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LinkedIn for business

LinkedIn for business

Depending on your sector, LinkedIn could be a great untapped resource for reaching your target customers and partners. Here’s a rundown of how to use LinkedIn for networking and lead generation.


 

Have active employee profiles

At more than 300 million users, LinkedIn is forging ahead as the most popular social network for professionals. It’s no longer just a recruitment resource for companies and professionals, but a tool to showcase the talent and expertise that exists within your organisation and stay ahead of the competition. So it makes sense for businesses to encourage their employees to have a presence on LinkedIn and keep their profiles up to date. Make sure that work history – including current title, responsibilities and key achievements – is current and that every profile has a professional headshot. You can make your profiles more visible in searches by using Google’s Keyword Planner to find relevant words and phrases to include.

Post and share updates

You and your employees should try to post regular status updates, which could be links to industry articles or company news. This is an effective way to keep your clients informed and show them your business is in tune with the market. Or you could simply post ideas, opinions or questions that will spark discussion within your network. It’s also worth sharing and commenting on other users’ content to encourage a dialogue. Try to allocate five to 10 minutes each day for this. If you have a flair for words and want to become a leader in your network, you can publish original content using the long-form post feature. If pressed for time, you can schedule updates using Hootsuite or a similar tool.

Maintain a company page

For businesses with employees, a company page is essential. Similar to a Facebook page, it can be used to share company news, such as new hires and store openings, and to showcase products and services. Try to balance company announcements with editorial content that will interest your colleagues and target audience, and spark discussion. You can use page analytics to track how your page is performing. Depending on your industry and target audience, Sponsored Updates – the ability to promote your posts to targeted users by allocating a small budget, similar to Facebook's Promoted Posts feature – could be worth exploring.

Join groups

LinkedIn is home to more than two million groups, and they can be a great place to make new connections, showcase your expertise to potential customers, suppliers and colleagues and find new employees. This can be done by sharing content, answering questions and contributing to discussions that will position you as an industry resource. Many LinkedIn users join groups that focus on specific industry topics, but if you are trading locally, it’s also worth searching for groups with your city or suburb in the name, such as “[city] small retailers”.

LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for almost any type of business. Putting even a few minutes each day into profile maintenance and networking activities can increase your exposure and make it a steady source of new leads.

Using the free options on LinkedIn is a great way to build a following for your business without spending a cent. Learn other tips to make the most of your marketing budget – if you even have one.

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