Seeing and being seen – it is hard to imagine a business without social media. Facebook and Instagram have long been essential tools in B2C communication. In the B2B area, Twitter was in the lead for a long time. But the rise of networks like LinkedIn has added another critical element to the corporate communications repertoire. In this article, you can find out why it is no longer possible without it and what you need to know for a successful performance.
Why Is LinkedIn Relevant For Companies?
In times of the repeatedly invoked and noticeable shortage of skilled workers in some industries, it is up to companies to go where qualified workers can be found. For young, well-trained workers, these are primarily social media and the Internet. Through career networks, these young professionals can be approached in a less formal and at the same time professional environment.
The career and networking network LinkedIn, which has been part of Microsoft since 2016, is one of the most critical career platforms in the world. In the DACH region, XING is currently a little more relevant, with around 19 million users. However, LinkedIn is catching up and, with its 15 million users, is well on the way to overtaking, if not overtaking, its German counterpart. With many exciting features such as stories and live streams, LinkedIn differentiates itself from the competition.
The networking of companies with one another is also simplified, be it between existing or potential business partners, among competitors, or with customers in the B2B area. It is essential, especially for internationally operating companies, to be present on LinkedIn to be noticed (and to see what others are up to).
In a nutshell, companies should be present on LinkedIn to
- To operate employer branding & to draw the attention of relevant specialists to yourself
- To discover exciting business partners & freelancers & to network with them
- to connect with business partners & maintain existing relationships
- highlight your expert status
- to win over new (B2B) customers
- To keep an eye on the competition in a neutral environment
Before creating your company profile on LinkedIn, it is essential to think about the why and your own goals. The following questions can help:
- What do I want to achieve with my LinkedIn presence?
- What are my goals?
- How can LinkedIn help me accomplish this?
- Who do I want to address with the LinkedIn presence? (future and current employees, customers, business partners)
With the answers to these questions, an essential strategy for dealing with LinkedIn should emerge.
With the considerations in mind, a LinkedIn company page can then be created. LinkedIn offers various membership models for this. The basic version is free but has only a few functions. However, depending on needs and goals, different premium models allow access to more tools and data. As a decision-making aid, LinkedIn offers an overview of all available models.
The process for creating a company profile is explained step by step on the help page of the network.
All critical information about the company must be entered if the profile exists, and appropriately branded and meaningful graphics must be entered. It is then advisable to notify the company’s employees and invite them to follow its website. This will give you the first followers who can interact with the site and your upcoming posts. This, in turn, leads to a first attention push, which is positively received by the LinkedIn algorithm.
Having a company page on LinkedIn is one thing. But more is needed to be successful on the platform. The information and content of your profile should be checked and updated regularly. After all, it does not go down well if applicants or interested parties cannot reach the company due to outdated contact data.
In addition, LinkedIn is a social network, and, like all social networks, it thrives on interaction, which is why it is rewarded with a greater reach. It is therefore essential to like the contributions of your contacts and to comment on them. The sharing of contributions from your employees is also helpful for suitable topics to fill your feed with high-quality content, to stimulate interaction, and, in the best case, to strengthen the employee’s loyalty to the company.
In addition, the regular sharing of relevant content (for the target group) is an essential factor for more attention. The use of an editorial plan is recommended for this. We have already explained what this can look like in this blog post on creating a content calendar.
The most critical points are, in addition to the actual content, the posting times and the posting frequency. If you know your target group, posting times should be easy because these are the days and time windows on which the target group can best be reached with the content. In addition, it must be planned how often or at what intervals content can be played out. For example, it isn’t easy to plan five days a week in the editorial plan if you only have a range for three days a week. The editorial program should be tailored to the target group and sustainably implementable to exploit its full potential.
Here is a tip from practice: It can make sense to use synergy effects with other networks or directly develop a holistic (i.e., cross-network) social media strategy. The content should be adapted to LinkedIn and its requirements (e.g., graphics), similar to Facebook.
Even if it seems tempting, automation software for LinkedIn should only be used sparingly or, in the best case, not at all. This external software makes it possible to plan posts on various platforms. However, they only have limited functionality. Video contributions cannot be published via it, and it is also not possible to tag people. In addition, the use of these tools is not welcomed by the networks and especially by LinkedIn, which is why these preplanned posts are often punished with a lower reach.
Take Your LinkedIn Presence To The Next Level
Those who adhere to the points mentioned above and can develop and implement a regular content routine are already further on LinkedIn than many companies. But there are also a few more ways to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level.
To stand out from the prevailing text desert in the users’ feed, it is good to enrich your posts with multimedia content. These can be meaningful graphics, funny GIFs, or short videos. As on almost all social media platforms, moving images are always an exciting option. Whether and how well your target group receives this should be tried out.
This also applies to the supreme discipline of content on LinkedIn: live streams. LinkedIn has enabled companies to interact with their contacts in real-time through live videos since 2019. These live streams are highlighted by LinkedIn so that a higher reach is guaranteed. The network itself explains the function used on LinkedIn on its help page on live streams. To retain viewers, however, the content of the live stream (as with all content on the channel) should offer added value.
Regardless of the content, increasing your expert status is a way of improving your own LinkedIn presence. There are two ways companies should look into this:
- In the last third of your profile, there is a section where visitors can verify the company’s capabilities.
- A “badge” for a specific subject can be earned by completing a 15-minute test. This then certifies the respective skill in the profile.
In the corporate world, LinkedIn has become indispensable as a networking and employer branding tool. Therefore, every company should at least have the network on their radar. But being there is not everything. To exploit the full potential of LinkedIn, careful considerations and a suitable strategy are required.
If you also want to become an expert, you should look at the possibilities of validation and multimedia content ideas. Then nothing stands in the way of a successful company appearance on LinkedIn.