Did the recent news that HP has notched up one million followers on its LinkedIn page make you want to re-examine your own company’s LinkedIn page? Yes, you can gain a lot more fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, but hats off to HP: we are choosy about the companies we follow. So how has HP achieved this impressive milestone? We’ll take a look at the company’s LinkedIn page, and share some practical tips which you can implement on your own company page.
Become an admin
First off, in order to edit your own company page, you need to be made an administrator of the page. To do that, you need to satisfy the following criteria:
- You must be a current company employee
- Your position with the company must be listed in the Experience section on your profile
- You must have a company email address (e.g. email@example.com) added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account
If you’ve got all these points covered, contact the current administrator for the page to change your permission levels. Remember, you must be ‘connected’ to one of the existing administrators to become an admin.
Your company’s LinkedIn cover image
HP’s company page features a powerful cover message. Following the announcement that they had so many followers, HP updated its cover image with a thank you, acknowledging its one million followers: great move.
The cover image is your chance to grab attention. It should convey your brand values and set out what your company does and how it operates. And remember to change it regularly. If you launch a new product or hit a milestone – tell people. Here’s a link to a template guide for the LinkedIn cover image.
Compelling updates for your company’s LinkedIn page
This is where your content experts shine, with status updates that are both engaging and tell your story. It’s important to post updates on a consistent basis: old content sticks out like a sore thumb. LinkedIn recommends you post at least 20 updates a month – which is 4-5 updates each week but, as it’s a professional network, avoid the weekends. The best times to post your updates are morning until midday. Some marketers post as many as 3-4 updates a day, but be mindful that quality of content is paramount.
And remember: this isn’t just about pushing your message out. As with any social medium, try to engage with your audience by giving them relevant and compelling content. LinkedIn says 60% of members are interested in industry insights, 53% in company news and 43% in new products and services, so try to maintain a mix of all three types of content. Try different styles. Ask people questions, and find out their likes, dislikes and opinions.
Add rich media
LinkedIn recently added the ability to include rich media in updates: pictures, videos, PPTs, PDFs. You could share blogs, news articles, cartoons, images, presentations, webinar invites, customer videos, and white papers. And not just your own content – share other relevant industry insights as well. Add variety to keep it fresh.
See the posts below from HP as examples: a video, expert’s tips and a white paper – the last two from external sources – to share with its followers. HP publishes a huge variety of content and it’s not all about the company. Note the engagement on the video post.
And spot the ‘featured update’ in that list? You can ‘feature’ one of your status updates so it appears at the top of all the updates on your page. This is useful if you are running a campaign, promotion or just want to grab people’s attention with a particular item.
LinkedIn’s audience segmentation
Have you tried the new audience segmentation feature? Now it’s possible to target updates by criteria such as company size, industry, job function, seniority, geography, or by including/excluding company employees. A handy feature that will help companies get better engagement levels by targeting their content more appropriately.
Recruitment on your company page
HP’s company page has a dedicated tab for Careers. This is a paid option, but if you regularly hire staff then the extra investment may make sense. HP’s ‘All About Us’ video sits under the section displaying your connections with any HP employees. Beside it you can see clearly marked signposts for the different types of audience who may want to know more about HP and where else to interact with the company.
Products and services on LinkedIn company pages
Here’s your chance to showcase your products and services. The first thing people will see is the banner image at the top of the page. You can have up to three images here – which is great to push a new product, event or campaign. These images are all clickable, so don’t overlook this valuable space to drive prospects and customers to your own website. You can dedicate a page to a particular product or service, and again, LinkedIn is encouraging companies to use rich media to showcase these.
One grumble? It would be better if LinkedIn could include rich text editing to let us break up those chunks of text.
Call for product recommendations
HP has listed 18 products ranging from its laptops to Blade System, but the real value here is the number of recommendations that HP has garnered – over 3,300 of them. Company recommendations work in the same way as personal recommendations: if you like a product, simply click ‘recommend’ or write your own personalised recommendation.
While most of HP’s recommendations are the one-click variety, the numbers speak for themselves: 1,072 people recommend its PCs, notebooks and laptops. Nothing speaks louder than customer endorsements, and loudest still are endorsements from people we know. In the right-hand column, I can see who among my network connections recommends HP’s products (and there are many).
How can you get recommendations for your page?
If customers aren’t flocking to your page volunteering recommendations, you can ask them nicely. It does depend on the nature of your business, however: you are unlikely to be personally connected to B2C consumers in the same way as your business clients. Although it’s labour intensive, if you are connected to your clients, you’re likely to get the best results by messaging them and asking them to recommend you – even if only with one click. Tell them why you want the recommendation and give clear instructions on how to do it. Don’t forget your client may have a product or service which you could recommend first: just as with personal recommendations, it’s better to give before you get.
It’s a good idea to review your recommendations on a bi-monthly basis and seeing if you can add some more. Refresh them, approach new clients and make a concerted effort to get endorsements for services or products that don’t have any.
HP’s LinkedIn page is a great example for any company – one-man band or multi-national. This is not about huge marketing budgets, producing the best images or coming up with whizz-bang creatives. Success for your company on LinkedIn simply relies on making good use of the functionality and real estate that LinkedIn offers and keeping it relevant for your audience, with careful content management. Every company can achieve this and should be able to notch up a reasonable amount of interested followers.
Cut-out-and-keep checklist for your company’s LinkedIn page
- Appoint the right admins to manage your page
- Include a cover image that tells your story and include a call to action
- Fill out the fields with as much information as possible
- Create an editorial calendar for your status updates
- Vary your content – include text, images, photos, white papers, presentations, PDFs and videos to share with your audience
- Don’t make it all about you – include industry news from credible third parties
- Target your content by segmenting your audience
- Promote products and services by having a dedicated description, image, video, contacts and call to action
- Get recommendations from your clients
- Include details of any groups you have set up – pick your top three to drive membership
- Measure and analyse – track the performance of your status updates and chart the breakdown of your audience
- Encourage your staff to include details of their role at your company (see our post on improving your LinkedIn profile)
- Promote your LinkedIn company page everywhere – website, social networks, marketing material
- Continue to refresh descriptions and images for your page
Don’t forget to tell us about any other pointers on your LinkedIn checklist, or shout out about your company’s LinkedIn page in the comments below. And if you’d like help managing your company’s LinkedIn page, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss it.
Image courtesy of The SeaFarer