LinkedIn for Business – Essential Guide

LinkedIn is more than just a place to boast about breakthroughs in your career – it’s a powerful tool for promoting your company. Here’s how to excel at it.

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LinkedIn is the world’s most popular professional networking tool. Whether you want to follow the stellar career trajectory of someone you admire or get stuck into conversations shaping your industry, it’s a fantastic platform to get professional exposure. Most importantly, LinkedIn is also a social and advertising hub that can get your business noticed.

There are currently about 38.1 million LinkedIn users in the UK, according to Statistica. The best part is that lots of these people are looking for active connections and business opportunities, making it easier to land high quality leads and conversions.

The tricky part? Actually getting noticed, and standing out from the crowd of businesses and individuals who are also out to get more investors and customers.

To help tread the LinkedIn business field with expertise, we’ve pieced together this comprehensive guide. From understanding LinkedIn ads to best practices to apply when promoting your thought leadership, by the end you should feel eager to jump on LinkedIn to make the most out of your business account.

Why is LinkedIn a good platform for businesses and founders?

LinkedIn is the ideal platform for businesses who want to network their way into more professional connections, leads, and a stronger online presence. If done properly, LinkedIn can be the golden path towards bolstering your personal and business credibility in a number of ways.

Firstly, LinkedIn serves as a dynamic platform for self-promotion. Founders and business leaders can leverage the platform to showcase their expertise, experiences, and accomplishments. Whether that’s a LinkedIn blogpost or a business update, SMEs can easily position themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries, gaining authority and demonstrating innovation.

Looking to overcome your staff shortages, but want to guarantee you’re hiring the best talent for the position? LinkedIn can also help on that front.

From advertising job ads for prospective employees to headhunting for the best employees on the market, companies can find the right fit for their vacancies.

In addition to shameless self-promotion and recruitment, LinkedIn can help expand your business’s network through LinkedIn Groups. By joining communities of like-minded professionals or other people deeply immersed in your industry, you can get a feel of the trends rocking your field and find potential partners.

How to set up a LinkedIn business profile

To set up a company LinkedIn page, you must have a personal LinkedIn page already set up. Here are the steps you need to follow to supercharge your business networking:

  1. Add your company: click the grid-like Work icon on the top left of your LinkedIn page and select Create a Company page at the bottom of the option. Pick the option that best describes your business (most likely small business, fewer than 200 employees)
  2. Enter your company details: include info about your industry, company size, and company type
  3. Add a logo and create a company description.
  4. Create a company description: 200 characters for your company description. The first 156 are key are they are the ones that appear in the Google preview of your page
  5. Publish! – you can see what your LinkedIn business page looks like by clicking on the ‘view as member’ button at the top right of the page

How to use LinkedIn to connect with investors and partners

LinkedIn is a career-driven social media platform, and that makes it an environment ripe for investors who are looking for their next project.

In fact, 73% of investors resort to LinkedIn to make a final decision about whether they want to get involved with a business. So, you definitely want to make sure you’re leading with the right foot. Here are a couple of best practices to follow so you can soon be announcing your next successful funding round:

  1. Create a standout profile: a compelling LinkedIn profile goes a long way. A well-structured and informative profile can increase your chances of being accepted by investors when you send requests. Clearly vocalise what your company’s mission and achievements are to add that extra dose of investor persuasion.
  2. Connect thoughtfully: don’t just go on a connecting spree – you need to select investors that reflect your company’s ethos and who are likely to share your vision for the company’s trajectory. If possible, seek out mutual connections. If you don’t have a mutual connection, join relevant LinkedIn groups related to your industry or niche. Engaging in these groups can give you more visibility with potential connections.
  3. Research and personalise: familiarise yourself with the investor’s profile and posts to gain insights into their portfolio, investment approach, and preferences. This will help you craft personalised connection requests and conversations that will resonate with their interests.
  4. Keep them informed: regularly share updates about your business, milestones and achievements. Keeping potential investors in the loop demonstrates transparency and can help build a stronger foundation of trust.
  5. Nurture relationships: building relationships takes time. Continue engaging with your connections by sharing relevant content, offering insights, and showing genuine interest in their work. Remember that investors can become a key part of your business’s lifeblood, so it’s crucial to ensure they’re kept updated.

How to drive engagement on LinkedIn

You can post piles of content on LinkedIn, but just because you’re putting yourself out there in the professional web doesn’t mean you’ll automatically find more customers, leads, and grow your business recognition.

Instead, you need to drive your content strategy with bolstering engagement as a goal. Here are a couple of practices you can implement to drive higher engagement on LinkedIn.

  1. Utilise page analytics: leverage LinkedIn’s Page Analytics to identify issues and monitor the performance of your page, including updates, visitors, and follower growth. If you’re running LinkedIn ads, you can also use Analytics to measure Click-Through-Rate (CTR), reactions, comments, shares and follows. Understanding this can help give you data-driven insights to sharpen your LinkedIn strategy.
  2. Optimise content for engagement: think about the last time you were on LinkedIn and what posts you actually stopped to look at. Was it the use of pictures, tags, or well written content that made you want to read more? As you improve your content for engagement, think about what will resonate with your target audience, encourage interaction, and deliver value. Experiment with different content formats, headlines, and visuals to capture attention.
  3. Activate employees as advocates: call in the troops! No one knows your business better than you or your employees, which means they also are the best ones for hyping it up on LinkedIn. Statistics show that 30% of engagement originates from employees who are 14 times more likely to share company content. Leverage their networks to expand your reach and amplify your messaging.
  4. Visual appeal: a picture is worth a thousand words, both in an art gallery and on LinkedIn. Take advantage of the carousel format to share as much content as possible and to make your posts visually engaging. Statistics show that posts with images tend to receive twice as many comments as those without.
  5. Consistent publishing: regularly share valuable and relevant content to keep your audience engaged. Consistency is key to building a dedicated following and maintaining interest. You can use an editorial calendar to plan and schedule your posts to ensure a steady stream of content.
LinkedIn Thought Leadership

Through thoughtful LinkedIn posts, you can also work to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

To embark on this journey, start by identifying your niche and addressing timely industry trends, customer pain points, and explaining how your company’s growth priorities align with it all. You can even choose to approach these issues from unconventional angles to really catch people’s attention.

As you’re building your thought leadership, it’s crucial that you polish your LinkedIn profile. Link to evidence that showcases your expertise, like authored articles or whitepapers. You can also hype other thought leaders up or at least engage in conversations so that you can become part of a community of professionals who want to shape the direction of the industry.

Finally, inject your posts with a healthy dose of enthusiasm (but avoid overdoing it with the exclamation points). This conviction can build trust and authority amongst your target audience and get you noticed.

How to use LinkedIn analytics

LinkedIn analytics is a must-use tool to help you tantalise how your LinkedIn Business page is performing.

Using it is pretty straightforward: go to your company page and click on the ‘Analytics’ tab. From here, you can access a drop-down menu which allows you to view analytics for visitors, updates, followers, competitors, leads and employee advocacy.

In Analytics you can also get a quick snapshot of the last 30 days of activity, allowing you to adapt your LinkedIn strategy on the short term.

Unsure what each part tells you about your performance? Here are a couple of quick pointers:

  • Visitor analysis → this tells you how many people are looking at your page, and most importantly, how they’re interacting with it. As you tailor your content, you’ll gradually pick up on what catches new visitors’ attention to improve your engagement rate.
  • Competitor analysis → this tool compares page followers and engagement with your closer competitors. This makes it easier to know which pages to look at to understand what competitors are doing well that you could do better.
  • Employee advocacy analytics → want to get your employees more engaged with your LinkedIn profile? This insight lets you review how actively your employees are interacting with your page.

We recommend you track these points as well as other LinkedIn analytics every week to understand how you’re performing and to get an idea of what data-driven improvements you can implement.

Top tip: you can create reports for updates, followers, visitors, competitors, lead generation and employee advocacy for better visibility.

How to use LinkedIn ads to reach a wider audience

When you’re approaching your LinkedIn strategy, even if you’re a seasoned veteran in digital marketing, you need to keep in mind that LinkedIn is very different from other social media platforms. After all, you’re marketing to someone’s professional, suited-up version rather than their personal and casual side.

To do this, you have a generous menu of LinkedIn ad formats. You have a choice of four: sponsored content, sponsored messaging, lead gen forms, or text and dynamic ads. Here’s what each one does:

  1. Sponsored content: through single image, video, carousel, event, document or thought leader ads you can reach a highly engaged audience in the LinkedIn news feed.
  2. Sponsored messaging: you can reach out directly to professionals on LinkedIn messaging through conversation and message ads.
  3. Lead Gen forms: with this ad, you can collect more quality leads from your ads on LinkedIn with pre-filled forms.
  4. Text and dynamic ads: with text, spotlight, and follower ads you can showcase your products, services and events, as well as increase traffic to your landing page. These ads are run on the LinkedIn right rail.

To make sure your ads are landing upright, there are a couple of best practices to follow:

  • Be strategic with your location → this is one of the mandatory fields LinkedIn asks you for when kickstarting your ads campaign. Before you commit to a LinkedIn ad, make sure you know specifically what city or area you’re targeting to boost your chances of success.
  • Avoid hyper-targeting → although you do want to have a clear idea of your target audience, don’t limit it to the point where you have a really small pool of people. A good rule of thumb is to keep a target audience of over 50,000 for sponsored content, and text ads and over 15,000 for message ads.
  • Monitor your campaign closely → once your ads are live and have accumulated enough data, you can click the demographics tab in the ads campaign manager to see how well your ads are performing. You’ll see detailed information about the professionals who clicked and converted on your ads.

Lead generation on LinkedIn

Statistics reveal that audiences exposed to brand messages on LinkedIn are six times more likely to convert. If done right, LinkedIn can be a goldmine for high quality leads for B2B businesses. In fact, over 90% of marketers use LinkedIn for their B2B marketing and advertisers see a 2-5x higher return on investment with LinkedIn Ads.

Beyond having a seamless form that takes seconds to fill in, you want to ensure your executives have a strong presence on LinkedIn and that your LinkedIn business page is polished. This will give you an extra dose of authority and credibility that will drive customers closer to the bottom of the funnel.

You’ll also want to be active in LinkedIn spaces where your potential customers interact. This could be a LinkedIn group expressly dedicated to your industry’s updates, or one for investment groups. If they already identify who you are, it’ll make it easier for your ads and content to reach them and have the impact you need.

Although the costs aren’t very transparent, you can expect to be paying roughly £4.29 per click per ad, £5.38 per 1000 impressions, and £0.65 per send. This makes LinkedIn advertising more expensive than other social media platforms, but keep in mind users on LinkedIn usually display higher user intent which makes it easier for them to convert.

How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

If you want to accelerate your sales, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can smooth your sales funnel to make it easier for leads to slide all the way down to conversion. It provides access to a vast network of potential leads and insights, as well as tools to help you target, engage and close more deals.

To make the most out of it, here’s a couple of steps to take:

  1. Use LeadBuilder to target relevant leads with greater accuracy: this powerful search tool makes it easier for you to filter leads by company, job title, industry, company size, geography, and more. All you have to do is click the LeadBuilder button next to the search bar. Then, select the filters you want to use to narrow down your search results.
  2. Save all relevant prospects in the search results to build your list: this lets you swiftly keep track of and manage your leads. You’ll receive updates on their activity to help you identify opportunities to swoop in with a subtle sales pitch. To save a lead to a list, simply click the checkbox next to their name.
  3. Document your findings in an account map: an account map is a visual representation of your sales pipeline. To create one, you can use tools like Lucidchart or Visio. Simply add your leads and accounts to the map, and then connect them with lines to show how they are related.
  4. Use TeamLink Connections to identify warmer leads: this lets you see which of your connections are also connected to your leads. You can use this information when you first reach out so you don’t come across as a complete stranger. To use this feature, go to the Leads tab and click the TeamLink Connections filter. This will show you a list of leads who are connected to your first or second degree connections.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator pricing

You can choose from three different plans when you’re taking out a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription. Here’s a breakdown of what you get with each

  • Core – £69.99 per month – You’ll have access to advanced lead and company search, alerts on your saved leads and accounts, and create custom lists.
  • Advanced – £114 per month – you’ll get access to all the Core benefits, and also you’ll be able to share content and track engagement and ask for warm introductions from teammates.
  • Advanced Plus – contact sales – besides all the Core and Advanced features, you can also get CRM updates with data validation, integration of CRM contacts, and advanced enterprise integrations.

LinkedIn for business best practices

1. Create a strong profile: your profile is your first impression on LinkedIn, so make sure it’s polished and professional. Use a clear and concise headline, write a compelling summary that highlights your skills and experience, and include relevant keywords.

2. Build your network: The more connections you have, the more likely you are to be seen by potential employers, clients, and partners. Connect with people you know and admire, and join relevant groups and communities.

3. Share valuable content: Post articles, blog posts, and other thought leadership content that is relevant to your industry and audience. This will help you to establish yourself as an expert and attract new followers.

4. Engage with your audience: Comment on other people’s posts, share their content, and start conversations. The more engaged you are, the more visible you will be in the LinkedIn feed.

5. Track your results: Use LinkedIn analytics to track your progress and see what’s working and what’s not. This data will help you to refine your strategy and improve your results over time.

Bonus tip: Be yourself! People can spot a fake from a mile away, so be genuine and authentic in your interactions on LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is LinkedIn a good platform for my business?
    Absolutely! Under the same roof, you can end up with new clients, raise awareness about your business, and discover brand new partners.
  • How much does it cost to use LinkedIn for business?
    Depending on the subscription you take out, LinkedIn can cost as little as £55 per month (LinkedIn Premium). However, creating your company page is completely free.
  • How often should I post on LinkedIn?
    You should aim to post about two to five times per week. This will help keep your account active without overwhelming your followers and connections.
Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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