LinkedIn is one of the best lead generating social media platforms. This is because it is often the one associated with being a social network for businesses and professionals. You could grow your business by having a great profile and a lot of the right activity.

This article will explain the best practices to grow your following and attract customers to you through using LinkedIn for your small business marketing.

 

Profile

Your profile is the foundation of your LinkedIn marketing. Other businesses, potential partners, suppliers and customers, will use your profile to assess your business for suitability. They will also use your profile to assess how to pitch to you.

You’ll want to create the best impression, otherwise customers will not want to contact you about buying and you could attract lower quality suppliers and partners. There are several important elements in creating the ideal profile.

Here are the main aspects:

A good profile picture

Pictures paint a thousand words and your profile’s picture has the same importance. You don’t want to be uploading images of you on holiday relaxing by the pool, or out in the fields walking the dogs, on LinkedIn. Instead you want a professional headshot. Ensure you are smiling into the camera and that you look your best.

Job title

This is one of the biggest underutilised areas of the profile page. The job title should not be your direct title if you are the owner of the company; especially if you label yourself as Managing Director, Owner or Founder.

Instead you need to have a title that describes what you do. For instance, if you run a premium food catering service, you should use titles like Senior Food Caterer. This is because those on LinkedIn do not search for Owners or Founders but rather a specific job role.

Summary

In your summary you want to write about what you currently do for a job. On many social networking sites you want to be brief with your comments. On LinkedIn you want to be powerful.

You’ll also want to include three keywords at least three times in the summary. Ensure your three keywords are not descriptions of the job but rather your job title.

LinkedIn users mostly search for job titles rather than the actions they incorporate. For example, instead of web design, they will search for web designer. Having three keywords allows you to spread out your focus and attract more of the LinkedIn network to your profile.

Additional Items

Don’t overlook the basics when it comes to LinkedIn. There are several powerful features that can be used to grow the perception of your expertise on the site. Include documents such as past reports you have created, case studies of projects you have managed or excerpts from books you have written.

You can also include videos and podcasts on your profile to give your page more interaction points and a better opportunity to develop a strong response to your content.

The advantage of a well crafted profile is that it can then become highly optimised for Google. In many cases your LinkedIn profile may actually rank higher than your search engine optimised website.

This can be important as well. People are more likely to connect with you if they see you rank highly on Google as this creates a sort of subconscious authority.

 

Writing Blog Posts

The next stage of your LinkedIn marketing should be creating and publishing blog posts through the platform, similarly to publishing content on your own site or blog. Again there is a slight advantage in that Google ranks LinkedIn content higher than some websites. So unless you have a perfect SEO campaign, you might find some of the traffic will go to your LinkedIn page rather than your website.

Another advantage, is that unlike with blog posts, LinkedIn posts are automatically connected to a database to be shared with others who are likely to enjoy your content and with your connections also.

This can mean that more people are viewing your content then your blogs. Some businesses think that you should post content that is from your website. However, this might bring you a duplicate content penalty and the rank of your entire site could be lowered.

Instead, you want to create fresh content that is only published on LinkedIn. You can use some of it, with a ‘no-index link’ on your blog post, to advertise the release of your latest content. This will also support your LinkedIn content’s page rank.

All the basic formulation of a good blog post is applicable to your LinkedIn content. This includes:

  • A strong headline.
  • A strong message.
  • Breaking up content with numbered points or bullet points.
  • Short, easily read paragraphs.
  • Content that is highly valuable to your reader.
  • An image that represents your content.

At the same time you don’t want to be promotional at any time on LinkedIn. Studies have shown that 0% of LinkedIn users like promotional content on the social network and it can restrict the number of connections you generate on the platform.

Finally you will want to post content at the best time. While research for some social media channels can differ, most surveys have found that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days for posting on LinkedIn. At the same time, you will want to post between 7am and 8:30am, 12pm and 1pm and 5pm to 7pm.

Posting at these times will increase the chance that your content will be viewed and responded to by other LinkedIn users. It is important to gain more interactions (likes and comments) than views as this demonstrates that your content is resonating with your audience.

 

Conclusion

LinkedIn is one of the best business lead generating tools that you can take advantage of. To get the most out of your profile, ensure that you have optimised it for the average LinkedIn user and that you are generating fresh content for your profile. This way you can expand your network, attract potential customers and potentially achieve social sales.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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