LinkedIn isn’t a new networking site, but it is one that is often underutilized. The business networking site has expanded their features and services for both individual and business profiles alike. You could be missing out if you aren’t an active LinkedIn member.
Through LinkedIn, you will be able to market and advertise your business in a fresh manner. Attract new customers with minimal effort. And receive referrals to locate new potential employees all on one network.
Here’s how you can make sure your LinkedIn account is working for you!
Create A Business Page
Your LinkedIn profile should be able to tell a story about your business. But first, you need to appeal to those you want to view your page. The best way to reach this goal is to create a business page with unique graphics and content.
Your business page can stand out among the rest with a quality cover image that represents the tone of your company. Your art should be sized appropriately to fit in the given title space. Be sure to brand your profile by making your company logo front and center as the profile image.
Unfortunately, these cover photos are somewhat difficult to align properly, significantly more so than Facebook or twitter. We recommend a simple wallpaper style image that includes a relatively small centered logo.
Provide a minimum of three specialties in the section provided so people can quickly find your business page in related searches.
Ensure your company description is up to date, including keywords and descriptors for those interested in learning more about your business. A good description will catch the attention of those who are looking for your services by telling them who you are, what you do, and why you’re a leader in your industry.
You can even create “showcase” pages for specializations or departments within your company to stand out.
LinkedIn is a great space to be more casual in the way you present your company. Write about your business as though you’re engaging in a dialogue with someone, rather than providing a formal presentation.
Let Others Know What You’re Doing
Posting content from your business page – such as articles, blogs, photos from company events or strategy meetings, videos, or through sharing others’ content that relates to your followers – is a terrific way to showcase your business. Your content is a tool that help others identify with your brand and understand the character of your organization.
Use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to create content that is going to be found in searches, and that people are going to be interested in.
Social media marketing is a key component to soft advertising. Your followers can ‘like’ or comment on your posts. Those ‘likes’ are then shared on your follower’s profile – expanding the reach of your brand to individuals similar to those with whom you’re already connected. Your follower’s ‘like’ is equivalent to word of mouth advertisement. Friends, acquaintances, and colleagues of your followers are potential customers you may not otherwise interact with.
While original content is best, save some time by browsing articles or photos from local businesses in your area or other competitors. Sharing their content is a quick way to let your followers know your business interests. Sharing is important, but don’t copy and paste. Link to the original article.
Remember the golden rule of netiquette, “Link unto others as you would have them link unto you.” This is more important on LinkedIn than other platforms because good netiquette garners extra respect here.
Share Skills Within Your Industry
Engage in community groups with others in your profession or interest areas. Groups are a good way to share knowledge, increase your skills, and network with other professionals. Participate in these dedicated discussion forums on moderated business-focused topics to help your business expand.
Groups are also a great place to gain feedback. Honest reviews can be difficult to come by these days, but with LinkedIn Groups you’ll have hundreds or thousands of individuals who are dedicated to your interest set at your fingertips.
“Check out this blog post and tell me what you think!” is not likely to have a positive reception. Remember, have a dialogue with others on LinkedIn rather than running a promotional advertisement at them. Ask people direct questions in order to receive an honest reply. Be courteous and thank them for their response.
Running into a wall with a particular issue? Use LinkedIn Groups to help you brainstorm and problem solve with a group of professionals in a matter of minutes! When you see someone else asking for help, offer your honest advice. The good deed will be returned and garner you another quality associate.
Post or comment in a group just once weekly and you’ll see a noticeable impact on your network growth!
Let Your Community Assist Your Business Growth
Connect with current clients and customers. Invite them to join you on LinkedIn if they don’t already have a profile. Being connected to people you already interact with is essential to demonstrating positive customer service. These connections can write reviews and testimonials to be published on your business page. You can also use testimonials for future advertisement, such as on your web site or in a brochure.
Staying connected to your customer base and industry colleagues enhances your credibility.
Also look for opportunities to connect with others in your industry. This is particularly valuable if your business caters to a local market. On LinkedIn, you can exchange advice on marketing or operations in a noncompetitive environment. You may hesitate to share information with a local competitor in your Chamber of Commerce but working with an industry peer in another market may help you both improve.
Reach out to future clients to attract new business! LinkedIn helps you identify 2nd and 3rd connections, those who are already connected to your followers. Build strong relationships with prospective customers by making contact via LinkedIn, e-newsletters, and in-person. Whenever possible, strengthen your network connections through face to face meetings. Get to know who they are, their needs, and reinforce how your business can help them.
Building relationships happens both online and offline! Get the most out of your social media network by
optimizing your skills with America’s top business networking site.