What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn provides several valuable services, as per their website, they claim to be “Your Public Profile on LinkedIn acts as your Social Selling Business Card”. They also advertise that they can enhance your trust and credibility, generate more traffic to your site, and create an indexed and ranked profile.
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has become the place where professionals, recruiters, employers and job-seekers come together. As of June 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories
It is a social networking site, and you can connect to former classmates, workmates and long-lost colleagues but its main purpose is to help those to find a job, hire or partner new people, and keep tabs on professional connections … all to enhance your long-term career goals. (And if you upgrade to a Premium listing you have access to enhanced search capabilities and up to 10 flagged alerts when a profile meets your search criteria – good for employers and job-seekers.)
But how can LinkedIn be a tool for your business?
Since LinkedIn is exclusively for business, you don’t have to waste time on the fluff that many other social media platforms focus, such as relationship statuses, entertainment choices, and personal relationship-building posts. LinkedIn is a professional networking tool that can be especially beneficial for B2B marketers.
Through regular engagement, informative profiles and a company page, queries for your company’s name can rank well in the search engines via LinkedIn. It can also enhance your brand visibility among a network of esteemed professionals by sharing valuable information and showcasing your industry expertise as well. Through multi-layered connections and valuable recommendations, you have unlimited access to increased lead generation.
But like any other social media platform, success on LinkedIn takes time, patience and regular engagement.
Ways to implement LinkedIn to your Internet Marketing Strategy:
1. Take time to fully complete and enhance your profile. It takes some time to enter all your profile data until LinkedIn is 100% satisfied but adding an attractive, professional photo, writing down all your work experience, training, education and skill-set with well-thought out keywords and phrases will do much to get you and your company found. Also, have all your employers and subcontractors create a LinkedIn profile and link to each other. This will extend your network and provide increased exposure to your company.
2. Add a link to your website and blog on your LinkedIn profile and encourage your connections to click and learn more about your company and services, hence your call-to-action.
3. Make connections, lots of connections. Regularly go through your contact list, add new colleagues, vendors and professionals whose opinion you value and can grow from. Use the People You May Already Know tool, where LinkedIn has made it easy to match up your skillset and experience with like-minded individuals. And accept those who invite your connection, some may caution you on this but I say if they’re looking to connect with your company and you turn them down, you can be losing out on their future business as well as their networks.
4. Ask for and encourage recommendations. Going back to LinkedIn’s claim that “Only when someone believes you have a good reputation and are credible, will they consider doing business with you.” Hence the reason, LinkedIn created the recommendation tool, so use the Request Recommendations tool and personalize the message so the recipient will be more inclined to respond. The more recommendations from clients, the more trust and credibility your business will have.
5. Create a group. Invite friends and colleagues to a group with a common interest, build and nurture them with engaging and informative content. Once you have a group, then you can use the free email broadcast tool included with it. Under the Manage options, you will see a feature to Send An Announcement. While restricted to once every seven days, LinkedIn provides you with a free and easy method to send email broadcasts to your group members.
6. Use LinkedIn’s Email Newsletters. The Compose Message feature in your inbox has a unique way to tailor your emails to your LinkedIn Contacts by geography and/or by industry, for up to 50 people at a time. Avoid overusing, spamming or annoying your contacts, but if you have something to say that has real value, share it!
7. Start a LinkedIn Company Page. Recently LinkedIn added the feature to add a Company Page; there you can provide specific details about your business profile, what you offer on your Products & Services page. Offer special promotions for those who visit, follow and recommend your page. Promote your company page through your website, group discussions and your personal profile.
*See Startup Production’s company page at: http://www.linkedin.com/company/startup-production
8. Post & Evaluate Regularly. Like any tool, if not properly used or maintained, it is useless. So post regularly with LinkedIn’s specific audience in mind. Evaluate your profile, your connections and your business page insights regularly to see what’s working and what’s not. In time, you will begin to make valuable connections, generate leads and increase traffic to your website.
If you need help creating a profile or company page and managing engaging content, please contact Startup Production today.