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5 Tips for growing your business through LinkedIn

The industry is abuzz with talk of social media platforms such as Facebook or YouTube which are, undisputedly, both on an ascending path to the top of the marketing agenda. The less discussed, LinkedIn, stands beside giants. That doesn’t necessarily suggest that the network doesn’t mean business, hosting over 200 million industry professionals.

In a LinkedIn study across 8 marketing fields in 2011, 71% of business professionals said that they were more confident about receiving professional information from LinkedIn as opposed to Facebook or Twitter.

As 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members are responsible for driving business decisions, it would only make sense to ensure your LinkedIn profile is optimized to meet business objectives. Here are 5 tips, outlined by the Social Media Examiner:

Frequently review your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn recently made changes to the personal and company profile layout which lend features from social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter, while still remaining uniquely ‘LinkedIn’. Ensure the new features are being taken full advantage of and are kept regularly updated, for instance, the ‘Skills and Expertise’ set should be revised after a course competition, or employee equity continually adjusted should the business have additions to the team.

Updating a profile picture or adjusting your headline are also essential not only for the purpose of keeping up to date, but to ensure your LinkedIn profile – both personal and company – are being viewed more frequently and appear in the LinkedIn searches.
The result? Potential, organic traffic being driven to your blog or website and the people which are being attracted are the industry professionals you should be forming relationships with.

Build a large network

The chances of being found on LinkedIn are increased when a network is built up. Businesses often focus on the quality of the connections, which is understandable. As with SEO, LinkedIn also determines which profile is featured in the search results based on the quality of the content, or in this case, connections. However, expanding on a network through connections which aren’t necessarily in your current business circle shouldn’t avoided entirely.

Ensure the following boxes are ticked, before accepting an invitation:

  • Lives in the same community or has the same interests
  • Read or spread your content
  • Updated information and profile picture
  • Worked in the same industry, at some point
  • Shared connection
  • Personal note included with invitation

LinkedIn profiles shouldn’t behave the same as Twitter where brands should always ensure that the number of followers are nearly triple the number being followed.

Stay visible and timely

A grand LinkedIn profile that is updated and well connected is invaluable but it’s important to stay top of mind. Users can take advantage of the business platform and share or comment at least once a day.

The new LinkedIn profile allows users to scroll through notifications which need to be responded to which is, once again, similar to Facebook and Twitter.

What are a few key activities to help you stay visible?

  • Status updates which are visually appealing
  • Share and comment on trending news topics
  • Use LinkedIn tools to assist with timely and relevant updates
  • Review recent interactions on your network and comment, where possible

Interacting with the right people within the industry is key. If Facebook were a place for the customer to make friends and learn about a brand, LinkedIn would be the marketers playground.

Influence LinkedIn endorsements

Another new LinkedIn addition that brought in over 200 million responses is the endorsements feature which could build credibility. Also, anytime someone gives or receives an endorsement, the LinkedIn newsfeed acknowledges it.

A good way to receive LinkedIn endorsements is to include a variety of skills and proceed to endorsing your connections. More often than not, people will return the favour.

Participate strategically in LinkedIn groups

As with all online groups formed within social media networks, businesses can create relationships with target markets and industry peers. Unlike connections, group discussions should be based solely on quality as they will need to be proactively visited in order to stay up to date on the latest news.

In addition, creating a group for your business with a niche following is also an added bonus and helps your brand stay engaged. LinkedIn reported over 1 million groups which are incredibly active. Businesses which show themselves as a resource for information develop rapport and credibility within the group, and beyond.

With 2 out of 3 people using LinkedIn for business purposes, such as keeping an eye on industry news, these groups is possibly the most ideal place to broadcast company news.

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