During social media training sessions I am often asked about the differences between using a LinkedIn company page versus a personal profile. If you’re familiar with Facebook, the differences between a business page and a personal profile on LinkedIn are quite similar to Facebook. The only thing to note is that you can promote your business through your profile on LinkedIn, whereas it isn’t the done thing on Facebook so much.
You may not generate much activity on your LinkedIn company page, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one as it has several benefits. But first I’ll explain why your LinkedIn profile is more important to prioritise.
People connect with people
Responses from businesses can often miss that human element that we all desire. It’s hard to “be yourself” when you’re acting as your brand. The most memorable experiences people have with businesses typically involve a person going above and beyond to address their needs.
You can build a personal brand really well through a LinkedIn profile. This will shape people’s perceptions of the brand you represent and add value to your business.
Profiles are active, company pages are passive
With a LinkedIn company page you aren’t able to connect with people, send and receive messages, so therefore it’s hard to develop relationships. You’re purely dependent on organic interactions.
The magic has always been with personal profiles and the relationships you develop through them.
You can use your profile to connect with relevant people
One of the most powerful LinkedIn marketing strategies is to reach out to new people through connecting with them or via their inboxes. This is only possible with personal profiles.
Rather than connecting with potential clients and trying to sell to them, I always recommend using LinkedIn as a networking tool and connecting with potential referral partners, to build relationships this way. Think about non-competing businesses that are in your industry, perhaps within your area too, and strike up a conversation with them to see if you can refer each other to people in your networks. Trust me – you’ll get a much greater response from this than trying to promote something to a potential client!
The benefits of having a company page
Should you ditch your company page altogether since its more limited than the personal profile? Definitely not!
You can still use your LinkedIn company page effectively – here are some reasons why:
It looks professional
Whether you’re a large company or one-person show, if a prospect looks for your company page and doesn’t find it, it won’t help your credibility. Your company page will also be tied to your personal profile, which means anyone checking out your profile (and your employees) will be able to see your company and branding immediately.
This link takes people to the Experience section of your profile, which then links to your company page. Just make sure your company page is complete and professional looking!
More opportunities to be found
Having a company page gives additional ways for people to find you and your content on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn company page is very SEO friendly. Often your company page will come up high in search results when someone Googles your business name.
Your employees can be connected to it
Having even only a few employees connected to your company page provides increased exposure.
To conclude – have both a company page and a personal profile
Ultimately, your LinkedIn company page is one more place for potential prospects to learn about your company. So make sure it’s fully optimised and you’re publishing regular content on it.
But for most small businesses, I would say prioritise your personal profile. This will bring you greater results.