LinkedIn is a professional networking site with over 400 million users. While it’s well known as a way for individuals to connect, many users are surprised to learn how effectively companies can market themselves on this business platform.
Why Set Up Your Company on LinkedIn?
When you set up a LinkedIn company page, you accomplish several things.
First, you expand your outreach to potential customers, partners, vendors and employees. Secondly, you can create content to market your company in an industry-related, B2B setting. And finally, you can boost your SEO results a little by customizing your keyword-heavy description.
Once you build up the company’s network, posting jobs and raising brand awareness become much easier. You can even go into full-on recruiter mode, but only once you’ve established a respectable company profile.
Luckily, your company page does not generally require as much time investment as a personal LinkedIn account. If you build it (and moderately advertise it), they will come.
With these 3 easy steps, you can get started setting up your company on LinkedIn. From there, you’ll have several options to expand your business potential using built-in analytics, job postings and plan upgrades.
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1. Creating Your Company Page
Unless you’re a sole proprietor, it’s usually best to create an entirely new account for the company rather than starting the process from a personal one. Once you do, you’ll be able to add authorized users who can have their own unique log-ins.
Start from the “Interest” section and click on “Companies.” In the upper right corner, you will see a link to “Add a Company.” You’ll create your log-in and confirm via e-mail, then you’ll be able to add content to your profile.
To set up a company on LinkedIn is pretty straightforward. Fill in the blanks for company name, location and website URL, and use the drop-down boxes to list your industry and other pertinent information. The real work comes in the big, blank box for “Company Description.”
The first few hundred characters of your company description will be displayed in searches both inside and outside of LinkedIn. This can be part of your SEO campaign, so make sure you know your keywords. The introduction of your description will also be part of the dropdown box that displays on employee profiles—more on this later. Make sure your key information is in the first sentence or two, but don’t be too brief in this section, as it’s your main place to really elaborate on what you do.
LinkedIn also has a Products & Services tab that is especially useful. For each product or service you add, you can include media (pictures and/or YouTube video), a description, and even a contact point and outside URL for those interested in more information. These entries can be selectively hidden to advertise only to those who meet certain criteria, e.g., the viewer’s industry, job title, company size, location, etc. This is a great B2B opportunity, so make generous use of it if it applies to your company.
Finally, you’ll want to round out your page with good visual interest. Make sure to upload high-resolution images of your logo as your profile picture. The top of your page should also feature a banner image.
2. Promoting Your Company Page
Typically, you want to start promoting your page within the company first. Get all of the employees to add the company to their personal profiles, which will automatically make them “followers” as well. The company name will show up on their profile as a link. When anybody who visits the employee’s page hovers over it, it will show a small box about your company, including the beginning of your company description, website link, size, industry and location. Effectively, you gain additional exposure through all of the employee pages.
From there, you may wish to reach out to vendors and clients and invite them to follow the company’s profile for news and updates.
Don’t be afraid to be bold and ask for recommendations. LinkedIn has now built in this feature through the Products & Services tab under “Request Recommendations.” These accolades serve as a review service for Business-to-Business relationships, showing other potential partners and employees, “This is a good business to work with.”
Your last step in promoting your page for free is to include a link or widget in e-mail signatures, website contact areas, newsletters, etc. You can also embed your Twitter feed and blog to your profile to cross-promote your social media.
From there, you’ll be looking at paying for “Follow Ads” that will ask for views and follows from relevant LinkedIn users.
3. Sharing Content
LinkedIn has a live feed just like most social media. The content you add will not only show up in the feeds of all of your followers, but it will be saved onto your profile page as well.
If you want to keep your brand fresh in people’s minds, you’ll want to post semi-frequently. Aim to once a week share articles, videos, and images with a brief, insightful comment. Asking questions is also a great way to encourage active involvement and sharing from your current followers.
Consider Sponsored Updates, too. These paid ads push your shared content to the top of the feed of anyone who fits certain criteria, whether they’re already following you or not.
Evaluating Your Profile’s Effectiveness
LinkedIn has a Company Page Analytics feature that will help you get feedback on your profile’s effectiveness.
Here you can find stats on the number of impressions, likes and comments you receive on all of your content updates, such as the articles and videos you share.
With the Follower Analytics tab, you can see a very interesting breakdown of the demographics of your followers, including their seniority, e.g., Entry Level, Manager, Owner, etc. Whether your followers found you organically or through internal ads will also be displayed. LinkedIn will even show you how many followers your closest competitors have as a way of benchmarking.
All of this information can be subjected to a date range, which allows for experimentation. You want to know if a new type of content is gaining you more followers. YouTube videos, for instance, are known to get up to 75% more shares, according to LinkedIn. You might also want to try mixing up your feed between industry relevant, general business, and even inspirational content. Play around and review your analytics to see what works best for your company.
Posting Job Openings
Now that you’ve set up your LinkedIn company page and built a robust network, you can begin posting job openings. The time you’ve spent creating and promoting your page begins to pay off here as you’ve expanded your pool of incoming résumés. (You may also want to include the profile URL in any outside job postings to direct applicants to more company information.)
LinkedIn now allows companies to target job posting ads to individual users who match your qualifications, even if they’re not currently looking for a job. You’ll be able to sort all qualified users and reach out personally to a limited number of them. You can also filter and share candidate profiles privately among other users of your company account.
The only catch here is cost. A 30-day job posting averages $195; if you purchase 10 post credits at a time, you’ll get discounted to $115 per job posting. These do not need to be posted all at once, but the final cost varies by geographic location. If you plan to post a lot of jobs or high seniority positions, you might want to consider the Recruiter Lite plan discussed below.
Your first 5 direct contacts, called “InMails,” to potential candidates will be free, but every contact after that will require a plan.
Upgrading Your LinkedIn Plan for Recruitment
LinkedIn offers two main business plans that provide enhanced features for a monthly fee. Once your set up your company on LinkedIn and are established and active, you can begin heavier recruitment.
Business Plus -$59/mo
This plan offers 15 InMails per month to contact potential employees, partners, clients, investors and more.
You’ll also expand your search abilities. With a basic, free account, your searches are limited to 2nd round connections, i.e., the connections of your direct connections. With Business Plus, you can see the profiles of 3rdround connections. Your filter ability will be increased, too. You’ll be able to sort profiles by years of experience, seniority, title, etc.
Business Plus will show you everyone who has viewed your company page in the past 90 days, where as basic accounts only show the last 5 viewers.
Because this plan is designed both for businesses and individual users, its features are a bit muddled compared to the Recruiter plans.
Recruiter Lite – $119.95/mo
The base level Recruiter plan includes the same search features of the Business Plus plan.
It also allots 30 InMails per month with enhanced messaging features. For example, you can send template messages as blind carbon copies to multiple profiles at once.
One very useful feature here is the privacy settings. On a basic account, others can see when you view their profiles. With the Recruiter plans, you can browse privately. There is also a streamlined process to evaluate and share candidate profiles.
If you need a more robust plan, LinkedIn offers Recruiter Plus, a type of account for large corporations that includes even more heavy-duty features. Downside is it runs about $8,500/year.
Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to get started and how far you can truly go with a LinkedIn company profile, it’s time to go set up!