Top tips for using LinkedIn as a small business


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Top tips for using LinkedIn as a small business

Getting started on LinkedIn is simple, and if done correctly, the benefits can be huge.

LinkedIn provides access to information about professionals: where they work, what their position is, who they work for, and who they know, which makes it a powerful marketing, sales, and networking toolii. For the 2013 Sales and LinkedIn Study, nearly 3,100 business owners, consultants and salespeople were interviewed; 79 per cent of the respondents were small business ownersiii. Results show that 84 per cent had generated business opportunities through LinkedIn. These findings show that LinkedIn can be a cost-effective accelerator for business opportunities.

Set up a company page

Similar to Facebook, you are required to have a personal profile with LinkedIn before you can create a page for your business. Setting up the company page only requires a few easy steps, and you can add as much or as little information about your business as you like. However, providing more details, and updating them regularly will allow current and potential clients to stay up to date on your services and offerings. Ensure to include your business name, location, logo, as well as think about using the tagline section to emphasise company strengths. You can also include links to your company website, your blog or Twitter account. Keep in mind that this page could be a potential gateway for meeting future clients and customers.

Once the page for your business is live, it will come up in LinkedIn search results, and both potential and existing customers will be able to connect with your company. LinkedIn also gives you access to a list of people who have visited and searched for your page, which could be used for targeting new business leads. You can even see how this compares to the number of people who have searched and viewed pages for businesses similar to yours, giving you an additional insight on the performance of your competitorsiv.

In order to get the most out of LinkedIn, you have to put the time and effort in.

Connect wisely

Besides increasing your chances of being found, LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to actively seek out potential customers, business partners, and industry associations. For example, a search for "hospitality Australia" in LinkedIn’s groups directory generates about 50 results. Depending on your business and what you are hoping to get out of your LinkedIn presence, you might either choose to connect with as many members and groups as possible, or focus on network partners with the biggest business potential. Choosing quality over quantity allows you to spend more time on the connections that could be beneficial to your small business, instead of wasting capacities on a business network that is too large to be maintained properlyv.

Share original content and make regular updates

The 2013 Sales and LinkedIn Study found that the most successful users actively shared (often original) content, and spent at least six hours per week working on their LinkedIn presenceii. By sharing original content that emphasises your expertise, you'll be able to start conversations and generate interest in your businessvi. However, keep in mind that the people you're speaking to through this platform are not only your clients, but also your peers, so avoid sharing pure marketing and sales messages, but rather think about how you can offer value to your professional network. For further information on how your small business can make the most of LinkedIn, visit the LinkedIn Small Business Resource Center.


iLinkedIn 2014, About Us, viewed 28 April 2014,
http://www.linkedin.com/about-us

iiBusiness Insider Australia 2013, How To Use LinkedIn To Boost Marketing And Increase Sales , 19 July, viewed 2 May 2014,
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/linkedin-boost-marketing-increase-sales-2013-7

iiiDuermyer, R. 2013, 'How to use LinkedIn to promote your home business', About.com, viewed 10 April 2014,
http://homebusiness.about.com/od/socialmediamarketing/a/How-To-Use-Linkedin-for-Marketing.htm

ivDriving Business Online 2014, 5 things you should be doign on LinkedIn right now, viewed 10 April 2014,
https://www.drivingbusinessonline.com.au/articles/using-linkedin-for-business-checklist/

vJones, K. 2013, 'Is LinkedIn a waste of time?', Sydney Morning Herald, 6 September, viewed 10 April 2014,
http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/is-linkedin-a-waste-of-time-20130906-2t8y5.html

viKawasaki, G. 2010, 'Ten ways for small businesses to use LinkedIn', LinkedIn Official Blog, 12 April, viewed 10 April 2014,
http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/04/12/linkedin-small-business-tips/