LinkedIn can be a great tool for getting your brand out there, and getting leads for other businesses that may want to sell and market your products. But let me give you a clue here: It only works if you use it! That sounds pretty obvious, but if all you did was set up an account, you aren’t utilizing LinkedIn for the powerful tool that it is. In building your groups, there are some things that you can do to make this tool work well for you:
- Closed Group or Open Group? If you form a closed group, you may have more control over who is able to contribute to the discussions, but you may actually drive some of your leads away, since they have to request permission to join your group. However, an open group requires more moderation. You will have to decide which comments are allowed in the discussions according to the rules of the site. But since there is not “request to enter” the group, you will see more leads and like-business supporters.
- Define Some Ground Rules. Make sure everyone that participates in the group knows that self-promotion and spam will not be tolerated. If others in the group see too much of that sort of activity, they will leave and never come back. What they are looking for is a B2B connection, information, and support – not someone else’s advertisements. Give ideas of the content you want group members to contribute, as well. Relevant information is what will draw people to your group.
- Don’t Get Too Over Zealous. Actively participate in your group, but don’t be the major contributor. You want people to talk about things related to your business not about your business. Contribute your comments, relevant information or business tips, but don’t get in the way of the group’s conversation.
The key hint here is to make sure you set up LinkedIn the way that is best for your business and for your fellow business owners. This is a networking tool, so be sure that you are actually networking.
LinkedIn has been erroneously referred to as the “red-headed step-child” of the social media community. Many people think it is too hard to make connections, so they set up an account, basically put up a business resume, and leave the account dormant for months. But it is a very powerful tool if it is actually put to use. And here is a fun fact that a lot of businesses are unaware of: LinkedIn pulls a lot of weight with Google and other search engines! If you have a LinkedIn account, and Google your business name, most likely you will show up near the top of the search engine ranking page (SERP). Surprising? Well, here are some other tips to put the LinkedIn network to work for your business.
• Boost you search engine optimization. Instead of displaying titles like “My Blog” and “My Website,” add keyword phrases to describe them. Click on Edit and Other, and type them in. For instance, instead of my blog, “Color Me Social,” and instead of “My Website,” use “Social Media Marketing.” This makes it easier for people to find you.
• Get your blog LinkedIn. There is an option on LinkedIn where you can link your blog feed into your profile, allowing people to scan your blog content. For example, the app – Blog Link – supports WordPress, TypePad, Vox, Moveable Type, LiveJournal, Blogger, and many more.
• Use events to engage clients. LinkedIn has event features where you can set up an event that you are planning, or notify your clients of an event that you will be attending. This way, they are able to attend and meet with you face-to-face in order to know your business even better.
• Create ad campaigns on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has its own Direct Ads Campaign tool targeted to over 57 million professionals that have an average household income around $108,000 per year. These people are the ones that can be targeted by their profession (ie. In relation to your business) for optimal sales opportunities.
The best idea is to explore all of the options available with LinkedIn and actually make use of them. The time investment is minimal, and the returns can be huge! Let us know how LinkedIn has helped your business.
One of Linkedin’s great features is its commitment to constant improvement. The professional social media site is willing to listen—and actively respond–to member feedback, as illustrated by some of the newest changes.
These changes include the “Improve Your Profile” tool, which evaluates your profile and suggests ways to make it better. The split-page format provides a checklist of specific steps you can take to achieve a more marketable profile, and even guides you through each step. “Improve Your Profile’ will be updated on a regular basis, so it will be able to analyze and improve new Profile categories as they’re offered.
Linkedin has always valued its members’ privacy, refusing to sell lists to third-party advertisers. Recently, though, some Linkedin members voiced concerns about the use of their names and photos in social ads. Linkedin has responded with a policy change that gives members greater privacy.
Now Linkedin members can recommend a service or product to their network without sharing personal information. Instead, social ads will simply mention the number of network contacts who recommend a product. In fact, Linkedin members can easily opt out of all social ads by going to the ‘Accounts and Settings Page’ and choosing ‘Privacy Controls’ from the ‘Accounts’ tab. The first option, ‘Manage Social Advertising’, allows members to remove social ads from their account.
Linkedin has also improved mobile apps. Now the Update Screen greets members at the beginning of their mobile experience. This change, prompted by feed-back, is designed to help professionals stay current with industry and company news.
Additional changes allow users of IPhones and Androids to access their groups—and to participate in over a million discussions—through their mobile apps. Linkedin recently increased the speed of all mobile apps, too; some of them are now ten times faster, allowing members to stay informed and current.
Improvements are nice; but what’s even better is membership in a social media site that listens to its members. Linked in is willing to change to suit member preferences, which makes it the ideal home for professionals who have specific needs.
A lot of businesses are not fully using the internet in their marketing strategies. You can build a web site, start a blog, do email marketing, and still not have the results you are looking for. So go for the big guns. You hit sites like Facebook and Twitter to get your business into the social world. Great! But that isn’t all you need to do. Do you know how many people visit your site and buy and your products because of your marketing campaign? Those sites can tell you about the click-throughs, “likes” and tweets you get from those accounts. But are you LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is another social media site, but it is geared more toward professionals and their businesses. There is interaction there that can give you the information you need to getting your business to be well-known. In addition, if you are looking to hire an employee or two, LinkedIn can help you there, too. Or maybe you want to affiliate your business with someone else’s. That’s possible, too. The people that are looking for affiliations as well as those that want to affiliate are listed on that site. It definitely doesn’t hurt in getting your business name out there when you write a public message to another business that is doing the same thing (or something similar) that you are. You both win. You both have your business names published with the type of business that you have.
Sometimes people will browse just to see what’s there. If your name comes up several times someone will remember you. They will click on your link to see what you offer, and may make a purchase. They might even tell their friends about you. After all, this is a social world. And remember, one sale is better than none at all. Thank them for their patronage.
If you are on LinkedIn, perhaps you could give some tips on using the site to benefit business. Please share your knowledge here for all of us to see.
I love social media. The interaction with other people is very comforting, being able to contact friends and relatives and keeping up on happenings in their lives, as well as expressing my own. In posting information and little blurbs of wisdom, I didn’t realize the power of it in my business. I simply posted how my day was going, and commenting on the happenings of others that I know. I Tweet, and do FaceBook, and other sites that interest me at times. And then that brainstorm hit me. I found out that I could connect my business to these sites, as well as keeping my personal connections.
I have been reading up on how to put your business on these sites, getting more hits on your web site as well as gaining sales. What a bonanza that can be! Being a small business consultant, most of my work is offline. Little did I realize that an online presence can help my business even more than I knew. With some techniques and tips I learned, I feel I can help you as well.
The first thing is to build a web site with some good content that readers want to see about your business or niche in giving information. Consumers are not totally ignorant. They want to see something that informs them, and not just the rhetoric that sells the “medicine oil” of the internet. If you are serious about your business, you will provide what they want to see. I also found out that connecting to social media sites brings traffic to your web site, prompting more people to see who you are, and what you have to offer. I will still need to check into that, since it is all the rage in getting your business out there for all to see. I have discovered that it may not be that difficult to do, and brings benefits that can be monumental for a small business.
Of course, I have more to learn here in order to use this technology to my advantage. Apparently, there are some tips and hints that can lead you to make the best use of these social sites. Who knew? I will be sure to share it all with you in discovering how social media can help you as well as me.
I have the basics right now, but will be digging in to find out more. Please leave your tips and hints here to guide me as well as others. That way, we can all learn together.