Image Credit: Jurgen Appelo on Flickr
LinkedIn is the most business-friendly social media platform out there, full stop. If you’re not investing in your company’s LinkedIn presence, you’re essentially leaving money on the table.
A lively, attractive LinkedIn company page is just one facet of a holistic LinkedIn marketing plan. But it’s a pretty important one. Here’s how to shape up your “meh” company page and achieve a degree of engagement that you never imagined possible.
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1. Put Your Elevator Pitch Above the Fold
Don’t waste your LinkedIn company page’s company description. It’s your opportunity to showcase your company’s products and services in concise, businesslike language: the sort of copy that piques investors’ attention and rallies sober-minded decision-makers to your cause.
The LinkedIn page for Bixler University, a storied collegiate jewelry manufacturer, is a good example. The page’s company description is basically an extended elevator pitch that encapsulates its history, core functions, mission, and vision. There’s nothing superfluous or beside-the-point here. The whole thing takes 90 seconds to read.
You’ll have plenty of time to get into the weeds with interested prospects. Your LinkedIn company description isn’t the place to do it. Here, you’re merely whetting appetites for what’s to come.
2. Choose a Memorable Background Photo
Choosing a memorable background or cover photo is a surprisingly scientific process. It’s also pretty personal. You know what you like and what you don’t. You’re better positioned than any off-the-shelf consultant to judge your prospects’ and clients’ preferences, too.
That said, most great background photos share basic characteristics. They’re colorful, or at least endowed with a coherent and visually appealing color scheme. They’re active without being busy. They feature clear subjects, even if they’re not proper character studies. And they’re not so arresting or distracting as to detract from your profile photo.
3. Select a Visually Arresting Profile Photo
Selecting an appealing profile photo isn’t much different from choosing the right background photo, though the criteria that endow your profile photo’s appeal aren’t quite the same.
If your profile photo includes one or more human subjects, refer to Buffer’s seven best practices:
- Smile with teeth
- Dark-colored suits or light-colored button-downs (or both)
- Jawline with shadows
- Head to shoulders or head to waist frame
- Asymmetrical composition
- Unobstructed eyes
If your photo includes no human subjects, or humans aren’t the main focus of the composition, consider:
- A subject that makes sense in the context of your product or service portfolio
- Subject(s) or action(s) that align with your brand: serious and buttoned-up, loose and irreverent, and so on
- Coherent color palette
- Appropriate depth of focus
- Bold, legible fonts where appropriate (for instance, “Since 1975” or “Only the Best”)
4. Don’t Forget the Mundane Details
Even more basic than your company description are your company details: employee count, year founded, headquarters location, industry. There’s no easier way to show prospective customers your detail-oriented side than to take the five minutes necessary to get everything down. Don’t put it off any longer.
5. Encourage Employees to Connect With You
Like adding mundane company details to your LinkedIn company page, getting your employees to add your organization as their current employer should be an easy ask. (And, if they’re not proud to tout their relationship with your company, you need to figure out why.) The more real live human employees connect their profiles to your company page, the more impressive your organization will appear to prospects. No one wants to do business with a firm that claims to have 200+ employees, but only has a few names in its “employees on LinkedIn” bucket.
6. Post Company News and Media Mentions
Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn, as long as your company news and media mentions postings don’t overwhelm less gaudy forms of engagement. And don’t worry about “niche” mentions that you suspect your audience could care less about. San Antonio-based supermarket operator HEB regularly posts mentions from logistics and grocery trade publications, for instance: not exactly the most titillating content around. But, as they say, all press is good press.
7. Set a Regular Long Form Publishing Schedule
Commit to publishing at least one long form update per week. Said content should be original, or at the very least a re-post that originally appeared on your company blog or Medium page. If you lack the resources or internal organization to push updates live on a regular basis, consider farming the work out to a freelancer or contract employee. It takes a lot less time to edit a 2,000-word post before publication than to plan, produce, and edit it from scratch.
8. Invite Thought Leaders to Share Their Stories and Insights on Your Page
Here’s another tip to trim your LinkedIn posts’ turnaround times: put out a standing guest posting invitation to your peers and fellow thought leaders. This is a great strategy to attract industry insiders whose sterling reputations belie limited LinkedIn visibility. Your company page is a platform for their (respectable) views. Their words confer intellectual firepower and professional credibility that your current team can’t yet match, dedicated though they might be.
9. Engage with Experts, Peers and Others
If they’re not yet ready to share their thoughts on your company page, go to them. The surest way to attract attention from industry thought leaders and prominent peers is to engage judiciously with their own little corners of LinkedIn. Comment on their updates. Like their posts. Share relevant content via direct message, or tag them directly in your updates.
In short, let them know you’re out there.
10. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
Last but not least, join or apply to join active LinkedIn groups populated by peer businesses. It’s not practical (nor a good use of your limited resources) to engage personally with every thought leader out there. However, this move at least ensures that you’re running in the right circles. If admission is selective, reach out directly to admins or influencers capable of pulling favors.
Businesslike Doesn’t Mean Boring
Don’t listen to those who insist LinkedIn isn’t the place to rock the boat. Yes, your LinkedIn presence needs to be respectful and professional, at least by the standards of your industry. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for creativity or experimentation on your LinkedIn company page. If something doesn’t work, or attracts a little backlash, fine. Note it and move on. Better to try and fail than never to try at all.