LinkedIn User Guide
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms in terms of the platform’s users as well as its purpose.
LinkedIn is a professionally-geared platform, and its audience is reflective of that (older than other platforms, and they come to this platform looking for business and career-focused content).
LinkedIn originated as a job search and networking site, but has added to that core function to be a place for publishing and influence building.
Nowadays, users go to LinkedIn to connect with their co-workers but also follow their favorite industry experts and organizations, who publish news and updates.. For higher education purposes, think of it as a way to showcase the best things about your department and a way to communicate to both your employees as well as alums and the broader public.
Note: If you need assistance setting up a LinkedIn Profile, please contact us – these guides assume a basic level of proficiency.
Personal Profiles vs Company Pages
There are two main types of LinkedIn accounts: Personal Profiles and Company Pages. As the name implies, your Personal Profile is your own, individual account to represent yourself. A subset of personal accounts, “Creator” accounts are individual accounts focused more on topic expertise rather than networking.
A Company Page is what you should use to represent your department (e.g. University of Chicago company page). Users can be assigned as admins/editors of Company Pages – so you must have a personal profile if you want to manage your department’s Company Page. Your personal profile must be affilaiated to a company in order to manage that company page.
Company Page Functions
Company Pages have multiple functions for both company “insiders” and “outsiders.”
One of the main purposes of Company Pages is for individual users to link up their accounts with these pages (e.g. John Smith works at: University of Chicago). Through these links, users can identify individuals who work at different companies and connect with coworkers and colleagues. You should consider encouraging your employees and alums to connect with your company page.
Additionally, Company Pages allow outsiders to stay updated on what is going on within the organization. For somewhere such as The University of Chicago, this is very important — there are always outsiders interested in the work going on here, hence why it is important to have a thoughtful presence on the LinkedIn platform. Sharing relevant content will keep outside users interested in your company.
Company Page Overview/Appearance
The “Overview” section of your Company Page is the easiest place to edit the most front-facing aspects of your LinkedIn Page. Here are some helpful tips for establishing your profile on LinkedIn:
- Both Profile Photos and Company Logo Images should be 300 x 300 pixels at minimum.
- Ensure that your page’s information sections are completed (“About Us”, etc.) — this allows LinkedIn users to find your page more easily as well as bolsters your profile’s appearance.
- Ensure that your page’s name includes all necessary information – spell out acronyms, include “University of Chicago” if appropriate.
Job Page Overview (Only available for LinkedIn Company accounts running paid campaigns)
This section is not necessary to run a successful LinkedIn page, but if your department does have frequent job openings, it is a good idea to keep this page updated. Doing so will keep followers more interested if they see potential jobs popping up often.
Life Page (Only available for LinkedIn Company paid accounts running a paid campaigns)
The “Life” section of your Company Page is a great place to feature people at your workplace. Emphasizing your company culture or notable individuals in this section gives outsiders a better look into the company. This is a great place to highlight the people in your organization, their accolades, successes, experiences
Note that both Job + Life Pages are available but not critical for most business pages. Contact us if you have any questions about these pages.
If you are creating a Company Page affiliated with The University of Chicago, we request that you connect your Page as an “Affiliate” of the official University of Chicago LinkedIn Page. By doing this, your page will get more exposure due to the main page’s following, and specific departments will be more easily found from the main page.
If there are notable and highly active LinkedIn Groups specifically associated with your unit, you can include them in this section. Note: this may not be applicable to all pages.
If you have a fairly active LinkedIn audience, creating an official “group” will allow you to centralize public conversations about your organization in one place with the ability to engage and moderate the conversations.
Showcase Pages (Only available for LinkedIn Company paid accounts running a paid campaigns)
Showcase Pages are ways to feature specific Campaigns, or divisions within your unit.
Due to the specificity of Showcase Pages, we advise that you avoid this section if you are new to having a LinkedIn presence. Reach out to us if you’d like to discuss the use of Showcase pages to help support specific initiatives or highlight individual parts of your department.
LinkedIn’s Help Section is also an excellent resource for more info on Company Pages.
Your Department’s LinkedIn Presence
The primary owner of your Company page can add users as an Admin. If you are unsure of who this person is, or need to set the page up yourself, visit this page.
What to post
LinkedIn has a different audience compared to the other social media platforms – it’s important to take this into account when posting content to your LinkedIn followers. It is a professional and business-like platform, so use content that will play well to that type of audience (big announcements, learning & professional development resources, interesting research, and professional events are a few examples).
Your post cadence on LinkedIn should be different from a high-volume channel such as Twitter, particularly because users aren’t often spending a ton of time on the platform. A good number to shoot for would be posting one or two times per week on LinkedIn (an ideal number is three to five per week, but this may vary depending on your department).
Keep in mind that a large number of people that follow your LinkedIn company page are directly associated with you and that updates about your organization that the general public might not care about may be very interesting to your LinkedIn community.
Similarly, content that shares what your organiztion’s culture and environment look like, can also do well on LinkedIn. You may find great success using high-quality images (such as those from your Instagram feed) on LinkedIn. Looking for opportunities to share a variety of content will greatly increase your chance of success on the platform.
Help and Feedback
Contact us if you have detailed questions about your LinkedIn setup or strategy.
If there are specific ways you think your department could collaborate with the main University of Chicago page, please contact us.
More on these and other LinkedIn topics can be found on LinkedIn’s very useful help page.