Lots of small business owners use email, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to aid marketing, generate leads, build awareness and grow their customer base. But LinkedIn is one social network that doesn’t receive quite the same love or attention.
The fact that LinkedIn has more than 100 million members and a well-deserved reputation for being the ultimate professional social network has SMBs turning to LinkedIn like a social media sydney goldmine. It can provide huge benefits for small business owners who take the time and effort to do so.
Here are few ways you can use LinkedIn to grow your SMB.
1. Connect for Business
LinkedIn is the ideal platform to reach out and connect with other firms. People swarm to LinkedIn for mainly one reason – to connect with others for business-related purposes. They’re either looking for job prospects, prospective vendors or to build a resume.
Consequently, the mindset of a typical LinkedIn member is more focused than those on other platforms. People are on LinkedIn for the sole purpose of establishing business relations.
2. Conduct Market Research
Don’t waste time and money surveying your customers offline, take it online. You can now conduct polls via LinkedIn Q&As to garner new product ideas, feedback on your current offerings, features of your brand, suggestions for improvement, etc. You’ll be able to pick your audience’s brain via the LinkedIn Q&A or even your LinkedIn status message, without spending a lot of time and money.
Most businesses use LinkedIn to build their network and keep potential prospects updated on their business developments. By keeping an eye on competitors and their linkedin activity, you can learn a lot about what they’re focusing on.
4. Keep up with Trends
The search function called Skills & Expertise on LinkedIn can help bloggers and businesses stay up to date on trends in their field. One can see who is relevant in a niche, and also attractive demographic and growth illustrated on a graph. You can see the growth of any area compared to related fields, the average age of people in that particular field, and the size of it.
5. Building Credibility
You can use reviews of your business to demonstrate authority and relevance in the eyes of users and the search engines. Use your network to gather reviews and help create a positive impression. You can reach out to vendors, colleagues, work associates, previous employers, partners, etc., for recommendations and share their positive experience with others.
While you’re keeping track of people in your industry, keep your eyes open and use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to locate new potential teammates and hire people with the skills and experience. You may be surprised to know that you can run searches on many criteria including keyword, experience, previous employment, etc., and further narrow it down by geography. LinkedIn may soon become the ultimate recruiting tool for business owners.
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