How to leverage LinkedIn’s new features for your small business 

Among the vast number of social media networks available on the internet, the one that has been used by businesses and business professionals most frequently is LinkedIn, which has numerous features for networking and finding potential leads. In fact, small businesses and their owners have taken to the website as a formidable form of small business lead generation. The social media network recently underwent a major overhaul, with several new features that present interesting opportunities for small business owners. Here are some tips on how to leverage LinkedIn’s new features for marketing your business.

Sharing is caring
As any Facebook user knows, sharing is one of the most popular functions of that particular social media network, as users can easily click a button and share links with the rest of their networks. According to Mashable, LinkedIn wants to reposition itself as a hub for sharing articles and information with your business contacts. An attribution button even allows you to properly give credit to the original source of the link, creating a self-sustaining community of interesting and relevant industry information. As a small business owner, it is important to demonstrate that you are always on the cutting-edge of your industry, and sharing relevant links is a good way to do so.

Introductions made easy 
The ‘Get Introduced’ feature has been a mainstay of the social media network since its inception, serving as a valuable way to make contacts and network for like-minded business professionals. According to Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn’s new features allow users to search for connections by keyword. Not only can you search and choose people that you know, trust or would like to get to know better, but this new feature also allows you to search more deeply and specifically into their networks. This creates better opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs to be more strategic in their engagement.

Crowdsource solutions and get feedback 
Crowdsourcing has become one of the most popular and cost-effective market research techniques, allowing businesses to get right into the heart of the matter and find out what people are saying about their products and services. LinkedIn groups are a great way to get such crowdsourcing feedback. The new sharing capabilities also present great options for this, allowing you to cross-post informal surveys or queries across multiple networks, according to Graphics.ms.

What do you think about LinkedIn’s new features?

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Adam Naide

Adam Naide is Executive Director of Marketing for Social Media at Cox Communications, where he leads overall strategy and execution for all of the company’s social media activities including audience engagement, campaigns, demand creation and retention. Every week, over six million consumers and small businesses engage with Cox Communications on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Linked In. Cox Business connects online with small & mid-size businesses from its small business blog, Cox Blue.

In 2012, Adam was named a “Top Ten Social Media Maven” by Multichannel News and to Cable Fax’s Digital Hot List.

You can follow Adam on Twitter at @adamnaide where he tweets about social media, and his other passion, cereal.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Georgia.Naide lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with his wife, Karen, and two teenage children.