With over 200 million members, LinkedIn gives small businesses a fantastic opportunity to promote its products and services, recruit skilled professionals, and share relevant and interesting updates. There is simply no excuse not to create a LinkedIn account. It’s free and it’s easy. If you have a company name and email address, you can create a LinkedIn account within a few minutes.
Here are four ways your business can benefit from engaging with your target audience via LinkedIn:
Attract Your Target Audience
LinkedIn is a great venue to share interesting content from your business blog or website as a status update. You can also join LinkedIn Groups which are related to your areas of expertise. Here you can start or participate in discussions, where you can also soft sell your business to a new audience of colleagues and prospects. Over time, users who notice your presence on Answers and Groups will become curious about who you are, click through to your profile, and will ask to connect with you and eventually, do business with you.
Second to checking emails, the most common internet activity according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project is search engine use. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile helps you to be found by potential customers and business partners. One good way to optimize your profile is to include keywords in your headline. If you’re a flower shop owner, try ‘Flower Shop Owner in Chicago’ instead of the usual general headline ‘Entrepreneur’ or ‘Small Business Owner’. This way, people who are searching specifically for your type of business will be led to your profile.
LinkedIn is a two-way street. You are there to be found and to scout for prospects. Clicking through to LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, you can enter keywords of possible suppliers for your business, as well as potential customers. Following our recent example, you can type in ‘floral foam wholesaler’ or ‘wedding organizer’ to search for possible suppliers or clients. By doing so, your search result will show only your target prospects. You can learn more about keyword optimization from SEO training. If you have a Premium LinkedIn Account, you can save your search and this will be updated automatically whenever new people that fit your criteria join LinkedIn.
Maintain a Database of Connections
Another premium feature in LinkedIn is its profile organizer, which allows you to save a particular prospect’s profile so you can easily access it later on. As you reach out to that person, you can keep notes about your contacts with them and these notes will appear every time you revisit their profile. This light customer relationship management software can help you save time and keep you organized.
LinkedIn is a valuable tool that lets you connect with prospective customers and partners so you can eventually communicate with them about your business. By expanding your network, making your expertise accessible to others, and prospecting in a low-key way, your business can explore so many great opportunities from this practically free online marketing tool.
Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.