LinkedIn for Small Businesses
We are all very aware of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to marketing online. But, I am surprised that people rarely think of using LinkedIn. After all, it is the social network for professionals.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter this network is aimed at qualified professionals from all walks of life, displaying their qualifications and linking with other professionals from all over the world. It is a massive pool full of marketing opportunities.
LinkedIn offers a multitude of marketing ideas for small businesses
- Professional Profile
- Linking with Groups
- Build Your Reputation & Your Brand
- Becoming an Industry Influencer
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, set one up! It’s free to sign up and you are given plenty of helpful instructions to build the profile that will attract similar businesses and potential employees.
Your profile is a powerful selling tool, you can express the type of business you run and your specialities, and highlight your brands core values. It is a subtle way to get your company profile out online.
It is also suggested you create a business listing for your company so your on LinkedIn’s business directory. This way other companies or individuals can easily find you.
Linking with Groups
One of the biggest advantages of using LinkedIn is its massive network of professionals and companies.
Not only can you opt to join other professional groups for networking purposes but also you can interact through discussions on varying topics relevant to what you do.
You can also add comments and express what your company specialises in without been too promotional. Joining and interacting in groups is your chance to show your knowledge and expertise while expanding your professional network beyond your friends and local connections.
Build Your Reputation & Your Brand
By offering professional advice to others queries, you become seen as a valuable resource. Members in the group may then consider interacting with you on a business level.
As you become more familiar with using LinkedIn and its resources, you may wish to create your own group.
There are a few things to consider when setting up your group:
- Content is relevant to your company’s business
- Provide accurate useful information
- Create an environment for open discussion
- Welcome comments from all members
- Use keywords in your group topics for visibility
Remember your group is an extension of your brand and should express your core values.
The No, No’s
All businesses want to sell to their customers by promoting themselves, but remember we are in the age of advertising saturation. Your customers are constantly fed a diet of empty advertising carbs. Don’t fall into the trap of using a traditional style of advertising online. Your LinkedIn group is about creating an online professional community, not advertising. If you start selling, your group members will notice what you’re trying to do. They just want a discussion. It’s off-putting and annoying and gives you a bad rep. Instead, allow time to grow your group; be patient, get to know your members, offer relevant advice, and your business will benefit.
LinkedIn is the most business-focused social network. It allows for free marketing of your business and qualifications. Yes, you do have to work a little but might gain a lot from your new online professional contacts.