What Makes LinkedIn Important For My Business? LinkedIn as a platform allows business owners and professionals a convenient, accessible and effective place to market themselves and grown …
What Makes LinkedIn Important For My Business?
LinkedIn as a platform allows business owners and professionals a convenient, accessible and effective place to market themselves and grown business at no or little cost. How little or much money or time you spend is entirely up to you. In order to decide your level of investment, it is important to understand what LinkedIn is and is not.
LinkedIn IS NOT
Just for Job Search. I am not sure how it happened, but many professionals, business owners and employers have somehow gotten the notion that LinkedIn is for job searching. It certainly is a great tool to be used by someone looking to obtain or change a position, but that is a very small part of its value and potential benefit to you as a cutting edge business person.
A waste of time. LinkedIn as a platform is very user friendly, has good built it, FAQs and Help sections and offers so many free options that you will no doubt feel it is time well spent to learn your way around. We’ll cover more about the bells and whistles here in a bit, but in short, LinkedIn offers opportunities for Marketing, Personal Growth, Networking, Research and more.
For Big Business and Executives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Entrepreneurs and small business can have just as polished a presence on LinkedIn as the highest paid Executive or the largest company. It is a matter of creativity, presentation and resourcefulness. If you are industrious, you can learn the ins and outs of LinkedIn and be maneuvering around like a pro – distributing content, identifying leads and learning all the latest trends.
Largest Professional Network. LinkedIn is, quite simply, the world’s largest professional network, with over 347 million members from all over the world as of the end of 2014.
Sales Generator. According to information recently provided by LinkedIn, the platform generates sales for both B2B and B2C marketers. By using LinkedIn, B2B Marketers increased their sales by 1.5 times from 2010 to 2013 and B2C Markets two-fold in the same timeframe.
Content Delivery System. A survey of LinkedIn members found that LinkedIn is considered the most effective social network for delivering B2B content (B2B Content Marketing report, Holger Schulze, 2013).
Social Media Driver. Research conducted by Investis IQ2 found that LinkedIn is the number one social network for driving traffic to corporate websites. LinkedIn reports that 90% of social traffic was driven by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with ½ being contributed to LinkedIn.
Now that we know a little bit more about what LinkedIn IS and IS NOT, what can you and your business do with it?
In very little time, you can pull all of your most impressive information and work product together in one online place with links to other websites, portfolios or social media sites. In fact, you can post projects linked to other members, receive endorsements and recommendations and tout your alma mater.
Now you can also post long-form posts or articles on LinkedIn, similar to that found in a blog. If you write well and have something to say, a prospect is bound to be impressed with your knowledge and be one step closer to selecting you and your company. Don’t forget to include pictures – they will make it far more likely that LinkedIn member will click on your post and read it.
Personal Growth and Learning
One key benefit of the platform that is sorely underrated, if noticed at all, is the information available from other members and businesses that enable you to stay extremely current in your field or industry. It is much easier to spot trends before they are formally recognized when you are reviewing the information real-time and not waiting for a trade publication to come out. Beyond industry or field related information is that provided by “thought leaders” and “influencers.” If you follow Big Ideas and Innovation or Green Business Channels , for example, you will garner information that, while not specific to your business, can certainly benefit it (and you)!
Find Clients or Customers
Those of us in business are always trying to find and keep clients or customers. After all, without them, we wouldn’t be in business. LinkedIn provides a simple and efficient way for you to find clients by searching people or customers in a given area or industry and filtering down the information to better find your target audience.
You may also find clients in one of the many, many groups you can join (limited to a generous 50 groups per free account). Once you join a group you can contact any member directly without being connected to them. Interacting in a group can often be a good way to get the attention of potential customer or partner.
Allow Clients or Customers to Find You
The more online presence you have the more often you will be found. By diving in to the LinkedIn Pool you will be found by more people more often – automatically increasing your chances of being found by a potential client.
Your picture, title and Profile are all important (more about this later!), but keywords and the words you use throughout your Profile or Company page are important from a search engine standpoint. LinkedIn will look for key words and phrases in your Summary, Skills, and Interests sections especially. It makes sense to spend time making sure that all the words your clients or customers are looking for can be found on your Profile, Company and Showcase Pages.
Networking is great, but partnering might be more what you need at a certain point in the growth of your business. LinkedIn can allow you to find and attract colleagues with a different skill set that may augment your offerings and allow you to round out your business’ products or services.
Hire Quality Talent
Another unrecognized aspect to LinkedIn is what a great recruiting tool it can be. You can see who is working for your competitors and/or who has the skills you need for a position or task you need to fill. The competition might even be attracted to you by your polished presence on the site – without even lifting a finger!
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