A Guide to LinkedIn for Small Businesses

LinkedIn for Small Businesses

With more than 562 million users, LinkedIn is all about making those powerful connections with other users.

Unlike other social media such as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn 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

  1. Professional Profile
  2. Linking with Groups
  3. Build Your Reputation & Your Brand
  4. Becoming an Industry Influencer

Professional Profile

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.

Industry Influencer

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.

Tips for Maximising Your Efforts!

According to Hootsuite these are some of the best tips for making LinkedIn work for your business.

Encourage your employees to connect with your company’s LinkedIn Page
Your colleagues and employees are your best resources to start growing an audience: according to LinkedIn, employees have on average 10 times more first-degree connections than a company has followers, and companies with a strong employee advocacy program in place are 58 percent more likely to attract top talent—and 20 percent more likely to retain them.

Publish valuable content
The best way to grow your audience and keep your followers is to provide them with value by posting articles or company updates on a regular basis: LinkedIn recommends at least once per weekday. In addition to appearing on your Company Page, your posts appear in each of your followers’ news feeds.

Learn from LinkedIn Analytics
LinkedIn’s research shows that posts tend to get the most engagement in the morning, followed by posts published after business hours. This is a good starting point when planning your publishing schedule, but what works for the average business may not work best for yours.

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.

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