Source: The WSJ
Social media is a very effective platform for marketing and promotion of your startup. Especially marketing on LinkedIn for small business is very important during initial stage promotions. Entrepreneurs often seek appropriate guidance for various common questions like, how to add company to LinkedIn? How to create a company page on LinkedIn? How to use LinkedIn effectively for business? Etc. Let’s try to see how small business can make the most of LinkedIn? How to do all things correctly.
How to use LinkedIn effectively? Or how to use LinkedIn for business?
It is often observed that almost every entrepreneur make some mistakes on LinkedIn by applying wrong strategies which involves costly campaigning lack of awareness of proper branding rules and power of social media. Keeping these common points in mind let’s try to have a look on some tips – how to use LinkedIn for business.
Prospective customers and colleagues, especially in the business-to-business world, often check out your LinkedIn profile before doing business with you
1. Never use LinkedIn only for Marketing Purpose
Smaller companies need to be very clear for content-marketing where they are going to do what? What type of audience they are targeting at? Many businesses can get more attention other social platform like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, where consumers spend a lot more time and attention, or with Twitter or an independent blog, where it’s easier to showcase your expertise and domain experience. By all means, cross-post the occasional article or update to LinkedIn means your content should be focused on the content as a source of connections and expertise—not as a way of building an audience or brand awareness.
2. Use your LinkedIn for your business trips
Small business may not have presence across multiple locations like big corporate giants so they must squeeze the most out of every business trip and remote opportunities. They should use LinkedIn to fill the calendar with more meetings. They can use the geographic-search option to search first- and second-degree connections in the destination city and filter results to people whose job titles, company size and industry match a typical sales target. Then they can ask common connections for an intro. This strategy may also give fruitful results during meeting with investors.
3. Are you sure you are not helping your competitors?
Social platforms include connections which most commonly include college mates and other people in your field. But when connecting on LinkedIn, it pays to be a little cutthroat. If small-business people accept collegel connection requests from people who work for competitors, the chances are high they are making their entire network accessible to the competition. In a small town or industry, some exposure is natural and well accepted as well, but there’s no sense to make competitors’ work easier for them by accepting their connection requests because there are chances their eyes tracking your activity. So beware of helping your competitors by publicly demonstrating your activities on your LinkedIn profile. You can update LinkedIn settings also where you can turn off your activity notifications to your connections.
4. Keep it private and hidden.
Premium LinkedIn members can easily see who has recently viewed their profile. It’ll simply increase chances of being overexposed when investigating a prospect or competitor. That’s a lot riskier for a small company than it would be for a well-established brand. So if small-business people don’t want somebody to know they’re looking at their profile, they should use a private browsing window. Conversely, small-business people should be sure to look periodically at who has viewed their profile, because it may provide useful insights into their own business and growth.
5. Avoid lead generation during initial stage.
Entrepreneurs should use LinkedIn to identify prospects; a small company can make that easier by encouraging everyone in the company to connect with one another on LinkedIn, so that they share networks. But they shouldn’t expect their company page to be a source of inbound leads if they don’t have the kind of advertising budget that big companies use to drive LinkedIn traffic. Instead, a small business should polish and update its page only often enough to attest to its credentials, professionalism and end user experience.
6. Sell your business not yourself.
On LinkedIn, your brand matters more than you. People of corporate giants have an advantage, because their profile summaries can immediately convey their role and industry. At a small company, a C-level title doesn’t mean much. Small-business executives should include a descriptive summary of their business, leveraging the brand of top clients, like “CEO of SoleQuantum IT Solutions, Chief Editor at StartMyOwnBiz.” Likewise, for founders, executives or principals in a small business, a profile needs to tell a story that’s bigger than their own career: It needs to narrate the story of the business.
7. Adopt systematic approach while hiring.
Big giants tend to post openings on LinkedIn, and can afford to wait for applicants. Compared to which, small companies need to work harder to attract qualified candidates. If a small firm knows a couple of people who represent its dream hire, the firm should use their LinkedIn profiles to reverse-engineer a dream applicant: What are the roles and experiences those dream candidates had before they reached in their current positions? The firm can then search for people who hold similar positions, and compile an ideal candidate pool.
8. Don’t hesitate to ask for opinions.
Is your business bidding on some government contract for the first time? You can ask the LinkedIn network for correct opinion instead of hiring any expert or consultant. Joining LinkedIn groups can help small-business people to expand the range of expertise they can access within the industry.
How to add company to LinkedIn? How to create company page on LinkedIn?
If your business does not have its own company page on LinkedIn, then it is probably missing a huge opportunity to connect with vast number of potential audience.
A LinkedIn company page is a free marketing tool and if used effectively, can be an appealing one. It’s not intended to replace your website or your web existence but rather, it’s more of a supplement to drive viewers to your site.
It’s extremely important to establish your company’s presence on LinkedIn in addition to your personal profile. Click on the “Companies” tab on LinkedIn’s upper navigation bar and you’ll be taken to a page where you can either search for companies or add a company. Company pages don’t have as many features as LinkedIn personal pages — the four sections, or tabs, are “Overview,” “Employees,” “Product Pages” and “Statistics” — but they’re great ways to publish updates about your business and link to content of interest to your customers and prospects.
However you’ll need a personal profile before you can create a LinkedIn page for your company. If you have employees, be sure they include your company in their personal profiles. That will increase exposure for your business through their LinkedIn networks.
I personally believe LinkedIn for small business is the best way for effective lead generation and thus can help in marketing . You can refer this free e-book for the same – Download free e-book.