It isn’t uncommon for people to ask me, “What is that LinkedIn thing? Do I need one?” As businesses and nonprofit organizations have begun to seek the potential benefits of social media for their organization, they have reluctantly started creating social media profiles. Finding the right mix among several different platforms is necessary to a holistic strategy. Unfortunately, one key element that is frequently overlooked is LinkedIn. It is one social network that could potentially take your marketing to the next level.
LinkedIn is a vibrant, professional network that offers significant benefits.
- As of November 3, 2011, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 135 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
- LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
- As of September 30, 2011, hundreds of thousands of job applications have been submitted using Apply With LinkedIn.
1. Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Not only does LI offer the ability to create a personal profile, but it enables you to converse with and network with other professionals in your area. Through the “Answers” section, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field through producing “good” and “best” answers which are displayed on your profile. Your intimate and authoritative knowledge of your area will shine to your network and open doors for future opportunities. Recommendations are yet another way for you to establish yourself as a leader rather than a follower. Simply ask your customers and colleagues to share their experience working with you. Positive feedback may be the encouragement potential customers need to hire you today.
2. Build the Credibility of your Business
Taking your company to the next level includes creating a LinkedIn business profile. This is imperative if you are a B2B company. Not only can you share your news online, but the profile enables the business to post its services and receive recommendations from clients. Initiating and creating positive and consistent interactions with the LI community establishes you as a credible presence. In addition, upcoming events can be shared with the LinkedIn Community with the goal of increasing your scope of engagement quickly and effectively.
3. Engage and Identify potential clients
Engaging “Answers” enables you to become an industry expert, but it also facilitates connections and conversations with potential clients. Through their comments and questions, they share valuable information about their strengths and challenges. This just might be the doorway needed to establish a profitable relationship in the future. Likewise, LinkedIn groups provide forums for more in-depth conversations and are a platform for prolific sharing. Get into the mix and look for the individuals and companies that you might be able to connect and collaborate with.
4. Entice new talent to your business
Business profiles allow companies to advertise job openings. This paired with the ability to search LI’s massive database of professionals, creates a pathway to connect and entice new talent to your business. Truth is, 80% of companies are using social media as a recruitment portal. 95% use LI specifically.* If you aren’t tapping the potential of 120 million candidates, you should be.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool to consider in your social media strategy. How else can LI be used to develop your small business or nonprofit?