Why being LinkedIn is great for small businesses?
It’s no secret that social media has changed the way the face of the world wide web so very drastically. From school-going kids to octogenarians, everyone is up online connecting, communicating and interacting like never before. And tech-savvy marketers are no way behind. With such a huge audience up for grabs, advertisers and marketers are using every trick-in-the-book to grab those elusive eyeballs. Being a small business, you too, can actively leverage the power of the web to take your business places. Much has been written about using Facebook and Twitter for business. Now, let’s look at LinkedIn and see how it can be utilized to further business interests.
Right now, LinkedIn has more than 60 million members which include top-tier employees from all Fortune 500 companies. And a new member joins the LinkedIn network every second. So, just imagine the number of business contacts you can develop from this vast pool of professionals. Reason why, LinkedIn must be a part of every small business owner/entrepreneur’s online marketing mix.
Your company may be small in size. Your advertising budget may be miniscule. However, LinkedIn doesn’t cost a dime. But can help you reach the people who matter the most – business associates who can help enhance your business. Vendors who can offer you a better deal on raw materials. Prospective franchisee owners who can expand the geographical boundaries of your business. Valuable customers who can increase your bottomline. Bankers who can offer more lucrative loans and so on. Most importantly, your business/your products/your services/your brand gets noticed by a great number of people with similar business interests. Now, that’s the true power of being LinkedIn.
Here’s how small businesses can successfully utilize LinkedIn to further their business:
1. Your profile is a powerful marketing tool:
Your profile is your marketing space on LinkedIn. You can gain more mileage by simply putting your profile to good use. Refine it to showcase your personal skill-sets as well as your organization’s key capabilities. Use keywords in your professional summary and all along your profile. You can also hyperlink relevant URLs (say, your company’s website) using keywords as anchor text. This way, search engines notice your websites. Also don’t forget to post latest updates on your blogs on your status on LinkedIn. Your connections will learn more about you through your blog.
2. Start a Group/Join other groups
Make connections with vendors, customers, competitors, colleagues and just about anyone who is relevant to your business activities. Then, take the initiative and start a group pertaining to your business in order to attract like-minded professionals. Keep the group engaged with discussions, polls, question and answer sessions. Connect with a bigger crowd using your group. Join other groups with similar interests. Share ideas, develop relationships, post links and spread the word about your business. Don’t ever go in for blatant promotions. Always be helpful. Inform and engage people. People will automatically get to know more about your business.
3. Use other channels to share information
Use Slideshare, Company Buzz and other third-party applications to add more information to your LinkedIn account. Share your corporate film or your new television commercial. Give a link to a slideshow on a recent conference. Keep your network updated on new product development, business events, promotions and so on. A little bit of audio-visual information-sharing will keep people interested in your company, time and again.
4. Strategic use of other social media tools
Another great technique is to use other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote your LinkedIn profile. Connect your twitter updates to your LinkedIn profile. Promote your Facebook events through LinkedIn. Promote your LinkedIn profile through your company blogs. Sign your email with a LinkedIn link. This cross-promotional strategy would help you gain more mileage for your company across several social media sites.
5. LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn Answers is a great forum for exchanging ideas, for seeking new business strategies and gaining new insights from more like-minded professionals who operate within your area of business. You can also network with other professionals and establish yourself as an authority in your field by answering queries on LinkedIn Answers. You can even ask questions and get valuable information that can save you some money or improve productivity.
6. LinkedIn Jobs
Use LinkedIn jobs to post new jobs. LinkedIn is the new-age job site accessed by a veritable pool of talented individuals across all fields. Right now, you have a better chance of hiring a skilled, well-qualified and tech-savvy professional through LinkedIn, than through anyplace else.
7. LinkedIn Recommendations
Recommend friends, business associates and anybody else who has a good professional track record or whose work has really impressed you. Chances are they will return the compliment with a neat recommendation for you. Recommendations are the ultimate word-of-mouth on the LinkedIn website. From prospective employers to prospective business associates, everyone likes to know they can trust you to get the job done. A few good words can really make a difference. So, work at being recommended by professionals on your network.
LinkedIn helps small businesses strike it big with very powerful contacts and useful connections.