The other day I did a LinkedIn training session for a client’s sales team. The purpose was to show them how to use LinkedIn as an effective networking and prospecting tool. Of course I covered the basics of how to make sure your LinkedIn personal profile is at 100%. How to make connections. How to choose groups. Applications that can be added, and all the other basics of what makes a good personal profile.
But, when I showed them the company profile feature they were astounded…including the President of the company. What they didn’t realize was not only does LinkedIn have over 100 million profiles of business people, but there are also company profiles. They didn’t know that your LinkedIn company page gets listed in Google’s and LinkedIn’s search engines, allowing you to follow targeted company updates, gives you a place to promote your own company’s services and products, and even gives you reports on your page analytics.
In addition to the prospecting benefits of being able to find out about other companies, if you have a business you need to take advantage of what amounts to free web ‘real estate’ on LinkedIn for your company, along with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits. So I thought it would be a good idea to let you know how you can take advantage of this feature on LinkedIn.
Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
One very important point you need to know before you start to set up your own page: You need to have an email address with your company domain; and, this email address must also be listed on your personal profile. Addresses tied to free email services like Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail don’t count.
Once you are logged in to LinkedIn, click on “Companies” in the navigation bar near the top of the home page.
On the Companies page, click the “Add a Company” link in the upper right.
Here’s a brief tutorial of what the “Companies” portion of LinkedIn is all about.
Just as you can connect with individuals, LinkedIn also allows you to follow company updates. When you first go to the Companies page, you will find updates for all of the companies you have chosen to follow. This is also a good place to search for new clients and connections. You can choose to follow any company you find that may interest you. There is a button to click in the upper right corner of each search result.
Grab Your LinkedIn Company Listing
Since you know your own business well you already have everything it takes to set up your company profile in 30 minutes or less. You’ll get the most out of your listing if you take full advantage of everything you are allowed. In addition to the company overview page, you’ll see tabs for career, products and services, and analytics. Fill out the products and services as completely as possible, and remember you can add graphics for each of your products and services.
A couple of things you need to know about the different areas.
Make sure the company name listing matches the name you use in your profile. For example if you use LLC or Inc. on your personal profile, your company site must be the same.
LinkedIn wants to know who will administer your company profile. You have two choices: either all employees with a valid email address registered to your domain or designated users only.
Logos can be uploaded as a standard logo as well as a square logo that will be used for network updates.
Include keywords that describe what you do in this section. You have 256 total characters to describe specialties.
Twitter and Company Blog
Listing your twitter updates and blog feed keeps your company page active, relevant and current.
Company Type, Size, and URL
Under company type and company size, you’ll select from the options that describe your status. Your company website URL link can go to your home page or to a services or gallery page.
The last step is locations. You can add up to five different location addresses, then click publish and your LinkedIn company profile is active.
Products and Services
This tab gives you the opportunity to promote who you are and what you do in the course of 11 steps. Only the product/service option, category, name and description are required.
While you don’t have to complete every step, you have an opportunity to promote your business and really stand out. The best part is you don’t have to pay someone to design it or write it, unless you want to.
A complete personal profile and a complete company profile will help you to find prospects; and, it will help prospects to find you and learn what you want them to know about what a great company you have.
When I had finished the presentation, the President looked at his team and said, “This is a no-brainer!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.