Jul.16LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn for Business

Linkedin has more than 300 million users worldwide, and if you’re not participating on this popular social media site, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.

Perhaps you think of Linkedin strictly as a professional networking site rather than a means of brand promotion. But your participation on Linkedin can help your brand in many ways you may not have considered, particularly in light of the company’s recent stepped-up efforts to help businesses with targeted brand promotion. If you’re in business, either as a company owner or manager or a solo entrepreneur, you really do need to have a presence on Linkedin. Here are five ways you can use Linkedin to help boost your business.

1. Take advantage of Linkedin’s options to showcase your company’s products and services. As of April 2014, Linkedin no longer supports Products and Services pages for companies. However, Linkedin offers various dedicated pages that you can use to promote your brand, such as Company Updates and Showcase Pages. Take advantage of these, and use images and videos to make your content more engaging. Online video is growing, and a 15-second video can be a compelling messenger for your brand – much more effective than a text-only post.

2. Sponsor your best content so you can reach more people. If you’re looking for a way to reach more readers, consider Linkedin’s “sponsored” updates, which the company began offering in mid-2013. Using sponsored updates allows you to extend the reach of your updates to qualified leads. For a step-by-step guide on how to use this tool, see this post on the Social Media Examiner site.

3. Engage your audience. Even though Linkedin is a professional networking site, it’s still “social.” And although you need to remain professional at all times, some of the rules of engagement that apply on Facebook and other social media sites can also be applied to Linkedin; in other words, you can let your hair down a little. Encourage engagement by asking people for their opinions and replying (always politely and professionally) to their comments and questions. You can also foster engagement by hosting contests or running informal surveys. You might not have a lot of time to devote to social media engagement, even on a site as potentially valuable to your business as Linkedin. If you need to hire a social media manager to do this, choose carefully, and monitor the person’s activities to make sure they reflect well on you and your brand.

4. Use your page analytics to refine your content. Keep in mind that you’re not on Linkedin just for the fun of it; you need to make sure that your engagement is worth the time and effort. Paying attention to your analytics can show you what’s working and what’s not, so you can tweak your content and make it more effective. If you’re interested in getting Linkedin page analytics for your company, click here: /introducing-linkedin-page-analytics-from-crowdbabble

5. Become an indispensable resource. This just might be the most important tip of all. On Linkedin, more than on just about any other social media site, it’s important to present as someone who isn’t just there to push products or services, but also (and primarily) to provide value not only for clients and potential clients but also for colleagues. One way to become an indispensable resource is to fill your company page(s) with content that addresses the problems and concerns of your audience. Another time-tested way to establish yourself as a resource is to participate in relevant Linkedin groups. Whether they’re industry peers or prospective customers, most people who participate in Linkedin groups are looking for answers to questions they have, or insights about problems that they may be facing. You can provide value to them by sharing your expertise as appropriate. Regular Linkedin group participation increases your visibility as well as your credibility in the industry, and while all of this may not translate immediately into more sales, it can foster positive feelings towards you and your brand. Apart from regular participation, reciprocity is key: forum participation is all about give and take. One big advantage of participating on Linkedin groups is that in addition to providing information, you can find information that’s useful to you – answers to technical questions, solutions to problems you might be having, or valuable leads to new clients.

Linkedin can be used for business boosting in many other ways besides those discussed above. (For more tips, see this January 2014 post on the Responsys.com blog.) Beyond being an increasingly powerful way to promote your brand, Linkedin remains an effective networking resource that you can use to recruit employees, seek joint-venture partners, find investors or other new sources of business capital, seek out suppliers and vendors, and discover information about new technologies and practices. If you’re not on Linkedin, you really aren’t “linked in” to the some of the best that the modern business community has to offer.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23@gmail.com.