LinkedIn for Chambers - The Beginner's GuideThursday, November 15, 2012
Of all the social networks, chambers should be paying particularly close attention to LinkedIn. While it’s important to use Facebook and Twitter to connect with people on a friendly level, LinkedIn provides members with a strong platform for professional networking.
Traditionally, professional networking events were organized almost exclusively by chambers and other business associations. So does that mean LinkedIn poses a threat to the relevancy of your chamber? ONLY IF YOU RESIST IT!
Instead of fearing LinkedIn, embrace it as an integral component of your chamber’s marketing strategy.
For the next two weeks, we’re going to take a deep dive into LinkedIn. Today’s post will bring us back to the fundamentals of Linkedin. Next week’s blog is going to cover LinkedIn tactics for engaging your followers. In a later post, I will discuss advertising on LinkedIn.
Terms To Know
Connection - a person in your LinkedIn network. There are three degrees of connections:
- 1st degree - someone with whom you have exchanged an invitation to connect
- 2nd degree - someone who is connected to one of your 1st degree connections (in other words, a friend of a friend)
- 3rd degree - someone who is connected to one of your 2nd degree connections
Follow - how people connect to Company Pages
[NOTE: You must have a personal LinkedIn account before you can create a company page for your chamber. Click here to set up your personal LinkedIn account.]
Step 1 - Add a Company
To create your chamber’s LinkedIn page, click Add a Company and complete the short form. After completing the steps in the confirmation email, your page is created and ready for content!
Step 2 - Set up your Overview page
On your Company home page, click Edit. You'll be directed to the Overview editing page. It is important to complete all fields because this information will be displayed when a visitor first lands on your chamber’s LinkedIn page. The following are a few tips and best practices for completing this page.
- Your image will be displayed on the top of the front page of your chamber’s LinkedIn page. I suggest using the same image you used for your Facebook header to create familiar look. The Austin Chamber used a stunning cityscape image.
- Choose a logo that includes your chamber name for the standard logo. Make sure your square logo fits the dimensions – a cropped logo looks sloppy.
- Your company description will appear at the bottom of the page. Stick to one or two paragraphs about your chamber, but don’t forget to include URLs to your other social media pages. Add your areas of expertise to the Specialties section to help your chamber stand out.
- Don’t forget about the fields in the right column. Even if something isn’t required (such as Year Founded) fill it out!
Step 3 – Get employees connected to your page
Encourage all chamber employees to link to your chamber page in their Experience section. Not only will this create more links to your chamber page, but it will also make your employees visible in your chamber’s Careers section! Click here to check out Accrisoft's Careers page.
Step 4 - Edit your Services page
The LinkedIn Services page has a unique functionality that allows you to display different services to different audiences.
To get started, click the Services tab, then click Edit in the top right corner.
To create a new variation of your page, click Create New Audience. You can build a target audience based on company size, job function, industry, seniority and geography. [Idea for chambers: Promote different levels of membership benefits based on whether a visitor is a manager, VP or CEO.]
After you create your audience, write a description of your services and add up to three banner images. Your banner images will be displayed on a rotator, and each can be linked to a specific page of your chamber website.
You have the option to promote one of your products or services. Your promoted product will be visible on your Services page AND in the sidebar of your LinkedIn homepage. Promoted products and services can be recommended or shared by your followers and employees.
To post a new product or service, hover over the Edit arrow button in the top right corner of your page, and click Add product or service.
Check out the Charlotte Chamber’s Products & Services LinkedIn page for a great example. The top image is one of three featured banners, and five products/services are promoted below it.
Step 5 – Write posts
You should post to LinkedIn less than you post to Facebook and Twitter – once a day, at most. LinkedIn posts should also be more professional and business-oriented (and less personal) than your posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Your posts should include as many links to articles, videos and pages as possible to attract viewers. And don’t forget to add a photo by selecting the box when posting! The Columbia County Chamber makes good use of a LinkedIn post by linking to an upcoming event.
Step 6 – Measure using Insights
There are two types of LinkedIn Insights. The Insights page on your Company page is visible to your followers, and displays employees who have recently left your chamber, as well as other pages your visitors have viewed.
If you hover over the Edit arrow button, you’ll see two other options – Follower Insights and Page Insights. These can only be accessed by a page administrator.
Follower Insights allow you to measure:
- Number of total and new followers
- Follower demographics
- Number of Company Update impressions, clicks and likes
Page Insights provide:
- Number of views and unique visitors for each page (overview, careers, and services)
- Page visitor demographics (based on your chosen target audience demographics)
LinkedIn is one social network chambers should not ignore. It’s the perfect social network for finding and connecting with local businesses, as well as reaching out beyond your community to potential relocation candidates. So you see, LinkedIn doesn’t have to be the competitor. Instead, it can be a valuable partner for your chamber of commerce.
What do you think - is LinkedIn a friend or a foe?