Utilizing LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

By Colin Menchin

Social networks help efficiently increase quality communication with prospects and clients, foster brand awareness, and improve customer service. While many companies focus on core outlets like Facebook and Twitter for social media marketing, LinkedIn is also an exceptional tool for building on a brand and increasing sales. In fact, according to the Sales Empowerment Group, using LinkedIn half an hour a day has been shown to drive warm calls. So what can you do during that half hour to optimize your personal and company LinkedIn pages? Here are several areas to work on to ensure you are getting the most out of LinkedIn:

  • Profile Pages
Personal and company profile pages are the portal in which people will land when looking for more information on you or your business, so it is imperative that this information is accurate and reflects why your company is different from others in your industry. The summary section should be used to excite people about your organization. For example, including information on the product portion of a company’s business page is something that many businesses do not take advantage of. Be sure to include your software applications, like HR, payroll, etc., on the page. Personal pages should be made as close to 100 percent complete as possible. Extra attention should be paid to the experience and summary sections because these areas help to paint a picture of who you are and provide potential and existing business professionals with the skills and experience you bring to the table. You will also want to provide and ask for recommendations from your connections as this adds to your credibility and will increase the likelihood of people finding you through other profiles.
  • Status Updates
Successfully building a presence in social media is all about sharing content that is engaging. It’s important to provide value to connections and followers by utilizing the “Share an update” feature. Post material that will be of benefit to your audience. If your target market is businesses within the restaurant industry, one example of content could be tips revolving around saving on labor costs with wait staff. Try to post in areas that may generate a response, which would in turn, potentially attract more clients to your organization. In general, great content topics include thought leadership articles, industry updates and useful statistics, and company news. It is also a good idea to include videos, photos, graphs, and other forms of media, as these typically have higher interaction rates than text based updates.
  • Groups

This is one of the best resources on LinkedIn and has enormous potential for building your personal network and growing your business network. To start, find out which groups contain professionals in your target market. Comb through the member list for any new prospects to add them to your sales cycle. Start useful discussions in these groups that tie in topics both based on your range of expertise and your prospects’ businesses. For example, you should try to include:

  • Information that will benefit group members, such as an article on how time and attendance software can tell what employees are the top producers. Initiating discussions like this position you as a thought leader to prospective clients.
  • Information that will help you garnish industry intelligence. For instance, asking a question like, “What are the biggest issues you have with payroll as a manufacturer?” helps you identify what common problems are and what companies are potentially interested in services that you provide, while opening the door for you to provide further thought leadership on solutions to these issues.

About Colin Menchin:
Colin is a Marketing Specialist at SaaShr responsible for the social media of the company along with other responsibilities within Marketing.

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