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LinkedIn 101 for Manufacturers

LinkedIn is the platform that people may think about when they want to showcase a career move, important company information, or future opportunities that may interest their audience. There are so many features to help grow one’s network, gain potential client’s attention, and build future relationships. Businesses that can benefit from LinkedIn tend to be in industries such as manufacturing, plastics, and engineering, according to a SAGE 2021 report. This insight goes to show that the world of networking is continually expanding to more and more industries.

Here is a deep dive into how manufacturing businesses can use LinkedIn to help spotlight and gain recognition for their brands.

Update your Company Page

Start with the LinkedIn company page. The company page is the highlight reel and information hub for a business’ qualifications. If a profile is not up-to-date, it is losing 30% of the views that come to the page; however, if it is an updated and active page, it will gain that 30% of viewing back, according to LinkedIn best practices.

What does an updated page look like? Begin with these basics:

  • Background

Use a company-branded banner on a company page and encourage employees to use it on their profiles to promote the business. If a banner is not the preference, use a background image that yields professionalism and resonates with a brand’s theme.

  • Photo

When looking at a profile, the first thing that stands out is the profile photo. A company profile photo should be an updated logo, or an updated headshot if it’s a personal profile. This is how a user introduces themselves to a prospect looking at their brand. Make sure the logo is clean and easy to decipher; also ensure the headshot takes up about 60% of the photo, the subject is professionally dressed, and is in good lighting.

  • Profile page

When setting up or updating a profile, it is a good idea to add certain elements, such as a good headline, an overview, organization information, and a call-to-action button. Add your industry and services into the headline to help with SEO.

Adding Page Certifications

An updated LinkedIn page brings in more traffic, and that includes adding any relevant certificates and credentials to the overview on the page. For example, if a business received an ISO certificate or joined their county’s business alliance, adding in that information will help gain their profile pages about 6x more views than those without credentials. Certifications show viewers that the business maintains credibility.

Growing your Network

  • Showcase Pages

In addition to featuring information about a company on a business page, you can bring attention to company’s work with a showcase page. A showcase page is an extension to show off additional services or products. If multiple products or services are offered, highlight those business units on their own page, like another website. Showcase pages offer unique content sharing to different target audiences, and businesses can have up to 10 free showcase pages.

If a company has a service in two different fields, such as metals and plastics, these pages can be categorized so the plastic content will be directed towards companies in the plastic industry and the metal market towards companies in the metal industry. Overall, showcase pages are a great outlet for companies to have more direct targeting to help brand growth.

  • LinkedIn Groups

Finding LinkedIn groups to participate in and connect with other companies is great for brand growth. Following other Facebook groups allows for connections to grow amongst contacts and create greater brand recognition or potential partnerships in the future. To find key groups, you can utilize LinkedIn keyword search to look for a personalized target audience that matches your niche industry and help grow your reach.

LinkedIn groups foster an online community base, allowing for better quality engagement and more personable interactions. Some tips to start buzz amongst groups include:

  • Asking questions to the group specific to the industry
  • Paying attention to what people are saying and posting discussions based on relevancy
  • Doing research and testing new ideas or concepts that may attract connections
  • Showcasing your skills and commenting on other’s posts to foster relationships

Knowing what industries to target will kickstart future opportunities that will maximize reliability, trust, and community for a company’s brand.

  • Following Companies

LinkedIn has a feature called Company Profiles that shows user profiles they may want to follow, which helps companies gain recognition. It’s a perfect way to learn more about companies or industry professionals to connect with. When a user follows a company page, they instantly receive updates on what they post, like job listings, business opportunities, company updates, and more. Those updates then show in a user’s feed, and if they interact with a post from a company page, they follow, it could show up in their network feeds. Staying aware of who is following pages in the industry can help decide who to reach out to and expand one’s network.

Reposting and Sharing Content

  • Best Times to Post

According to a 2021 marketing report by Influencer Marketing Hub, the best times (PST) to post are:

    • Wednesdays 8-10 am and 12 noon,
    • Thursdays 9 am and 1-2 pm
    • Fridays 9 am

And the best times to post top content are:

    • 7:45 am, 9:45 am, and 2:45 pm
  • Commenting and Posting Content

LinkedIn as a platform is a professional place to network, but not share every piece of information about one’s personal life. Although it is important to balance professionalism and personal matters, every post and comment shared should have a tone of professionalism.

Some advice to keep in mind when posting and commenting include:

  • Avoid sharing posts about political or religious viewpoints
  • A single inappropriate post can create negative company perceptions
  • Avoid complaining about a current or former boss, coworker, or employee

Being aware of those situations will help a company stay mindful of what they post for their brand and what their employees say. However, this should not deter companies from interacting with a connection on the platform. Engaging with a post gives it greater awareness and creates a thoughtful conversation.

In order to have successful social interactions on LinkedIn, make sure there’s a balance between company posts, and interactions on other’s posts to create a two-way conversation. Encourage employees to repost company content since personal profiles have 10x more followers than business pages on average. Being proactive on how employees and the business page interact will help spread awareness, increase engagement, and create lasting relationships.

If you’re interested in learning more helpful marketing tips from Vive, check out our website for more blogs like this one, or contact us today to start a new marketing conversation!