LinkedIn for Business, get it right and it can be your most valuable marketing tool.
If you own a company or run a small business, then chances are that you would have undoubtedly heard of the social media website LinkedIn. LinkedIn for business provides a place where at present 70 million professionals present themselves and interact with the world. With over 12 million small business people it is easy to see how it can become a powerful tool in expanding your company. However, the problem is that many simply don’t use the site to its full potential. Let’s explain…
If used properly, LinkedIn provides significant opportunities for marketing, sales, partner development,reputation management and a plethora of other networking activities. However it is important to make sure that you are utilising all areas of the site in order to maximise these. With this in mind, here’s a quick run down on what you should be doing to maximise LinkedIn for your business.
LinkedIn Personal Profile
Failing to build a complete and compelling profile on LinkedIn is one of the main areas that many people get wrong. This is the first port of call your potential customer will see, so it needs to be right. The key here is to ask yourself who you are writing your profile for? The answer should be ‘your potential customers’. Therefore don’t make it all about you, instead craft a well written headline about exactly what your business does for clients and how you can help them with their problem. In addition be personable. People like to do business with people, so inject a bit ofpersonality into your profile.
You should get your profile 100% complete. There is an indication on the right hand side of the “Edit Profile” page to let you know how close you are – along with an indication of what needs to be completed.
LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn allows users to set up company pages. This is linked in to your profile page and gives potential customers the low down on what your company offers and what services you provide. This is the exact information that customers will want before making the decision to contact you, so make sure that you take the time to fill it in.
Once your company page is completed with all the relevant details – make sure that all of your management team and other employees are linked to the right company page.
LinkedIn is a social media site after all and one of the best ways to build a reputation and trust is to engage with groups of like minded people. If you can regularly add value, partake in conversations with others in your area of business and become an expert in your field, then you will be respected. Pick a core selection of a few groups, preferably ones with lots of interaction and show consistent input to enhance your credibility and develop business leads.
One key point here is that you want to participate in groups that include your customers. So if you are an accountant offering services to small businesses – then join Small Business Groups, not just groups of other accountants.
A slightly lesser known tool in LinkedIn is Answers (found under the “More” menu). Answering questions related to your are of business will again help to grow your reputation. If prospects are looking to solve a problem and see that you have given good advice in that area – it is an easy step for them to link to your profile and get in contact.
Two other benefits of LinkedIn Answers
- LinkedIn Answers appear in Google search results, so if you answer a question that is later searched for on Google you will gain further exposure.
- It can also be a good market research/intelligence tool. You can monitor what questions are being asked in your area of interest. This can alert you of questions, issues or changes in your industry.
When it comes to LinkedIn for business, you really should have a defined strategy with clear goals of what you would like to achieve. The time and effort required to do this properly will pay off over time.
If you want more information about LinkedIn for business, contact us to see how we can help you maximise the benefits of LinkedIn.
John Brennan is director of ePresence Internet Marketing. He is an experienced management consultant, specialising in Digital Marketing, Business Development, Product Development and Innovation Management.
Owner/director of ePresence, John also lectures in Digital Advertising and Analytics at Cork Institute of Technology.
John has an Electronic Engineering Degree from Cork Institute of Technology, MBA from University College Cork and Executive Training at Kellogg Business School, Chicago.
Before setting up ePresence, John held various roles such as Software Engineer, Director of Engineering, Director of Product and Program Management, Vice President of Product Development and General Manager in world leading organisations such as Apple, IBM, Snap-on Inc. and FMC.
John combines his technology know-how, management experience and customer focus to help his clients achieve online success.