As a small business owner do you need a company page on LinkedIn? If you’re a sole trader or micropreneur (like me!) then you probably don’t need to worry. A personal profile on LinkedIn will do fine in terms of keeping people up to date on what is going on.
- you’ve got employees (or think you might have employees in the future – world domination here we come!);
- you work in a partnership or
- you are building a business on the side whilst still holding down a full-time job, then a company page is definitely the way to go.
A LinkedIn company page allows you to portray a corporate voice and gives a central point of focus for the business. It is also a great asset for conferences – particularly if you are going as an exhibitor – but I’ll talk more on that another day.
Today let’s stick to how to set up a company page and down the track we’ll talk more about strategies for using the LinkedIn page.
I would like to note that you don’t have to have a Pty Ltd company to have a company page – if you’re running under a business name structure then you can still use this feature.
Before you can add a company page to LinkedIn you do need to meet some pre-requirements. They are:
- You’re a current company employee and your position is listed in the Experience section on your profile – for example as ‘founder’, ‘owner’ or something similar.
- You have a company email address (e.g. email@example.com) added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account. – A great reason for owning your own domain rather than renting space on the social networks or a free web provider.
- Your company’s email domain is unique to the company. – You can’t use generic domains like gmail.com or yahoo.com to create a company page.
- Your profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All Star. To view your profile strength go to your LinkedIn profile (the link is on the black menu bar). The Profile Strength meter is on the right side of your profile. The strength will increase as you add more content to your profile.
- You must have several connections.
Don’t meet any of these requirements? You might want to consider setting up a group instead.
Ok, so you’ve met all the requirements and you’re ready to go. Setting up a company page is quite simple – there’s only four steps which makes a change from some of my posts!
- From the black menu bar, hover over Interests and select Companies from the drop down list.
- Click on the Add a Company link at the top right of the page.
- Type in your company / business name and your work email address – remember to use the one that has the same domain as the company / business.
- Click Continue and enter your company information. You might need to confirm your email address at this point too if it is not on your LinkedIn profile already.
And you’re done! Sadly there is no way to preview a company page – you can only add information, publish and view it live to see your changes.
Other bits and pieces
So with the new company page added there’s a few administrative tasks you might want to take care of.
- Make sure all your employees add the company page to their profile.
- From their profile, they select Edit and then scroll down to the relevant position. Click on the pencil icon and then Change Company. Start typing the name of your company or business and a drop down list will appear. They can then select the new company page and save the changes.
- The company logo will now show up in their profile and the company name link will now go straight to the company page rather than a search page.
- Add an additional administrator. This is a great idea as it means you’re not the only way responsible for keeping the page updated (see why a microprenur might not want a LinkedIn page?). You must be a 1st degree connection of the person before they can be added as an administrator and they must list your company / business as a current position on their profile. They also need to add their company / business name to their LinkedIn profile before they can become an administrator.
- From the black menu bar, hover over Interests and select Companies from the drop down list. Select your company / business name from the list (if you’re following lots of companies you might need to search for your company name!)
- Click on the blue Edit button and scroll down the page to the Company Pages Admins section. Start typing the name of the connection you wish to add.
- Select the name of the new administrator and they’ll automatically appear in the list of Admins.
- Scroll back up to the top of the page and click on Publish to save the new changes.
- To remove an administrator, simply remove their name from the list by clicking on the X.
Administrators of a company page can post updates on that page, as well as respond to comments under the company page name. They can also add products / services, update information, change logos and generally keep the corporate face of the company alive and well on LinkedIn.
So let’s talk about ways of doing that next week shall we?
[Image via Flickr user Paulo Ordoveza]
Got questions about LinkedIn that aren’t answered here? Leave a question in the comment box below and I’ll see how I can help. And feel free to pass this post onto anyone you know who might be looking at setting up a LinkedIn page – handy share buttons (including email!) are just below…