How LinkedIn can help small businesses 1

If you’re like us, your phone and/or tablet likely have a Facebook, Instagram and a Twitter app when it comes to social media platforms. You may also have Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok… the list goes on. But do you have LinkedIn?

Turn to your left and ask Tom and Dick if they have LinkedIn on their phones and their situations will likely be similar to yours. And Harry is probably off somewhere playing any array of games now available on your phone as you read this.

Many business owners have also decided to overlook LinkedIn and focus on other social networks; however, these people do not realise that LinkedIn can provide the best opportunities for business owners. It is the most professional social platform that small businesses can use, because it connects professionals with like-minded people.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, people on LinkedIn never post selfies accompanied by all sorts of hashtags. People interacting here do so in a professional setting and for business purposes only.

But, why do you need to join the herd? LinkedIn helps you reach your online marketing goals and places you before a larger audience. I can say from experience that LinkedIn, in the short business life of Eccentricity so far, has been an amazing tool to expand our reach and grow our following. Keep reading to learn more.

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Why small businesses need to say yes to the best

Small businesses are doing it all wrong by ignoring LinkedIn. Business owners are failing terribly by thinking about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the only platforms to use for social network marketing. In truth, these three social giants are the biggest networks worldwide, but LinkedIn has something they do not.

LinkedIn allows a person to connect with many like-minded professionals that will enable them to work with result-oriented people, grow their network and be amongst other professionals. Most business owners find that this is easier said than done, and the task of setting up a profile seems like a huge task that is better substituted with blog posts and tweets.

A lot of people spend too much time thinking about how involving and time-consuming LinkedIn is, instead of spending those resources on actually setting up their profiles in the first place. There are potential clients, prospective business partners and many service providers all over LinkedIn, if you know where to look.

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LinkedIn can also help you with recruiting talent and services from other individuals. You will be able to use it as a blog, access expert advice from others and use it as a website promotion tool. You can also give and find recommendations, start and join groups and practice SEO. And that is just the beginning.

Setting Up LinkedIn

Setting up an account on LinkedIn is easy, as they provide a step by step guide starting from filling in your personal details, addresses, company name, etc. There are also different packages available, depending on your budget and your needs.

After joining the LinkedIn family, businesses need to focus on customising their page to represent them and their brand. After all, this is where partners, clients and job seekers will get to see you and first impressions count. Various areas such as your profile, creating groups and the like all need to be maximised on, and each of these areas can determine how effective a business’ marketing campaign is.

Do not worry that you are doing a particular thing right or wrong. LinkedIn has a to-do list that will show you what is remaining and what is already done. Working on LinkedIn is not similar to your Facebook or Twitter profiles. Here, every single interaction is a business oriented one starting right from your profile. Your profile is your business card.

How small business reap rewards from LinkedIn

  • A platform where you can post products and services 

LinkedIn allows small businesses to post products and services they offer, thus exposing you to a larger market. This social platform has a separate tab where you can post products and share them on other social media networks. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

  • Gain business partners

Gaining new clients and partners is a definite thing on LinkedIn. Once your account is up and running, you will be exposed to more professionals who will be interested in what you offer.

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The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn

There are things that will absolutely help your progress on LinkedIn while others will kill it. The things that help your success include:

  • Promptly answering business related questions. Do it to show your knowledge and not how better off you are than everybody else.
  • Joining groups.
  • Link status updates to other social media accounts.
  • Write recommendations for others.

Major NO-NO’s include:

A few major no-no’s when it comes to LinkedIn include:

  • Hard selling.
  • Avoiding questions or using them to promote yourself.
  • Being personal. Share the cat videos on Facebook and focus on intellectual discussions.

Deciding to use LinkedIn may be the best awakening your small business has had to date. There are lots of other benefits in addition to those already listed above and, just like all other things in life, this social platform needs work.

If you are willing to put in time and effort into creating a LinkedIn page that stands out, you will have endless possibilities. Those that cannot begin to fathom the work that needs to be put into this may consider hiring experts to do it for them. The right social media consultants are expensive, but worth every penny. I have used EnvisionWorks myself and they have been great. So, start right now!