As a business owner, you want your image and your organization’s image to be well presented but we often hear that owners don’t have time to keep up with all the social media platforms. Here are five aspects of LinkedIn that every business owner should knock out before the end of the month.
- Does your company’s LinkedIn page have a custom background image that reflects what your business does? Or are you stuck with the generic placeholder that looks like a blue solar system? (See below.)
Your organization needs its own LinkedIn page (separate from your personal one) with a custom background image that reflects what your company does. In keeping with the idea that a picture speaks a thousand words, your company’s background image gives a quick visual depiction of the benefits you offer your clients. Below is one of the background images that Tell Your Tale Marketing uses. This shares insight on the services we offer (graphic design, web development, PR and professional writing) as well as insight into our company culture.
The ideal size of this background image is 1536 x 768 pixels.
- Similarly, use the background image on your personal LinkedIn account to showcase more of your expertise. As a business owner, it may make sense for you to use your business background also as your personal background. What does not make sense on your personal account is to have your background image be a close-up shot of a coffee cup (unless you own a coffee shop or coffee production company) or a blurred photo of your neighborhood.
- A professional headshot photo is a must for every business owner (actually for every professional) on LinkedIn. It really helps to personalize your account. As you build your connections through networking, your photo also allows potential clients, partners and employees to know they’re connecting with the right person by seeing the photo of the person they recently met. This is also another reason for an updated photograph. If your photo is more than 10 years old, it’s time for an update. (Hair styles change, clothing trends change and your photo should keep up.) Worse than an outdated photo is no photo at all. Nothing says you’re really not committed like an empty photo placeholder. If you’re really using this social media platform to connect with potential clients and employees as well as share thought leadership with others, hire a photographer to take professional photos of you and include that on social media. Ditch the selfie and go professional.
- Quit treating LinkedIn like your online resume. Instead, treat this platform as a personalized version of your company website. While your business website talks about the company’s offerings, benefits and accomplishments, use your personal LinkedIn account to showcase how you personally led the company to reach those goals. You can also use the LinkedIn publishing platform to share your content and leadership. We like the LinkedIn publishing platform because it’s specifically for individuals, not companies. This allows business owners to take credit for the thought leadership that they own. While an owner’s content may be posted to the company blog, we recommend customizing the content slightly to also post to LinkedIn’s publishing platform. If you later sell the company or decide to move on to another venture, you retain the thought leadership on your LinkedIn platform. (Note: customizing the content on your personal account is important so that Google does read the duplicate content on your company blog or website and ding your business with lower search results.)
- The last tip may be obvious but many business owners aren’t doing it. Post frequently. We recommend posting to your personal account or updating your profile at least twice a month, once a week if time allows. What exactly could you post quickly that’s meaningful? Try these ideas:
- Volunteer opportunities that you’re signing up for
- Guidance with new employees
- Tips that you’d recommend to newbies in your industry
- Suggestions on what buyers should look for when searching for a business like yours (soft sell)
- Upcoming networking events that could help your LinkedIn community
- Images and write-ups about your latest products or deliverables
The important piece here is that business owners get into the habit of posting regularly to position themselves at the thought leaders that they are. Even setting aside 20-30 minutes twice a month to share or update your information on LinkedIn can help to establish you as an industry leader. After all, business owners need to SHARE their thoughts in order to engage others in conversations and pay it forward as much as they can. LinkedIn is a great platform for both.Megan F. Salch is the president of Tell Your Tale Marketing & Design and brings more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience to B2B and retail clients.