LinkedIn has been around for over 10 years and boasts a reputation for having over 530 million users in 200 countries, with 66% of members living in the United States.

But where does a business factor into these statistics?

We’ve been told over and over again that LinkedIn is a site where professionals can connect and network about everything from job hunting to looking for a remodeling contractor, but how does an individual with a business leverage a good marketing strategy using LinkedIn?

When it comes to LinkedIn Strategy there are a few things that business owners should know when marketing their company pages.

1. SEO rich description data is your best friend.

Does your LinkedIn company page accurately and thoroughly explain what your company offers? It should. Ideally, you will have a primary group of services or audience targets and then one or two subsets groups that are important but may not fit under the major bucket.  Use your online marketing plan and your keyword groups to craft a thoughtful, informative description of who you are and what you do for potential clients on your company page. Avoid keyword stuffing in your descriptions; try using secondary keyword sets as well. These will still be relevant, and it will keep your LinkedIn page from becoming repetitive.

With service and product pages going away (see more below) it is even more important to pay attention when you create a company page and make sure to take full advantage of the 2,000 character description. Use the Specialties field to ensure you address all aspects of your business that a potential customer or client may be interested in.  Fill out all fields when you’re setting up the page for full SEO optimization.

Company updates are another great opportunity for communicating your brand and reaching your target audiences. Think strategically when crafting a headline. Is it relevant, timely, and of interest to your target audience?  You don’t want to force keyword placement, but you do want to craft a headline that grabs a potential customer at first glance. A headline that inspires them to read the actual update and recommend and share it is always the goal.

The more information you provide on LinkedIn about your company, the higher the opportunity for the site to be a valuable business generation tool for you. Your exposure depends on the amount of relevant content and followers you have, so give those followers something interesting to look at in their newsfeed.

2. Showcase pages are a friendly new helper.

In March LinkedIn announced they would be discontinuing the use of service and product pages as of April 14. This major change makes showcase pages even more valuable to companies looking to promote themselves to their different audiences.  Read the full announcement here.

Once you have your company page filled out completely (including a rich description, address, years in business, logo, etc.), it’s time to get a little more specific.  Showcase pages, a relatively new feature, allow users to highlight aspects of their business. They generally work best for a brand within your company, a business unit (marketing dept.), a campaign or an initiative. A good example is Cisco. Essentially Cisco sells networking software and solutions, however, that’s not all it does. One of their showcase pages on LinkedIn is called Business Insights. Followers can participate in discussions about cloud computing, network security, mobile workplace initiatives, etc. and help improve their business practices even if they don’t use Cisco software. For smaller companies showcase pages can also be extremely helpful. Say you’re a local company expanding your services nationally. A showcase page would be a great way to target followers outside of your local area and update them with news, tips, and participate in discussions about how expanding your services has affected your company as a whole.

Remember to include well-written, SEO rich content on showcase pages as well. This includes headlines for any company updates you make to the page. Used wisely showcase pages can encourage more followers and extend your reach on LinkedIn.

3. Get creative with promoting your page.

LinkedIn is not Facebook. Companies cannot follow other companies…yet. While I strongly feel that this change is coming, as it stands right now, you can’t leverage partnerships and client companies by connecting your corporate pages.

As an individual with a LinkedIn profile you can invite others to follow your page, but your company page is not technically a LinkedIn profile page; so it cannot request followers. Don’t fret.  There are still ways to get your LinkedIn company page some attention. Some of our favorite examples are:

  • You know that company newsletter you put so much time into? Why not use it as a platform to announce your new LinkedIn page?
  • Since you have a list of email addresses for said newsletter, why not contact people directly through your personal LinkedIn profile.
  • Use your other social media channels.  Don’t be afraid to promote your page a little bit. Certainly this shouldn’t be your main focus on say Facebook or Twitter, but a little self-promotion never hurt anyone.

A final tip that is not earth shattering news: be patient!

One of the hardest parts of cultivating your social media audience is investing the time without immediate return on investment.  Remember that for most, the primary purpose in trying to build up your business’ social media profiles, especially on sites like LinkedIn, is to establish your brand authority.

Be diligent.  Update LinkedIn 3-4 times a week and play around with topics, content and other strategies. If you’re putting in the time and not seeing results you want, then shake things up until you start to see the benefits (traffic, leads, phone calls, recognition) from your work.

For more information, visit LinkedIn’s help center: