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Not just an online job shop: How LinkedIn can be used to promote your business
A guest post written by Jo Crellin, Head of Digital at spottydog communications
You won’t find a social network with more of a defined purpose and audience than LinkedIn. Where the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are always playing copycat with each other, nothing reaches a focused, business audience like LinkedIn. If your business wants to talk to other businesses then you need to be here – these are the top reasons why;
Not just jobs
It’s well-known that LinkedIn is an Aladdin’s cave for recruiters, however movers and shakers in all industries are using it to build their reputation, grow their business development networks, meet new suppliers and create talent pools for future growth. Far from being a jobs board, the platform is always evolving to encourage different content types, and more recently introduced native video, because they recognise that people expect to use these new mediums to do business.
Building a brand
Creating your own business page on LinkedIn puts you on the map for your suppliers to find you, as well as the odd consumer who might want to check your credentials. Creating a page and maintaining a schedule of relevant posts means you can explain your brand promise, highlight quality messages, position your company as experts in your field and showcase that you understand the needs of your individual consumers.
Keeping on top of industry news and sharing articles will also demonstrate your role as a pillar in your community and sharing stories of your employees who are making a difference to your industry can all contribute to your position as a market leader.
Building an individual reputation
The other way to use LinkedIn is to encourage your employees to post articles and blog posts (either their own or those from the company page) onto their LinkedIn profile. This activity is simple and acts as peer-to-peer recommendation reaching a much wider audience, just imagine if you arranged for all your employees to share one key company message and how far that would reach. It’s also possible for some businesses to encourage all employees to adopt a branded header image which gives any new business partners a professional impression.
Make the most of video
With the prediction that 80% of all internet traffic will come from video, it’s no surprise that this is one bandwagon that needs to be jumped on. Using your smartphone and apps like imovie, it’s easier than ever to create something meaningful yourself. A simple idea could be to highlight your star employees with a vox pop interview, give people a behind-the-scenes tour of your business or even provide thought leadership in video format rather than a blog – all of these will ensure you feature highly in LinkedIn’s algorithm.
Just remember to keep it short and sweet, a minute or two is optimal as most video will be consumed on mobile. And if you can add subtitles, all the better as it’s always recommended you design for silent mode but delight with sound on.
Leave your business cards in the office
That’s not to say you should do away with a card that helps you leave an impression, but it’s not a must-do for great networking. It’s perfectly acceptable at today’s events to ask people to connect with you while you stand talking to them. It means no filing of cards when you get back to your desk and an open line of communication when you want to continue the conversation with your new friends and make new business a little easier.
A good LinkedIn strategy is cost-effective and helps you reach new customers on a one-to-one level without leaving your keyboard!
About the Author
Jo Crellin is Head of Digital and Content at Midlands PR agency spottydog communications, with over 15 years’ experience in both agency and in-house communications and digital marketing roles. Jo’s worked with global brands spanning fine arts and office interiors through to retail. Here, she discusses how LinkedIn is more than just an online job shop and how it can be used to promote your business.
If you need support with your LinkedIn strategy get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.