When thinking about social networks and the tools available to business owners looking to establish an online presence that’s solid, it’s pretty likely that the names Facebook and Twitter come to mind. We’ve written about both of these plenty in previous posts, and offered a lot of advice, especially about using these social media marketing tools for business purposes rather than thinking of them purely as networking tools.
But there’s another site out there which I’m betting you’re probably registered on, but perhaps aren’t using to any real degree of success. LinkedIn is unlike other networking tools because it is very much a B2B (or Business to Business) networking tool which puts you in touch with professionals who may be related to, affiliated to, involved with or merely interested in the sorts of fields within your reach.
If you have a LinkedIn profile then it’s very likely that more can be done with it, and if you don’t currently have an active profile on this site then I’d highly recommend getting yourself set up as soon as possible, and putting the following advice to good use. With over 60 million registered professionals at your fingertips there’s a real gold mine of potential that can be opened up with LinkedIn, and with a new member registering every single second it’s a business networking site that eclipses all others.
By registering on LinkedIn what benefits can you expect? In other words, apart from networking with business professionals (which in itself is no mean benefit) what are the gains to be had from having and developing an active presence on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn offers a very powerful and highly optimised platform which can help increase the visibility of your company, your brand and your products, as well as offering unique tools that can be used to research your competitors, your customers and potential or existing partners. With collaboration tools, testimonials and SEO friendly links the real question is not what benefits you can expect but why you’re not already enjoying them.
It’s important to make sure that your profile is as complete as possible, as with any social media marketing platform. A good quality, professional photo and a complete biography will help, but do make sure you get some anchor text links included as they hold a lot of weight as far as Google is concerned.
Make sure you get a vanity URL to your LinkedIn profile, and connect with everyone you have worked with in the past or are working with now if at all possible. There are also a ton of widgets and add-ons which you can use to stream your blog and your tweets straight in to your LinkedIn profile. Obviously make sure that you promote your LinkedIn profile by including it on your website, on your business card, your blog and so on. Don’t forget forum signatures and email signatures too.
As well as a personal page you can also create a company page, and place yourself within this company in your particular role. By requesting testimonials and by promoting your company page too you can increase the range and power of your LinkedIn presence, and with regularly updated content from your blog as well as SEO friendly links it’s not long before you’ll see your LinkedIn profile featuring heavily in terms of your overall SEO marketing strategy.
But that’s only the start of it, and in a forthcoming blog post I’ll explain a bit about how you can make LinkedIn work even harder for your online marketing and business networking using tools such as groups.
Do you use LinkedIn? Do you find it helpful for your business? What techniques or tactics have you found work for you? Please share any tips by using the comments box below. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and we’ll do our best to help.