The key for small to mid-sized businesses is networking. LinkedIn provides a great resource to find customers, business opportunities, employees, and resource of information to help solve challenges you may be facing. LinkedIn is well-known as a leader in professional networking on-line, with over 135 members and used in over 200 countries. While Facebook and Google+ are strong for personal networking and some professional networking, LinkedIn has the strongest reputation for professional people being able to connect, share information, and create professional relationships. With any social media your engagement will directly impact your ability to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business. Here are some simple tips on how to grow your business through social media, specifically LinkedIn.
1. Participate in groups that relate to your business.
Join your industry associations or group on LinkedIn or start a new one. Being a member of a recognized association builds up credibility in the minds of business partners or customers weeks. By answering questions, finding answers, and participating you can drive business and improve your credibility.
2. Increase customers by using recommendations!
People will inevitably research you, your company, and your products. Having current customers or clients provide a recommendation on your profile will be a great way for prospects to see a testimonial. Having several recommendations will give you a huge advantage when compared to your competitors which don’t have any.
3. Source new suppliers
It is important that you have the best suppliers available for your organization. The relationships we create with our key suppliers are usually a key fundamental strategy for a business’s success. LinkedIn allows a business owner to research, compare, and leverage social media to find the optimal supplier. Whether generating competitive bids for your business, finding more skilled suppliers, or finding a supplier, LinkedIn provides you that ability to improve your costs and providing more profitability for you to manage your business.
4. Promote events, products, or services
Using LinkedIn as a marketing tool starts with building your profile, but creating an announcement for any event your business is planning to have provides valuable word of mouth marketing. It’s a very effective way of getting attendees. Once a member chooses to attend, that RSVP will be shown on his home profile, making it visible to all his connections. There is also ways to show product information by using some of the built-in apps. Use the SlideShare app to upload a presentation about your business and the services you offer. It is a great way to market your business, create word-of-mouth sharing, and leverage it to create additional branding.
5. Competitive information
Most businesses will tend to think about what they can do for their business. How can I promote? How can I sell my services? How can I have a competitive advantage? Well that is where LinkedIn can help a business. Competitive information is important; understanding their strategies, marketing, and other insights can be accomplished through LinkedIn. Many people build a profile, add information periodically, but rarely do they spend the time to see what is new with their competitor. Staying on top of their strategies will help you develop yours, ensuring you are moving your business forward.
Like any networking tool, LinkedIn can be as effective as you choose it to be for your business. It provides you access to millions of people and by searching you can find the right supplier, customer, or even business partners to help grow your business. It is important to recognize that everyone on LinkedIn is there because of the powerful networking it provides, so use this to your advantage and begin to grow your business today.