When we think about social media, our minds immediately go to the most prominent (and fun) players on the field. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all big shots when it comes to any social media strategy for small businesses, but what about the black sheep of small business marketing: LinkedIn? 

With over 774 million members online and a reach of over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a powerful social media that can help businesses thrive online. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking, that’s a lot of members and my business is too small at the moment to worry about marketing overseas. 

But there is a lot that LinkedIn can do for small businesses. Today, we’re going to talk you through how you can see if this social media will benefit your business and how you can use it effectively in your social media campaigns. 

How do you know if LinkedIn is right for your small business?

LinkedIn is the social network for motivated professionals, but depending on your niche or target market, you might not find it as effective as others do – in all honesty, it’s not for everyone. 

B2B (business to business) companies thrive the most on LinkedIn, and it’s a lot easier for them to gain traction and get clients because LinkedIn is where business professionals love to hang out. Now, this doesn’t mean that B2C (business to customers) companies can’t work well on LinkedIn either, but it’s best to figure out if it’s worthwhile investing your time (or money) into a marketing platform before taking the leap.

If you’re a small business trying to attract local stay at home moms, then LinkedIn is probably not for you. But, if you’re a small business trying to network with realtors in your state, it’s probably worth a shot.   

If it doesn’t work out, or your target customers just aren’t on LinkedIn, then you can always try out Instagram, Facebook, or even Pinterest for your social media marketing. 

What are the advantages of using LinkedIn for small business owners?

There are lots of benefits to using LinkedIn for your small business and here are eight of them:

  1. Helps you network

With LinkedIn, you can build a professional network, connect with industry leaders, and get in touch with other like-minded individuals. 

  1. Increases your exposure

You’ll be able to use LinkedIn to announce any new products or services that you’re releasing. You’ll be able to share blog posts, update your audience on any latest news and overall improve your online presence. 

  1. Generate high-quality leads

If your audience is on LinkedIn, then you’ll be able to get in touch with them and generate leads through targeted searches. 

  1.  Build relationships

LinkedIn is the perfect social media to help build and strengthen your relationships with your clients, plus you can stay in touch on LinkedIn to encourage them to work with you again. 

  1. Improves your credibility

You can increase your credibility by showcasing your brand in such a professional environment and gaining recommendations from customers and clients. 

  1. Become a leader 

By commenting on industry news, sharing posts and articles from other leaders, and writing about your own thoughts, you’ll be able to become a thought leader in your niche. 

  1. Recruit talented staff

Finding the right staff for your business can be tricky. But by advertising for new talent on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to immediately be noticed by the people within your niche, especially if you’ve already started to grow on the platform.  

  1. Keep up with your competition.

You have to stay up to date with everything in your industry to stay on top, and this includes your competition. Keep a close eye on what your competitors are up to so you don’t fall behind. 

How can you make the most out of LinkedIn for your small business?

Make sure your audience is on LinkedIn

So you’ve decided to join LinkedIn, that’s brilliant! But there isn’t much point in joining this massive social media platform if your audience isn’t on it. 

Do some research into your industry and your niche to see if your potential clients are on LinkedIn. You can look at your competitors and if they’re doing well on LinkedIn to gauge if you, too, will be able to succeed. 

So, now you know your audience hangs out on LinkedIn, great! Now what?

If this is where your audience hangs out on LinkedIn, then you’re going to need to have:

  • A great profile 
  • Good connections 
  • Plenty of time for online networking 

Making sure you have all of this for your company will help you build the perfect presence on LinkedIn. 

But how do you get started with all of this?

How do you build your network and start talking to the people who will work with you? 

Join groups in your niche!

The easiest way to get to know people in your industry is to join groups in your niche or specialty. Comment on other people’s stuff in the community and start building yourself up as a familiar face within that industry. 

This is one of the LinkedIn strategies that most people miss out on. 

They don’t realize that you have to first build relationships with other businesses that have similar audiences to you to start gaining things from LinkedIn. 

And what better way to build these relationships than a platform full of professionals. 

Start your journey by reaching out to people who know and trust your work already. Then expand your reach by asking them to introduce you to other like-minded people. 

You can also widen your search by using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search! 

When you find the right match for your business, send them a personalized, concise yet informative connection request. Don’t forget to show interest in the work they do as well.  

Start building your professional and personal brand

Establishing a professional brand for your business is vital for building relationships on LinkedIn. If you want to make strong connections with your prospects and clients, you have to be known, liked, and trusted (and more importantly, look professional. No half-assed friend-of-a-friend’s logo please!). 

To do this, you have to make sure your LinkedIn profile is professional and completed. Your visitors should be able to learn quickly about who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you. 

Don’t forget!

Enhance your credibility by using the Recommendations and Skill Endorsements on your profile. 

Aim to have at least five recommendations from people who can vouch for your expertise!

Should you build a LinkedIn company page for your small business?

LinkedIn is a compelling and reliable platform for small businesses that’s perfect for sharing content, connecting with industry leaders, and improving your conversions. With in-person networking still hanging by a thread thanks to different Covid measures, virtual get togethers are more popular (and important) than ever before.  

Most of the work will be done by your personal profile because most people want to connect with other people and not a company. But, it’s also a good idea to create a LinkedIn company page for your business, even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, a consultant, or a freelancer. 

Like your personal profile, your company page has to be complete, and it has to represent you in a way that you’d want your ideal clients to see you. 

A LinkedIn company page can do many things, but here are 6 things your LinkedIn company will do for your small business. 

  1. Tells your company’s story and provides your audience with easily digestible information about why they should work with you.
  1. Features your products, services, or a special promotion through the Spotlight feature.
  1. Helps you connect with:
  1. Target audiences
  2. Prospective employees
  3. Current employees
  4. Influencers in your industry
  5. Other companies within your niche
  1. Gives you the chance to make direct communication with your audience. 
  1. Allows you to advertise career opportunities on a trusted platform.
  1. Tracks how your small business’s content is performing.

LinkedIn isn’t for everyone, but if you put in the effort and your target customers are, you can have great success on the platform. 

Having a professional brand and website to back up your marketing efforts is key to online success (including LinkedIn). If you want a hand getting your company’s branding or website up to date and looking great, then the team at EmTwo is here to help. 

Get in contact with our branding experts today, and we’ll sort you out with some fantastic digital marketing and branding that your audience won’t be able to ignore. 

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