Founded in 2002, LinkedIn has helped many business-minded people, professionals, and companies with networking, employment, business expansion, and more. With over 200 million registered users, it’s known as one of the top social networks, alongside social media powerhouses such as Facebook and Twitter. However, LinkedIn offers many unique tools and options not found on other social networking sites that make it stand out from the rest.
Although it’s similar to other popular social media sites, LinkedIn is also a bit different in regards to its unique approach to professional networking.
In addition, while other sites may focus on business pages and professionals, they also focus on personal entertainment games, videos, chatting, and more. LinkedIn, however, is strictly a professional social networking web site for businesses, professionals, customers, and companies.
With more than 200 million users, LinkedIn has helped build professional rapport, find jobs, close sales deals, and build customer bases for numerous companies.
If you still haven’t created a LinkedIn business page it’s time to do so! LinkedIn definitely should not be ignored as it is a powerful marketing avenue.
While LinkedIn can be a great marketing tool, you probably have questions about it and wonder whether or not it can really help grow your business.
Whether you are already using LinkedIn or have yet to embark on the LinkedIn journey, here are 10 popular Questions and Answers that most small businesses have about this platform:
1) What is LinkedIn and how much does it cost?
LinkedIn is a free social networking site primarily used for professional networking. Users can build business contacts, seek employment, post jobs, share photos and videos, join relevant business groups, and more.
LinkedIn provides each user with an overview tab that can help your business stand out. The overview tab is what other users see before actually going to your page. You can customize your tab with service promotions, embedded YouTube videos, or anything else that will attract customers.
2) How will LinkedIn help my business?
The primary way that LinkedIn can help your business is by giving you exposure to its millions of users. In addition, LinkedIn offers a plethora of options that will help raise awareness to your company, such as profiles with custom pages, specific industry-related business groups, Q&A forums, and the ability to link back to your company website and other social networking sites.
LinkedIn offers interactive tools for your business page to help you promote your company. For instance, your business page can be customized to showcase what your business has to offer, including news updates, product and service information, recommendations, and more. The “Products and Services” tab provides a way for you to create a custom list of each product and service that you offer, as well as pictures and rotating banners next to each description. Think listings, custom buyer services and so on.
3) How is LinkedIn different from other social networking sites and is there a way to analyze activity?
Unlike the other popular social media sites designed for both personal and business use, LinkedIn is exclusively used for business networking.
Moreover, other social networks offer games and other activities that let users pass time, whereas LinkedIn specifically lets users save time. Sales deals, investments, new customers, and job leads can all be accomplished on one site with a few simple clicks and exchanges.
LinkedIn’s analytics helps you to determine your customer base and who is most likely to purchase your services. You can analyze how many visitors you have, visitor location, and what keywords attract these visitors through an easy-to-follow chart.
Furthermore, you can compare your analytics chart to the charts of your competition. You’ll be able to see where your business is lacking compared to the other companies in the same industry. This will help you determine what areas in your social media presence need to be worked on. You’ll also be able to determine which areas you are doing the best in and what you’re doing exactly that garners the most customer attention.
4) Can LinkedIn help me get more customers?
LinkedIn’s “Customer Recommendations” feature provides ways to endorse your business and products through testimonials and reviews. In fact, many users look at the “Recommendations” tab before deciding to check out a business.
When clients write a recommendation for your business, it’s automatically put on your LinkedIn profile page once you approve it, which is viewable by every LinkedIn member.
As the administrator of your business page, you have complete control over which recommendations make it on your list. Keep in mind, however, that LinkedIn users are typically savvy, so the products and services should always match the recommendations. People are more likely to trust your company and services if it has legitimate and positive recommendations from other customers.
Don’t hesitate to ask satisfied customers to write a quick testimonial for your page. The more testimonials you have, the more likely you’ll bring in new customers.
Furthermore, consider engaging in LinkedIn’s industry-relevant forums and groups. You’ll not only get to promote your business, but you’ll also be able to find prospective customers who you’ll already know have an interest in your industry.
5) With so many companies on LinkedIn, is there a way I can make my business stand out?
Adding keywords is one of the most important things to do to get your business to stand out from the crowd. A good majority of LinkedIn users use the “search” function, which allows them to search for various companies by keyword, location, and more. Be certain to add the proper keywords to your profile content, headline, and summary.
Additionally, LinkedIn offers a Profile Badge for pages for members to use on their company websites and/or blogs. When viewers click on your Profile Badge, they’ll be taken to your LinkedIn page.
6) Can I get a custom LinkedIn URL?
Yes, and in fact, it’s highly recommended that all companies create and use a custom URL. URLs auto-generated by LinkedIn usually have several numbers and characters at the end of the web address, which is not only confusing, but hard for potential customers and others to remember. To
set your own custom URL, go to “Edit Profile” at the top page of your profile, click on “Edit your settings,” and click on “Customize your public profile URL.”
7) Is there a way to share new products and services on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn offers members a way to publish status updates directly from their homepage. This allows you to share business news, product information, updated services, or any other relevant information you’d like to share. To share new information, go to your LinkedIn homepage and type your new status update into the “Share an Update” box. When finished, click “Share,” which will broadcast your message to your connections.
Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to share your updates on Twitter at the same time by selecting the “Share with LinkedIn +Twitter.” If you choose this option, a pop-up box appears, prompting to you to sign in to your Twitter account. Once you hit “Share,” your update will be shared on both Twitter and with your LinkedIn network.
8) Does LinkedIn offer advertising for my business?
LinkedIn’s ad campaign application exposes your company to millions of professionals, businesses, and consumers. The application allows you to create your own ad campaigns, promoting your business, which will help drive a bigger audience to your page. It also allows you to choose which audience can see your campaigns. For example, you can cater your services towards a particular like-minded audience or you can set it as public which allows anyone on the site to view.
LinkedIn’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads allow you to target relevant industries, companies, networks, job titles, business sizes, and more. Each ad includes a photo of your choice and a 75-character description.
9) How can I follow relevant industries and companies?
LinkedIn makes it simple to follow other relevant companies and businesses. In order to look for other companies, you’ll first need to register, sign-in, then click on the “Companies” tab at the top of your homepage. Search for companies by location, keywords, or company name.
The benefit of following relevant businesses is that you’ll get more exposure to your own company as well as learn about new developments and breakthroughs in your industry.
10) How much time should I spend on LinkedIn to promote my business?
The amount of time dedicated to LinkedIn will greatly depend on what you’re trying to do. For small business, you should spend time each day promoting your business, searching industry-specific forums for questions to answer, engaging in group discussions, and networking with others. On average, you should dedicate at least 20 minutes minimum to each task daily.
Keep in mind that although it may seem redundant, answering questions in forums about your industry will not only brand you as an expert in that category, it also gives you the chance to showcase your skills, give your company exposure, and network with potential customers.
In addition, spend time creating content for your profile daily. This could be new status updates, articles, videos, and anything else that keeps your profile fresh and relevant.
With millions of professionals and companies utilizing the powerful tools on LinkedIn, there has never been a better time to get exposure for your business.
If you’d prefer to have some assistance establishing your company’s LinkedIn account, I help local businesses in the area setup and manage their Social Media profiles. So contact me for a free consultation if you would like some help with this process.