LinkedIn 101: Basic Business Guide in the UAE
Having launched in 2003 and being one of the most popular professional social platforms today people are still unaware of the full potential of LinkedIn. Now why use LinkedIn? Relationships and networking is important today, with professionals seeking insights or inspiration from various trusted outlets, they also devote their time to learning about new breakthroughs in their field while keeping in touch with their networks through LinkedIn.
With this platform generating 2 new users per second and amassing over 250 million active users worldwide it is a powerful networking tool and when used successfully can even generate a revenue flow. So how do you utilize this network to better market your business?
Half of LinkedIn users are likely to purchase
from companies they engage with on the domain.
LinkedIn’s company pages can help you build brand awareness by providing a channel to promote your products or services to customers and prospects. If your LinkedIn business strategy is currently out of date, if your looking to improve your marketing game or you’re a new company looking to gain an online presence and access to LinkedIn’s plethora of benefits, this guide will hopefully coach you through the process.
1. SETTING UP YOUR ACCOUNT:
Remember to initially set up a LinkedIn company account you will need to have your own personal LinkedIn profile. If you do not have one you can follow this simple detailed guide and then head back to this article.
To create a company page go to your homepage click ‘work’ and select ‘Create a Company Page’ on the drop down menu
2. COMPANY IMAGE:
To get started you have to upload your profile picture which will be your logo. You will also have to add the company banner. Your logo is the first thing users will see when looking for your company. If you have employees within the company make sure they add the page under their portfolio as it will help reach a wider audience. Your logo is the main part of your online image so make sure you resize it according to the dimensions (100 x 50 pixels). Do not forget the banner, a picture says a thousand words; it makes all difference especially when making first impressions to new users or prospects. For more inspiration you can also look at these companies on LinkedIn.
Twofour54 a media company in Abu Dhabi for instance has used their logo as their display picture but has also included a banner that not only embraces what they stand for but at first glance shows you what the company
3. COMPANY DESCRIPTION
This is important as the initial characters appear in the Google preview of your company page. Remember you have about 2000 characters to describe your company, so this is where you type an overview of your company along with a description of what it does. Keep in mind since this is on your company homepage it will also be your first contact with a potential client or user. Since it is of vital importance for your online persona make sure you use your company’s content or marketing team to get involved and carefully craft your description.
Also be sure to add your company URL and details (company size, year founded, location/headquarters) in the drop downs below description.
Before publishing your page you can get a final view by selecting the 'member view' option this allows you to see how your page looks to other users. If you would like to make any tweaks you can click ‘manage page’ and make your changes. Once you have finished all of the above your page is ready to be published and is live.
5. PAGE PROMOTION
Remember your LinkedIn page is not a platform for sales but rather one to help generate sales to your company while encouraging shop talk and interesting thought content, not only for your company but for your users as well. Engage your audience by posting useful articles like tips, tricks and hacks used in your industry or by linking related posts from external sources regularly.
For instance Emaar Properties used the allure of their Armani Hotel Dubai to market their property while also talking about the upcoming season of Ramadan and giving users an idea on where to celebrate it.
Rich and Interactive Media:
Text heavy content is not always the way to go, not everyone has the time or interest in reading articles. Try using visually rich media like videos or pictures. You can also try using daily polls or quizzes to interact with your followers.
Like Etihad airways using a video to showcase their latest airline on their Abu Dhabi to Casablanca route rather than posting an entire article
The basic human desire of having to connect with like-minded people is a necessity. This could be a reason as to why LinkedIn groups are so popular. It's a hub where like-minded professionals get together to create a valuable intellectual community. People are able to share content, problem solve and create contacts within their spheres; and as a result network; this in turn should help you build your brand, hire employees and even help establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Expand Follower Reach:
Add the plugin to your email, company signature, blogs, articles and website. Encourage your employees to add the company to their profiles. Use LinkedIn’s premium and ad features through sponsored content, sponsored InMail and Text Ads.
This is an extension of your company page; as such you can use it to highlight certain divisions or specialties within your company. This will allow you to customize your content accordingly. Hence; allowing your users to follow content they have interest in while helping you retain and gain followers.
HP for instance uses ‘Showcase pages’ for some of its products all focusing on a different topic.
6. LINKEDIN ANALYTICS:
LinkedIn offers detailed analytics to help you understand demographics, track traffic and learn what content your followers prefer. Research shows that mornings get the most engagement from LinkedIn followed by posts published after business hours. This would be useful in planning your posting schedule. Since, LinkedIn provides you with a detailed analysis of your company, you are able to rectify errors and even improve your page to generate more traffic and user engagement.
Do not worry, building social profiles always seem daunting and even more if it’s on a professional platform. Learning a new website is like learning a new app it will take some time and needs a little exploration. Hopefully, this basic guide will help you get your company profile up and running. Remember its only stressful if think it is. Relax, make connection and network LinkedIn is the best professional marketing tool you can have in your arsenal.