LinkedIn combines the professionalism of a company website with the interaction of a social media profile. Today, more than 3 million businesses use company pages to access a global network of over 200 million users. If you’re not using LinkedIn for business, you’re missing out on ways to boost your company’s reach — and bottom line.
This is part 1 of a 16 part series, “Mastering LinkedIn For Business”
What is LinkedIn and Why Does It Matter?
Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest — the list is endless. And with each new social media platform, businesses must try to balance the necessity of keeping up with the times against their own limited time and resources. While you may enjoy using certain platforms (like Vine, for example) in your personal life, they are not necessarily appropriate or relevant for your industry. With LinkedIn, however, business is the focus — not photos of cats and food (unless, of course, that is your business).
Building a strong presence in LinkedIn’s professional environment is a bit like combining some of the functions and presentation of a company website with the interactive nature of a social media profile. Today, more than 3 million businesses maintain their presence through LinkedIn company pages, providing a key point of access to a network of over 200 million registered users around the world.
If you’re not using LinkedIn for business, you’re missing out on several opportunities to boost your company’s reach — and bottom line.
“LinkedIn’s party line has always been that you need to know the people you connect with. However, with the new Company Page, you have the ability to increase your following, without increasing your connections. And this is good news for people who are more interested in building their company’s visibility and business than their own.” — Viveka von Rosen, social media expert and author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day
Here are five ways using LinkedIn can help your business grow:
1) Reinforcing your reputation: As a marketing tool, LinkedIn provides a great way to share your company’s story, and develop trust and subject-matter authority through regular updates and customer recommendations.
2) Generating leads and referrals: Your LinkedIn activity shows other professionals that you value and participate in business communities, and sends a message about your company’s competence with technology and emerging media. Especially for business-to-business firms, these connections can drive referrals that result in new clients, customers and contracts.
3) Showcasing products and services: With LinkedIn’s company pages, it’s easy to communicate what you have to offer, and to tailor this message for different industries, groups and demographics. Listing your products also allows you to collect recommendations, as one report notes, and “to drive traffic back to your website’s products or services page, which can ultimately drive sales.”
4) Building your brand: As current and previous employees actively use LinkedIn, they create a growing network that links (quite literally) back to your company page, expanding your brand presence.
5) Attracting new talent: While LinkedIn is useful for job hunters, it’s much more than a place to surreptitiously post resumes. The network offers companies a great way to advertise job openings to a diverse talent pool. Plus, the candidate profiles say much more about a potential employee than the typical resume and work samples.
These five items alone should give you an idea of why it’s important (and valuable) for companies to create a strong presence on LinkedIn. And when you think about it, if you’re not using the world’s largest professional network to grow your business, aren’t you missing out?
Fortunately, companies large and small can soon benefit from LinkedIn’s global network, with a little planning and researching of best practices.