How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Lead Generation
Originally posted July 16, 2019. Updated July 6, 2020.
Why LinkedIn Matters
LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for businesses, with over 303 million active members – 40% of which are daily site visitors. And with 45% of LinkedIn users in upper management, a LinkedIn strategy can be a great way to connect with potential B2B leads.
To ensure your success on LinkedIn, we’ve put together a list of best practices. This includes:
- Optimizing Your Profile Page
- Strengthening Your Relationships
- Improving Your Posts
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile Page
Start by adding a properly-sized logo as your user photo. Your logo should be 400px x 400px.
- Background Image:
You should also add a background/masthead photo or graphic that is aesthetically pleasing and highlights your brand. Your background image should be roughly 1400px x 425px.
- Additional Images:
In addition to these two primary images, LinkedIn offers a variety of options for adding and updating images on your company page. They also provide a detailed list of image specifications for the different pages on your company’s LinkedIn.
Make sure that your company description leads with powerful, keyword-rich sentences. This is important because Google will preview up to 156 characters of your company page content on the search engine results page and LinkedIn members can search company pages by keyword.
- About Us:
- Use the ‘About Us’ section to tell your brand story in a compelling, winsome manner.
- In your ‘About Us’ content, add your customer service number and links to your other social media sites. Make sure that all other information included is accurate as well.
- If you have specialties or services that you would like to highlight, you can also use the ‘About Us’ content to do so.
You should also prominently display any groups that you have created or that you want to highlight your membership in by adding them to ‘Featured Groups’.
- Career Pages (Optional):
Consider building out your LinkedIn Company Page by adding Career Pages and then enabling the Life Tab to highlight your unique company culture. You can learn more about the Career Pages feature here and should assess whether you think it is a worthwhile investment for your organization.
- Showcase Pages (Optional):
If you have niche services and would like to use LinkedIn to market them in a more targeted way consider creating Showcase Pages to highlight those services and direct content specifically to interested followers.
Strengthening Your Relationships
LinkedIn users are 8x more likely to engage with your brand, 3x more likely to buy your product or use your service, and 2x more likely to recommend it once they’ve connected with you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also typically has strong trust amongst users compared to other social networks which makes it a key platform for making substantive connections with customers and partners. To Dos:
- Employee Profiles:
Start by making sure that all your employees are linked to your company page. If any of them are not showing up on the list of employees on your company page, consult this help page and send them instructions for how to associate their LinkedIn profile with your company.
- Employee Profile Optimization:
Since you will want all your employees to be linked to on your company page, you will also want to encourage them to optimize their personal pages. You can provide this simple guide for “LinkedIn skeptics” or this slightly more detailed list for LinkedIn beginners and give your more LinkedIn-savvy employees this list of 22 tips from Inc. or this in-depth guide to LinkedIn strategy (which is aimed at marketers, but mostly applicable to any industry). Your employees’ ability (and interest level) in all things LinkedIn will probably vary, but you should be able to find the right resource for each employee from amongst those options.
- Email Signature:
Consider adding a link to your LinkedIn company page to your e-mail signature for major external communications.
- Employee Engagement:
LinkedIn company pages offer significant potential for networking within your industry, however they are limited by the fact that you cannot follow users or companies from a company page. You can overcome this limitation by encouraging employees to be active on LinkedIn: if employees connect with customers and partners, join relevant groups, and follow thought leaders and influencers in your industry, they increase the likelihood that your company page will gain key followers.
LinkedIn Groups & Networking:
Groups are the most powerful tool that companies have directly available for networking on LinkedIn.
- Join Groups:
Your company should join relevant groups (or even create industry/regional groups if they do not yet exist) and look for appropriate opportunities to interact with these entities in ways that showcase your expertise and build rapport.
- Group Posts:
Any posts that you create in large industry groups should be especially high-value. Use group posts when you have some especially impressive, unique content to share that you think will be of immediate utility and interest to a wide range of individuals. You can also encourage employees to be active in relevant groups. This post is a helpful overview of how to post within groups.
LinkedIn also provides tools for finding potential influencers in your industry so your employees can connect with them and interact with their posts and your company page can join groups that they lead or participate in. For example, you can use ‘Post’ search to take full advantage of the opportunity to build relationships with thought leaders in your industry.
- LinkedIn Basics:
You can also read this article to see some of LinkedIn’s basic advice on the fundamentals of networking on LinkedIn for business owners.
Improving Your LinkedIn Posts
While posting on LinkedIn, keep in mind the general principles for successful social media posting that apply across other channels as well:
- Maintain a steady cadence of posts,
- Create a consistent and appropriate brand voice, and
- Offer a diverse and engaging range of post types.
- Regular Posting:
Try to post 1-2x weekly during standard business hours. Your posts should be industry-specific and will ideally feature information or perspective that you are uniquely positioned to offer as an industry authority. Your LinkedIn posts should have the overall effect of increasing your stature and perceived expertise in your industry.
- Audience Engagement:
Involve your audience and invite interaction by posting thoughtful questions and initiating important, timely conversations. Aim to start conversations that are genuinely thought-provoking but that are also relevant and practical enough that members of your industry can chime in during the flow of their work days. These guidelines can also be utilized in creating “conversation starter” group posts.
Show off your company culture and your successes by spotlighting employees, customers, and unique services in your posts.
If there are specific clients, partners, or other companies in your industry that you would like to highlight or compliment in a post, be sure to tag them and to interact with them positively if they comment on the post. You can do this by typing “@” into your post and searching for the business name.
- Reposting Content:
You can also repost content that you enjoy from other organizations or channels you follow, but be careful to not repost content too frequently. Original, engaging content that features your unique insights is more valuable to your followers and to your brand than reposted content. If you are going to repost content or build posts around links to articles from other authorities in your industry, be sure to add something distinctive, useful, and constructive to the ongoing conversation.
- Image Optimization:
For any images that you add to your posts, LinkedIn requests that you use images that are 1200px x 627x. If they are not that exact size, try to follow the 1.91:1 ratio and always avoid images less than 200px wide.
- Other LinkedIn Marketing Solutions:
Finally, it is important to recognize that LinkedIn is highly invested in developing marketing options for their business users. You can visit their Marketing Solutions page for more ideas and features or browse their case studies to find comparable organizations you might be able to emulate.