Monday 8 July 2013

Ten Tips For Small Businesses Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an often under-utilised social media resource, aimed at businesses and professionals. Yet, it has the capacity to offer a lot of useful features to help an organisation prosper. Here are ten tips that every small business should know about using LinkedIn.

It's more than just a resume site

LinkedIn is more than just a social media site where you can post your resume or company profile. This is just the very basic. Spend time getting to know what LinkedIn can do for you and your business and focus on what you want to achieve from it. Create a complete and informative profile of your business and what you have to offer, with a good quality cover photo.

Keep content updated

Many people begin their LinkedIn relationship with enthusiasm, but then neglect it over time, so that their content becomes outdated and incorrect. If you are a small business using LinkedIn as a networking tool, then make sure you keep your content up to date.

See what your contacts are up to

Small businesses often strive to increase connections with clients and prospects, so it's worthwhile taking your time to keep a check on what your contacts on LinkedIn are up to. Keep in touch with them on a regular basis - you never know when a fruitful opportunity might arise from this.

Use it for SEO

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool to use for search engine optimization prospects, so make the most of it by adapting your content with relevant keywords that will boost your profile up the search rankings.

Use it for advertising

With a global audience of thousands at your fingertips, you might well consider using LinkedIn as a way to advertise your products or services. LinkedIn Ads can prove more cost-effective than other forms of advertising.

Co-ordinate your content

As a small business, you won't have limitless time to devote to social media sites, so why not co-ordinate all your social media content, so that what you post on one site, will automatically appear on the other? You can use web tools to enable you to connect your social media accounts with each other, without needing to post the same content yourself. However, make sure whatever you post on the less formal social media sites isn't going to be detrimental to your image if it appears on LinkedIn.

Request reviews

Testimonials can boost the profile of a business, especially a small one just starting out in establishing a reputation. Politely request customer reviews so that you can add them to your profile on LinkedIn.

Get involved in groups

Take part in group discussions that are relevant to your line of business and make the most of the networking and business opportunities that they might bring. Don't blatantly advertise your products and focus on just a few specific groups rather than join every group going. Groups are also valuable for researching different markets and opinions.

Use LinkedIn Answers

Make the most of this feature, which allows you to answer relevant questions asked by other members. This helps to increase your profile and expertise, as well as being a great networking opportunity.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, LinkedIn Answers is no longer supported. However, there are still many other ways to pose questions and facilitate professional discussions via the LinkedIn Help Center, Community Help Forum and by using the "posting module" on your homepage.

Search for professionals

As a small business, you may not have the manpower, resources or skills to complete all tasks associated with your operations. But you can use LinkedIn to search for specific business services that you may need. Often, these services may be people you are already connected with or contacts of your connections.

About The Author: This article was provided by Amy Elliott on behalf of Automatic Access, supplier of door technology systems to UK companies.

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LinkedIn Groups For Marketing: How To Create The Buzz And Get Noticed

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