LinkedIn is one of the best social media networking tools available for small businesses at the moment, and it is essential that you learn how to use it to benefit your small business, or you could risk getting left behind by your competition. Although social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are important for connecting with consumers, LinkedIn is the social network to join if you want to foster business to business communications. Here are some tips on using LinkedIn as a small business owner:
- Use Your Page like an Online Resume.
Show off all your skills and previous experience in the same way as you would on your paper resume. Likewise, leave out things that aren’t relevant or that you would not include on your real resume.
- “Optimize” Your Headline and Summary
Make sure that you have included relevant keywords on your LinkedIn profile headline and summary, and use Search Engine Optimization techniques to ensure that your page is highly visible. Never assume that something is implied by the rest of your profile, because things that are only implied will not show up at all in search engine results!
- Leverage LinkedIn Groups
Create or join existing LinkedIn groups consisting of like-minded people. Groups often share business ideas and good practice with each other in these groups, rather than trying to push their products onto each other. Groups can also be used to set-up and coordinate joint business ventures. If you join an existing group, it may be worth quietly observing the dynamic of the group before wading in and making waves. If you spend a lot of time trying to push your products on to others in the group, you may be asked to leave, so bear this in mind.
- Keep Track of Colleagues and the Competition
Use LinkedIn to keep track of your colleagues and your competition. You can look at the profiles of former colleagues or business associates to see what they are currently doing, and then you will be able to consider whether it is possible to use your connections to help your business. You can also check on the profiles of your competition, to see what they are doing, and to see where they have an edge over you.
- Find Help for your Small Business
If you need to outsource anything from your business, use LinkedIn to help you find professional services. When you search for a skill on LinkedIn, it will show people in your network with these skills first, followed by people who are connected to your connections, and lastly people with these skills who are not connected to you or your connections. This can help you find trustworthy people to help you out.
- Ask for Recommendations
Aim to get as many good recommendations as possible to attract as many potential clients as possible. Positive testimonials can help to make your business appear more attractive to potential clients. If you want to get some recommendations in the first instance, it can be as simple as leaving a recommendation for your peers who you think are good, and they will often reciprocate and leave a good recommendation for you.
LinkedIn is the best social media network to foster business to business communication. Learning how to use LinkedIn can open up a whole new world of online networking opportunities. To get started fast with your own social media marketing check out Ultimate Marketing Secrets: Social Media Marketing.