LinkedIn is the definitive social network for small business. More than four million professionals in the UK and more than half a million groups have been created. Someone joins LinkedIn every second.
Here are 10 tips for making the most of LinkedIn for your business
1. Find new customers
LinkedIn is a great way to find new customers. Improve your chances of finding them by asking your customers to write you a recommendation, which will be broadcast to all of their connections and yours.
2. Stay connected to those who like you the most
LinkedIn is all about business intent. Way more so than any other network, where perhaps sharing is the biggest motivator. LinkedIn can be your place to get deals done.
3. Sync your other social networks with LinkedIn
You can easily sync your Twitter with LinkedIn so that you don’t have to go to two places and make the update. Think before you do though. If you use your Twitter purely for talking about your personal likes and loves consider whether your business network wants to share in that on LinkedIn.
4. Seek out suppliers
You can find people and businesses you might otherwise have had trouble tracking down through LinkedIn. Search for a company or see which companies your connections are recommending – you could strike gold here.
5. Find out which of your contacts are on LinkedIn and invite them
By simply downloading your email contacts you can upload them all to LinkedIn via a CSV or excel file. It’s a really quick and easy way to connect with your contacts. Don’t forget to add your LinkedIn handle to your email as well – that way you’re promoting your social profile day-in-day-out.
6. Make use of groups or start one
You can glean a lot of industry knowledge from joining LinkedIn groups. Just search the directory to find subjects of interest in your industry. You could start one yourself and become the thought leader of a given subject. There are a surprising number of businesses who’ve got a lot done this way.
7. Get answers you can trust
Use the direct mail function to email someone directly with a question or a post your question to a group. You can guarantee that someone else will have a question too and help you with the answers you’re looking for. You may even win new business this way. If you help someone with a good answer to a tough question, who knows, they may select you for the services you offer.
8. Be wise
LinkedIn’s premise is that you connect with people you’ve done business with, so don’t go spamming people you’ve never met with requests to connect – this can backfire on you and may even see you given a warning. You can connect with people you don’t know though by asking to connect with them via a group you’re both a part of. They can only say no.
If you write a great blog you’ll want to share this on LinkedIn – there are lots of professionals ready and willing to engage with your content if it’s good.
10. Keep an eye on the competition
Use LinkedIn to see what the competition is up – who they were connecting with, what groups they were creating and contributing to. It’s a brilliant way to see what’s happening in your industry. If you’re not into sharing or the fear of the competition finding out what you’re up to is scary just suck it up – you’ll only get left behind. You could even look to hire new people via LinkedIn. Their profile is there for all to see.
How do you use LinkedIn for your business?