Officially launched in 2003, LinkedIn has been around since before Facebook. And with now more than 774 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is one of the most widely used social media networks. While many may have created a LinkedIn profile for personal use or to help with an individual job search, LinkedIn can also be a great place for businesses to connect with followers, build a brand, and drive sales. If you’re looking for ways to improve digital marketing strategies for your company, consider creating a Page on LinkedIn.

Getting Started with LinkedIn

LinkedIn has always been a business-forward social media network, so it makes sense that it’s become a place where brands can flourish, and individuals can become thought leaders in their field. Known as the place to go for online networking, job hunting, and creating professional connections, companies with LinkedIn pages can use the professional social networking site to funnel traffic to their website and other external links as well as work to cultivate a community of followers and customers. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is a great source for discovering leads—277% higher than Facebook and Twitter. With stats like that, it’s time to capitalize on the resource and join the 55 million companies on LinkedIn.

Begin by creating a unique LinkedIn Page for your business. Adding in details like a customized public URL, up to three custom hashtags to help make your Page more searchable, a high-quality profile photo, and an eye-catching banner image will ensure your Page attracts interested eyeballs. Every business Page should include links to your blog and/or website. You can also add in other details like physical location if you have an office or a store, and a custom button (such as visit website, contact us, learn more, register, and sign up) to your Page as a call to action for current and potential followers.

Another way to reach more people is by adding search engine optimization (SEO) to your Page. This means that by including specific keywords in the headline, summary, and other places throughout your Page, it will pop up in any search for those certain keywords.

Finally, be sure to make your LinkedIn Page uniquely you and on-brand! You can add, remove, or rearrange sections to best represent you, your business, and your overall brand vision. Now, start sharing your Page with family members, employees, friends, and fans and invite them to follow you on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

As with digital marketing strategy for other social media platforms, when using LinkedIn for marketing, first think about goals. What exactly will you be using LinkedIn for? Do you want to find top-notch employees? Use the service just to drive traffic to your other platforms? Looking for a new niche market? Are you trying to connect with different groups of people? Are you planning on advertising on LinkedIn? Identifying your goals for using the platform and how it will fit best into your overall business strategy will help you utilize the best tools for your purposes.

Taking stock of your LinkedIn demographics offers a way to see the age, income, location, education, and more of your followers, and thus figure out ways to better connect with them. Knowing specifics can help determine your target audience, which can save time when it comes to strategy—you want to spend your efforts trying to reach those who want to connect with you, rather than casting a wide net and keeping your fingers crossed. Additionally, LinkedIn offers the unique Who Viewed Your Profile tool. Checking out who is checking you out provides valuable information about your brand, where to put future marketing efforts, and even where you stand when it comes to competitors.

LinkedIn Features to Help Your Business Succeed

Now that you’ve created a Page on LinkedIn, it’s time to utilize all the special features just for businesses. Whether you’ve started a Linkedin Page to recruit and hire employees, drive traffic to your website, gain more followers, engage with your community, and/or sell your product, there are ways on LinkedIn to foster all those kinds of connections.

LinkedIn Analytics

Tapping into LinkedIn Analytics can help business owners grow their brands. Analytics help shows what’s trending, the best hashtags, your target audience’s interests, and how to best market your business, product, or brand to the right people. If you want to branch out, there are plenty of other analytics tools designed to enhance your Page.

LinkedIn Jobs

LinkedIn Jobs is a free tool that businesses on the platform can use to recruit new talent. And with 31 million job seekers visiting LinkedIn Jobs each week, it’s a useful tool when you’re looking to fill a role. Because of LinkedIn’s demographic and analytic data, business owners can target relevant, high-level candidates. Within LinkedIn Jobs, you can review candidates’ profiles, share information with your team, and communicate using Messaging.

LinkedIn Recruiter

Another useful tool for companies looking for new employees is LinkedIn Recruiter. LinkedIn Recruiter is a platform that finds the right person for the job by using advanced search filters and recommends matches based on the people who are most open to hearing from you. LinkedIn Recruiter helps save time with your recruiting efforts using targeting information to ensure you’re matching with interested and qualified candidates. You can also prioritize candidates, reach out to them via InMail, and manage and track your potential candidates. However, all the perks come at a cost: LinkedIn Recruiter Lite costs $99.95 per month and LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate clocks in at $825 per month. It will be up to you to see if the cost is worth it for your business.

LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Want to share an important update to your company, a product rollout, or highlight a major accomplishment? You can do just that with LinkedIn Showcase Pages. Showcase Pages provide ways for more users to see and interact with your brand, even if they don’t follow your business on LinkedIn. Showcase Pages offer a unique chance to share and promote specific elements of your business or brand.

LinkedIn Open Profile

When it comes to online networking, being able to communicate with as many people as possible is paramount. Since LinkedIn Messaging only allows users to communicate with other LinkedIn members that they are connected to, Open Profile provides a way for Premium account holders to boost communication and contact any member for free, even if they’re not in your network. Open Profile also permits those who have opened their profiles to be available for messaging by any other LinkedIn member, regardless of membership type. Any LinkedIn member can see the full profiles of Premium members who have enabled Open Profile. (Hint: you’ll see a green box next to their name!) By opening your profile, you signal to others that you’re available for collaboration and invite conversation.

Export & Customize Connections

LinkedIn offers the chance to build your connections and drive traffic to your website, blog, or other social media outlets by listing that information on your Page. But how do you do that, if users aren’t migrating or connecting with those sources on their own? Export your LinkedIn connections. Use them for an email blast, to let folks know about a new launch, or to build your newsletter list. Regardless of the purpose, invoking imaginative ways to use your LinkedIn contacts is just another plus side of the platform.

Paid Advertising on LinkedIn

If you’re ready to leap from promoting organic content into paid advertising on LinkedIn, there are plenty of resources to help you connect with your target audience, build brand awareness, grow your followers, and/or sell your product. LinkedIn Ads can help you figure out the next steps.

LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Campaign Manager is LinkedIn’s advertising platform. To get started with advertising on the network, you’ll first create a free account and establish the objectives for your campaign. Next, LinkedIn’s prompts will guide you toward your target audience. Campaign Manager will help you determine who to market your campaign to based on demographics like interests, job title, industry, company name, and more.

Once you’ve decided who you’re marketing to, it’s time to choose what kind of advertising format you want to focus on. LinkedIn offers a variety of types of ads, including Text Ads (top banner and right-hand column ads), Message Ads (ads that appear in your target audience’s LinkedIn inbox), Sponsored Content (single image, carousel, or video ads in your followers’ LinkedIn newsfeeds), or Dynamic Ads (personalized ads that use demographic data to target specific users and include Follower ads, Spotlight ads, and Job ads).

After selecting the advertising format, you’ll set your budget and schedule. Remember those elements can change over time, so start with amounts and timing that works for your company’s current budget. With every box checked, you’re ready to launch your LinkedIn advertising campaign! ​​

LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content

Those already using LinkedIn Campaign Manager can take advantage of LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score & Trending Content tool. Advertised as “a recommendation engine that quantifies your impact by measuring your audience’s engagement with your content,” your Content Marketing Score can deliver valuable insights to help build your brand. It also provides the chance to peek at your competitors. Using this tool helps you discover what types of content your target audience is engaging with and provides details about tailoring your marketing efforts to ensure your content is getting in front of the people who want to see it.

Other LinkedIn Features to Boost Business

LinkedIn has so many features companies and business owners can tap into to enhance communication, boost engagement, drive sales, and connect with their followers. Taking advantage of all the special features available to those using LinkedIn for business is a smart and savvy choice.

Communication is Key: Starting Conversations on LinkedIn

Make sure people know what you’re up to by posting status updates from your Page. You can even target the specific LinkedIn users who will get those updates! In addition to posting status updates, consider using the @mention feature to call out followers or others in your industry and get conversations going.

Using the @mention feature furthers dialogue because of the individual call-out. A post or status update isn’t directed at anyone specific. By tagging another business or user you’re initiating an exchange. This dialogue can be seen by both their followers and yours. Bonus: anyone can chime in on that conversation—and isn’t that exchange what social media is all about? Another way to foster conversation and community on LinkedIn is by using Groups.

LinkedIn Groups

Linkedin Groups are places where professionals can engage with those who have similar interests, create a space for a niche within an industry, and even seek out mentorship. Creating a community online is what LinkedIn Groups is all about. Groups provide a place to find common ground, share successes, and ask for support and seek advice. Groups also offer a chance to send messages to other LinkedIn users to whom you aren’t connected. Making genuine connections can enhance business goals.

Connect LinkedIn with Other Platforms

Another way to boost interaction on your business Page is by connecting your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. This way, you can push your LinkedIn status updates directly to your Twitter feed. You may have different followers on the different platforms, and by sharing updates on both, you’re opening up more opportunities for conversations—and conversions.

You can also promote your Page by creating an email marketing campaign asking subscribers to find and follow you on LinkedIn and add a “Follow us on LinkedIn” button to your website, newsletter, or blog to make it easy for people to find your Page on LinkedIn.

Learn LinkedIn Marketing

Ready to make the most of LinkedIn for your business? Check out Noble Desktop’s social media marketing classes. You can take courses in-person at Noble’s location in NYC or attend live online social media marketing classes from anywhere in the world. With Noble’s LinkedIn Marketing class, you’ll learn how to craft a marketing strategy for LinkedIn, create dynamic content, and advertise on the platform. The course also covers prospecting with LinkedIn search as well as how to use LinkedIn analytics to your advantage. You can also find other social media marketing classes in your area using Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool.