Your firm can use the popular professional networking site LinkedIn for much more than your standard Facebook ‘like’ page. Facebook is casual and is viewable by all whom may be interested in your firm. LinkedIn provides a professional atmosphere online with many specific tools and resources to help your business and employees. Here are four tips to get you started: from creating your business’s home on LinkedIn, to making a more efficient online presence. If LinkedIn is completely new to you, allow me to suggest reading HowStuffWorks’s article “How LinkedIn Works.”
1) Create a ‘Company Page‘ here. [Before you can set up a Company Page, however, you must already have a personal profile. For more on this, see our own Sarah Thomas's Guide to Social Media Marketing for Urban Planners.] Fill out absolutely everything that LinkedIn asks for. If there’s missing information, people may begin to wonder about the professionalism, legitimacy, and quality of your business. If you don’t upload the logo (as many small firms surprisingly do!) you won’t stand out to potential clients and employees through simple Google or LinkedIn searches.
2) Create a ‘Group Page‘ here. I suggest this highly because it allows those who are current employees and clients to have a forum online. There are options for both public or ‘members-only’ forums: those who are not ‘connected’ to the group/company somehow will only be able to read and comment on these discussion boards. Be as thorough as possible in all descriptions both for the Group and Company pages, and be sure to check the box to connect your page’s updates with Twitter!
3) Use as many of LinkedIn’s free tools and resources as possible! If your firm uses Microsoft Outlook regularly, you may find plugging your LinkedIn into your Outlook application a good use of the online resource. This is a great option for particularly small businesses without dedicated marketing or social media marketing personnel. I’m a fan of this as well because you don’t need the newest version to use the tool: just Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010 is required.
4) Make connections! If your business doesn’t have employees, clients, or professional associates connected, you won’t show up on search engines nearly as much as your competitors!
If something feels like it’s missing from your firm’s LinkedIn presence, feel free to use our own as a helpful example.
Best of luck in cyberspace’s proverbial career fair!