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How to LinkedIn for Business: Do’s and Don’ts

July 12, 2016

LinkedIn for small business

You’ve heard your business needs to be on LinkedIn but what does that really mean? Here are our top tips on how to maximise LinkedIn’s effectiveness for your small business:

Company Page

First things first, you should set up a Company Page for your business. Here is the Milkbar Digital one. This is for a number of reasons:

  • It means you can link to your business from your personal profile (as can your employees or contractors).
  • It provides a platform for your business to effectively share news and updates.
  • It increases your credibility as a “real” business.
  • People can “follow” you, just like they do on Facebook or Instagram.
  • There are Insights provided by LinkedIn – which may help you develop leads or drive business.

Company Page Best Practises:

There are a few little extras that can make the biggest difference when it comes to your Company Page:

  • Ensure all staff have consistent head shots as their profile pictures. Organise a photoshoot if required. This will ensure branding consistency is maintained.
  • Ensure you have a professionally designed cover image that explains succinctly what your business does and offers. Make sure you have your logo uploaded.
  • Promote your Company Page as much as you can – make sure your staff all have this in their e-mail signatures. Link to it in your social media icons on your website. Include a LinkedIn icon on your business card.
  • Maintain regular updates on your Company Page. LinkedIn has a fantastic algorithm, which means that – unlike Facebook and Instagram – organic content can perform very well. Make sure you post regularly and make sure your content is industry relevant and above all else, engaging to your audience.
  • Train your staff to engage with your Company Page. Make sure you encourage them to follow the page and regularly Like, Comment and Share the posts that go up.

Set up your Personal Page correctly

  • Profile picture = Must have. Ensure it’s clean, and friendly yet professional. (ie. No drunk party photos of you on an inflatable swan. Facebook and LinkedIn = Different).
  • Add everyone you (professionally) know. Try and get your connections tally as high as possible – without being ridiculous.
  • Speak in first person. This is meant to be a personal platform, run by you. No third-person. That’s just weird and inauthentic.
  • Network, network, network. This is networking, digital style. Send messages, invite people to connect.
  • Join Groups – these are a fantastic way to connect with likeminded peers and share industry insights. Don’t put on the hard sell when you post in groups – offer knowledge, credibility and opinions – this is more likely to generate authentic leads.
  • Post to The Pulse. This is LinkedIn’s place to share blog posts and long-form articles. Even if you’ve never dabbled in writing before, it’s a fantastic way to get your content seen and seen by many! It’s all about being seen as a thought leader, embrace it and share your industry expertise. These posts will also appear in your Personal Profile and look really snazzy.
  • Have a clear call-to-action on your personal profile. Make sure you list a website, an e-mail address, a phone number – make it easy for people to get in touch.
  • Share the posts you do through the Company Page via your Personal Page.

The Don’ts:

  • Do not use LinkedIn as an opportunity to “cold call”. No one likes a pest. Engage in real conversation and build relationships.
  • Do not post anything personal or gossipy. This isn’t Facebook, and you should always put your best – highly professional and branded – foot forward.
  • Do not fake your work history. This isn’t your 16 year old self’s McDonalds application resume where you’re slightly exaggerating your experience with customer service. LinkedIn is extremely public – you will be caught out.
  • Do not post an old photograph of yourself – make sure it’s you, now, recognisable.
  • Do not use the same buzzwords as everyone else on the planet. “Enthusiastic”? “Passionate”? “Dedicated”? Yeah, you and everyone else. Find your niche, find your specialities and spruik ’em.
  • Do not fall off the edge of the planet. LinkedIn like all other social channels require dedication (buzzword!) and continuity. You won’t see results overnight, but if you stay at it and maintain a consistent approach with excellent quality content, you’ll definitely reap the rewards.

Need help with your small business’s LinkedIn page and presence? Milkbar Digital is a Richmond social media agency that specialises in helping Melbourne businesses on LinkedIn. 

You can check out our director Sam’s LinkedIn profile page here – why not go forth and connect!

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