How to Use LinkedIn for Business — To LinkedIn Or Not To LinkedIn
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Aye, that is the question — figuring out how to use LinkedIn for business ventures, especially when you’re first starting out (and have few connections), can seem impossible (and not worth the effort).
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site on the Internet today, but is it worth getting on? Let’s explore.
When choosing what social media sites you want your small business to be active on, you should take a close look at LinkedIn because of its broad reach.
When you’re trying to figure out how to use LinkedIn for business, you may find it daunting—even setting up a page can be a struggle, but it’s worth it.
You should consider LinkedIn not only because it is a huge resource, with over 300 million subscribers according to Craig Smith at DMR, but also because LinkedIn is a huge resource of professionals.
If you’re trying to figure out how to use LinkedIn for business purposes, start by looking at what other businesses are doing.
Professionals, of course, have real buying power, so LinkedIn is a way for you to pass on critical information about your brand to customers you really want to form a relationship with.
First, you need to get your personal LinkedIn profile under control — check out our video interview with LinkedIn expert Debra Jason, who’ll tell you how to do just that, here.
Now we can focus on your business page 😀
How to Use LinkedIn for Business—Setting Up Your Page
The first thing you should do is create a visually-appealing banner for your page. Remember, you have very little time to make an impression on your customer on the web, so you want something that is simple, clean, and effective. You also want to make sure your logo is featured prominently on the page.
The next item to create is a summary of your business. You want the first sentence of your summary to “hook” your customers right away.
This “hook” is important because LinkedIn will reduce the amount of your summary that displays when your customers first land on the page. This is really how to use LinkedIn for business purposes—drawing in customers.
For this reason, you want to really think about what your banner will look like and what text you want to put on it.
Your banner and the first sentence of your summary are your first, and maybe your only, chance to make an impression on potential customers and employees on LinkedIn, so make them powerful!
We recommend focusing on minimal text and images that are simple, clean, and straightforward.
How to Use LinkedIn for Business Development — Purchasing A Careers Page (or Not)
For a small business, purchasing a careers page is probably not a good example of how to use LinkedIn for business—at least, not for small business.
The greatest value LinkedIn can provide to your company is the ability to reach a wide audience of professionals who are also potential customers—not finding new employees.
Using your own company website for recruiting is probably more cost-effective than purchasing a careers page on LinkedIn.
We recommend using the summary section of your LinkedIn business page to refer potential employees, who are also potential customers, to your small business website.
Don’t Forget To Interact!
Like any other social media site, you need to regularly post useful information on your page and in groups for your followers and customers. For more information on how to use LinkedIn for business, especially using groups, check out what our friend Pam has to say about LinkedIn groups.
This social media form of word-of-mouth can be incredibly valuable to your small business.
Being social is an incredibly important aspect of how to use LinkedIn for business purposes. Be careful not to neglect your page. This is a social network after all, so make sure you are being social!
You need to post, comment, and share on a regular basis to make LinkedIn really work for you. Your interaction with your followers, in your groups, and with other businesses will help you establish a LinkedIn presence—this is how to use LinkedIn for business.
Pages with regular content turn into traffic on your website, which in turn becomes conversions and eventually leads. Pages that don’t get regular updates can be potentially damaging to your business, so keep on top of your page and make regular posts.
Publish Long-Form Posts To Reach A Wider Audience
If you’re wondering how to use LinkedIn for business purposes, one thing you might consider is to write long-form posts from your individual account.
You can’t write long-form posts from your company account (come on LinkedIn!), but you can write them from your individual account and then link to it through your company account.
Writing long-form posts will let you reach a much wider audience than your company page could reach on its own. It will also help you build your personal brand. That’s like 5 wins. Win/win/win/win/win.
How to Use LinkedIn for Business Growth—Make LinkedIn Work For You
LinkedIn is a fantastic resource, and it gives you the ability to reach a wide audience of professionals who have purchasing power. You can set up your profile in a fairly short period of time, but figuring out how to use LinkedIn for business can be difficult beyond setup.
Making sure you have regular posts is important for giving your potential employees and customers reasons to follow you and learn more about your business.
If you’re wondering how to use LinkedIn for business growth, here’s the formula—engage, interact, and have fun with it! People will be attracted to that.
LinkedIn should be an integral piece of your social media strategy. For really detailed information on how to market on LinkedIn, check out our friend Pam’s LinkedIn Marketing Plan.
Knock Out LinkedIn, Then Get Crackin’ on Facebook
LinkedIn is an excellent place to start, and it can certainly lead to leads (oops, I made a funny)!
However, Facebook is where the money’s at (Cuba Gooding Jr. keeps shouting at it, but to no avail).
You’ve probably already got a Facebook page, but is it really up to snuff? Learn why you need to have someone else look at your page (and why you can’t trust your own judgement on this one).
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