All of the major social media platforms serve different audience segments—and in that, they also develop their own niche cultures, lexicons, and norms. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn explicitly brands itself as a professional platform. For small business owners, it’s a critical channel for both customer acquisition and business development.
Learn how to use LinkedIn for your business.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a professional social network focused on business and employment-related content and connections. LinkedIn was founded in 2002, and as of 2023, the platform has over 900 million members in 200 countries around the world.
Private LinkedIn users rely on the platform to find job opportunities, build their professional networks, build skills, and keep up to date with industry trends. Business owners use it for these purposes as well. They reach prospective customers and bring in new business, build relationships with other professionals in their industry, build their personal brands, and connect with job seekers.
How to create a LinkedIn business page
LinkedIn business pages are also known as company pages. You won’t register your company as a user—instead, a real person associated with your business will create a LinkedIn profile and set up your company page. Here’s how:
1. Set up a user profile
If you don’t already have a Linkedin account, sign up for one. Make sure your social media manager (or whoever will be responsible for managing your content on a daily basis) does the same.
2. Request a business page
To set up your business profile, select the “Business” icon in the top right-hand corner of your LinkedIn toolbar and select “Create company page” from the list of options.
3. Enter company information
To create your page, enter the following information:
- Company name
- Linkedin URL (e.g., The “my company” in www.linkedin.com/company/mycompany)
- Company website
- Company size
- Organization type
How to use LinkedIn for your business
- Know your goals
- Optimize your LinkedIn page
- Spread the word
- Optimize your LinkedIn content
- Join LinkedIn Groups
- Create your own publishing circle
Business owners can use LinkedIn to reach new clients, increase brand loyalty by providing value to target customers, acquire new connections, and strengthen their professional networks. These best practices can help you effectively leverage LinkedIn for your business:
1. Know your goals
Before launching any campaigns or brainstorming posts for your business page, determine your specific goals for your LinkedIn presence. Are you hoping to reach potential customers? Establish a reputation as an expert in your field? Network with other small business owners or seek expert advice on a specific problem?
LinkedIn can help you meet all of these goals. To maximize efficiency, prioritize them according to your existing business and marketing goals. This will help you identify tactics for your immediate needs.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn page
Here are a few tips to optimize your company page for viewers:
- Customize your images. LinkedIn company pages allow for branded company profile pictures. Profile pictures are small images with a circular crop that frequently feature a company’s logo. LinkedIn also lets you include a cover image, which is a banner image that displays at the top of your company page. You can customize both to reflect your unique brand.
- Optimize your description. LinkedIn’s “About” section allows a company description of up to 2,000 characters. Include your mission, company values, and value proposition or a brief description of your products and services. These descriptions are indexed by search engines, so adding keywords that match your audience's search intent to the beginning of your description can also boost your search engine performance.
- Use translations. LinkedIn lets companies customize their name, tagline, and description fields for up to 20 different languages, allowing them to reach a greater percentage of users in their native languages. You can find translation options in a drop-down menu under “Optimize your company name and description.” The platform will prompt you to set a default language and enter custom text for each additional language you select.
- Follow hashtags. LinkedIn’s company pages also have a “Community” section in which you can add up to three hashtags to follow. Following hashtags will show you relevant posts, allowing you to keep up with trending conversations in your industry.
- Use the custom button feature. Companies can choose from one of five custom call-to-action buttons: “Contact us,” “Learn more,” “Register,” “Sign up,” or “Visit website.” Choose the best option for your objectives and add the appropriate URL. You can also change this button to highlight specific events or opportunities.
- Create showcase pages. If your company has multiple divisions, you can create LinkedIn showcase pages to provide a separate page for each one. Showcase pages link back to your main company page.
3. Spread the word
Your LinkedIn strategy will be a subset of your social media strategy—and as on all social media platforms, a large and high-quality audience is key to meeting your goals. Here are a few ways to boost your followership:
- Share your page. LinkedIn allows company page admins to share their pages with their personal profiles. If you already have an established personal following on LinkedIn, sharing your company page can help you quickly gain followers.
- Invite contacts. You can also invite key contacts to follow your page by sending a connection request through the admin tools tab on your company page.
- Notify your employees. Individuals on LinkedIn frequently add current job descriptions to their user profiles. Sharing your company page with your employees can encourage them to link to your company from the relevant job title on their profile page.
- Add LinkedIn to your marketing materials. Make sure to update your website footer, marketing emails, and any other digital marketing collateral to include a clickable LinkedIn icon alongside your other social channels.
4. Optimize your LinkedIn content
Whether you plan on repurposing social content from other platforms or creating custom content for LinkedIn, understanding specific features of the platform and algorithm can help you maximize your efforts.
- Use hashtags. LinkedIn users use hashtags to link to specific professional subjects, like “#ecommerce” or “#marketingautomation”—typically including between two and five hashtags per post. Enter a hashtag in the platform’s search bar, click Enter, and select a relevant post, then locate the hashtag in the post and click on it to see the total number of LinkedIn members following that hashtag. You can use this method to determine which hashtags to include in your posts.
- Post external content. LinkedIn’s algorithm is friendlier to external content and text-only posts than those of many other social media platforms, and many users look to the platform for curated articles and news updates relevant to their particular industries. You can post content originally published on other platforms to provide value to followers, build relationships with industry peers (especially if you locate and tag the writer), and stretch your content-creation budget.
- Post thought-leadership content. LinkedIn’s thought leadership feature allows individual user profiles and company pages to publish long-form content, which can be particularly valuable for B2B companies looking to establish a reputation among industry peers. If your LinkedIn goals include primarily reaching potential customers, you can still use this feature, as long as you publish relevant content that addresses your target audience's concerns. For example, a company that sells dog treats might establish itself as a thought leader in rewards-based training strategies.
5. Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are private communities designed to facilitate discussion around specific industries, interests, or job functions. Small business owners can use them to seek advice, research potential partners or vendors, and build relationships with industry peers.
For example, if you run a direct-to-consumer (DTC) chocolate company, you might join a group called DTC Snack Makers and build relationships with peers in the space. LinkedIn allows you to see the full profiles of other members in the group and send up to 15 free messages a month to other members—even if you’re not otherwise connected.
Take note, however, not all groups are created equal. Before joining, take a spin through the group you’re interested in to see if the members post regularly and earnestly. It won’t be a fruitful experience if it’s a dead zone or the posts are mostly spam.
6. Create your own publishing circle
In contrast with LinkedIn Groups, publishing circles are informal content-sharing arrangements you form with other business owners rather than through a designated platform feature. It works similarly to Instagram pods, a strategy where influencers join together to share content and boost engagement. LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritizes content based on clarity, quality, recency, and engagement, and with a LinkedIn publishing group, all of these factors are in your control. Here’s how it works:
- Identify like-minded peers. Connect with a group of six to 12 industry peers by reaching out to folks you’re familiar with and asking who else they know who might be interested in joining.
- Communicate goals. Talk to your peer group and agree on some ground rules for the content you want to publish and share. For example, you might decide to avoid political content and focus instead on boosting customer testimonials and case studies. Develop a publication schedule that includes each company.
- Publish content. At your given time, you’ll publish an engagement-friendly post, such as a thought-leadership piece or an open-ended question. The other members of your group will share, like, and comment on your post, potentially prompting the LinkedIn algorithm to promote the content.
- Comment on peer publications. When other members of the circle publish, you’ll engage with their content. This will improve the performance of their content and provide additional exposure for your company. Crafting a smart comment on a top-performing post is another way to potentially reach more viewers and boost your following.
LinkedIn for business FAQ
How do I use LinkedIn to promote my business?
These LinkedIn marketing strategies can help you generate new business:
- Create and optimize your company page
- Join LinkedIn Groups
- Post high-quality content
- Write thought-leadership articles
- Run LinkedIn ads
Is a LinkedIn business account free?
Yes. The only thing you need to create a LinkedIn business profile is a personal profile on the platform.
Can you advertise on LinkedIn without a company page?
No. To post sponsored content, you need to create a free company page.