You might already have a handle on using Twitter and Facebook, but LinkedIn is fast becoming THE place to be for business owners because it offers so many different ways to connect.
Once thought of as just an online CV site, LinkedIn now has more than 65 million users worldwide. But there is more to this social media application than just a place to look up contacts. Many users find work, sell their products and services and grow their business by expanding their networks.
The first step is to fill in your profile completely so anyone who looks you up or finds your profile in a search can see everything you have to offer. This also works on the flipside, by researching prospects or staff before meeting them.
A great way for your connections to see how you operate is to ask happy clients to write testimonials via LinkedIn. Equally, you can return the favour by writing valuable recommendations for your contacts.
Other ways LinkedIn can help your business:
- Conduct your own market research within your network
- Answer questions to show your expertise
- Post job listings to find the right talent
- Join groups related to your industry to expand your network and build knowledge
- Display examples of your work or presentations using SlideShare
- Share useful articles and resources
- Search for new contacts by company, industry and city, or ask your existing connections to introduce you to their networks
- Check your connections’ locations and use TripIt so you can meet up when travelling for business
- Gain new website visitors or newsletter subscribers by including links in your profile
Integrate other social media applications, such as importing contacts, adding blogs, like Posterous, and your Twitter stream so people can connect with you in different places for different purposes.
LinkedIn’s Twitter application has recently been upgraded to include Overview, Connections, My Tweets and Settings features. Now you can see what your friends are tweeting, who you follow (including suggesting LinkedIn connections to follow) and you can tweet direct from LinkedIn. You can also save your LinkedIn connections as a Twitter list.
Include your LinkedIn URL, along with other online applications, on all your marketing collateral such as business cards, email signature, email newsletters and websites so contacts can connect with you in their chosen way/s.
So if you haven’t already, join LinkedIn and start making connections. Make sure you add me: http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannabakerdowdell