5 ways to use Linkedin for business

Linkedin chain representing business networkingLinkedin is one of the most high profile social media platforms that was specifically designed for business networking. It has over 60 million members across 200 countries, so there’s a very good chance a lot of your business contacts are using it. Here are 5 ways to use Linkedin for business:

1)    Connect with everyone

OK so not everyone you’re ever met, seen or heard of, but certainly everyone you know in a business context. Start with your colleagues, and then expand your list of contacts by inviting your clients and suppliers to connect with you. Are you on any other social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook? It’s likely many of your contacts on those sites will also be on Linkedin so connect with them too. Finally, if you attend industry events, such as conferences or networking receptions, invite everyone you meet there to connect with you on Linkedin, including journalists and bloggers. It won’t be long until you’ve built up a strong network of business contacts. Linkedin provides several tools to help you locate people you know who have profiles on the site – try the ‘People You May Know’ column on the home page, and the email address book search tool.

2)    Create a group

Linkedin has a Groups feature, which – if used correctly – can be a great platform for you to initiate dialogue with your customers. Set up a group that is relevant to your industry (for example, we recently set up a group called Content Marketing for SMEs), invite all of your contacts and encourage them to engage in discussion.

3)    Join other people’s groups

As well as setting up your own groups, sign up to other groups that are populated by your target customers and join in the conversation.

4)    Answer questions

Search for relevant questions using the Linkedin answers tool and provide free, helpful advice. You’ll be surprised how frequently this can turn into new business for your company.

5)    Set up a company profile

It is now possible to create a separate Linkedin profile for your company in addition to your individual profile. You can brand the page with your logo, write a description of your company’s products and services and link to your company’s website and business blog. Make sure you take full advantage of this feature by including your keywords throughout the profile: this will boost the chances of it being listed in both internal and external search results.