I recently did a Twitter Chat for #smbiz on tips for utilizing LinkedIn for business. Since then I have been contacted by small businesses looking for advice on what is LinkedIn and how to fully utilize the social network. I decided to answer this particular question on my blog because it did not come up on the chat. I think there is a lot of buzz around small companies on how to utilize social media and LinkedIn that should be addressed. The first step in addressing that is this post on how to create a company page on LinkedIn.
Up until now, the preferred way of finding company information was and still is D&B Hoovers. Hoovers provides a huge database of company information, but also adds lots of information and services around this to provide a truly comprehensive treasure chest of information and tips for any company that you might want to research. Where does LinkedIn fit in, you ask? Professionals are inputting their personal LinkedIn profiles, including companies they work for, into LinkedIn’s huge database. By organizing all of this company information into their own proprietary database, and in conjunction with Business Week, LinkedIn is able to provide its users a database of information that someday may rival that of Hoovers.
But LinkedIn has their own angle on the company database and how they want others to learn how to create a company page on LinkedIn. In their words, “Company Profiles is a research tool that helps users explore and find the right companies to work for and do business with. Company Profiles leverage our unique network data and surfaces the people you need to get business done. They can be used to view job opportunities in your field and better understand the types of roles companies hire for and the latest news on people that have recently joined the company.” In other words, where LinkedIn differentiates themselves is in providing targeted people information and job information. And if you are researching a company, this is more than likely the reason that you are looking at them, right?
So, if you are a small business owner, entering your Company Profile will put your company on the map and searchable. In essence, as with your personal profile, your company can now be found, so you may start getting some passive marketing power. You will also be given a URL (www.linkedin.com/companies/companyname) and thus will also start showing up if someone Googles your company name. So, because it is a free service, the service can only be recommended to any business owner.
Adding a Company Profile is easy, but finding out where to start creating your Company Page can be difficult with today’s LinkedIn user interface. Today you need to go to the Work tab, and then at the very bottom you will be able to create a LinkedIn company page as you see below.
The next screen will look like below, asking you if you want to create a new company page for a small business, medium to large business, showcase page (to augment your current company page), or educational institution.
Let’s choose small business as an example of what you need to prepare to create your company page on LinkedIn. Selecting that will lead you to the following new LinkedIn company page information screen on LinkedIn with the details you need to fill out:
You used to have to enter your company name and email address, and you needed to make sure that the email address matched the domain name of your company. At some point, it would not surprise me if you are prompted to update your own personal profile with this company information if you have not done so already, but for now let’s proceed forward with what is displayed above and what you should enter in each section:
- Company Name
- LinkedIn Company Page URL
- Website URL
- Company Size – in terms of number of employees, even if you are the only one
- Company Type (privately held, non-profit, etc.)
- Logo (300 x 300px recommended size)
- Tagline – which briefly describe what your company does and can be changed later
Entering the above will create a page where you can add more information to, but at a minimum, the above is all you need to create your own LinkedIn company page. The entire process shouldn’t take very long, and it will definitely give your small business a bigger presence on LinkedIn. Just be careful to only include the information that you feel comfortable with and make your company profile searchable by the same keywords as with your personal profile.
Hope you enjoyed the tips on how to create a company page on LinkedIn…and hope to see your company on LinkedIn soon!