LinkedIn matters. It has more than 400 million users, but that headline figure disguises a much more compelling number: one third of professionals around the world have an account on LinkedIn, 40% of users visit at least once a day, and around half of key decision-makers use LinkedIn for business purposes. It is far more than just a recruitment platform, although jobs are an important reason why people check in regularly. It is also about more than personal networking. Businesses are finding that company pages are an important tool, particularly in their thought leadership.
Setting up company pages
If you do not already have a company page on LinkedIn, it is probably about time that you set one up. The process is straightforward—all you need is a personal LinkedIn account and you can apply. Once you have your verification email, then you can add a logo, a cover image, and some text about your company, and your page is up and running. You can promote your page easily by adding links from emails, blogs and any other marketing. If you have any problems, you can use the FAQs to help you out. Simple.
Some of the thinking behind the page, however, needs to be a little more sophisticated. There are three main areas where you can get ahead by using your company LinkedIn page.
By publishing good, interesting content on a regular basis
Posting regular (preferably daily) updates on your company page is the best way to attract followers among your employees and customers, as well as others in your industry. Posts will appear on your company page, and also in your followers’ newsfeeds.
Your updates and posts do not all have to be original; thought leadership also includes sharing other people’s content, and curating collections of content and lists. It is all about making sure that what you post will be interesting and/or useful to your followers. This, in turn, means that you need to work with marketing and content colleagues. It is important to remember that engaging with your followers is important; when people comment on your posts, you need to reply.
By engaging with and linking to your employees
We have said it before: your employees are your best advocates. They are the ones that know your company and its products or services, and they are the ones who are best placed to comment on and engage with content on the company page. Encourage your employees and colleagues to follow the company page, and provide feedback on its content.
By using LinkedIn’s extended services such as sponsored content and careers pages
The final way in which you can get ahead with company pages is to use LinkedIn’s extended services. You may not want to pay to play, but sponsored content will allow you to promote particularly good updates or content to a wider audience. It is therefore worth considering as a way to broaden your reach. Careers pages are used to attract potential candidates to your business, so they are another way to promote your brand and reach a wider audience.
The most important element
Of these three, far and away the most important is your content. Your content—your thought leadership, effectively—is what will make your company page stand out from the others. Yes, encouraging your employees to follow means that employee advocacy is possible, but without good content to read, they will soon stop checking in.
It is possible to share a wide variety of content. Hootsuite, for example, shares content from its company blog that it believes will be particularly useful and entertaining to its followers. Recent posts have included information about a forthcoming webinar, tips about how to improve organic reach on social media, and a list of risky comebacks on social media that paid off. But the company’s CEO, Ryan Holmes, shares his own thought leadership articles on LinkedIn, giving Hootsuite extra reach and a slightly different audience.
There are, therefore, two main options for content: sharing posts from your company blog, and sharing other people’s content that you think will be of interest to your audience. These ‘other people’ may be inside or outside your company; it is probably good practice to share content from both to avoid looking arrogant.
A win-win situation
The bottom line is that your company LinkedIn page is another place to showcase your thought leadership, and your thought leadership will also make your company page stand out. It is very much a win-win situation.