10 Ways To Promote Your Business With LinkedIn!

August 23, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

LinkedIn in many regards is the forgotten member of what I call the “Big 4” of social media networks. This is weird (in some ways) because it has been around longer than either Twitter or Facebook. (But keep in mind MySpace was once the social media guerilla and still a force on its own).

But LinkedIn IS different than Facebook or Twitter and that lets you know that you have to approach it differently as well if you want good results!

As I have said in other articles, don’t think of LinkedIn as just your resume out there if people are looking to hire or if you are looking for a position to move to. The site is constantly evolving (hmmm like all social media) and the features that it offers allows engagement and networking on a new level that other social networking sites don’t…the ability to engage and communicate with primarily professionals.

You might have heard that LinkedIn is a great tool for promoting your business/service or highlighting your subject matter expertise. What you may not have known is how to leverage LinkedIn! Here are 10 things you can do to insure that LinkedIn is an effective tool for your business/service.

1. Create a Company Profile

Think of a personal page and a Fan Page on Facebook. LinkedIn offers that same opportunity! Just like your personal page separates you from your business on Facebook, a Company Profile will do the same. What does a Company Profile contain? It will include information about your company, what services you perform, your experience/time in grade so to speak of how long you have been perfecting your expertise as well as contact info.

2. Participate with Groups

As of this writing, you can join up to 40 groups on LinkedIn, so choose wisely. Be smart and don’t just join groups where essentially you are “singing to the choir”. Rather, you need to leverage your group membership by participating in discussions. Each time you participate, your photo and name are included, plus you can drop in a short signature with your company information on your posts for added promotion. Do it regulary and you will be surprised at both the quality and the volume of leads it can generate!

3. Answer Questions!

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But what better way to show off your expertise than by going to LinkedIn Answers and answering questions from people that are basically your prime prospects? You get to share your business knowledge and expertise when you provide solutions to their problems posed. And in the process of doing so, you become the “go to” person or subject matter expert that people not only look up to, but hire!

4. LinkedIn Polls

Having an issue that you want some feedback on? If that is the case, try using LinkedIn Polls to query your primary target audience and colleagues with. It is a great way to get feedback on ideas and thoughts that you just aren’t sure should make it to the marketplace! With LinkedIn Polls, you can create polls and then distribute them to your networks and/or specific people you want to hear from. One of the best features is the abilty in a real time manner to view and then analyze the results. It can be a very eye opening experience. That being said, if people see the types of polls you are posting, they are more likely to view you in a better light than your competition!

5. Personal/Professional Recommendations!

There is something about a Recommendation that tells people that you are a step above the average person doing that job. The best ones are obviously from customers, but don’t hesitate to ask someone you work with for one. I will tell you that more than one person has reviewed the recommendations that I have done and asked me to provide one for them as well. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to ask! They are your testimonial of the level of work you do! If all things are equal, a recommendation is a great tie breaker that many folks employ when they go to hire someone for a job/project/contact.

6. Build some Company Buzz!

If you haven’t learned it by now, a good part of internet marketing (whether it is your company or your expertise) is self promotion. But it is also about Reputation Management! By using LinkedIn’s Company Buzz, you are able to track both the good (as well as the bad…which is actually more important!) about what is out there on your company on both LinkedIn and Twitter. You can determine the reach you have on other social media sites, but more importantly can respond quickly and appropriately to any negative feedback that might come your way. (And even though you handle yourself professionally and above board, that doesn’t mean your competitors have the same ethics you do, so pay attention here!)

7. Posting Job Opportunities

How does that promote your business you ask? Well, if people know that you are looking for talented people, they understand you are having some success. And people tend to gravitate toward those that are successful versus those that are not. If you are thinking about hiring (be it part/full time or private contractor), LinkedIn in an awesome way to reach professionals and let the world know you are doing well at the same time.

8. Creating a Group

Some folks are a little hesitant or think it may be arrogant to create a group when there many similar groups out there. I don’t view it that way. It lets you speak in your own voice to folks who just might not be ready for a variety of reasons for your product or service YET!!! By creating a group (and yes, you could make it company branded…why not? Remember the self promotion part??) for your customers and prospects, you can help guide the discussion regarding your subject matter niche. Bottom line, it is a great way to communicate and help to solidify your brand.

9. Advertise

Another thing that sounds (and is) simple. But the ROI can be awesome. By starting a targeted advertising campaign with LinkedIn DirectAds, you know you are reaching professionals (and the decision makers, not just the employees of decision makers). LinkedIn ads provide an opportunity for you to really hone in on your audience on a granular level with such categories as geography, job function including seniority, industry/company size, even gender and age. There may not be a lot of places that you can do it as cost effectively as here.

10. Leaving Status Updates

By just going to either the status update field or by updating your profile, you let the world know about company announcements, special offers, as well as providing great tips and the sharing of links that will show you are a true professional..

Are you interested in how to use social media in your business? Don’t know where to start or which sites you should be using for your business?

Believe it or not, not doing social media right can actually harm your business.

If you are looking for free tips or advice on how to approach your social media, go to Social Media Dudes for a F.R.E.E. report o the 7 Myths of Social Media

Or follow our tweets on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/johnpanico

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