By Jodi Amendola, CEO and co-founder, Amendola Communications
August 2023 – For a long time, owning a corporate LinkedIn account was the equivalent of having a business card. Obligatory, more or less, but not something that was going to do much for the bottom line.
Not anymore. LinkedIn has added features and reinforced its business-friendly nature, even as other platforms have become mired in controversy and choked with controversial and even harmful content. LinkedIn is more than a safe refuge for businesses; it’s a place where they can present themselves in their entirety and tell their stories.
Companies that have only a minimal presence on LinkedIn are missing an opportunity to engage with a like-minded audience and establish themselves as thought leaders.
With HLTH on the horizon, many digital health companies will want to stand out above the noise and one of the key ways to be seen and heard is on LinkedIn.
Rethink your LinkedIn page
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your corporate LinkedIn page, take a moment to check it. Is it mostly job postings, press releases and news about the company that would be of no interest to anyone who didn’t work there? Is anyone, including your own employees, engaging with it? How many non-employee followers does it have? Is the number growing? Is the content interesting?
You don’t have to be a corporate giant to succeed on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s easier for smaller businesses to have a presence greater than their size would suggest. Content is what matters. Here are some examples of healthcare and health IT companies doing a good job with their pages: Biofourmis (a client), Epic, and athenahealth. What they have in common are lively pages, clear messaging, good visuals and engaging content.
Companies are recognizing that their LinkedIn pages can be more than corporate placeholders. They’re a great venue for interacting and building relationships with clients, partners, vendors etc. It’s a chance for your organization to show your human side in a professional setting. And it can be used before HLTH, HIMSS, VIVE, RISE, and other key tradeshows to connect with other guests and exhibitors.
Why you need LinkedIn
LinkedIn is too big to ignore. It has 850 million members in more than 200 countries and territories and 9 million companies have a page. Organic engagement is high, with 40% of visitors engaging with a page every week. It’s where potential job applicants, customers and vendors go first to learn about a business.
It’s a great platform for businesses to tell their stories in a variety of ways. While Instagram, Twitter and TikTok are more associated with creative content, LinkedIn has become more versatile and content-friendly while remaining free of the controversy and sketchy content that plagues those outlets.
Compared to other platforms, LinkedIn makes it easier to present your company in its entirety, rather than just in snapshots and quick takes. And, because it’s a business-first enterprise populated (mostly) by serious people, content is less likely to get hijacked or trolled.
LinkedIn features to use
If it’s been a while since you updated your page, here are some LinkedIn best practices and features you should be aware of:
- Video – LinkedIn has allowed native (as opposed to embedded) video since 2017 and has expanded the feature to include seven different types, including posts and articles, ads, live streaming, in profiles, meetings, direct messaging and connection requests. Videos on LinkedIn get five times as much engagement as text-based content.
- Events – The Events feature boosts the visibility of online and offline events and get more people to sign up. Events can be public or be made private and sent by invitation to people in network.
- Articles — LinkedIn began allowing companies to write long-form content in 2021. Articles are a great way to go deeper than posts and demonstrate thought leadership. These also appear in search engine results.
- Newsletters – Available since 2021, newsletters allow signups and notify subscribers of each new issue, a great way to increase reach. You also can invite people to subscribe.
Making the most of your page
There are many sources out there for learning how to create a great company page, including LinkedIn itself, which offers tutorials on everything from SEO to graphics. But here are some ways to start:
- Fill out all the information on your business page. This includes logo, cover image, company overview and company information. According to LinkedIn, companies that fill out all the information get 30% more weekly views than those that don’t.
- Optimize your page for SEO. Some visitors will search specifically for your business on LinkedIn, but others will search by topic, business type, etc. An optimized page will improve traffic, not only from within the platform, but from search engines. Concentrate on the overview section and company information.
- Keep the content fresh and interesting. Many LinkedIn pages tend to be internally focused. Instead, post what’s interesting to your audience. And make it visual.
- Engage with the audience. No one likes an aloof corporate monolith. Respond to relevant comments, tag industry leaders, and comment on other’s posts.
Leverage your corporate page
In addition to your corporate page, I always stress to my clients that people follow people — meaning YOU need to leverage your corporate posts with your own personal network. It is your opportunity to add commentary to a post, to showcase your personality, while promoting your company initiatives and/or thought leadership.
Be consistent with posting. I vote for one substantial post per week vs multiple posts that don’t have an impact. Engage with your followers, comment on other’s posts and add commentary whenever possible. We follow the 80/20 rule. While 20 percent of your content can be self-promotional, 80 percent should focus on thought leadership. Use proper hashtags, follow targeted hashtags and join key groups. Have fun and let your personality shine through.
LinkedIn can be a great asset for you and your company. Dust off your page, be consistent, follow best practices and put it to work for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jodi Amendola, a healthcare/healthcare IT marketing and communications strategist and thought leader. A 30-year industry veteran, Jodi is CEO and co-founder of Amendola Communications, a national, award-winning public relations, social media, content marketing and marketing communications agency serving healthcare, digital health and life sciences organizations. You can follow Amendola on LinkedIn and Twitter or subscribe to The Amendola Blog