So, you’ve already set up a LinkedIn company page. You slapped your corporate logo on it, added some basic information, and proudly checked that marketing task off your list. Not so fast! Yes, you’ve taken an important first step to strengthening connections with current and prospective customers, strategic partners, and potential employees. But the job’s not finished. It’s like putting a kettle on the stove, but not turning on the burner. If you want to see business results from LinkedIn social networking, you have to turn up the activity on your company page.
The construction industry is well represented on LinkedIn. In fact, according to the Construction Marketing Association’s 2016 social media survey, 50 percent of construction marketers considered LinkedIn and Facebook to be the most effective social networks. Yet many construction company pages aren’t leveraging the social platform to build their brand and business. Here are a few tips to turn your static LinkedIn page into a dynamic business tool:
Focus on followers
Build it and they will come. That saying doesn’t necessarily hold true when it comes to your LinkedIn company page. A little promotion is needed to create the connections you want to make:
- Invite your customers to follow you. When they do, everyone in their LinkedIn network hears about it, spreading the word that your company page is worthwhile to follow.
- Make a list of people you want to do business with. It’s not just about how many people connect to your company page, but who is connecting. Develop a target list of key customers, prospects, influencers, and others with whom you want to stay in touch. This list will guide your proactive outreach efforts on LinkedIn.
- Add a follow button. Put it on your website, in your standard company email signature, and other electronic marketing efforts.
- Try a “follow ad campaign” through LinkedIn. For a fee, these campaigns allow you to target LinkedIn members in specific industries, companies, and regions.
Provide engaging content
To attract and keep followers, you need to post “updates” that deliver relevant and useful information. These updates appear just under your company profile section and consist of a photo (highly recommended), a short and engaging summary, and a link to a blog post, article, video, press release, or other information. Some of the most common updates include company news, awards, and project announcements. These are all appropriate, but some of the best updates I’ve seen include:
- Opinions on leadership and corporate culture
- Interesting trivia about a construction firm’s current project
- A contractor’s take on industry trends
- Commentary describing how a contractor uses technology and other advanced methods to improve the construction process
- Employee accounts of their involvement in a project or company-sponsored charitable activity
- Requests for followers to weigh in on hot topics
Decide how often you can post updates and stick to your schedule. Not every update has to be about your company. In fact, it’s better if you mix things up. Also share relevant content from other trusted sources.
Foster employee participation
Many of your employees are probably already on LinkedIn for professional networking. When they include your company name on their profile, they automatically become a follower of your company page. Don’t stop there. Take steps to involve your team in your LinkedIn efforts.
For example, some contractors showcase their employees in short videos discussing a variety of topics, from safety to what it takes to be a construction superintendent. Encourage company executives and employees to write and post, to their personal LinkedIn accounts, articles that highlight their expertise and experience with your company. Then, include a link to these articles in a company page update. This gives employees another reason to share company updates with their own networks, which extends positive “word-of-mouth.”
Involving your employees on your LinkedIn company page also can assist in your staffing efforts. A project manager, estimator, engineer, or other specialist talking about what it’s like to work for your company is a powerful endorsement. You can also use your corporate page to discuss your company beliefs, culture, and unique way of doing business—all things important to job seekers.
Let your followers know about open positions with “now hiring” updates. You can even post job listings on your company page. The feature is available, for a fee, by clicking on the jobs icon at the top of your company home page.
Keep it real
Finally, avoid blatant promotion and selling of your services on LinkedIn. Remember LinkedIn is a professional networking site. While it can lead to business, it is not a sales platform. Follow the same rules you would in developing any one-on-one professional relationship. Provide value and be genuine. Then, the rest should all fall into place.