LinkedIn for startups and small businesses

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LinkedIn for startups and small businesses

  1. 1. LinkedIn for Startups and Small BusinessesPosted on January 3, 2012 by Maya PillaiA common question asked by start ups and small business owners these days is “which socialnetwork is the best?” The answer is simple. The social channel that suits your business and meetsyour marketing goals is the best. But the sad fact is, many SMBs have not looked beyondFacebook and Twitter. They have not tapped into the power of LinkedIn to increase businessrevenue and connect with likeminded people. Many still assume, or rather presume, thatLinkedIn is a repository of online resumes. The fact is this is a professional social networkingsite where you can optimize your brand, network with people who share your business interest,advertise, form groups and also enter into discussions and share your opinions and suggestionswith other entrepreneurs.What is LinkedIn and why you should be thereSimply put, LinkedIn is a social networking channel for professionals of various professions,without the distractions of games and other applications which are commonly found in othersocial networks. It is the largest professional online network with presence in more than 200countries. Here are a few reasons why all small business owners should have a member profileand company page on LinkedIn. You could rightly say that your LinkedIn profile is your onlinebusiness card because it informs your clients and potential customers about the nature of your© 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. business and why they should connect with you. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile yet, createone today.• Increasing the Internet presence – If you have a profile on LinkedIn and Google your name,your profile will be listed on the first page of Google. This shows that LinkedIn has some sort ofsearch engine optimization arranged with Google.• Does a wonder to your SEO Efforts – LinkedIn has an option to display your websites andblog. Instead of giving boring URLs, give catchy keyword phrases which will describe yourcompany. When using specific keyword phrases, your profile will rank above all others theysearch for your specific keyword.• Networking - LinkedIn helps with networking. When you share your expertise and blogcontent with members of your group, they will knowingly or unknowingly share through word-of-mouth publicity to their friends and peers about your business. Sharing content andknowledge that you post online is made easier when you have a profile on LinkedIn.• Platform for showcasing your expertise - On LinkedIn, you can form groups and invite yourcolleagues and also like minded people. Similarly you can also join various groups that suit yourbusiness. Here, you can post questions and at the same time answer the queries posted by variousmembers of the group. This way you can demonstrate your expertise in your specific field.• Ads Campaign in LinkedIn - Did you know that you can create direct Ads Campaign onLinkedIn? When you create ad campaigns on LinkedIn, you are targeting specific groups ofprofessionals who have a need for your type of business.• Meet your clients/potential customers through events – LinkedIn has an interesting featurecalled „Events.‟ Here you can create an event and invite your vendors, clients and potentialcustomers. Even if you are not hosting an event but are planning to attend a business eventorganized by someone else you, can post it on LinkedIn. This is an opportunity to meetprospective clients and also a great way to promote your business.© 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Difference between Member Profile and a Company PageA member profile is the profile of any individual while a company page displays the company‟sprofile. LinkedIn encourages you to have both a member and company profile. The reason beingthat member profiles are all about personal branding, while a Company Page will showcase yourproducts or services i.e. your business brand. A member profile and Company Page should beconsistent and blend with one another. This will give a complete picture about you and yourbusiness to prospective client.How Small Business Should Use LinkedIn to their AdvantageSMBs must embrace social media to grow their business. It goes without saying that LinkedIn isa great channel for staying connected with people who you already know. However, it is also agreat resource to make new connections and also find new customers. LinkedIn has many paidand unpaid services that small business owners should use to their advantage. Some of theservices offered by LinkedIn include Company pages, in Mails, LinkedIn Ads and so on.Remember, if you are opting for free services, then you can only see the second degreeconnections. That is people who know people you know. However, if you are willing to pay anominal monthly fee that starts at $25, you can go through the profile of members beyond yoursecond degree network. If you are a premium member then you can use in Mail to contact anymember of LinkedIn. Here are a few to tips to use LinkedIn to turn your business around.Online recommendations and word help to get new clients/customers - You can ask yourcustomers to write recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. This is more than enough to sendword across to your network about your credibility.Be active in LinkedIn groups – To keep your business alive among your groups, you shouldparticipate in group discussions. You can post questions and also answer ones posted by othermembers. This will help showcase your knowledge in that particular domain.© 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.

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