How LinkedIn Can Help Your Small Businesses

Your phone, iPad or tablet probably have an application dedicated to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – but have you downloaded LinkedIn too? Turn to your left and ask Tom and Dick if they have LinkedIn on their phones and their situations will be similar to yours. Harry is probably off somewhere playing Angry Birds as you read this. What many business owners are failing to realise is that LinkedIn can help your small business.

Many other business owners have also decided to overlook LinkedIn and focus on other social networks, despite the fact that LinkedIn can provide a fruitful source of leads to businesses in certain sectors. LinkedIn is THE most professional social platform that small businesses can use.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, individuals on LinkedIn never post selfies accompanied by all sorts of hash tags. People interacting on LinkedIn do so in a professional setting and for business purposes only. If your small business operates in the B2B sector, LinkedIn can help you reach your online marketing goals, directly target your messages, and provide your business visibility before a large audience. How to get started? Read on to find out.

Why Small B2B Businesses Should Use LinkedIn

Many small businesses are erroneously neglecting LinkedIn, and many only think of Facebook and Twitter for social media marketing. Whilst these two social giants are the largest worldwide, LinkedIn has something that they do not. A professional-based network of businesses, employees and career-minded people.

It allows an individual to connect with many like-minded professionals that will enable them to work with relevant people, grow their network and be amongst other professionals. Most business owners find that this is easier said than done, often reverting to business networking groups in the local community.

Not only can LinkedIn be used to seek prospects, it can also help with recruiting talent and services from other individuals. It can also be used as a blog to demonstrate your professional expertise, offer advice and use it as a website promotion tool. Through your personal page you can give and find recommendations, start and join groups, stay in touch with former and current colleagues, and demonstrate your skills and knowledge through blogging.

LinkedIn here I come!

Setting up an account on LinkedIn is easy. In fact, LinkedIn offer a step-by-step guide for setting up both your individual profile and business pages.  They provide a step by step guide starting from filling in your personal details, addresses, company name, etc. Whilst you can set up a FREE business page on LinkedIn, there are also opportunities to move to a paid subscription offering you further benefits and possibilities, but I wouldn’t explore these until you have had time to explore, analyse and determine exactly what you are hoping to achieve with your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

LinkedIn can help your small business simply by keying in basic info about your small business such as a description, number of workforce and the particular industry it serves. LinkedIn sets character limits on several of the business fields, so be sure to place the most important information at the beginning of your descriptions, titles and tags. Be sure to also consider the keywords that your business and website want to be known for – if you offer cafe supplies in Melbourne, then make sure to include this statement within your business profile. Take advantage of your Search Engine Optimisation knowledge by using keywords relevant to your industry and your business. This will help your LinkedIn page have a higher ranking whenever a curious customer looks for services related to your industry.

Whilst working through LinkedIn’s wonderful company page setup wizard, you will be prompted to upload your logo, state your location(s) and it even allows you to include your blog’s RSS feed. Once you have completed all mandatory fields, your page will be ready to be viewed across the LinkedIn platform, and in turn, Google and Bing.

LinkedIn provides a wealth of resources on making the most of your LinkedIn company page, attracting an audience, creating and deploying ads, creating a connecting with your website to bolster your remarketing efforts, and much more. These can all be found within the LinkedIn Marketing Success Hub.

A quick list of the LinkedIn Do’s and Dont’s

There are things that will absolutely help your progress on LinkedIn while others will kill it. LinkedIn can help your small business success if you follow these guidelines:

  • Answering business related questions. Do it to show your knowledge and not how better off  you are than everybody else.
  • Joining groups
  • Link status updates to other social media accounts
  • Write recommendations for others

and these are the absolute no no’s of LinkedIn;

  • Hard selling
  • Avoiding questions / ignoring people
  • Being too personal or being unprofessional (keep the cat videos to Facebook!)

If you are willing to put in time and effort into creating a company page that stands out, LinkedIn can help your small business! If it all seems a little overwhelming, consider hiring an expert to help you – if that sounds like you get in touch and see how we can help you today.

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