LinkedIn has grown and evolved dramatically over the past several years. As of April 2020, total membership was 690 million users, Social Media Today reported. With new features added regularly, LinkedIn is the go-to social media platform for business professionals and businesses of all sizes.
If you haven’t created a business profile on LinkedIn, you may be wondering if you really need to. This guide will help you decide whether your business needs a LinkedIn page and, if so, help you set up that page to maximize the benefits of the platform.
Should I create a LinkedIn company page?
Your business model will determine whether your company should have a LinkedIn page. For example, if you are a large corporation, people who are searching for your company will expect you to have a corporate presence on LinkedIn. However, if you are an entrepreneur or solopreneur, you may benefit more from building a network with your personal LinkedIn profile.
As a member with a personal LinkedIn profile, you have an easy-to-access digital home for your personal brand. It’s a great place to not only build your network but also showcase your expertise and build a reputation as a thought leader with relevant and engaging content. This gives you an opportunity to become a LinkedIn influencer in your own right.
However, a personal LinkedIn page doesn’t give you access to all of the tools available to the administrators of a LinkedIn business page.
If you want to have a home for your organization that allows you to showcase your business as a whole, a LinkedIn company page probably makes more sense. Even if you are a sole proprietor now but your goal is to expand and hire additional employees, it makes sense to also set up a company page to build more brand awareness.
Benefits of a LinkedIn business page
Creating a LinkedIn business page allows you to promote your entire company while gaining a greater understanding of the impact your company is having in the LinkedIn community. Here are some of the benefits of having a business profile on LinkedIn:
When your company has a LinkedIn business page, LinkedIn members can connect their personal profile directly to your business page in the Experience section of their profile. When they add your company’s name there, it will be updated with a clickable image. This means each employee who becomes associated with your company through your LinkedIn business page will begin acting indirectly as brand ambassadors when they network via their personal profiles. As they network professionally within your industry, they increase the visibility of your company.
With a business page, you can post new jobs and review member profiles to find the perfect candidates to add to your team. To make this feature more robust, LinkedIn offers a subscription service that provides greater functionality for businesses that are actively recruiting new talent.
With a LinkedIn company page, you can actively monitor the reach of your business by tracking your LinkedIn content marketing strategy when you create a new blog post or release a company update. Analytics are imperative for determining the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing on a social media platform such as LinkedIn.
Your business page gives you access to a variety of data, including the following metrics:
How many LinkedIn followers you’ve gained
The number of impressions a post has received
How often a post is opened
The number of interactions each post receives
How often people click from the post to your main business page through your logo or company name
Although the comments and likes are visible for personal profile posts, the rest of the information is available exclusively for LinkedIn business pages.
Another feature that’s available only for LinkedIn business pages is the ability to receive notifications when someone mentions your business. When someone begins to type your business name into their post, a drop-down menu allows them to tag your business in their post in the same way you can tag someone on Facebook or Twitter. This feature provides powerful social proof when people you interact with have positive experiences with your business and mention you in their posts, and also lets you know of any mentions that reflect a negative experience.
Both types of alerts are an opportunity for you to increase your reach and provide a positive experience for those interacting with your company. If the mention is positive, you can comment on their post to show your appreciation and your company’s engagement with its fans. Likewise, if you respond to a negative mention, you can help prevent a negative image of your company from spreading to the rest of that customer’s network.
With a LinkedIn business page, you can promote important posts by pinning them to the top of your news feed. This option, which is not available on personal profiles, can ensure pertinent information is not lost in your audience’s timelines.
Instead of product or service pages, LinkedIn has Showcase pages. As the name implies, these pages are ideal for showcasing your goods or services. The maximum number of Showcase pages a company can have is typically 10, although most businesses won’t need that many.
Can I create a company page on LinkedIn without a personal profile?
No, you cannot create a company page on LinkedIn without a personal profile. If you are creating a new profile, you must use your real name. Your personal profile must be active for at least seven days for you to start a business profile, so you will not be able to create both your personal profile and your business page on the same day.
Is a LinkedIn business page free?
It’s free to create a LinkedIn business page, but a free account doesn’t give you access to all of LinkedIn’s business resources. A free account makes it easy to engage with employees and customers in a variety of ways and to learn more about your audience, but if you want to fully leverage the power of LinkedIn, you need to upgrade to one of the premium subscriptions. LinkedIn offers a variety of paid subscriptions designed to fit different needs.
Premium Business is designed to help you grow and nurture your network and is ideal for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It allows you to send 15 InMail messages, browse an unlimited number of profiles with up to a third degree of connection, browse a library of business courses, see who has viewed your profile, gain business insights related to company growth and view career insights. The cost is $49.99 per month when billed annually.
Sales Navigator Professional, the next premium tier, is designed to help social selling professionals exceed their quotas. This is great if your business involves direct business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales, as it provides everything in the Premium Business plan, along with up to 20 InMail messages per month, an advanced lead search, lead recommendations, the ability to save leads, a stand-alone sales interface, custom account and lead lists, detailed alerts and company insights. The cost is $64.99 per month when billed annually.
Recruiter Lite, another premium tier, is perfect if your business is eager to expand. With up to 30 InMail messages per month, advanced search, automatic candidate tracking and a recruiting-specific design, this plan makes it easy to find the right candidates. Unlimited people browsing, integrated hiring and smart suggestions will help you keep the entire process within the LinkedIn framework. The cost for this plan is $99.95 per month when paid annually.
How to create a LinkedIn business page
Before you can create a LinkedIn business page, you need a personal page that meets several criteria:
An All-Star or Intermediate account with several LinkedIn connections
A reference to your company website and a corresponding business email account
An Experience section of your personal profile that lists your company as your current employer
When your personal LinkedIn page meets these requirements, you can start setting up your business page. Follow these steps to create your LinkedIn business profile:
1. Create your business page.
Log in to your personal account, and click the Work icon in the upper-right corner of the dashboard. From the pop-up that appears on the right of your screen, click Create a Company Page + to move to the next step.
2. Choose a page type.
Choose the category that best describes your business:
Small business: fewer than 200 employees
Medium to large business: more than 200 employees
Educational institution: school or university
You will not build a Showcase page until you have created your primary business page.
3. Add company information.
Fill in the basics about your business. The following sections are required:
Preferred LinkedIn company URL
As you fill in the information, you will see a preview of what your page will look like. In this section, you can also upload a logo and tagline if you choose to do so.
Once you finish filling in the information, check the verification box to confirm that you have the right to create a page on behalf of the company.
4. Click Create page.
That’s all it takes to create a LinkedIn business page, but you shouldn’t stop there. It’s important to take advantage of all of the areas that allow you to fully explain your company’s products and services.
Tips for a successful LinkedIn business page
For your LinkedIn business page to benefit your company, it needs to look professional. Here are some tips for building a successful LinkedIn business page:
Complete your page setup.
It’s important to focus on the details when you are creating your company page. Users will respond more positively to a completed page because it looks professional and includes helpful information.
Add engaging images.
Make sure your logo and cover image are engaging and fit your brand. If you don’t have a logo yet, use a professional headshot of the owner or headquarters. All three options help people get a sense of what your company is like and give your company a professional image.
Your cover image needs to appeal to your audience. You know what your customers and potential clients like, so use that knowledge to pull them in and encourage them to follow your business.
Write a compelling summary.
Don’t make your company summary dull. Think of this section as part of your content marketing strategy. You’re limited to 2,000 characters, so make every one count, using relevant keywords and compelling content so new people who need your products or services can find you and recognize that you offer what they need.
Don’t forget the location.
If your business has a physical location, it may be obvious that you need to fill this out. But you should also add your location if your company is entirely virtual. Including a location conveys legitimacy and helps people find your company when you post job openings.
How do you get followers on a LinkedIn company page?
Once you have a LinkedIn business page, it’s time to start building your following. As with any other social media platform, there are many ways to accomplish that goal. Here are some tips for getting people to find and follow your business page:
Appeal to your audience.
The most important thing you can do to get people interested in your company is to put your best virtual foot forward from the moment they meet you. This means taking the time to create a company page that will appeal directly to your ideal customer.
Share your message.
If you drive a significant amount of traffic to your website using a blog, tutorials or other valuable content, you should try to leverage that content on LinkedIn. The easiest way to do that is to add a LinkedIn share button to the content on your website. By making it easy for your loyal fans to share your content with their network, you can dramatically increase your exposure on LinkedIn.
Ask your audience to follow.
Similarly, you need to add a LinkedIn follow button on your main website and remind visitors to follow you for new content and updates. By allowing your audience to follow you quickly and easily, you remove the barrier many wouldn’t bother to overcome by going to a different site.
Post engaging content.
The best practices of content marketing apply to LinkedIn. Include videos, images and infographics when possible, and be sure to post regularly to get the best engagement from your audience. Pay attention to search engine optimization, monitor the analytics of each post and modify your content strategy accordingly.
How many company pages can you create on LinkedIn?
You can create two company pages with your personal LinkedIn account. However, make sure you are strategic about which one you list as primary and secondary. People often stop reading after the first listing, so put the more important business first.
Are LinkedIn Showcase pages worth it?
Your business’s products and services will determine how much value you derive from a LinkedIn Showcase page. Each Showcase page you set up will need the same attention to detail that you put into your main LinkedIn business page. You will need strategies and personnel for content marketing, audience engagement and analytics.
If you have multiple divisions in your company, it may make sense to assign a Showcase page to each one so that the most important information doesn’t get lost.
Another great way to utilize your Showcase page is to focus on various target audiences. Individual Showcase pages can have their own set of followers. If you own a pet grooming business, for example, you may want to have separate Showcase pages for dog grooming and cat grooming. If you have a small business, however, it may be more efficient to fully optimize your main business page before dividing your attention into numerous Showcase pages.
LinkedIn has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes. If you’ve never considered creating and maintaining a LinkedIn business page, it may be time to give it a second look.
Read more: business.com