There is little doubt that LinkedIn represents a greater opportunity for B2B companies than any other social network currently available.
However, many manufacturing companies that I meet with are still ignoring the power of LinkedIn for generating new contacts and building relationships.
At the start of 2018, there were more than 530 million LinkedIn users in over 200 countries. There are also over 3 million companies from across the globe with official LinkedIn pages, offering you the chance to connect with professionals from any destination, sharing and demonstrating knowledge, and marketing to potential clients.
If you or your marketing team hasn’t started using LinkedIn for marketing yet, 2018 is the year to start.
The benefits of LinkedIn
- Promote your achievements – Use your company profile like an online portfolio, where you can list all of your best accomplishments as well as detailing the highlights of your company’s history.
- Stay informed about industry changes – When you connect with the right people and join the right groups, you enable your company to keep tabs on the key development in you industry.
- Get noticed – LinkedIn ranks well in Google, meaning that it presents you and your company with huge potential for getting noticed in search engines.
- Target your ideal customers – There are few places online that offer marketers, salespeople, and directors such great opportunities to connect with other professionals.
Optimising your profiles
The first step to making LinkedIn work for you is to optimise both your personal profile and that of your company:
Company LinkedIn profile
When you are improving your company profile make sure you have great photos and updated company details:
You need to ensure that you have an instantly-recognisable, appealing image to represent your brand. A smaller version of your profile picture will also show up when your company appears in someone’s search listings, so the more striking the image, the better. Here is a useful link that explains how best to take a profile picture.
The header photo shows up behind the company name, and should show something eye-catching, something that your company stands for, a picture of your team, or an alternate version of your logo. There are few restrictions when it comes to your header photo, but its prominence on your page means that it should be given careful consideration.
The pictures your company uses to represent the business should promote brand recognition as a priority, with consistency across all platforms and in your marketing materials.
Fully complete your “About us” section, as this is one of the first things that someone visiting your profile will read.
Your description should include a clear glimpse of the company you are, the kinds of customers your offering is for, and what makes you stand out from other similar companies.
Ask yourself: what is your company’s vision? What products and services do you offer? Try and fit some long-tail keywords into your description if you can, too – great for helping search engines pick up your LinkedIn page.
You should also fill your company details in as fully as possible, informing your connections and visitors of your company size, location, type, and so on.
Your personal LinkedIn profile
Your profile picture should probably be a headshot, and should definitely be professional. No selfies, no pictures of you and your new puppy, and certainly no office party shots! Save those for your private Facebook page. You could consider usin a branded image for your background, featuring your company logo or similar.
Like your company profile, you should begin by filling in everything on your page. That means your professional background with two or more previous positions, your current industry and location, your educational history and achievements.
Choose your headline carefully, using keywords that your company and your role are closely tied to. The LinkedIn algorithm currently appears to use your headline for ranking purposes, and should include your location in order to increase your ranking for location-specific searches.
You may also want to create a custom URL for your profile, which is also more SEO-friendly. Do this by clicking “Edit public profile & URL” on the right-hand side of your profile page when you are signed in.
If your company creates suitable opportunities for doing so, you can add work samples to your profile, uploaded to your Background section or linked to via SlideShare. Do this by clicking the pencil icon beside your profile picture, scrolling down and clicking “Upload”.
Once you have set up your company and personal profiles on LinkedIn you will be ready to start using and monitoring on a daily basis. This does not need to be an onerous task build it into your daily routine.