Marketing your small business? Don’t forget about LinkedIn

Are you trying to make the most of your business’s social media presence? Have you looked at LinkedIn lately? If not, this is a good time to check it out. LinkedIn is often an untapped resource, but it is one of the most powerful ways to increase your professional network and connect with your target market.

As a small business owner or leader, you are a prominent face of your business. This means there is a substantial connection between your personal and business brand. To take full advantage of LinkedIn, you need to promote both.

Here are some ideas to help you maximize the potential of LinkedIn to market your small business.

  • Post consistently, but selectively. It may seem counterintuitive, but too much posting decreases LinkedIn engagement. Social Media Today recommends posting two to three times per week for the optimal engagement levels. Wondering about the right time to post? Try posting in the morning to allow plenty of time to check in and engage with responses throughout the day. If you decide to post ads, Linked analytics will identify optimal posting times and styles.

  • Include visual content. Photos will attract a lot of attention to your posts, but videos and carousels also help increase views. To create a carousel on LinkedIn, add a series of photos. Readers will be able to scroll through each slide to find more information about your topic. To share in real time, try LinkedIn Live.

  • Target content to your ideal audience. LinkedIn has very specific targeting abilities that allow users to narrow content down to a very targeted audience. Take advantage of those tools to grow your network to your desired customers or clients.

  • Post directly to LinkedIn instead of sharing links. If you want to increase your chance of exposure and viral content, it’s better to post directly on to your page instead of sharing links to other sources. On your business page, you have the choice of posting photos, videos, documents, or polls. Take the extra time to develop content specifically for LinkedIn (instead of sharing identical content across all platforms) and post it right to your page.

  • Focus on building relationships and making contacts, instead of selling. A hard sell isn’t going to be well received on this platform, but LinkedIn is a great place to make contacts and build relationships. Take time to engage and interact. Respond to popular and trending posts. Don’t be afraid to reach out and start building relationships.

  • Increase reach by utilizing the connections of your team. Your business page may have a large following but there are a few ways to leverage the connections of your team members and increase your visibility. If they are already active on LinkedIn, ask employees to share your posts. (This can even be done automatically with easily accessible tools.) The reach of each employee sharing will exponentially increase your exposure. If someone on your team is mentioned in a post, make sure to tag them. (You can also tag second degree connections, but tag selectively to avoid appearing spammy.) While you’re at it, don’t forget to add team members to your business profile and ask them to list their job titles and your company in their own profiles.

Just like your team members can really help expand the reach of your business page, your personal presence on LinkedIn is vital to maximizing your company’s marketing potential. You probably already have a large network, so take advantage of the overlap between your business and personal connections by making sure you are well represented.

Here are a few ways to promote your personal brand.

  • Establish yourself as a thought leader. LinkedIn is an ideal platform to share valuable resources and set yourself up as a thought leader in your field. Find your niche and post regular content that provides value to your target audience. Share your own content and relevant posts from other sources too.

  • Join groups. One way to build connections is by joining groups that apply to your industry. Stay active and interact regularly. You can also send messages to the people in your groups to further build your network.

  • Build your email list. If you are working on building your email list, LinkedIn is a great place to do it. Do you have content that would be valuable to your connections? Try sending them a message and asking them to join your email list.

  • Write articles on your page and share to your business page, and vice versa. On your personal page, you have the option to post photos, videos, events, or articles. Use this to your advantage by adding content that highlights your professional expertise. You can also share content from your business page to help expand your personal influence and the reach of your business.

These are just a few ideas to maximize your LinkedIn potential. If you are just starting out, you don’t need to try all of them at once. Just pick one or two and see how they impact your marketing strategy. You may be surprised by the results.

If you feel overwhelmed or have questions, we are here to help. The team at The Social Bullpen can create a custom plan for social media and all your marketing needs.