LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers and head hunters.
Think LinkedIn is just another job board? Hold onto your hat, boy, because have I got news for you.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most active professional networking platform.
In the U.S., there are 169 million LinkedIn users – that’s half the entire population. 40% of those are using the platform on a daily basis. But the most interesting part is: most of them don’t post. So if you're on the platform and actively engaging, you can get noticed.
Simply put: in the world we live in right now, LinkedIn has serious pulling power for virtual networking – without your message getting lost in the crowd.
There are two types of LinkedIn profiles: personal and business. They both have their uses when it comes to promoting your company, so let's dive right in and take a look.
The benefits of having a LinkedIn personal page
LinkedIn personal profiles can be used as a virtual version of yourself for networking purposes. Want to build up a rapport with a lead? Add them to your personal profile. Chat to them, get to know them – it's like having a virtual coffee.
With a personal page, you can:
- Nurture or build your network
- Showcase your talents and build your personal brand
- Build proof around your awesomeness
- Manage your reputation
- Get referrals
- Get endorsements from previous/current happy clients
How to use a LinkedIn business page to promote your company
LinkedIn business pages are designed to showcase your company in the best possible light. They help you be seen as legit and credible (only IF you set up the page – you get the opposite if you don't).
With a business page, you can:
- Showcase your brand personality, establish your market authority, and differentiate yourself from competitors through each post's content and design
- Post shareable content that benefits your audience
- Build traffic to your website through meaningful posts
- Support your team's networking efforts by having a page that is consistent with your brand messaging (again, it makes you look more legit when prospects go digging for information on your company)
- Introduce new products or services you've developed
- Use LinkedIn analytics to see what is getting engagement and identify trends
- Attract and find new employees that can make a significant contribution to your business
- Improve your rankings through SEO-optimized posts – search engines crawl LinkedIn
- Establish a public image for your brand on a global scale
Remember, a brand is built in two ways: by what you tell people (or they hear from others) and by what they experience.
LinkedIn profiles are very much a part of that now.
Before you jump in, let’s think about what your goals are for LinkedIn
Just like everything you do to promote your business, strategy first = success. Take a moment and consider a few things about what you actually want from LinkedIn.
- Who are you talking to/who is reading your information?
- What do you want them to know about you?
- What value do we create for that group?
- How are we different from other options?
- What do you want people to do after connecting with you on LinkedIn?
When prospects are looking for information on your company, they're forming a picture in their mind about you and your business. With a solid strategy in place, you have a much better chance of attracting who you want and achieving the desired outcome.
By carefully crafting your LinkedIn profiles, you can help answer the three questions people ask themselves when searching for products or services:
- What is this?
- Is it for me?
- Will this be helpful?
So how can LinkedIn help us get past those questions?
By being clear, consistent, and looking credible. Oh, and not boring or bland would be a nice bonus.
Your brand starts with what you say about yourself (you, the person, or you the business). Then they make a judgment as to where to file you in their head, somewhere meaningful – or on the big pile of ‘filler' in the corner.
A huge part of developing your brand is choosing (and carefully promoting) the image you want of your company, or yourself, in your industry.
How you present your brand online is just as important as how your clients experience you in the real world.
And where do potential clients go when they’re looking for professional insight into you and/or your company?
Using LinkedIn as a business owner or an employee:
The LinkedIn personal page is a huge opportunity to establish your personal brand and work on building authority. Who you are, what you are amazing at, and attempt to engage an audience.
Many people mistake treating their personal page as a resume—a very dry list of things you have done. Instead, we want to create a compelling conversation about your skills, personality, and the value you create in the world.
Here are the LinkedIn personal page file and character limits for 2020
- LinkedIn Cover image: 1,584 x 396 pixels (4:1 proportion)
- LinkedIn Profile photo: between 400 x 400 & 20,000 x 20,000 pixels
- LinkedIn Name: first name: 20 characters, last name: 40 characters
- LinkedIn Pronunciation: 10-second recording (only available on the mobile app)
- LinkedIn Headline: 120 character limit (you have more on the mobile app for some strange reason)
- LinkedIn Summary: 2,600 character limit (used to be 2,000)
- LinkedIn Position: 100 character limit
- LinkedIn Position description: 200 character minimum (2,000 max)
- LinkedIn Recommendations: 3,000 character limit
- LinkedIn Skills: 50 max
- LinkedIn Endorsements: 99 (count)
- LinkedIn post image size: 1,200 x 1,200 (desktop) 1,200 x 628 (mobile)
- LinkedIn link post size: 1,200 x 628
- LinkedIn video size: 256 x 144 (minimum) to 4,096 x 2,304 (maximum)
- Maximum LinkedIn video length: 10 minutes
You want to use every available part of your profile to its maximum potential. No filler, no fluff, just good solid content that sells who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, why a prospect should care.
Using LinkedIn as a business:
The LinkedIn company page is an important opportunity to establish your brand as an industry thought leader and attract top talent. Make sure you take the time to fill out everything as thoroughly as possible and upload a cover image and your logo.
Here are the LinkedIn company page file and character limits for 2020
- LinkedIn company logo size: 300 x 300
- LinkedIn cover image size: between 1,128 x 191 pixels and 2,256 x 382 (center the important information vertically – test on multiple devices)
- LinkedIn Dynamic Ads size: 100 x 100 (company logo)
- LinkedIn Sponsored Content image size: 1,200 x 627 (1.91:1 ratio)
- LinkedIn Hero image size: 1,128 x 376
- LinkedIn Company update: 700 characters
- LinkedIn Company name: 100 characters
- LinkedIn About us/Summary: 2,000 characters
- LinkedIn Page name: 50 characters
Again, use everything available to you. Show the world why they should give a damn about you.
Here’s how you can create a kickass LinkedIn profile for your company
Slapping your logo up as your profile photo and writing three lines in your About section isn’t gonna cut it.
Just like every other part of your brand’s image, you need to put some effort into optimizing your company’s LinkedIn profile to make sure you’re making the right impression.
By spending some time working on your profile, you can put your best foot forward – and you’ll end up attracting more of the clients and talent you want to work with.
Caveat. Depending on the type of company you run, you may or may not be posting AS the company. If you post from your personal account mostly, you still need to have a defined business page. Credibility is completely drained if someone goes to your company page, and there is nothing there. So, regardless of how you post, you still need to do this work.
Let’s get into it!
1. Choose the right profile image and banner
It’s the first thing anyone sees when they see your profile – so make sure it’s not a blurry mess! And make sure it is not the LinkedIn base image. Nothing says, “I don't really care” than not having an updated profile or banner image.
Your profile picture should be a high-resolution version of your logo – companies with a photo uploaded get 6x more views than companies that don’t bother and leave the gray stock building image.
What are the ideal LinkedIn profile image specs?
- Measuring 300 x 300 pixels
- In PNG format
- A maximum of 8 MB in size
Most logos aren't square, so you may need to do a special version of your logo or logo mark for your profile image.
For your personal LinkedIn profile, you can upload a professional photo of yourself – but for your company’s page, it’s best practice to stick with your logo.
Now for your banner image, you’ve got a lot more leeway to express your company’s personality. Some companies choose a plain or patterned background in their brand colors. Others use it to promote their hashtags. It’s really down to what fits in with your brand.
With these two images, you want to achieve two main goals:
- Be instantly recognizable thanks to your logo
- Stand out from the crowd of other companies posting on LinkedIn
For a consistent online user experience, you want to make sure the banner you choose matches those on your other social media profiles.
2. Reel them in with an awesome About section
You have 2,000 words to play with here – use them!
Your About section is your chance to connect with potential clients and show them why you’re the solution to their problems.
Now this doesn’t mean you want to write 2,000 words of pure boasting – you want to cover 5 key questions:
- Who you are
- Where you are
- What you offer (remember to focus on those deeper benefits clients get when they hire you)
- Why you do what you do
- How people can contact you
Feel free to inject a bit of your company personality in there too – but read the room first. LinkedIn is a professional platform and has its own unwritten rules for how to write (and how not to) – you can inject your page with your own brand voice but know your audience.
3. Endorse, endorse, endorse
You already know word of mouth is everything in the real world – well, it’s true for LinkedIn too.
A massive part of a successful rebranding is what people say about you – and endorsements do wonders for a company’s LinkedIn profile.
Don’t be shy about asking your connections to endorse you – it takes a few minutes, and I’m sure you’ll return the favor for their profile too.
There are 3 connection types you can approach for an endorsement:
Each endorsement type has its own benefits.
As LinkedIn is the go-to place for highly-skilled workers looking for a new direction in their career, a gold star review from current and previous employees will help attract top talent.
Recommendations from associates show you’re a professional company that’s good to do business with.
Happy customers with five-star recommendations help to attract more clients, letting them know exactly what to expect from buying from you/hiring you.
So, dust off your contacts book and get to asking.
What's the point having great profiles if no one sees them? Create solid connections via your personal profile.
Growing your LinkedIn network is an important part of building your brand on the platform – I mean, it’s really the whole reason for having a profile in the first place.
By having a wide network of professional people in your niche, you’ll be able to get more help when it comes to job leads and recommendations. The more connections you make, the more likely you’ll be able to get your skills endorsed too. And the more connections you have, the more people LinkedIn will show your posts.
You do have to have certain standards when connecting with people. Your connections shouldn’t be just anyone and everyone. You want to send requests to people you actually know or you are familiar with within the industry.
If you send requests to complete strangers, then they could reject you and mark you as spam. If this happens a lot, LinkedIn might even lock your account – which definitely won’t help your brand.
By building up a strong network of relevant connections, you’ll be able to spread awareness about your rebrand a lot quicker.
The more (real) people you connect with, the more authentic you appear online – and the more your audience will trust you.
Here at Branding & Beyond, we want to help you get the most out of your presence online.
If you want to attract more customers to your business, we’re here to help you implement a solid brand foundation, as well as a brilliant marketing plan that will continue to deliver for years to come.
Start building your brand on LinkedIn today, and get in touch.
Tracy O’Shaughnessy Founder / Lead Brand Strategist of Branding & Beyond
Tracy and her team help B2B firms in the construction industry and professional services look and sound credible online and off.
She has been in the industry since the early '90s and is tired of great companies being treated as commodities and competing on price because they don't look and sound as credible as they really are.
You can find Tracy on Linkedin and here on this blog.