With more than 259 million members worldwide, LinkedIn can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, especially those in the B2B industry. But just having a corporate presence on the popular business networking site -- i.e., a LinkedIn Company page -- is not enough. If you want to attract attention and traffic to your products and services, you need to optimize your LinkedIn Company page.
So how do you create a buzz-worthy LinkedIn Company page? Dozens of LinkedIn experts share their top 11 tips.
1. Customize your URL. "LinkedIn gives every user a default URL with a numeric code that does not have any significance," says Justin Fishaw, direct of Content Marketing & Social, DigitalSherpa.com, a content and social media services provider. To customize your LinkedIn Company page URL, "go into your LinkedIn settings and click on 'Public Profile.'" Just remember to "keep this URL simple and use your company name if it's available."
2. Have a good banner image. "Your cover photo is the first thing visitors see," explains Mike Volpe, CMO, HubSpot, a marketing Software-as-a-Service company. "As a result, it's important to have a cover photo that represents your brand," he says.
"Design a professional business page header," suggests Michelle Campbell, an account coordinator at Potratz, a digital advertising agency. "Instead of a stock image or a poorly-cropped photo of your team, have your creative department craft an image that showcases your company's personality and goals. Something as simple as a high-quality header graphic establishes your credibility as a link-worthy company."
3. Add relevant keywords. "Include a number of relevant keywords in the description of your company to increase your chances of ranking high in relevant LinkedIn [and Google] searches," advises Fishaw.
4. Post engaging content -- and update your page regularly. "LinkedIn is a social channel, so be social," says Jason Robbins, CEO of ePromos Promotional Products. "Share blog posts, press releases, company updates and other relevant news. But do a gut check before posting a link or update," he advises, to make sure what you are posting is not entirely self-serving.
"Post interesting, relevant, helpful information," suggests Wayne Breitbarth, the author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-Start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search. "Keep your followers up to date not only about your company but your industry in general."
And be sure to "update your page regularly," adds Scot Sessions, director of Marketing, HireVue, a digital recruiting provider. Taking "just a few minutes each day [to post fresh content] can help make your page engaging and resourceful."
5. Include products and services. "On your Products & Services page, highlight your current lineup of products and services, but also share articles, whitepapers, eBooks, etc.," says Breitbarth.
"Each Products & Services page can also include a link to your website, recommendations from satisfied customers and a designated company representative to contact for further information and video," Breitbarth says. "These features make it easy to encourage readers to engage with your company."
"The Products tab of a LinkedIn Company page is valuable real estate for lead generation," adds Volpe. Therefore you should "make the most of this space by creating a call to action that is visual, leveraging a high-resolution photo with a small file size to minimize load time but maximize impact," he says. "The Products tab can and should drive people to directly request a demo or contact a sales rep or learn more about your offering, and leveraging visual content can help significantly."
6. Request product and service recommendations."Just as you can request for happy customers to leave reviews of your business on sites like Yelp or Google Places, ask for product and service recommendations on your company profile," says Tiffany Monhollon, senior content manager for ReachLocal. "Simply provide a link to your company profile, or ask customers to search for your business on LinkedIn."
7. Create a careers tab. "Many people use the site for job searching," notes Monhollon. So consider using "the Careers tab of your company profile to share with potential candidates and recruits a little about what it's like to work for your business."
8. Request employee recommendations. "One of the best methods for generating relevant profile traffic and generally setting your business apart from the pack is to garner recommendations from both current and past employees," states Fishaw.
9. Sync your Twitter and blog posts. "Add a stream of your company's latest tweets and blog posts to [you Linkedin Company page] to keep your page fresh and engaging," suggests Monhollon.
10. Participate in LinkedIn Groups. "Half of the battle is leading LinkedIn users to your Company page," notes Erin Cushing, social media manager, inSegment, a digital marketing and advertising firm. "By finding, joining and participating in industry-relevant groups on LinkedIn, you not only increase your visibility on the platform, but contribute real value and thought leadership to colleagues and potential customers."
11. Always be measuring. "Each LinkedIn Company update features engagement metrics below the update for the administrator," notes Volpe. "You should be checking out the types of posts that generate engagement, from impressions to clicks to shares, and tailoring your approach to what works for your audience."
Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a contributor to CIO.com and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping organizations better interact with their customers, employees, and partners.
Read more about social media in CIO's Social Media Drilldown.