With more than 500 million members worldwide, 138 million of which are in the U.S., LinkedIn is the social network for business. In fact, it was created specifically to “make professionals more productive and successful.” It appears to be working, since 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content – more than any other platform. Given its objective, business people and small business owners should be leveraging LinkedIn’s many features to find and connect with prospects and clients.
Here are some key tips for how to use LinkedIn most effectively to build your business:
Create a company profile
You probably already have a personal LinkedIn profile, but you’ll also want to set up a separate page for your business. Even if you’re a solo practitioner, it’s smart to have a LinkedIn profile solely for your business, where you can share content specific to your industry and venture. Make sure your profile includes keywords your prospects and clients typically search for when looking for products and services your business sells. Link to your company website and include your contact information.
Connect with people
Send out connection requests from your company profile to clients, prospects, friends, influencers, and advisors. If there are specific people or organizations you want to know about your business, use the LinkedIn search bar to find them and then invite them to connect.
Ask for recommendations
The best way to convince a prospect to work with you is to let them hear from satisfied customers how great you are to work with. These endorsements help encourage prospects to choose your business over others. So ask satisfied clients if they would consider writing a few sentences about what they liked about working with you, and post it on LinkedIn. It gets shared on your company page if they tag the business.
Network within LinkedIn groups
With more than 2 million LinkedIn groups already formed, it should be easy for you to find a handful to join and participate in. Sign up to receive notifications of questions asked, so you can head over and respond to share your expertise. And ask questions of others to start conversations about your products and services. Post regularly to quickly gain visibility. Whatever you do, don’t start to try and sell people. Your goal here is information sharing to demonstrate your level of knowledge.
Start your own LinkedIn group
If you believe there is a need for an industry group devoted to a particular subject, consider starting your own and inviting your tribe to come hang out there. Forming the group puts you in a position of power and raises your credibility.
Share content daily
Post regular updates on your LinkedIn profile telling your prospects and customers what they want to know about your industry or business. But don’t go overboard. Research conducted by several organizations reports that one post a day on LinkedIn, in the morning, is the optimal amount. So write original posts with your advice and observations and share other articles and reports you’ve found that you think are interesting and useful, including blog posts on your company website, videos, and podcasts. Use social media marketing tools to schedule them, to automate the whole process and save yourself time.
Consider joining LinkedIn ProFinder
LinkedIn ProFinder helps connect organizations in need of business services with qualified professionals. LinkedIn delivers bid opportunities to your inbox when potential clients in your area use keywords matching your service. The cost is $ 59.99/month for LinkedIn Premium, which is required to participate.
If you know that your best prospects are on LinkedIn, it makes sense to invest some money in advertising on the platform. Push ads relevant to their needs using a targeted search of LinkedIn members, to improve the odds of your ads getting clicked on.
Marketers report that LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform to use to connect with business prospects – more effective than Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, Instagram, and any other social site. So make sure you’re investing even a little time here to raise your company’s visibility.
Now that you know how to use LinkedIn for business, get more social marketing basics in our Digital Marketing Guides section of this blog.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community