As you probably already know, LinkedIn is the professional networking social media site. According to a recent post on Bufferapp.com: “Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn” (source: Bufferapp.com) If you aren’t using LinkedIn yet as part of your brand’s social media efforts, now is the time to get started. With LinkedIn you can promote your products and services, spread brand awareness, recruit employees, and more through your company LinkedIn page.
You can create a Company Page by clicking on “Interests” then “Companies” on the top menu bar of your LinkedIn profile.
Next you will click on the “Add a Company” link in the upper right-hand corner.
It will ask for your company name and an email address.
Company Page Eligibility
Before you can actually create a Company Page, you have to meet certain eligibility criteria. You can read the eligibility requirements here. Among the requirements:
- Your profile strength be at least Intermediate or All-Star (read more about profile strength).
- You must have an email address on your profile that matches the company domain of your business. (in other words, you can’t use a free Yahoo, Gmail, etc., address).
If you’re not eligible, an alternative is to create a LinkedIn Group. A LinkedIn Group is an online forum where you can connect with potential customers and fans. The key difference between a Group and Company Page is that a Group is not a strictly promotional channel. Instead, it should be based around a concept related to your industry and target market(s).
My recommendation: get your individual profile in order so that you can establish your Company Page for brand building. You can then create a Group where you can establish your subject matter expertise.
Assuming you are eligible to create a Company Page, you will receive a confirmation email that will get you started. Some of your immediate tasks include
- Setting up your company information.
- Choosing admins.
- Uploading a logo.
- Writing a company description.
- Creating and uploading your LinkedIn custom banner (minimum size is 646 x 220 pixels or larger).
- Entering your “Specialties” – searchable keywords related to your business.
Be sure to include all of the details a person would need to know if this is their first encounter with your company.
My favorite section is Products & Services. Here you can do some really cool targeted messaging – for FREE! Here’s a sample screen shot from Jackson Marketing Services’ LinkedIn Page where I’ve set up a special variation for anyone who lives in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. These visitors see a different banner and description than my non-local visitors.
But you can go beyond geography in your targeting.
Regardless of whether or not you use targeting and page variations, ensure you add information about your products and services. Make this and all other fields keyword-rich—they will appear in search engine results!
Make a point of updating your Company Page just as you would any of your other social media profiles for your brand or company. It’s important to post status updates on routinely. Check out LinkedIn’s recommendations on Best Practices for Company Status Updates. Keep in mind that LinkedIn will crack down on companies that are posting too frequently, so keep your updates authentic and natural.
LinkedIn Company Pages Tips and Best Practices
- When you upload your logo, be aware of sizing restrictions. Also, make sure it displays correctly when it’s loaded (that it’s not disproportional, stretched out, or pixellated).
- Request that employees add the Company Page to their profiles to increase get your page exposure.
- Create and upload an appealing banner image to your LinkedIn Company Page. Similar to the cover photo of a Facebook Fan Page, the banner helps convey what your business is about.
- Add a YouTube video to your Products & Services section.
- Don’t be shy about requesting product/service recommendations from your customers via the LinkedIn Company Page. Recommendations on your profile serve as a form of social proof that will encourage others to try your products.
LinkedIn is all about networking, so don’t just sit back after creating your page and your individual profile. Get in groups, interact with others, and comment on statuses. This is how you will build your awareness and authority on LinkedIn.