How to Build an Effective LinkedIn Company Profile
As consumers continue to flock to social media websites, marketers recognize the importance of attracting and retaining those users. One of the challenges facing companies today is how to enhance their LinkedIn company profiles.
LinkedIn has grown from a startup company to a community of over 33 million members in the United States and over 80 million registered users worldwide. The recent economic downturn has also boosted the number of individuals and companies that turn to LinkedIn for networking opportunities. LinkedIn company profiles now offer a wide variety of tools to help your organization increase business networking opportunities.
Here are a few tools and tips on how to get started:
Build a Business Profile
Setting up a business profile is relatively easy, you start by setting up your personal profile. As a registered LinkedIn user you have the option of creating a company profile, which can include a logo and even a feed for your company blog. A LinkedIn company profile can help foster a network to support your company’s exposure online. LinkedIn developed company profiles to help businesses promote themselves and recruit candidates. Initially, company profiles were designed as a way to receive an information stream from the company, while today they offer a number of new and more powerful features. Corporate capabilities, a link your website and employee statistics, such as years of experience, education and job function, will automatically show up on your company profile.
Another practical advantage of maintaining a LinkedIn company profile is that it will ultimately show up in your company’s organic search engine results. Because all text on LinkedIn is scanned by search engines, a comprehensive company overview, and strategically chosen, keyword-rich text will increase your search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your website. If you don’t have one already, click here to begin.
Engage Users with Thought Leadership
As an expert in your field, you probably spend a good amount of time engaging friends, prospects, and colleagues in conversation. Take that conversation online by providing relevant, up-to-date information using LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups cover thousands of topics with millions of members sharing stories or asking and answering questions. LinkedIn Groups are organized by subject and geographical areas and self-moderated by members. In order to join a LinkedIn Group you must request access or be approved by forum moderator. These forums offer professionals the ability to interconnect and provide focused networking opportunities.
Participating within a group is as easy as sharing a news story, responding to questions or authoring original content. Your involvement gives users a better understanding of your expertise in a particular area. The result is an ability to help members and expand your professional following. Start by browsing LinkedIn Groups here.
Connect with Existing Users
Once you have a business profile completed, increase your visibility get found on LinkedIn by mining your existing connections and adding new members to your profile. One of the most effective tools is the free LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar which scans your Outlook files and imports your contacts automatically. The software easily installs into your Outlook email client and automatically scans your inboxes and folders for possible LinkedIn connections. After it scans your email it gives you the option to connect with your contacts on LinkedIn. The toolbar is free and is available on LinkedIn’s website.
Another easy way to promote your engage your professional contacts is to enable the Twitter connection within your individual profile. (Currently company profiles don’t have the ability to assign a company Twitter account) You can tweet your company profile from your individual profile to help build awareness and increase your Twitter following You can download Linked Outlook Toolbar here.
Promote your Products or Services
LinkedIn Services is one of the newest features of company profiles.. The Services tab allows businesses to promote their products or services by being listed in a directory containing only credible service providers. Although you can only become listed once someone has submitted a recommendation for your company, you can request a recommendation from anyone in your network and can send a tailored message to personalize this process if you wish.
In addition to free profiles, LinkedIn also offers DirectAds, paid advertising that is displayed on the LinkedIn website as rectangular banners or text link advertisements. Similar to search engine pay-per-click advertising, you select the word or phrase you want your ad to correspond to and your budget for each word or campaign.
Link to Your Website
As Linkedin users discover your profile and your comapny, they'll natueally click on any links to research more about your company. Its essential that you have a great website to promote your products or services. If a Linkedin referral lands doesn't see great B2B web design, your opporunity to convert them to a customer will be lost.
Market Your Involvement
Enhance your company’s presence on LinkedIn by including links, logos, and commentary. A visitor browsing your website may not be interested in filling out a contact form, but a well-placed LinkedIn logo may give that visitor a more appealing way to follow your company.
You can increase your visibility to job seekers and potential employees by adding job positing to your LinkedIn company profile. Although this feature is not free, it provides a targeted means of attracting high quality candidates in real-time. Download LinkedIn logos here.