This month in my series designed to help you get your small business on social media, even if you can’t afford a social media manager just yet, I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Once the boring, corporate sibling of the social networks, LinkedIn has undergone something of a rebrand in the past year or so. Now featuring video, pre-recorded & live, Facebook-style reactions on posts and, most interestingly, more personal posts and increased engagement.

While LinkedIn is still not for everyone, if you’re a B2B business, it is quite possibly the place to be.

LinkedIn Profile or Page?

LinkedIn has both personal profiles and business pages, much like Facebook. Unlike Facebook, you are expected to use your personal profile for business. For freelancers and solopreneurs personal profiles are often the best option, small businesses may benefit from a business page which offers analytics, ads and the ability to advertise jobs, among other things. My advice would be to start with a personal profile and see how it goes, if you have other employees and are a slightly larger business a page will likely become necessary.

The site does a great job of walking you through setting up your profile itself, so I won’t be breaking that down in this blog post.

What & when to post

As with every other network, this will depend on you, your business and your audience. Consistency is important, if you can’t commit to 5 posts a week then don’t aim for it, you can always increase your posting as you gain more content, more confidence and/or more time.

Remember it’s not only about sales or bigging yourself up, share the difficult moments and what you learned from them, be authentic. If you’ve been really busy and struggled to find time to post, post about that. Every post doesn’t need to be how well your business is doing, where people can buy from you or what you offer.

Engagement is crucial, because of this, I would advise that you work out how much time you have for LinkedIn and then divide that up into how many posts you could manage each week but also leave time for engagement. If you have an hour each week which you’d be happy to dedicate to LinkedIn, one or two posts is plenty and then use the rest of that time to engage with other people’s content, peruse some hashtags, read some articles and leave plenty of comments.

Not more hashtags?!

I love a hashtag; I’ve talked about using them on Instagram and Twitter and now I’m going to tell you to use them on LinkedIn too. Hashtag research is something most small business owners just don’t have time for, fortunately there is a great blog post about the hot 100 hashtags being used on the social network as of July 2019 so you can start there. Keep them relevant and don’t overdo them. Until recently I was seeing better results with more hashtags but this has definitely changed, so keep it to a couple of relevant hashtags and mix them up each time.

The LinkedIn basics tl;dr*

Don’t feel that you have to be a robot; be yourself but keep it professional. Be consistent and focus on engaging with others

When you’re ready to offload your social presence to an expert so you can dedicate your time to what you love, I’d love to hear from you.

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.