If you are among the very few people who are not yet LinkedIn, here’s some good news: it is not too late. However, you should probably hurry as more individuals and businesses begin to see the value behind professional social networks.
LinkedIn, just like any other professional social network, takes time and effort, yet unlike many other networks, LinkedIn can be of great help for you and your business. Here’s how LinkedIn marketing can be used (that’s why it makes so much sense!):
1. Generate more business
Most of us would agree that networking (offline and online) increases your chances of reaching new customers. But of course no good thing is free (or easy), so be prepared and be willing to work at it. LinkedIn, unlike Twitter, Facebook, and all the likes, is the network comprised of people who do business every day.
Start by creating an individual profile, then list your business on LinkedIn (yes, it is free), and off you go.
An important marketing tip from our latest webinar: make sure your profiles are 100% complete!
2. Check out competition
This is even more important for small businesses and individual consultants: do you know if your competition is LinkedIn? I betcha anything that they are! Company profiles on LinkedIn are a great way to learn things about your competition (how many of their employees are on LinkedIn, see who is working for them now and who recently left, etc.). Here’s how Point It’s business profile looks:
3. Get more visibility
LinkedIn is a great way to get more real estate in the SERPs (search engine search results) for your branded terms as it is typically crawled and indexed very well.
4. For market research
With the option of creating a poll on LinkedIn, you can conduct market research within the entire network as well as small niche groups of professionals – a perfect tool just waiting to be used!
5. For referrals and recommendations
Do you have a client who does something that another client of yours really needs? Do the introduction and you improve your chances of getting a referral for your business. LinkedIn is also a great place to father recommendations and facilitate introductions.
With all of the above, please do not forget that LinkedIn is just one medium for your marketing and should be used as such. I have found LinkedIn to be a great place for networking and have made a lot of valuable connections through my LinkedIn network.
Now, last but not least: do not ignore LinkedIn Questions and Answers – it is a great way to fill up your sales pipeline with potential leads.