For business-to-business professional service or sales companies, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with the right people and generate new leads. LinkedIn is the top social media platform used by B2B marketers, and the one they say generates the best content marketing results for their organizations. The benefits of an effective and well-executed LinkedIn marketing strategy can be significant, but many small business owners feel ill equipped to take advantage of this powerful platform–not knowing exactly where to start or what to do.
LinkedIn for Small Business
Bottomline: developing an effective and lead-generating LinkedIn strategy isn’t that complicated. You just need to follow a few simple steps.
As a business professional, you likely already have a personal LinkedIn profile. It should have, at the very least, all of your relevant professional information and a recent headshot. Use this account to connect with other business professionals in your industry and in your geographic market. Make use of LinkedIn’s powerful search engine to find people at specific companies, with specific job titles, or in specific geographical areas. Invite them to connect and engage with them by commenting on their posts or sending them a message introducing yourself. Word of caution: Don’t be spammy and impersonal. Be real.
In addition to your personal LinkedIn page, you will need a company page. Your personal profile will be an admin on the company page. This profile should be fully filled out with all of your company information. While logged into your account, navigate to your company page. You’ll see a box in the upper left section titled “Invite Connections to Follow”. Click the “Invite” button on all relevant connections (this is a list of your personal connections) to invite them to like your company page. The ones that accept your invitation will now see your company updates! That’s a huge win! Don’t have a company page? You can create that here.
Now that you have an audience, don’t leave them hanging! Create a plan to post to your company page regularly. This is the most time consuming part. To have an effective content marketing strategy, you must share interesting and/or valuable content that will appeal to your target audience. The goal is to help people solve their problems and do their jobs better, while subtly guiding them toward your brand as the solution. Share blogs written by your team, infographics with valuable insights, or answers to frequently asked questions. And always include image or video content to make your updates more engaging. Ideally, you post to your company page a few times each week.
Now, share your company page updates to your personal connections to further expand their reach. There are three little dots in the upper right of your company page post. When clicked, they drop down with choices. Choose Copy link to Post. You can then paste that link in your personal update.
Lather, rinse, repeat. As you grow your personal connections, you grow your audience–stay consistent.
This strategy is pretty simple, but implementing it takes time and commitment. If time is not something you have an excess of, you can always outsource your content creation and posting.