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Marketing - 11 min READ

How to Effectively Use LinkedIn for Small Business

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Author photo: Darryl Villacorta

Darryl Villacorta

Content & Community Marketing Manager

Small businesses can’t afford to sleep on LinkedIn anymore. This is especially true if you’re in the B2B space.

As noted in our guide to social selling on LinkedIn, the platform is responsible for 80% of B2B social leads.

And so despite popular belief, LinkedIn isn’t just reserved for enterprise companies anymore.

Small businesses can (and should!) take advantage of LinkedIn for the sake of winning more sales. If nothing else, the platform is perfect for signaling yourself as a resource in your industry.

But comparing LinkedIn to the likes of Facebook or Instagram is apples and oranges.

As social media’s staple network for professionals, getting started on LinkedIn requires an understanding of the platform’s best practices.

In this comprehensive guide on LinkedIn for small business, I'll show you how to:

Setting up your LinkedIn Company Page from scratch

Before creating your Company Page, we recommend browsing LinkedIn as a user to get a feel for the platform.

Remember: LinkedIn is for professionals. Instead of seeing memes and cat videos, you’re almost exclusively going to see content that's a little more buttoned up.

Bear in mind that LinkedIn is more about building relationships with fellow professionals than it is about selling products directly. Many people use LinkedIn as a sort a digital resume and place to promote their professional lives.

Besides, you’ll need a personal profile to set up a Company Page anyhow.

(For more information on optimizing your personal profile, check out step #8 from this post.)

But let’s assume that you’re ready to create a Company Page. Excellent! Setting up a Company Page is mostly straightforward, although there are a few elements of optimization you should be aware of:

Filling in your business’ basic information

LinkedIn requires some basic information about your company to get the ball rolling.

And if these details seem too bare-bones, don’t panic: you’ll have plenty of time to flesh out your Company Page soon enough.

For starters, LinkedIn requires you to complete the following fields:

Company name and URL: No tricks here. If your company username is taken, you can add “LLC” or “Inc” depending on your business’ structure (for example, Copper’s LinkedIn URL is /copper-inc/).

Industry: This is a general category for your business that's pretty self-explanatory (marketing and advertising, accounting, etc). Bear in mind that your industry is public on your profile, so make sure to pick whatever matches your business best.

Company size: Again, pretty straightforward. If you’re creating a Company Page for a solo business, simply select “0-1.”

Company type: Here you’ll be able to distinguish whether you’re an LLC, public company, sole proprietorship, and so on.

Tagline: Your company slogan or mission statement. This appears publicly on your LinkedIn Company Page header. Don’t agonize over this too much: a simple statement will do the trick. For example, Copper’s tagline is “The CRM that works for you.”

These fields are all that’s necessary to get a LinkedIn page for your small business up and running. However, there are still a few more steps to take before your Page is ready to share with the public.

Picking out your profile imagery

Your profile photos are likely the first elements of Company Page that users will see.

There are two main elements of imagery on LinkedIn: your logo (300x300 pixels, displays at 60x60 in the newsfeed) and cover image (1536x768 pixels).

With such a smaller space to work with, the majority of company logos on LinkedIn are sleek and minimalist with little (or no) text.

Meanwhile, your cover photo obviously covers more real estate. Most businesses use their cover photos to show off a picture of their team or a high-res, stylish photo of their business:

Oh, and you can also whip up a custom LinkedIn cover photo in Canva which boasts a ton of stylish, pre-sized templates:

Optimizing your “About” section, Overview and Specialties

The information that appears in the “About” section of your Company Page, particularly your “Overview” and “Specialties,” is among the most important for your LinkedIn presence.

Not only is this the place to tell your company’s story, it also ranks for relevant keywords related to your business both on-site and via Google.

The “Overview” section gives you 2,000 characters to define your business on LinkedIn. This may very well be the first place someone lands when they visit your profile, so how do you make this section count?

Think of your Overview as a place to position yourself. What are some of your company’s key accomplishments? How long have you been in business? What’s your unique selling proposition and mission statement?

And again, remember who your target audience on LinkedIn is. Sure, feel free to talk up your product, but also consider how your product or service fits into the larger narrative of your industry.

For reference, here’s a compelling and succinct Overview from Foxtail Marketing:

LinkedIn allows you to choose 20 keywords in the “Specialties” section to highlight your business’ areas of expertise. Choose as many as you can that are relevant to your business. Don’t worry if you don’t end up maxing them out: you might want to present yourself as a specialist in your industry instead of a jack-of-all-trades.

Lastly, fill out your business’ location and website and your LinkedIn Company page is open for business!

Well, almost ready. We still need to talk about your marketing strategy.

What should small businesses post on LinkedIn?

Having a LinkedIn Page doesn’t mean much if you aren’t regularly posting content.

Sure, you might get some passive queries or followers here and there.

But if you want fellow industry professionals and potential customers reaching out on a regular basis, you need to actively post updates.

The good news is that you have plenty of options to fill out your content calendar. Below we’ve broken down some of the most common types of LinkedIn content for a small business.

Company content and blog posts

If your business keeps up a blog or publishes any sort of top-of-funnel content, make sure to publish that same content to LinkedIn as well. Doing so can help expand your readership and again cement yourself as an expert in your industry:

Company milestones

Whether it’s a revenue goal or feature in a publication, any sort of company milestone is worth sharing with your LinkedIn following:

Industry news and relevant industry content

For companies that don’t blog, you can still weigh in on industry happenings and trends. Coupling an industry news item with your two cents is totally fair game:

Strapped for article ideas? LinkedIn’s trending news can clue you in on big-picture business happenings that your target audience is likely buzzing about:

Additionally, LinkedIn has built-in content suggestions based on topics that industries that you follow via your Company Page. These posts represent popular content across the platform that’s categorized by specific niches:

Employee shout-outs and celebrations

A huge piece of LinkedIn for small business is the ability to show off your business’ human side. Take advantage of any opportunity to give the spotlight to your employees whether it’s a work anniversary or a shout-out “just because” (think: show ‘em some love so they don’t burn out).

Similarly, many companies take behind-the-scenes snapshots of employees as a way to celebrate work well done and provide a much-needed break from purely “professional” content:

Native LinkedIn video

LinkedIn themselves are adamant about the power of video and likewise wants users to share as much native video as possible.

In other words, don’t just drop YouTube links if you want to “wow” your followers with video. Instead, upload what you’d publish to YouTube or Instagram into LinkedIn’s native video format for maximum engagement:

Industry-related questions

Asking a question related to your industry is a quick and easy way to encourage reactions on LinkedIn. It only takes a moment to pick your followers’ brains and use their answers as an opportunity to engage:

How to grow, promote, and optimize your LinkedIn presence

Now that you’ve built out your profile and understand what to post, it’s time to think about the long-game of your LinkedIn presence.

If you’re interested in growing your following or acquiring new customers using LinkedIn for small business, consider the following strategies.

Search for new (and existing) customers

As noted earlier, LinkedIn is by far the best place for social selling if you’re after B2B customers.

Given that companies automatically populate their employees on their Company Pages, you can easily spot relevant outreach candidates based on their roles:

LinkedIn is also a prime place to look up your current customers and contacts already in your inbox, too. A CRM such as Copper can automatically pull the LinkedIn profiles of your email contacts from the internet without you having to search for them manually:

Conversely, you can import your LinkedIn contacts and past communication into Copper as well. This gives you a more comprehensive view of your conversations and interactions on social media:

Note any sort of social selling needs to be done through personal accounts as opposed to your Company Page. If someone reaches out to you via your Company Page, be ready to refer them to another salesperson to keep the conversation going.

Image for post More on CRM...

More on CRM...

Learn about all the other tasks that a CRM can take off your plate with this handbook.

Tag other accounts in your posts

This is a simple tip but definitely one worth mentioning.

If you post a piece of content or a shout-out, make sure to tag the other companies or accounts in your post (simply type “@” and the corresponding name):

Doing so sends that account a notification and encourages further engagement on your posts. In some cases, they might return the favor and share your post themselves.

Get your employees involved with promoting your company

LinkedIn is the social network where employee advocacy matters the most.

Consider that the majority of LinkedIn users have hundreds of individual connections. If each of your individual employees is sharing company content and promoting your product, your business has the potential to receive exponentially more reach than your Company Page alone:

500+ connections = potentially many more eyeballs on your content

As a result, your employees play a massive role in growing your company’s LinkedIn following and social presence at large. How so? Here’s a snapshot of how your employees can help:

  • “Liking,” sharing and commenting on your Company Page’s updates
  • Posting your company’s blog posts to their own accounts (see below)
  • Publishing relevant industry-related content to LinkedIn’s native article platform
  • Reaching out to customers, prospects, and leads on behalf of your business
  • Participating in relevant LinkedIn Groups
  • Encouraging all new and existing to sign up for LinkedIn and list their role at your company

Figure out your posting frequency

One nice bonus of LinkedIn for small business is that the platform isn’t too demanding in terms of how often you should post.

According to research by CoSchedule, five times per week (or once every business day) seems to be the sweet spot for most businesses. This is reasonable for most small businesses, especially if you diversify your content calendar.

For example, a week of posting on LinkedIn might look something like this:

  • Monday - Blog post
  • Tuesday - Question for your followers
  • Wednesday - Employee showcase
  • Thursday - Share a post from an industry partner
  • Friday - Behind-the-scenes photo of your team

That’s not so bad, is it?

Participate in LinkedIn Groups

As a way to get your employees involved, posting and networking via LinkedIn Groups is a smart way to introduce your business to like-minded industry professionals. Although you can’t post in Groups as a company, you can have your employees publish content or network on behalf of your company:

Add hashtags to your posts

Hashtags on LinkedIn essentially make your posts searchable to anyone following that respective tag.

For example, your company might follow updates from the #digitalmarketing or #automation tags. By tacking these tags onto your own relevant posts, your content may appear to users who are searching those tags themselves.

There is no “magic number” when it comes to hashtags on LinkedIn. Typically, most businesses keep it between two and five per post:

Hashtags on LinkedIn aren’t something to stress out about, though. They’re just an easy way to expand the reach of your posts.

Invest in premium features (LinkedIn Career Pages and sponsored content)

As is the case with any social network, LinkedIn has its own paid features to help businesses grow even more dynamically.

However, most of these features are aimed at enterprise companies rather than small businesses.

For example, LinkedIn Career Pages enable companies to hire directly from LinkedIn and likewise provide additional company details and photos to their profiles. These features come with a hefty price tag (thousands of dollars per year), however, and are beyond the budgets of many small businesses.

That said, LinkedIn ads might be worth exploring depending on what type of business you run. For example, sponsored content (see below) is a smart way to promote case studies and lead magnets to your target audience:

Promote your LinkedIn presence wherever you can

If you want people to follow you on LinkedIn, don’t be shy about promoting your Company Page! This includes on-site, in your email signature (see the example from Wisestamp below), or cross-posting from your other social media profiles:

Learn from your LinkedIn analytics

Lastly, your analytics can clue you in on whether or not your LinkedIn presence is growing and which types of content are resulting in spikes in engagement.

LinkedIn’s native analytics primarily focus on followers, impressions, and unique views from your Company Page. Although these stats are certainly helpful, they’re somewhat limited by themselves.

If you’re big on employee advocacy, third-party social media tools such as SHIELD App can be a game-changer.

This tool digs into top-performing posts and pieces of content for each of your individual team members posting on behalf of your business. By tracking your team’s performance, you have a more comprehensive view of your LinkedIn reach beyond what’s on your Company Page:

Ready to build up your LinkedIn presence?

As the sole “professional” social network, LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for growing your influence as a small business.

Also, it’s one of the best places to spot leaders and engage with customers if you’re in the B2B space.

With the tips above and the help of tools such as Copper, you can start building up your business’ presence on LinkedIn sooner rather than later.

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