The web is a game-changer. We all know it intuitively and we hear it every day from friends, the media, and business associates. When you own a business there are thousands of different ways to interact with customers on the internet, and there are always new technologies that require your attention. Here are some tips from our team on how to get the most from this social site.
Based around business relationships rather than friendships, LinkedIn is useful to a broad range of business owners. IQnection social media gurus think LinkedIn is a good time investment for most business owners. However, small to mid-size business owners can reap some of the greatest benefits. With an IQnection managed LinkedIn account you can keep up-to-date on your business network. These seven daily habits will help ensure that you’re using LinkedIn to the fullest.
Research Potential Clients Prior to Meeting with Them
You wouldn’t hire an employee who came to an interview unprepared, so do your own preparation for initial client meetings with LinkedIn. Quickly researching a potential client on LinkedIn can give you some background on them, their business, and their goals. It can also give you a window into what they are looking for in business associates, and how you can fill that niche.
Make a point to view a few of the connections they have in their industry. This will give you a better understanding of the field in which they operate. You can also take a quick look to see if they have connections with any competitors and tailor your strategy accordingly.
Build Your Network
Social sites are all about connections. Think of LinkedIn as a virtual networking event. You want to be making solid connections whenever possible. The key word here is solid; don’t just send out connection requests at random. When networking, look into individuals and businesses that align with your goals and strategy. The goal is to build a strong network filled with clients, potential clients, and knowledgeable people in your field to whom you can turn to for advice (more on this later).
Message Those in Your Network, Especially Groups
What use is your network if you don’t talk to the people you are connected to? Use LinkedIn’s messaging tools to contact users one-on-one or to send out new information to whole groups.
According to LinkedIn, groups “provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” Messaging groups is a great way to get information about your business out to a wide variety of interested people. Just be sure to keep your messages to a reasonable level, no one likes to be spammed.
Ask Questions You Need Answers To
This is where having a large, reputable, and knowledgeable network really comes in handy. With the right connection or group, crowdsourcing your questions is simple. Just be sure to target the appropriate people for your questions. For instance, ask industry questions of your peers while targeting questions about your customer satisfaction and service to your clients.
Source New Staff
Every business owner knows that hiring can be a risk. When it comes time to bring new members onboard, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource. Use LinkedIn to search your area for potential candidates, post targeted job listings, and research applicants. A potential employee’s LinkedIn page can tell you a lot about their skills and their work history. You can also use LinkedIn’s search features to learn more about the position you’re filling and the relative level and number of potential skilled applicants in your region. Another section to keep an eye on is testimonials from an applicant’s past coworkers and employers.
While we are talking about testimonials, why not get some yourself? Client testimonials are a great way to show your value as a business. People trust third-party reviews and the more you have, the better. Gathering testimonials can be sensitive, as you don’t want to come off as overly solicitous.
One solid strategy for gaining solid feedback is to look to clients who are already praising you. when you have received compliments or praise from a client, ask them to share it on LinkedIn as well. If your business has a front counter or checkout area, consider printing up a small, tasteful sign that encourages satisfied customers to share their feedback on LinkedIn (as well as any other review sites you utilize). If you are an IQnection client, we make sure to drive positive feedback to your LinkedIn account.
Showcase Your Work
Finally, if you want to use LinkedIn successfully, be sure to highlight the work you do. All the business information or client testimonials in the world won’t be successful if people can’t get a sense of your work. If you have a portfolio, it should be accessible through your LinkedIn page (either with content on LinkedIn or with clear links to your website). IQnection builds our client’s LinkedIn profiles so that they showcase the company in the best possible light, and in a way that drives users to your website.
These habits can seem time consuming. Keep in mind that with IQnection at your side the bulk of creating and optimizing your LinkedIn page will be done for you. This leaves you free to reap the benefits, create connections, and gain customers or clients. Contact IQnection today and see where LinkedIn fits into your digital marketing strategy.