If your business is active on social media, then the chances are that LinkedIn is one of the networks you use in order to build awareness of what you do and make connections. However, it is definitely the case that many businesses that are using LinkedIn are missing opportunities. The reason for this is often that they do not see how to utilize LinkedIn as a dynamic social network in the manner they would Facebook or Twitter, for example.
Those two sites, coupled with the continuing rise in popularity of Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, means that LinkedIn can often find itself at the bottom of the agenda when it comes to business activities.
It is worth remembering that, as a professional networking site, LinkedIn enjoys a great deal of trust, both with the search engines as well as with internet browsers. This means that making the most of your LinkedIn activities can help with everything from a local SEO campaign to being found by a potentially valuable connection on the other side of the world.
Get Your Profile Right
This could be the key to everything, so make sure you put a lot of focus into your profile. The best approach to take to LinkedIn is not to look at it as a social networking website, but as an opportunity for you to display your professional portfolio to the rest of the world. You should take this attitude with both your individual and your business page.
Fill it out completely with all information that is relevant to your professional life. LinkedIn encourages you to connect your account to your other social sites, but you should avoid this if your Twitter account, for example, is predominantly a personal one and you’re talking about how bad the storyline development on your favorite TV show was last night.
Contact details and your website should be a minimum.
What are the keywords that you have optimized your business website for?
Use these in the copy with which you populate your LinkedIn profile, and you’re far likelier to turn up in searches, thus increasing your exposure. Remember that you should only put the keywords in where it allows the copy to continue to read well. Merely listing your ‘Job Responsibilities’ or listing your company objectives as keyword bullet points is not going to get you very far.
People talk about Twitter hashtags as being the best way to discover people that you want to interact with, but LinkedIn groups is perhaps the most underrated platform for doing this.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that, if you are a key ‘influencer,’ you will appear in the sidebar of everyone else in that group, as well as rank higher within their own search function. All you need to do is discover the correct groups for you and ensure that you’re playing a part in the conversation, establishing yourself as a thought leader and someone that can always be relied upon for a sensible, authoritative opinion.
Getting More from LinkedIn
Don’t just pay lip service to LinkedIn by logging in, adding or accepting new connections, and posting a quick update either on your profile or in a group.
Remember what we said at the top; you could have a positive influence on local SEO, your brand profile, and several other parts of your business by spending more time building an effective LinkedIn profile.
Commit to spending the time discussing key points from your industry, and offer to solve problems that people have through your own products or services, and you will find LinkedIn driving more business than you ever thought possible.
[author ]Robert is a social media expert who advises small and medium sized businesses around social marketing strategies. In his spare time, Robert is an avid participant in a variety of sports, including tennis and cycling.[/author]