Few social media platforms are as valuable to a business owner as LinkedIn. The basic service is free, and as a business owner, you should already have a personal profile in place that’s connected to your business website.
But, are you using it to its full potential?
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool — if used correctly. Here are 10 things you need to know in order to get the most out of it.
1. It’s not just for job seekers
LinkedIn has more than 800 million members. The vast majority of them are people looking for jobs. But, the site is not just an employment portal. Its members include recruiters, small business owners, and professionals.
All types of people should be using the site, but business owners in particular should make sure their profile is up to date and that they take the time to engage with other LinkedIn users.
It offers an array of networking opportunities. You can get introductions to potential customers and business partners, as well as sources for potential employees.
2. You’re not limited to your personal profile
LinkedIn offers more than just personal profiles. You can build company pages, too. With a company page, you can share important news about your company, post job listings, and list your employees.
You can showcase your products and services on your company page, too. This will make it easier for customers to find you and for potential customers to learn more about you.
Having a company page is also great for recruiting purposes. When you post job listings, the applications you receive will be from people who are genuinely interested in working at your company.
3. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool
LinkedIn allows members to network with each other. Members can join groups, participate in discussions, send private messages, comment on other members’ status updates and endorse other members’ skills.
All of this helps you expand your network, attract customers and business partners, and gain exposure for your brand.
You shouldn’t overdo it, but LinkedIn is a valuable networking tool. The more involved you are, the easier it will be for potential customers to find and connect with you.
4. You have to be active
The most effective way to use LinkedIn is to post new content on a regular basis. Post status updates about your company, industry news, links to your website, company blog posts, and more.
Join industry-related groups and start interacting. Share other people’s content. Answer questions. Start discussions.
The more you interact with others, the more visibility your company will get.
5. Quality of connections is more important than quantity
LinkedIn’s strength is its networking potential. But, be selective about whom you connect with. You want to build relationships with people, not spam them with sales pitches.
Make sure to properly manage LinkedIn connections and regularly remove those that aren’t relevant to you anymore.
Focusing on quality instead of quantity will help you get the most out of your LinkedIn experience.
6. LinkedIn is a good way to find employees
LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for recruiting new employees. You can post job listings, reach out to potential candidates, and keep track of applicants.
LinkedIn members are also more likely to use the site than applicants from other social media sites. Don’t miss out on great candidates.
The person you’re looking for may not know they’re looking for a job. They may be happy where they are, and not actively looking.
But, they may be open to discussing employment options if approached in the right way. Either directly, or through mutual contacts, you may be able to find and recruit the right person.
7. You can become a thought leader
LinkedIn is quickly becoming an avenue for business owners to promote themselves. LinkedIn’s publishing platform allows members to publish articles. The articles can be displayed in members’ profiles and in members’ news feeds.
There is no better way to show your expertise than to publish articles on LinkedIn. Articles can be about your products, your industry, or your expertise. By publishing articles, you can establish yourself as an expert.
8. LinkedIn can be a tool for lead generation
LinkedIn can be a lead generation tool. You can display ads in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the screen. You can also publish content on the publishing platform. Both ads and articles can be targeted to specific members in a variety of ways.
You can target people based on geography, demographics, job title, skills, groups, and more. Lead generation is an effective way to gain new customers or clients.
9. LinkedIn is good for branding
Branding is especially important for small businesses. Branding is how your customers and potential customers perceive your business. Branding is what differentiates your products and company from those of your competitors.
LinkedIn offers a number of branding tools. You can publish content, ads, and articles. You can also participate in groups, on discussion boards, and answer questions. All of this helps build your personal brand and the brand of your company.
10. LinkedIn is good for market research
LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for researching your target market. LinkedIn provides a wealth of information to business owners.
You can research specific companies and their employees on LinkedIn. You can research your competition, and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. By researching your competition, you can gain valuable insight and information that you can apply to your business.
Now it’s your turn
LinkedIn is a great way to gain exposure for your business. It can help you recruit new employees, find new customers, recruit partners and generate leads.
But, in order to get the most out of it, you need to post new content on a regular basis. You need to participate in groups, and network with other members.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for business owners. But, like any form of marketing, it takes time and effort. If you invest the time, it will pay off.
By following these 10 simple strategies, you can use LinkedIn to its full potential.