What's the difference between a LinkedIn Company page, a LinkedIn Group, and your website?

Before I answer the question, ask yourself, “Does my firm allow me to have a LinkedIn Company Page or LinkedIn Group?” I have found firms that allow their advisors to have both, one or the other, and some that don’t allow either. Best, before you begin work on a LinkedIn Company Page or LinkedIn Group, check with your compliance officer.

For advisors whose firms allow them to build a LinkedIn Company Page and start a LinkedIn Group, Yes, you need both.

Maybe a bit of perspective is in order here. Why are you on LinkedIn? Chances are it’s to generate visitors, convert those visitors to leads, and those leads to clients.

According to a HubSpot study of more than 5,000 companies, completed in 2015, it was found that “traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.745, almost three times higher (277%) than both Twitter (0.69%) and Facebook (0.77%).” Thus the answer is “Yes,” LinkedIn is a viable source of leads.

Let’s take a look at each of these LinkedIn features:

  • LinkedIn Company Pages. Think of your LinkedIn Company Page as your business website on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Company Pages are a way for you to market your business.
  • LinkedIn Groups. Think of your LinkedIn Group as your private network on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Groups are a way to network and build credibility within and with your network.

Your LinkedIn Company Page allows your network and prospects to learn more about you, your practice, and importantly, your capabilities or areas of expertise. Unlike your LinkedIn Profile, which functions more as a place to provide biographical information about you, your LinkedIn Company Page is a place to raise brand awareness about your business and to educate potential customers about various life events that will require financial guidance, and most of all, your services.

I like to think of LinkedIn Company Pages as being an extension to your advisor website. It’s a place for you to promote timely articles, your events, or community events you’re involved with that all enhance the credibility of your practice.

Little known fact: You cannot create a LinkedIn Company Page with a non-business email address like one from Google or Yahoo.

Tips for a successful LinkedIn Company Page

  • Give your Company Page some personality. You can accomplish this by adding a header. An example of a suitable header would be your corporate or team logo. If you are trying to emphasize a particular skill or area of expertise, possibly adding the CFP or CFA logos would be appropriate.
  • It’s “About” you, from your customer’s viewpoint. I refer to the “About” Section as the “WIFM” area — What’s In It For Me! Be concise and clear about what distinguishes or differentiates you from the hundreds or thousands of other advisors that your prospects may be considering doing business with.
  • Make it easy for me to connect with you. In the “About” Section, don’t forget to put the link to your FA website.
  • Post regularly. The best way to build followers is to provide them timely, informative, and pertinent material on a regular basis. Engage them when appropriate by asking them questions that will encourage them to respond to your posts.

Your LinkedIn Group Page allows you to create an environment to host a gathering of people interested in the same topic. For instance, you may want to start a group on Retirement Planning, Retirement Income, or College Funding, to name a few.

One of the unique aspects of LinkedIn Groups is you can belong to one and you can start one. There are more than two million by some accounts, and more than four million by others, LinkedIn Groups. With such a vast selection, there have to be one or two that will interest you.

My suggestion is to view the LinkedIn Groups that your clients and prospects belong to and join one of their groups. Your active participation in a Group will help you establish your credibility with other professionals with like-minded interests, many of those who are not in your current circle of clients or prospects.

By joining LinkedIn Groups that your clients belong to, it is likely that you will be in front of an audience outside of financial services. For example, if your specialty is working with physicians, join a group specific to physicians. Visit it often and read not only the articles the group is sharing but pay special attention to the discussions and comments. There’s probably no easier way to gain valuable insight into your target audience.

Tips for leveraging LinkedIn Groups

  • Join a mixture of LinkedIn Groups. What I mean by that is to join groups that are of interest to you personally, in general, and to join groups that are relevant to your profession.
  • According to LinkedIn’s General Limits for LinkedIn Groups. you can now be a member of 100 groups at one time. Based upon the Skills and Experience you have chosen to share in your LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn will send you Group recommendations.
  • By typing keywords in the LinkedIn search bar, you can also identify LinkedIn Groups that may be of interest to you.
  • Share valuable information. This is one of the quickest ways to build your online reputation as a Thought Leader. You can build authority by cutting and pasting interesting articles that pertain to your business practice, but make sure you add your context to the post.
  • Participate in your Groups. If you continually promote your own content, Group members may dismiss its value as being self-promotional. To avoid this trap, get in the habit of “Liking” and “Commenting” on other people’s posts.

If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn Groups, here’s a link to LinkedIn’s Group resource page.

A word of caution before you set up either one of these features on LinkedIn: LinkedIn Company Pages and LinkedIn Groups each play key roles in helping you develop and expand your online presence and thought leadership. Therefore, they have to be monitored on a regular basis to make sure you are answering questions your Group members or visitors to your Company page may have. Nothing is worse than visiting a LinkedIn Group or Company Page that has outdated information — not the type of image one wants to foster.

If you would like help in developing a LinkedIn Company Page or LinkedIn Group, please contact your Delaware FundsSM Regional Director to make an appointment, and we’ll walk you through how to set up your LinkedIn Company Page and LinkedIn Group page.

FINRA regulates the use of social media. Advisors should consult their compliance departments about restrictions regarding the use of social media before accessing any social media networks for a business purpose.

This content is for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any content on LinkedIn, or any app, service, or publicly traded company. It is also not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security.

All third-party marks cited are property of their respective owners.

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