7 Ways to Maximize LinkedIn for Small Business

By Ray O’Donnell

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Organic growth determines the stability and future of small businesses. That's why it's essential for a small business owner to always search for effective ways to garner new clients and grow the brand. With a staggering monthly user base of over a billion spread across 200+ countries worldwide, LinkedIn is one of the trusted and credible platforms that professionals and businesses rely on to network and create fruitful relationships.  

Unlike others, LinkedIn offers a vast social network and acts as a launchpad for many B2C, D2C, and B2B brands. A Hootsuite report reveals that 70% of marketers think LinkedIn is the most reliable platform with good ROI. 

As a small business owner, navigating how to build communities, engage with your audience, and build brand awareness in LinkedIn's already swamped space can be challenging. If you're fiddling with these hurdles and want to get a direction, we've compiled seven tips focusing on creating meaningful relationships, increasing visibility, and driving growth—all of which can be applied from the very start of your business journey on LinkedIn. 

Let's get started. 

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Higher Visibility 

Apart from your company's LinkedIn business page, your profile is your online business card as an entrepreneur. It should be well-optimized to convert profile visitors into clients for a favorable first impression. Here's how you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

Professional headshot

Set a professional photo of yourself as your profile image, where you look approachable. The ideal size for any image on LinkedIn is 502 x 262.

Compelling headline

Keep your title succinct, indicating who you are and how you can help your audience. Optimizing with relevant keywords is of utmost importance, as it boosts visibility on LinkedIn.

Detailed summary

This section should be treated as a synopsis to discuss your background, highlight your areas of expertise, and share how you can help your clients with your products/services. Keep this section short but creative! 

Showcase your experience

A detailed list of your work experience and anecdotes about your successes accompanied by valuable metrics builds your credibility as an expert in your niche.

Publish Content That Adds Value for Better Lead Generation

Posting valuable content is central to boosting your visibility on LinkedIn as an industry expert and thought leader. According to LinkedIn's algorithm, content that helps people grow presents an opportunity to learn something new about their industry or inspires them to rank the most on the platform. Utilizing tools like the LinkedIn people directory can also help enhance the visibility of your content.

Optimize your post based on the LinkedIn algorithm

Brevity catches attention. That's why a 50-100-character description and a 40-49-character hook give the best results on LinkedIn. However, long-form content also yields excellent results, as professionals come to this platform with a content-absorbing mindset.

Take advantage of it by telling your audience about the latest industry trends and your observations about them, promote your service, and share essential tips related to your business.

Use Hashtags for better discovery

Using hashtags on LinkedIn helps you reach a wider audience. Relevant hashtags act as a portal that allows your posts to permeate from feed to feed, enabling you to access new and relevant audience groups. If someone searches for the same hashtag on the platform, your chances of a post's visibility increase manifold. 

While the hashtag limit depends on the content, nature of the post, and niche, the recommendations are generally between three and five hashtags per post. When choosing hashtags, use primary and relevant ones before adding supplementary terms. 

Experiment with Different Post Types

LinkedIn is a unique platform that allows users to experiment with content. It offers small business owners a great opportunity to showcase their services and products in various forms. 

When it comes to creating your content with different post types, this chart by SocialPilot details how you can experiment with and analyze what works best for your business -

Pic by: SocialPilot

As someone beginning to create their brand space on the platform, it's best to exercise each format and go all out. Don't stick to just one post type; ensure that your page reflects a mix of eye-catching visuals and engaging content. LinkedIn statistics for 2024 state that a post that contains images has a 98% higher chance of a better comment rate, and if that post has links, the engagement rate can be as high as 200%! 

In a nutshell, immersive content experiences drive the most engagement. Leverage this trick by creating video content for your small business and publicizing different aspects of your offerings as Featured Posts to gain traction and boost your overall engagement. This will increase brand visibility and lead generation for your small business.

Post at Regular Intervals for Brand Retention

While business owners are increasingly becoming aware of LinkedIn's robust tool to maximize business, one of the biggest mistakes many make is either posting too frequently or stopping too soon! 

Like any other social platform, consistently posting your messaging is the trick to climbing LinkedIn's traction ladder. However, being consistent does not coincide with posting irrelevant content! Posting relevant information that circles your business also informs your audience of the latest updates in your workspace. 

When you plan on starting your LinkedIn account, it's best to outline and sort out various content buckets that you can divulge from your business page—these could include topics such as tips and advice for customers, new product launches, insights on the products or services you offer, and even employee engagement in your company. 

Now that the content's relevance is taken care of, the next important step? Your post timings matter, too!

While making a blanket statement about how frequently you should post on LinkedIn is difficult, we've scoured through various data and found that posting on weekdays (excluding Mondays) during working hours yields the best results.

  • Tuesday: Between 8 am-5 pm
  • Wednesday: Between 8 am-10 am and also at 12noon
  • Thursday: Between 8 am - 5 pm
  • Friday: At 9 am

FYI: Avoid posting on Monday & Sunday between 10pm-6am as people tend to cut down on social media time during this timeframe. 

Pro tip: Using the LinkedIn Scheduling Tool, you can schedule your posts based on what works for your audience.

Engage with Your Community

Promoting your brand through LinkedIn posts is only half the battle. Your active and consistent presence is the key to achieving victory for your small business. To boost engagement and brand visibility, you can:

  • Use calendar management tools to block time on your calendar and spend at least an hour every day going through your LinkedIn feed and posting insightful information or relevant thoughts as comments in your connections. 
  • Always leave an interesting anecdote you haven't covered on your post as a pinned comment to encourage others to comment.
  • Post game-like elements (polls, fun challenges) in your content to motivate participation and foster healthy competition. 
  • For higher brand visibility you can also influencer search tools along with LinkedIn to find and to reach out to business influencers and engage with them.

Leverage LinkedIn DMs for Networking

Direct messaging on LinkedIn plays a crucial role in networking with your prospects. It offers a window where you can introduce yourself and your business objectives in ways that can spark conversations. 

Just like' one size fits all' doesn't fit anyone, the same goes for your LinkedIn DMs! If you want to stand out in your prospect's inbox, you must stop blending in - this is where crafted personalized messages come in handy.

Start by analyzing the profile of your potential lead and understanding their interests, skills, work profile, and expertise. Once you've narrowed down your mutual areas, craft a message that reflects your intent and objective and explains why you're reaching out to them. If you work in real estate, implementing these strategies can help you get more seller leads and effectively expand your client base.

Also, what works best is to provide benefits or solutions that you can help with, which can hook them into initiating a conversation with you. Remember, the shorter and crisper your DM, the higher the response rate.

Pro Tips to keep in mind: 

  • Length: InMails with up to 400 characters have the highest response rates, while messages with 1,200+ characters have the lowest. 
  • Time: Timing is everything. InMails sent on Fridays & Saturdays get lower response rates.

Use LinkedIn Analytics to Track Your Performance

Harnessing LinkedIn's power for small businesses does more than merely boost your presence. It helps you understand and optimize the impact by tracking your posts' performance and gaining invaluable insights into interest and your audience's behavior. This can help you make data-driven decisions about your content strategies.

LinkedIn Analytics tool offers a goldmine of data like follower growth, engagement, and impressions. These metrics can help you understand what type of content your audience resonates with most. 

After experimenting with different post types for at least 3-6 months, you can leverage LinkedIn Analytics to identify the content types that bring you the most engagements, whether carousels, success stories, tips, tricks, or image posts.

Understanding the pulse of what your community would like to hear can help you create valuable messages and foster deeper connections with your LinkedIn community.

Conclusion

LinkedIn offers immense opportunities for small business owners to connect, engage, and grow organically. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post and leveraging LinkedIn's immense reaching power, you can maximize your traffic volume, generate leads, and lead your brand toward greater success. 

So, start implementing these tactics today and unlock the full potential of LinkedIn for your small business.

About the company

The Social Hire team don't just do social media.

Our digital marketing managers are the wizards that can give you the insight you need to develop your business. Have you had enough of making complex personnel choices that don't work well for your digital presence?

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You might like these blog posts How to Use Social Media to Boost Employee Engagement, 4 Ways to Generate Leads on a Tight Budget, 6 Biggest Ways Social Media Impacts a Business, and 5 Content Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Small Business.

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