If you ask most businesspeople if they’ve ever heard of LinkedIn, chances are they’ll reply with something along the lines of, “Sure – it’s like Facebook, but for professionals and businesses”. The social-media savvy among them might mention how useful LinkedIn can be for networking and connecting to others in their field. But only the really social-media savvy know how to unlock LinkedIn’s potential as a tool for advertising and promoting their business.
Luckily, what that really social-media savvy group knows about LinkedIn isn’t top secret, nor is it rocket science. It’s pretty obvious that if a business can make itself more visible, it will be able to reach a wider range of potential customers and therefore give itself a greater chance at increasing profit. A few simple steps are all that it takes for anyone to maximize LinkedIn’s potential to help promote and advertise their business.
Increasing Visibility through Profile Content
By linking your blog or company website (or both!) to your LinkedIn page, you’ll be able to keep everyone in your network updated about your company, the exciting things it’s doing, and the knowledge it has to offer. Additionally, when new users search for companies like yours, your information will pop up right away.
The default settings, when adding your company’s website and blog, label the sections “My Company” and “My Blog”. Change these! Call the sections something more relevant to who you are—perhaps the company’s name. This will also help your page appear higher up the list of search engine results. The search engine won’t have to wade through the thousands of “My Company” labels, which means that yours will appear more quickly.
Finally, make use of your profile picture. Putting your company’s logo, name, and phone number together as one image is fairly simple, but using this image as your profile picture really makes your company look professional.
Increasing Credibility through Answering Questions
Answering questions is another great way to increase visibility while also establishing credibility. Other LinkedIn users can post questions to the “Answers” section, and periodically checking this section to see if you can provide a thoughtful, insightful response to someone’s question is a habit worth forming, as you will have the satisfaction of helping someone else while at the same time establishing yourself as a credible source of information!
Should you answer some questions well, your answer might even be designated as a “Good Answer” or maybe even “Best Answer”; the people with the most “Best Answers” in each category are prominently displayed on the category’s homepage. So, taking the time to skim over the questions and, if possible, providing quality answers can really increase the number of people who are aware that you are an authority in your field.
Customizing Profile URL to Optimize SEO
Instead of leaving the URL of your homepage at the generic default setting, change it so that it reflects you and your business. For big, well-known companies this may mean using the company name; for small businesses, this might mean using a key word or phrase (i.e. the name of a national chain of carpet cleaners vs. the key phrase “carpetcleaning” for a local business).
Changing your page’s URL to reflect your business will also help with SEO. The keywords at the end of the URL will make your page appear higher in the list of search results than if the URL ended with the default setting. Make sure that you’re using the “Full View” option so that your company’s details are open to the public!
LinkedIn is an amazing tool to help increase a company’s visibility as well as establish its credibility and knowledge. The best part is that taking a few moments to complete these steps is a smart, effective marketing tool—and one that is absolutely free! And that sounds like a smart, social-media savvy business decision to me.