When a small business owner comes to me looking for advice, it’s usually about how to utilize and maximize their effective use of social media.
Everyone wants to be active on Facebook, Twitterand the various blog sitespromoting their business.
Some people have a general idea about how well consistent blogging can reach people, or how fast and easy a simple tweet can burn across the millions of Twitter users, and so on and so forth.
Rarely do I get someone who fully understands just how beneficial Linkedin is for business.
Now, it could be that I don’t write much about Linkedin, which I hope this article serves to remedy, but, it is likely that there are a lot of people who don’t understand how to use it, and more over which aspects of Linkedin to capitalize on to make it a beneficial tool.
When you look at the numbers, and while these stats might be a bit dated, Facebook has over a billion accounts, Twitter has more than half of that at over 500 million, and Linkedin has over 300 million users.
Yes, Facebook and Twitter are bigger, but Linkedin caters to those in the business community that desire the vast networking power of social media without sacrificing the attention of the people using Linkedin. On Linkedin, you will only see business related material that many will find useful.
Regardless of the size of your business, you will see linkedin benefits– I can almost guarantee it. While there are 5x the people on Facebook, the people on Linkedin are there for a completely different reason- to promote and grow their business.
Why are you active on Facebook? To connect with friends and family. Different reasons to be active, different results for making money. After all, we are in business to make money, right?
Being Active- Linkedin Benefits
Your Linkedin Profile-
Show people who you are, where you’ve come from– This is the equivalent to your online resume and it’s perfect for showing off your experience.
Let others recommend and endorse you for your skills and past work– Get some social proof for your skills and talents. When others recommend or endorse you, anyone who sees your profile can see these and it shows you have other experts backing up your claims to have certain skills. This is very powerful in making connections.
Show off projects, pieces of work you’ve completed– It’s much easier to get people to contact you if you have displays of your work. Add links, images, and other documents to show what work you’ve completed, if it applies.
Get traffic to your website– When people like what they see on your profile they will look at your links and visit your website.
Linkedin Personal Updates-
Get visitors to your new blog posts– Your personal updates are a quick way to bring in traffic, as long as you have active connections that regularly use Linkedin. Your blog posts should be professional in nature and be something connections would like to read.
Share posts your followers will enjoy– This gives you a place as a thought leader among your followers and shows them you make being connected to you worth their time. You can use Fan Page Robot to discover the great content and topics.
Build relationships with others who update their profile– Others who update often love to get responses to their updates, either through likes or comments. Comments are much better and make building relationships much easier.
Constant reminder to your connections about your presence– Be at the forefront of their thoughts when something comes up that could use your expertise. Remember you often have to get in front of them several times before they will do business with you.
Traffic to blog posts– Groups are a great place to share you newest blog post, if they are relevant. Sharing irrelevant posts will get you blocked or SWAM’d which means you’ll have to have every post moderated before it is published. Use this function moderately to share good posts. I even suggest adding it by starting a discussion and asking a question about it.
Access to experts in other areas– When you have a question, it’s best to find experts in that industry and ask. They helps with consultations and second opinions as well. In groups you can easily find the best experts to consult with.
Extensive network to connect with– Being part of a group gives you access to 3rd party connections who you wouldn’t otherwise have the option to connect with. Under the members section of each group you can look at the member list to see who else is there, what they do, and how to connect it them. This is much like a backdoor access.
Your Linkedin Connections-
Email up to 50 people at a time– use sparingly, you can email 50 of your connections from Linkedin at a time.
Find Connections Feature– find old friends, use email import to find potential connections to reconnect with.
Export connections from Linkedin to get email addresses, but be careful not to spam. Much easier to connect with some people through their email addresses than on Linkedin itself.
Introductions– Get introduced to people you wouldn’t have access to. You can do this by looking at shared connections and asking someone who has connections to both of you to connect you with them. An introduction is so much easier to follow up on than trying to come out of nowhere and get to know someone.
InMail– You can use inmails to send mail to someone you aren’t connected with. But this is usually a paid feature. It’s a nice feature because some people only connect to those they know well so this helps them still reach out to others.
Why You Need Linkedin Even If You Dont’ Think You Do
Relationships– I’ve worked with several 1 man show small businesses who would benefit from building relationships on Linkedin.
For instance, a counselor could join a group for counselors in the United States, get advice from them about marketing, techniques, and associations to join.
Another group would be great to get information about writing a better blog posts – think Bloggers Groups
And still a local group would help with building connections with local professionals who you could easily set up referrals with.
It’s Who You Know, Not Always What You Know– A major rule of business revolves around who you know. The additional benefit with Linkedin is that you can see who the people you are connected with know.
I can see if you are connected to someone who has a job opening, or a company I would like to offer a service contract to. When you find someone you want to connect with, you can ask the middle man (your shared connection) to introduce you.
Stay In The Loop– With the new Linkedin Experts you’ll be able to follow known experts about the topics that mean the most to your business. Think of the experts in your industry, and instead of having them send you emails, you can login and see their updates in your stream- very useful and not necessary to check everyday.
Get Found– People who use Linkedin use it A LOT. They use it to search for people in every industry that can help them personally and professionally. If you want to be found for these reasons, make sure your profile is found, filled out completely and competitive for your industry.
Linkedin for Everyone Who Does Something Professionally
If you have a job, plan to have a career, or want to someday do a task professionally, Linkedin is a great place to begin making connections that can and WILL be beneficial. It isn’t just for finding jobs, it’s for growing your business relationships.
Even universities and students can now use Linkedin to benefit their professional futures. Check it out, as they just launched the feature about a month ago.
Ready to Use Linkedin for Business- Let me Help!
At Social Media Fuze, our mission is Connecting Brands with Fans, Platforms with Profits. We provide companies with the ideas, strategies, and content they need to build relationships with their followers and leverage their social media presences into profits.
Contact us today, and we will help you implement a social media marketing strategy that will provide results, and deliver on all of the LinkedIn benefits we’ve discussed in this article.
Be sure to check out my post on Linkedin Chat as well, if you want to learn more about using Linkedin.