LinkedIn: 20 Quick Tips for Small Business Owners

LinkedIn is the world’s largest social networking site for professionals. It’s an excellent way to connect with others in your industry, as well as, potential leads and future clients or customers. LinkedIn is different than other social media sites in that it’s more business focused. This professional network provides an excellent opportunity to promote your products and services to a new audience.

LinkedIn: 20 Quick Tips for Small Business Owners

How can you make LinkedIn work for you and your business?

Build a Strong Profile

When using LinkedIn for business, it’s a good idea to set up and maintain a company page as well as your personal page. The pages are similarly structured but having a company page provides a more professional and cohesive image for your brand.

You’ll find that there are two main focuses you’ll want to build up for your business: the photo used and the description or summary area. These two areas are the best way to customize your page and show your brand identity. Picking the right logo or graphic that represents the business or its brand is highly important because the quality of the photo can make all the difference. The same goes for the information you input about the business in all the necessary fields. The more complete your profile, the easier it will be for your customers (or potential customers) to find you. Be sure to use keywords throughout your profile and especially in the title to help with search result rankings. Click to learn more about how to set up a company page.

Don’t forget about your personal page though. This is a great place to highlight what is happening with your business, establish yourself as a professional, and give a face to your brand. Be sure to link to your company website and social media sites on your personal page.

5 Profile Tips

  • Add a professional and brand cohesive company logo and header image
  • Include your contact information 
  • Complete your profile fully and in detail
  • Use plenty of keywords throughout
  • Integrate your personal page and company page

Grow Your Network

One of the best ways to gain customers is to connect with as many people as you can and get to know more about your audience. Begin with your base – friends, family, colleagues and clients and then build on your network from there. Look through your base’s connections for people you may have missed. Even contacts that aren’t related to your business’s industry may have connections that would be interested in your services or products. 

Stay connected by interacting with your connections. Comment on posts and sending congratulatory messages for milestones.  Regularly invite new contacts that you meet at conferences or events to join your network.

Utilize the search feature to find common connections with people you would like to get to know. Do the same for businesses you would possibly like to work with in the future. Edit and personalize your LinkedIn invites to include information such as how you know one another, your common goals, or specific questions.

5 Networking Tips

  • Build your base then grown your network
  • Interact with your connections
  • Send personalized invites
  • Search for new connections frequently
  • Provide and request endorsements and recommendations

Join or Create LinkedIn Groups

Get to know your audience better by joining a group or creating your own. LinkedIn groups are one the best ways to find new customers for your business. Begin by searching for groups by industry, keyword or topic and then filter your results to find groups that best relate to what you do. Don’t forget to check out the groups that your connections have joined. 

If you can’t find a group that works for you, then create one that does. It’s easy to do and you have the advantage of controlling the discussion threads and who can be within your group.

Get engaged and participate in group conversations but be mindful of your posts. Many of the groups are closely moderated and if the admin feels the conversation is irrelevant or has been posted with the sole intention of trying to sell something your post may be deleted or you may be removed from the group.

LinkedIn recently made some changes to how the groups feature works. You can read more about those changes here.

5 Group Tips

  • Search for relevant groups
  • Look at your connection’s groups
  • Consider starting your own group
  • Actively participate in group conversations
  • Keep your conversations relevant to the group and not too ‘salesy’

Contribute Relevant Content

As with all of the other social media networks, content matters most.  As you build up your business on LinkedIn, you’ll find that providing fresh content that’s relevant to your business, your products, and your services will get you noticed. Post frequently and consistently but you won’t make any friends if you go overboard posting too often or if you come across as ‘salesy’. Think ‘help’ – not ‘sell’. The goal here is to provide solutions and make your company the leading expert within its industry so others will look to you for advice – rather than your competitors.

When posting updates, think of your content in the same way you would your website or blog. Introduce new aspects of your business, such as products and services, while also discussing trends within your industry and other relevant information. Share creative tips and include visually appealing images whenever possible. 

5 Content Tips

  • Keep your brand voice consistent and cohesive
  • Post consistently and frequently (but not too frequently)
  • Think ‘help not sell’
  • Share useful and relevant content
  • Include visually appealing imagery

It’s a fairly basic formula that works with most social media networks. Build a solid brand-cohesive profile, grow your network and provide useful information to your audience. With all of these tip and tricks, you are sure to drum up and establish new connections with customers that you didn’t have before. With some hard work and diligence to your LinkedIn account, you’ll see increased sales and new loyalties being created for your business.

Do you use LinkedIn to market your small business? Let us know in the comments below!

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