LinkedIn for Small Business Marketing
Let me introduce your new best friend…
Her name is LinkedIn, and she’s ready to fulfill your needs.
Now before you raise a hand and say, “Isn’t that for college kids?”
The answer is no.
In fact, you’d be surprised how profitable Linkedin is for small business owners:
“80% of small business owners, with 200 or less employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and LinkedIn is one of them.” – Wall Street Journal
[Use vs Usefulness InfoGraphic]
So, how can you fit Linkedin into your marketing plan?
I’m glad you asked.
Small Business Goals and LinkedIn
Generally speaking, all of your social media marketing needs are going to range among three main goals:
- Increase and expand your relationship with customers and key contacts.
- Build credibility with key contacts through your content.
- Expand the reach of your brand’s story by utilizing your employee base.
LinkedIn is unique in the sense that your presence comes from a more professional perspective. It’s not the place to push sales and promote coupons. It’s the place to flex your authority as both a publisher and a business. Consider it your new business card. As well as your ‘ace-in-the-hole’ for small business marketing.
Tips on LinkedIn for Small Business
Like anything else, it’s best to plan before jumping in. LinkedIn profiles are no exception. Your profile is the most powerful tool in your disposal. Make sure you complete your profile upon creation.
Do not create it and let it sit. It will expire.
1.Update Your Resume
Remember that piece of paper you used to give out on your job searches? It has a purpose again. Before uploading your resume to LinkedIn, take the time to update it. Here are some quick resources to help that fossil:
- Change Your Privacy Settings During Construction
Treat your LinkedIn like a work of art. No one can see it until it’s complete. Seriously though, make sure you change your privacy settings. You don’t want people seeing an incomplete version of you.
- Add Your Information (All of It)
Take the time to organize what you want to put on your LinkedIn profile. Too little will do you no justice. Too much is what gamers call ‘overkill’. Compiled your pdfs, online articles, certifications, and anything else you can muster. Decide what correlates with your LinkedIn goals and start plugging it all in your profile.
ALERT: Adjust Your Privacy Settings Again After Completion
Once you’ve completed your profile, make sure you change your privacy settings back to public. You can’t use your LinkedIn for small business needs if no one can see the profile.
Degrees of Connection on LinkedIn
According to LinkedIn’s help forum, this is exactly how connections work:
“1st-degree – People you’re directly connected to because you’ve accepted their invitation to connect, or they’ve accepted your invitation. You’ll see a 1st degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn.
2nd-degree – People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You’ll see a 2nd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can send them an invitation by clicking Connect or contact them through an InMail. Learn more about InMail.
3rd-degree – People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. You’ll see a 3rd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile.
- If their full first and last names are displayed, you can send them an invitation by clicking Connect.
- If only the first letter of their last name is displayed, clicking Connect isn’t an option but you can contact them through an InMail.”
You should always be looking for new connections.
The moment you stop expanding is the moment someone else is closing a sale.
Ways to Use LinkedIn for Small Business Success
Run Your Personal Page and Company Page as a Campaign
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it over and over again. SEO optimize everything you do. Doing so (especially on LinkedIn) increases your company’s ‘findability’. From status updates to job descriptions, everything you post to LinkedIn should be SEO optimized.
Make Sure You Have a Personal and Company Page
Don’t make the mistake of tying these two into the same account. Not only is it difficult to keep your goals in line, you’ll be cutting yourself out of a lot of opportunities. Your personal page should be for those key connections. Your LinkedIn company page should highlight your services, associations, distributors, and community work.
Find the LinkedIn Groups with Local Ties
According to LinkedIn, the majority of user join to use their groups. In fact, over 70% of customers use LinkedIn groups to research, network, and make buying decisions. It should be your goal to participate in 3-5 groups and give your expertise (not your promotions).
Being to Blog
You post your blogs everywhere else, so why not LinkedIn? Once you’ve got a good connections base, you’ll be shocked at how much web traffic comes from LinkedIn. Considering your connections will already revolve around your interests, the amount of people who will ACTUALLY read your content is bound to increase.
It’s no secret that 86% of Unites States consumers are heavily influenced by reviews and recommendations. Luckily, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to see whether or not you should contact a person. Actively search for endorsements on your best skills. This will make a huge difference in the decisions of current and potential customers.
Update Your Status 6-8 Times a Day
For the sake of repetition, do not use LinkedIn as a place for promotions. Employ the same social contract you would with your friends and family. Share valuable content with a purpose that attracts your even your 2nd and 3rd level connections.
Get Support From Your Employees
Encourage your employees to create a LinkedIn (or associate their page with yours if they already have one). Not only will this add a very human touch to your LinkedIn presence, your employees serve as brand diplomats to the general public.
Using LinkedIn for small business is one of the most profitable platforms you can use in terms of getting back what you put in.
However, an idle LinkedIn is a waste of time.
Make LinkedIn a part of your daily routine.
Pencil it into your daily schedule and make a point to consistently reach out to new and old connections.
You’ll be happy you took the time to learn one of the most profitable platforms in small busines marketing.
Ready to start your next social media marketing adventure? Get started now.