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The Small Business Guide to LinkedIn

small_business_networkingIn our Social Media for Small Business series, we have so far covered Facebook and Twitter. Linkedin, the focus of today’s subject, packs a powerhouse punch for business networking. With a community consisting of 30 million users, twenty percent (or 12 million) of which are small business members, a multitude of  valuable connections and leads are only a mouse click away.

The following techniques will help any business unlock the full potential of LinkedIn:

  • Perfect Your Profile – Think of your Linkedin profile as an interactive business card. A prospect is much more likely to mull over your services when he or she has all of the information neatly displayed. A professional profile picture will add a personal touch whereas a lack of one  will cause the page to seem incomplete or abandoned. Links to the company website, blog and other sites will serve as a call to action for those seriously considering your company. And helpful and complete information about the business’s purpose, products, services and mission will really help customers to form an opinion on whether or not you’re what they’re looking for.
  • Collect Testimonials, Recommendations and Endorsements – When a happy customer or partner speaks highly of you, his or her entire network sees it. Linkedin content also ranks highly on Google searches. The more positive feedback produced on Linkedin, the more likely you’ll be seen by prospects and potential partnerships.
  • Participate in Your Industry Network – Search for groups relevant to your industry and join the discussion. By thoughtfully answering questions posed by others, you are establishing yourself as an expert and gaining visibility in the process. Also posing well thought out questions can generate great conversations that land on various news feeds. These groups are also fantastic for learning the latest industry news as well as events assured to be populated with prospects.