Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is now the oldest social media platform still in use today and has 722 million members. Like many social media platforms, it has changed quite a bit over time, but its primary focus is still professional networking and connections.
For many small business owners and small nonprofits, having a presence on LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with prospective customers or supporters, as well as network with others in your industry.
Overview and demographics
Of the 722 million members on the platform, 57% are men and 43% are women, with 59.9% of LinkedIn’s users being between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
While LinkedIn is used by many people for posting jobs or looking for job postings, it’s much more than a job search platform. The platform has 15 times more content impressions than job postings, with a total of nine billion content impressions (Hootsuite). In other words, people are using it to share relevant content and to seek out content that educates and informs.
Ways to be present on LinkedIn
LinkedIn allows users to create a personal profile and a business page. The personal profile is all about you – your professional skills, your work history, content you’ve published on the platform, organizations you belong to, etc. The personal profile is also how you connect with others on the platform.
Business pages on LinkedIn allow you to share basic information about your organization, including location, number of employees, and any job postings you might have. You can also share content from your business page that will appear in the activity feed for anyone who has followed your page.
If you’re a small business owner or a small nonprofit, we recommend having both a personal profile and a business page to maximize your experience on LinkedIn. Once you have both in place, you can connect through your personal profile with people you know and invite people to follow your business page.
Using LinkedIn for small business marketing
Like most social platforms, there are varying ways you can use LinkedIn for small business marketing. As always, the first step is to identify your goals for using LinkedIn. Are you trying to find qualified employees for your business? Are you looking for potential clients or customers on the platform? Will you use LinkedIn as a tool for staying on top of industry trends and development?
Once you know your goals for using LinkedIn, you can move on to posting consistent content that’s relevant to your audience. You can post from your business page or your personal profile, so consider what content you share where and how that aligns with your goals.
You also have the option of paid marketing efforts on LinkedIn, which you can target to specific goals like increasing brand awareness, getting more website visits or video views, or generating leads. Since LinkedIn collects a large amount of data about their user’s industry, work history, career level, etc., you can target your ads to specific audiences based on the available criteria.
LinkedIn isn’t the largest social media platform by any means, but for small businesses or nonprofits looking to connect with other business professionals, LinkedIn can be a powerful part of the marketing mix and social media strategy.