your company page on this platform is important for your business because of its reputation.
Many companies use this platform to educate their customers about its values; we are in the era of humanizing brands.
The mistake of many small businesses is not talking to their customers and only using this platform to promote their products.
Your business must avoid this mistake. I have already showed you a good LinkedIn marketing strategy that you can follow to engage your customers which will differentiate your company from other small businesses.
As you can see, when you’re running a small business your profile page on LinkedIn is very important.
Your company page can help you with search results, but your profile page is the one that will give you leads.
My recommendation is that you prepare articles or videos where you showcase your expertise.
That will make you noticeable, and in the long run it will give you the leads you need.