Why You and Your Business Need a LinkedIn Profile
It seems like there’s always a new social media channel coming out — and between managing employees, keeping up with your blog, and of course, the actual work of providing your products or services, setting up one more social media profile seems like the last thing you want to do.
If that sounds like you, we’d encourage you to have a rethink. As we’ve said before <— LINK to How to Use Social Media to Market Your Small Business, social media can be an incredibly powerful force for your business. While you really don’t need to be everywhere at once, it is a good idea to have a presence online. If nothing else, you should definitely have a LinkedIn profile, both for yourself and for your business.
LinkedIn is one of the main spaces in which conversations about industry and business are being held. If you aren’t connected to that space, then there’s no way you can even know what’s being said about you and your business there, much less have any input on the flow of the conversation.
Which is exactly why you need a profile…
A LinkedIn profile can act in much the same way as a business card and a conversation used to. It’s a great way for people to find out more about you and your work, but it’s also got loads of other functionalities, including information about your work experience, endorsements from other people, and even your skills and hobbies.
… and a company page.
A company page on LinkedIn is slightly different from a profile. Where a profile is attached to one person, a company page is attached to — you guessed it — your business. LinkedIn is set up so you can include all kinds of information on your company page, including information about your business, content and sponsored content, and links to other social media profiles, among other things. You can even get followers on your LinkedIn page, which are basically fans of your company who will be notified when you post something.
OK, but what do I really get out of it?
You get to control the conversation about your business
As we said before, if you don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, there’s no way for you to know what’s being said about your business specifically, or to check in on the trends of conversation surrounding your industry and competitors. Having a profile and page lets you tap into these conversations, which builds your brand, can position you as an expert, and ensures that you stay in the loop with industry trends.
You get alerted when someone mentions you — which means that you get the chance to respond
How much easier would your business be if everyone who was interested in you or had something to say to you came directly to you to do so? As we’re sure you know, making contact with customers and potential customers is one of the cores of good business, and having a LinkedIn profile lets you do that in a very easy way. Every time someone mentions you or your business, you get an alert. This not only makes it easy to track the conversations surrounding your company, it also gives you the chance to respond in real time. Which of course means that you’ve got a golden opportunity for networking, customer service, and brand building every time your phone pings.
If you have a company page you can showcase the business, not just individual employees
This would seem intuitive, but many people simply don’t do it. Either they have no LinkedIn presence at all, or they have a personal LinkedIn profile and are connected to their employees in a loose network, but there’s no central point of connection. Having a company page changes all of that though. If you set up your company page, you can encourage your employees add it to their profiles, which means that anybody who views your employees’ profiles will easily be able to look at your company’s page as well.
Having profiles improves your SEO
The more spaces your business’s name is showing up online, the better it generally is for your SEO. So even if you’re not planning on doing a whole lot on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to have a profile up. It gives Google one more thing to populate the search engine results with when people look for your name, plus the business world has gotten to the point that not having a LinkedIn profile come up when you search for a business can seem a bit strange.
You can use your profile and pages for content marketing
Just like any other social media platform, LinkedIn can be a great place to share your content, both paid and free. To make the most out of this, make sure that you’re posting content that your followers and those in your network will find informative, entertaining, or inspirational. While there are no hard and fast rules on what to post, do make sure that whatever you’re posting is in line both with your branding and with the tone of the channel. Think thought leadership pieces, not cat memes.
You can network, network, and network some more
This was the main thing that LinkedIn was created to do: to connect people in the job market. While it has grown and changed in the years since its founding, it’s still a fantastic place for making industry contacts, connecting with people in your target market, and of course, searching for your next star employee. And if you do set up a company page as well as a personal one, you can even post job listings on it, making it that much easier to recruit talent.