Quick Guide to Setting Up @LinkedIn For Your #Business #smallbiz #tech #branding

LinkedIn’s Company Pages feature is a tool that businesses can use to promote its professionals, products and services, attract qualified prospects for job openings or to engage with clients, potential clients and referral sources.

When you create a Company Page it is different from a personal account. Log in as your personal account then add your company profile and details. You can tag employees of the firm who have Profiles on LinkedIn. When they accept they will automatically be attached to the firm’s Company Page, giving those Profiles additional exposure. Having a Page for your firm on LinkedIn provides a vehicle to provide company-wide information, not specific to any individual, as a supplement to or an extension of your firm’s or organization’s website.

Elements of the Company Page
Company Pages are comprised of four sections: Home, Products and Services, Career, and Insights.

The Home page includes a cover photo and company description, recent Updates posted by the Page, the people on LinkedIn who are connected to your firm or organization, and any featured Groups. Visitors may choose to follow your Company page from here; they can also “like,” comment on, or share your Company’s Updates.

The Careers section is only available with a paid subscription. Here, your company can list jobs, include employee testimonials, and add multimedia elements to attract potential candidates to work at your firm. Visitors can apply for jobs at your organization directly through LinkedIn.

Visitors to your Company page can click on the Insights tab to see former employees they may know, as well as a list of other Company pages viewed by those who also viewed your firm’s Page.

The Products and Services section of your Company page provides a place to describe your areas of expertise, products and services in more detail and give individual links directly to specific pages on your website for more information. If you have created YouTube videos about your company or what you do for clients, you can link to those videos directly from Products and Services. You can also add logos and images to each product or service to make your descriptions more interesting.

Individuals can write Recommendations for your services which can be displayed on your Page as well. Depending on your industry there may be some jurisdiction ethical rules which prohibit recommendations (attorneys, dentists, doctors, etc). Sharing is also enabled for Products and Services, allowing others to share information about your services with their network.

For each service, you can identify an employee contact, which will allow you to let the individual group leader or department head within your organization to be contacted directly. You can also change the title of this section to simply Services, if you prefer.

A key feature not to be overlooked is that you can even add a disclaimer in a designated section if you determine that you need one.

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Updates
Your firm or organization can post Updates on the Company Page. Updates can be a great way to point people to items on your website or in your company’s newsletter that you might send out via MailChimp or Constant Contact. Company Updates can be up to 600 characters long (including spaces). Shared link titles and descriptions can be up to 250 characters each, which is plenty of room to provide summary information, links, and details about upcoming events.

LinkedIn also now allows you to post Targeted Updates. When you create an Update from your Company page, you will see a Share With box pop up. That box provides two options: either All followers or Targeted audience. If you click on Targeted audience, LinkedIn will provide you with several criteria to choose from under Company size, Industry, Function, Seniority, and Geography. After selecting your criteria, you may choose to send your Update to employees and non-employees or to non-employees only. Your firm must have at least one hundred followers within the selected target group to post a Targeted Update.

LinkedIn members can comment on, “like,” or share a Company Update, the same way they would with an individual Update from a Connection. But now LinkedIn Company page administrators can also comment on or “like” Updates as the Company page, rather than just as individuals.

Tips for Company Pages
The keys to making Company pages work for you are to get creative about what you post and to actively engage on a consistent basis. You can benefit from increased interaction with other lawyers, strategic alliances, referral sources, and prospective clients.

As more and more businesses begin using Company pages on LinkedIn, users will begin following these pages, just as they do on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other platforms. Given that LinkedIn is known as the professional network, however, followers of the Updates on your Company page are likely to be those interested in your practice or your professional associations. LinkedIn provides a tool to create a Follow button that you can add to your website.

Post Updates regularly and promote your business Company Page by adding a Follow button to the you organization’s website or blog. Feature the Company Page in e-mails, firm newsletters, and other marketing materials to encourage all of your audience to make it part of their LinkedIn experience.

About the Author:
Allison C. Shields is President of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. She provides practice management and business development coaching and consulting services to lawyers and law firms in the areas of practice management, productivity, client service, business development, marketing and social media. Allison is the co-author of Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers and LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, both published by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association in 2012.

Whether you are an established law firm, hotel, medical practice or starting a new business, allow LinkedIn to work for you.

Here are 5 tips to make your Company page great on LinkedIn.
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