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By Ju2 // Jun 05, 2013 Categories: Social Media

LinkedIn For Your Business – Business Casual Social Marketing

Are You Using LinkedIn For Your Business?

By a show of hands, how many of you use LinkedIn? Okay, and do you have a profile,  but it’s being so long since you used it that your profile picture looks like a younger you? Kidding aside, LinkedIn was one of those social networks that for a long time, many of us had signed up, but were not sure what to do with it. Did it work? What did it do? How did you make it do it?

So next question. How many of you use LinkedIn for your business and have an up-to-date fully filled in Company Page on LinkedIn? Did you even know such things existed? Well now you do! and we are here to tell you that despite a slow start, LinkedIn is not only the preferred social network for job seekers, but has become a really useful site for marketing and promoting your business, its products and services.

Also, as with other social media sites, LinkedIn is increasingly being seen by search engines as an important source of information on people and the “companies” they keep.

LinkedIn A Pioneer Of Social Networking

Launched in 2003, a full year ahead of Facebook, LinkedIn brought professional networking to the internet.  While the site was slow to take off, today LinkedIn boasts a user base of more than 225 million individuals.  With an audience such as this, it would seem illogical for any young professional not to market themselves and their business on this site.

Targeting a user base of working professionals, LinkedIn became a place for users to connect and interact while accumulating references and compiling an online resume complete with recommendations made by real people and providing palpable examples of each user’s previous work.  The site connects employers to users whose skill set reflected the requirements of a particular job.  Users who are looking for work are able to connect with employers who will be able to make use of their talents.  It is also a great place for freelancers of any type to connect and gain notoriety.

While the site was slow to take off, today LinkedIn boasts a user base of more than 225 million individuals.  With an audience such as this, it would seem illogical for any young professional not to market themselves and their business on this site.

How Can You And Your Business Use LinkedIn To Its Fullest Potential?

First Things First – Fill Out Your Company Profile:

In 2012, LinkedIn started allowing users to create complete and interesting company pages where products and services could be listed, customer testimonials collected and blogs and other material posted.

While this seems pretty straightforward, it needs to be stressed that simply having a business profile on LinkedIn is not enough.  The profile that you create for your business needs to be completely filled out with concise explanations of who your company is, what your company does, and why customers should patronize your business. If you need some help setting up your company profile give us a call or click here.

TIP: Whatever you do, be sure to fill in your product and services section. This is hands down the most important part of your profile and using LinkedIn for your business.   Without it you have just wasted your time, and worse, you have wasted that of someone looking at your page.

Once done, other LinkedIn users can choose to follow you (similar to likes in Facebook) and if they are interested in your company postings they can share them and like them. We have found that LinkedIn drives a good amount of traffic to our website from posts such as this blog and other matters of interest.

One thing we have noticed is that whereas the effect of posting on Twitter is virtually real time and does not last long, and the effect on Facebook is mostly on and off over a day or two, with LinkedIn posting to a business profile page seems to slowly but steadily generate traffic to our website for a week or sometimes even two. It’s more subtle, but more steady and long-term which makes it a rather nice compliment to Twitter and Facebook.

The best interactions between a potential client and a business all involve the maximum information provided to the customer while requiring the least time commitment possible.

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Having a company profile complete with cover image and list of services is step 1 to making LinkedIn work for you.

Within the first sentence of Guaranteed SEO’s profile, LinkedIn users can see who Guaranteed SEO is and what they do.  The second paragraph informs about all the services offered by Guaranteed SEO and offers users a reason to use Guaranteed SEO’s service.  A clear, concise profile such as this is the first step in successfully marketing your business via LinkedIn.

Second – Share Interesting And Engaging Material:

Sharing engaging content is a consistent theme throughout all social media platforms.  It is no different with LinkedIn. As with Facebook, and Pinterest you can share information on both your personal profile and your business one.

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Posting material such as your blogs on LinkedIn will get you traffic and helps build your brand and authority.

Each piece of content you share on LinkedIn is viewable by all of your connections.  It is important to use this as an opportunity to share and engage with them.  Post articles that you have created, or content you have curated.  With each piece of content, you share you should consider its relevance to your audience.  In other words, an article about the ongoing healthcare reforms in the USA might be interesting to you and a great read, but in terms of things that will make your audience engage with you, an article of this type will likely fall flat.  Instead, share information relevant to the industry within which your business operates.  If you are a sports marketing professional, for example, it is probably best to share sports-related content as well as information specific to sports marketing.

When it comes to posting content on LinkedIn, it is a good idea to ask a question of your audience that opens the door for them to comment on what you have posted.  Perhaps you are posting an article about using Pinterest as an online marketing tool, in this instance, it might be a good idea to ask your connections what their experiences have been like with Pinterest.  By inviting your LinkedIn connections to share with you, you are inviting users to interact with you making it that much easier to engage in a lasting sort of way.

Third – Form And Participate In Groups:

LinkedIn Groups are a great opportunity for your business to make new connections.  From these connections, you can grow your following, expand your business, and learn new tips, tricks, and business strategies.

There are literally thousands of conversations going on within LinkedIn’s thousands of different groups.  You need to get your business involved in these discussions wherever it is relevant.  Within a number of groups, there are users asking questions that you could answer for them.  There are people sharing their thoughts and experiences in different fields and you could share right along with them.  With LinkedIn Groups, you can be both a facilitator and a participator in discussions.  It is possible to share content in LinkedIn groups and start a new conversation within a group.  You are also able to start your own LinkedIn Group.  If you want to start your own LinkedIn Group, check out these great tips for getting it going.

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Setting up a group on LinkedIn is easy, getting users takes more work, so be sure that you are setting up something useful and of interest to others.

Fourth – Do Some SEO Work On Your Profile:

Keywords are just as important within LinkedIn as they are for your website.  As you fill out your profile, it is important not to turn a blind eye to Search Engine Optimization.

Every written portion of your profile provides you with a chance to capture the attention of LinkedIn’s internal search engine and thereby the attention of your target audience.  Make sure you fill out your business’ LinkedIn profile completely.  When filling out your profile think of terms which potential customers and clients will use when searching for businesses in your industry.  For some great tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, click here.

Fifth – Get Endorsements And Recommendations:

The best marketing tool is word of mouth and recommendations from friends and colleagues.  LinkedIn facilities marketing in this way by allowing users that have worked with you or patronized your business in the past to endorse your business’ skill set and write recommendations which will be visible on your LinkedIn profile.

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By your friends (and customers) you are judged! Ask for LinkedIn recommendations they are worth having!

When it comes to encouraging users to leave recommendations on your LinkedIn page and to endorse your skills you need to first provide an experience for your clients which is worthy of endorsement and recommendation.  The second step is to, whenever possible, endorse you connections’ skills and write a recommendation for them. Asking for recommendations and endorsements directly from users is also an acceptable way of getting recommendations.

Bonus Question! Who Has The Best Profile On LinkedIn?

Earlier in 2013, LinkedIn achieved a major milestone.  The social networking site managed to get more that 200 million users to sign up.  To celebrate, LinkedIn sent e-mails to members with profiles that ranked in the top five percent.  Here’s an example of one of these profiles.

While the letter which LinkedIn sent out offended many and is something that a number of users, both those who received letters and those who did not, have criticized, tracking down users who received thank-you letters from LinkedIn can provide a great example of what to do and what not to do with LinkedIn.

Spend some time within your own network, it should be easy to find connections who are using LinkedIn to its fullest potential. Know someone with a great Company Page? Send us a message we would love to look and will happily share it with our readers!

Using LinkedIn to its fullest potential can be a bit of a challenge, but it does offer a reward and long-term benefits.  Guaranteed SEO has been working within the internet marketing field for more than seventeen years and can help you and your business get the most out of LinkedIn.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us or look us up on LinkedIn!
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