woman going over marketing plans with tablet
LinkedIn is a social platform that offers valuable marketing benefits, but many small business owners don't think to tap into right away. — Getty Images/Cecilie_Arcurs

LinkedIn, the social platform dubbed the “social network for professionals,” has grown from being a place where job seekers post resumés to a valuable marketing channel for business owners and professionals.

It also features one of the most active user bases of any social media platform, with up to 40% of users visiting the platform on a daily basis. With that many potential impressions, it would be a mistake for small business owners not to participate. Here are a few easy ways to master LinkedIn marketing.

Fill out your business page

First and foremost, make sure your business is represented on this platform. According to LinkedIn’s own guidelines, “companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views.”

Take the time to fill out all required information, from your contact details to a keyword-optimized description of your company. Make sure the branding — i.e., logo, banner and profile image — are all consistent with your other social media channels. The “About Us” section should give a straightforward description of your company in less than 2,000 characters.

[For more on social media marketing, see: Marketing Your Business Using Social Media.]

Build and promote your expertise

Unlike other channels, LinkedIn is not the place to directly sell to a customer. Instead, consider LinkedIn’s role as being akin to influencer marketing.

The goal of being active on this platform is to establish expertise and build trust with your potential customer base. LinkedIn recommends posting from your company page at least once per weekday. This can be in the form of relevant news report from your industry, a blog post from your website or simply sharing content from other thought leaders to build your own reputation. Some experts recommend varying the type of content to get more views, so consider posting images, infographics and video along with text updates.

The goal of being active on this platform is to establish expertise and build trust with your potential customer base.

Make use of hashtags

Twitter isn’t the only platform where hashtags can add value to your marketing strategy. Officially added in 2018, LinkedIn’s hashtags make it easier for users to discover your content. And, because hashtags are still a relatively new tool, LinkedIn’s algorithm favors posts that make use of hashtags wisely.

Hashtags will help you find thought leaders in your industry, connect with potential followers and make it easy for others to follow you. They’re also a good way to keep up with current events, follow industry trends and join trending conversations to stay relevant. To get started, check out Hootsuite’s a complete guide to adding LinkedIn hashtags to your posting strategy.

Participate in LinkedIn groups

One of the potential pitfalls of LinkedIn is that exposure to your page is initially geared toward those in your immediate network — coworkers, former classmates, family and friends — because of how the platform is designed.

Joining LinkedIn groups, however, can help you reach a wider network of professionals and potential customers in your field. LinkedIn’s Groups discover tool helps you find active groups based around a topic, or use the search feature to find associations and professional organizations. Once in the group, make sure to join in the conversation authentically. Don’t self-promote without first building connections with others active on the platform.

Invest in a paid marketing strategy

LinkedIn is one of those rare social media platforms where paying for ads can actually lead to a conversion. In 2017, LinkedIn launched a tool called “Matched Audiences.” This is a powerful way to perform advanced targeting with your paid ads. Through either account targeting, contact list targeting or retargeting your website visitors, you can be very intentional about who is seeing your paid ads.

Likewise, LinkedIn shows you precisely how people respond to your ads, and you will only pay if they work. For small businesses looking to maximize their marketing budget, LinkedIn’s paid tools offer strong return on investment.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best social media management tools, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published May 29, 2019