Although it’s been around longer than Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn tends to be eclipsed by the other social networking sites. Despite some of the recent changes that have likened it in ways to some of the social media giants, LinkedIn is really a different kind of animal that requires different techniques for using it effectively.
Most know that LinkedIn is a business-focused social networking site that essentially allows users to create a road map of their careers, outlining where they were educated, positions they’ve held, and people they’ve worked with. Many of the features on the site allow interaction and networking on a individual level.
Some might not know that LinkedIn can also be an effective tool for promoting your business. Here is a list of ways you can use LinkedIn from a company perspective to promote your business and target potential clients.
1. Create a Company Profile
A company profile helps you separate your individual background from your business by creating a page that includes information about what your company does, how long you’ve been doing it, and how interested parties can contact you for more information. Read this tutorial that walks you though the process of creating a company profile on LinkedIn.
2. Use LinkedIn Polls
Pick the brains of your target audience and colleagues with LinkedIn Polls. LinkedIn Polls lets you create polls and distribute them to your networks and/or specific people you want to hear from. You can view and analyze real-time results to get a behind-the-scenes look at what people are saying.
3. Answer a Question
Share your business knowledge and expertise, and help others find solutions to their problems, by answering questions posed in LinkedIn Answers. This can be a great way to make an “expert” name for your business.
4. Participate with Groups
You may already be a member of several groups on LinkedIn, but you need to leverage that 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.
5. Create a Group
Create a company-branded group for your clients and/or colleagues to facilitate discussion about your industry. A collaboration-based group, created and managed by your company, can be an excellent way to get your company name out there and recognizable.
6. Leave a Status Update
Use the status update field on your profile to make company announcements, offer special deals, give tips and share links.
7. Ask for Recommendations
Maximize your use of the Recommendations function by regularly asking clients to provide testimonials. These reviews are listed under your company information on your profile indefinitely unless you or the client requests their removal, so recommendations can be a great “proof of excellence” tool.
Consider starting a targeted advertising campaign with LinkedIn DirectAds. You can target your ads based on geography, job function and seniority, industry and company size, and gender and age.
9. Post Job Opportunities
If you have employees, subcontractors or are thinking about hiring an intern, LinkedIn in an excellent way to spread the word about the position you need to fill and your business in the process.
10. Build a Company Buzz
Use the LinkedIn app, Company Buzz, to track what’s being said about your company on LinkedIn and Twitter. Having this information not only helps you respond quickly when necessary, but it also gives you a way to measure the impact of your brand on these social networking sites.
What’s your favorite way to use LinkedIn to promote your business?
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