What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is an online social networking website specifically designed for businesses and professionals. It is the largest such service in the world, with over 100 million members and an additional million new users every week. Founded in 2002, it has since grown into an online networking giant and is consistently cited as an indispensable tool for businesses.
Like other social networking sites, LinkedIn allows you to create a profile with your information that other professionals can view. You can connect with other users to build a network of acquaintances with whom you may interact. There are a host of other features, for example forming common interest groups, posting job opportunities or looking for them.
How Can LinkedIn Stimulate Your Business?
Build a Community
There are a variety of new ways to take advantage of LinkedIn. Firstly, it is a great way to forge new connections. With over 100 million users in 200 countries, 12 million of which are small-business owners, there is a seemingly limitless pool of new contacts. By building up a network, you can attract fresh clients, draw investors and seal partnerships.
Keep Your Business Up-To-Date
With LinkedIn, you can stay in touch with colleagues and people who are in the same industry as you, exchanging ideas and information. This allows you to stay current with your business, evolving along with the industry and adapting with the trends to stay up-to-date. Through your network, you can find out about industry events, or plan your own events, promote them and invite a large audience.
Additionally, LinkedIn has over 11 million recent graduates, making it the best place to recruit the brightest young talent for your company.
Interactions, Marketing and Referrals
A key feature on LinkedIn allows you to ask questions. Other businesses who’ve handled similar situations can offer their insights. Even better, you can use your extensive experience to answer other people’s questions, raising awareness of your own business and expertise. This further increases your client and contacts base, which can later be used for direct marketing. Similarly, past clients can post recommendations on your profile, a great way to get referrals.
Best of all, a basic account on LinkedIn is free, and takes just minutes to set up. Managing your profile may be time-consuming, but its a great alternative to expensive marketing. For a more strategic approach, consider hiring a company to run your LinkedIn marketing for you, which will also save you precious time and efforts.
How Can LinkedIn Help Your Website?
In two major ways: by boosting traffic to your site and providing user-generated content. For example, a client explores your profile on LinkedIn and leaves a recommendation praising your business. Not only does this positive blurb decorate your business and increase its appeal, this activity will be picked up by search engines, like Google, to increase your site’s rank. Thus, when someone searches for a service related to your business, your site will appear nearer to the top, making it significantly more likely to be visited. Meanwhile, you’ve done absolutely nothing!
Quick Tip for LinkedIn
On your profile, the default setting is to list your site as “Company Website”. This essentially has no use, unless someone is directly on your profile. To attract new visitors, you will need relevant keywords so that your profile pops up in someone else’s search. To do this, click on the “edit” button next to the website section of your profile. While there, open the drop-down menu and switch “Company Website” to “Other”. Now, an additional textbox appears where you can write key words for your business. And voila! Your profile now has another major way of being found by others.