While this is true — and I highly encourage my clients to maintain active pages for their businesses on social networking sites — it’s also worth discussing the inherent value in simply being present.
I used to think LinkedIn was only useful to job seekers and head hunters. So naïve. I also used to deny the fact that LinkedIn was a form of social media. Silly girl. For any business, LinkedIn provides a mountain of opportunity for maximizing a business’ online presence.
Lots of companies have company pages on LinkedIn, and they don’t even know it! Read on to learn about why having a presence on LinkedIn is important for your online reputation and how to make the most of a company page.
Do Wonders For Your Reputation!
Business owners today are beginning to understand the need for a visible online presence outside of just their own websites, turning to social media and other existing networks like local directories to build brand profiles.
In the search engine optimization (SEO) world, we refer to the idea of creating profiles on existing authoritative sites for the purpose of riding their coat tails in the search results as ”barnacle SEO.” While this was originally coined by an SEO, we can all use this same tactic for the purposes of online reputation management and social visibility.
LinkedIn is strong in the eyes of Google and other major search engines, meaning that it’s a site you’ll want to latch onto! Moz’s Open Site Explorer reports that linkedin.com has a Domain Authority of 99/100.
Domain Authority is a measure of a website’s ranking potential in search engines based on algorithms and inbound link metrics. In English? This means that a LinkedIn company page is highly authoritative and likely to rank in search results for users looking for your business.
Because of the nature of LinkedIn, a site all about professionals and businesses, the brand signals are strong and valuable when it comes to a business’ online presence. For the marketer making the most of it, a LinkedIn company page can feature rich, tightly controlled content about a business including its products, services specialties and more.
If You Meet These Criteria, You Should Definitely Be On LinkedIn
As if the benefit of having a content-rich (and did I mention free?) profile on a highly authoritative website wasn’t enough, LinkedIn is specifically valuable to B2Bs and B2Cs with very niche audiences. Non-profits with a focus on fundraising and a niche donor profile may also find LinkedIn to be a great space for making connections.
LinkedIn is the network of choice for you if your goals include:
- Driving demographically- and professionally-targeted traffic to your website
- Engaging with a niche audience of prospective customers
- Building a positive reputation with potential future employees
- Promoting your brand or job postings in the professional world
The Anatomy Of A LinkedIn Company Page
A well-optimized LinkedIn company page is full of ripe information about your business that other social networks don’t even have the available character count to accommodate!
Company pages mimic other popular social networking sites by utilizing a similar layout including a logo and “cover” photo, allowing marketers to feature their brand predominantly.
Marketers then have 2,000 characters of space to spew all the details about their business and what makes it great in the Company Description field.
Add up to 20 “Specialties” for your business to the company page. Company pages can also feature a Products or Services tab, enabling the page admin to elaborate further on specific products or services the company offers.
Here, I would advise you do a little bit of keyword research to understand how users may be searching for the products and services you offer online. Utilize those popular search terms in these fields to optimize your company page for search.
Keep a company page updated and fresh by contributing content to the Recent Updates section. LinkedIn company pages can be connected in tools like HootSuite for ease of scheduling content later!
Getting Started On LinkedIn
LinkedIn has been able to remain a trusted source of information about businesses thanks to the page creation process guidelines. Not just anyone can create a LinkedIn company page for your business, so read carefully before getting started to make sure you’ve got all the information on hand that you’ll need!
1. In order to create a company page, you must start from a real LinkedIn personal profile that meets several requirements. The profile must be created with a true first and last name, must have several connections and must have a profile strength of Intermediate or All Star.
You must also be listed as a current employee and have your position listed on your profile. Lastly, you must also have a company email address (it cannot be an @gmail or @yahoo address).
2. You’ll need to have the following information on hand, as these are required fields for creating a company page:
- Company Name
- Company Description
- Company Type (choose 1): Public Company, Educational, Self Employed, Government Agency, Non Profit, Self Owned, Privately Held, Partnership
- Company Size (choose 1): myself only, 2 – 10, 11 – 50, 51 – 200, 201 – 500, 501 – 1000, 1001 – 5000, 5001 – 10000, 10001+
- Main Company Industry (choose 1 from this list)
- Company Operating Status (choose 1): Operating, Operating Subsidiary, Reorganizing, Out of Business, Acquired
3. Visual branding for your company page must meet the following requirements:
- Banner images must be 646 x 220 pixels and the following file types are accepted: PNG, JPEG or GIF. Your images cannot be larger than a max size of 2 MB.
- Pro tip: on the Product/Services Tab, you can add up to 3 banner images and links for each one. If you upload more than 1 banner, LinkedIn will create a rotating spotlight module to display on your page
- Each company page also features a “Standard Logo” which must be 100 x 60 pixels.
Advertising Options On LinkedIn
LinkedIn display ads can be targeted to individuals with specific job titles, geographic locations, company industry, size, schools, skills, etc.
Make sure you have a firm understanding of your target demographic and advertising goals before spending any advertising dollars. Think about the professional titles of individuals in buying or decision making positions if your goal is lead gen.
With the popularity of review sites exploding in recent years, marketers must understand the need to balance user generated content about their business online with carefully controlled brand messaging. LinkedIn provides an outlet for businesses and non-profits to feature detailed information on a strong website building their online reputation.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.