We consider LinkedIn to possess the powers of a looking glass or x-ray vision.  Using LinkedIn, you can learn a great deal about a business prospect well before you meet them.  It’s a strategic platform for establishing a relationship with your business partners and your target audience.  myMarketing Cafe manages a group on LinkedIn where small business owners share their knowledge as well as ask for help.  Join our growing network by clicking on the icon below.

LinkedIn Join Our GroupHere are 15 ways to implement LinkedIn with small business marketing.

  1. Build your own professional profile on LinkedIn to strengthen your circle of influence, establish your expertise, and build your contact base. Once you begin building your LinkedIn profile, you will learn more about how beneficial your connections become.
  2. Claim your personal LinkedIn URL to help optimize your profile and help your company information show up more prominently in search results. By claiming your personal URL on LinkedIn, when others search your name, your profile will be included in the search results.
  3. Use your LinkedIn headline with a statement to showcase what your business does better than anyone else.  What makes your product or service most unique?  What do you do differently than your competition?  This is the first statement searchers will see about you and your business.
  4. Use keywords specific to your industry in your headline, summary and company information.   Strategic use of keywords helps with search engine optimization.
  5. Optimize your company website listings in your profile.  In your LinkedIn profile, you can include up to three websites.  Instead of using the terms LinkedIn provides, like “company website”, add descriptive words for the website by selecting “other”.  This step will also help to improve search engine optimization.
  6. Use the website listing in your profile to showcase a customer testimonial.  Maintain a company video library on your website or YouTube and link to a standout customer testimonial video on your LinkedIn profile.  Introduce your contacts to the video using a status update.
  7. Display your status updates on your profile page to showcase your expertise and for strategic messaging.  LinkedIn updates focus on quality.  Use the space provided to be specific and engaging.  You shouldn’t use this space as you do your twitter updates.
  8. Use LinkedIn as an enhancement to your corporate online identity.  LinkedIn has 200 million users.  Once you have created your personal profile, your business should be listed with you as the administrator.
  9. Seek introductions to new contacts from your existing contact list.  Research the contacts of those you are linked to and see if they are linked to any of your prospective clients.  Ask your contacts for a LinkedIn introduction.
  10. Use LinkedIn to showcase star employees.  Ask your employees to link with your company on LinkedIn.  Use the LinkedIn update platform to share about a standout employee.
  11. Use LinkedIn to research prospective vendors, business partners, and clients.  With the large user directory, you can find information about your prospects to help tailor your business proposals or deliver a more targeted correspondence.
  12. Join groups commonly joined by members of your target audience and use LinkedIn to post high quality content and share it with your target audiences People join groups primarily to gain professional knowledge, so ensure you are offering knowledge through your group strategy.
  13. Use the Travel and Events section of your profile to showcase trade shows or other exhibits where you will be representing your company.  The Travel and Events section is a perfect place to announce upcoming product or service demonstrations where visitors to your display can claim a special discount or other offering.
  14. Use the LinkedIn Polls to conduct a focus group question with your contacts or a target audience.  The Polls functionality is a wonderful tool to use for testing a marketing piece or product promotional idea. Share poll results with your audience.
  15. Create a LinkedIn group to share valuable information.  LinkedIn groups are joined by people with similar interests.  Determine what information you have that would help your target audience and start a group that offers this information.  Your group name should not be your company name but rather centered around the information or support you are going to offer.  Groups help you establish credibility and expertise and become a trusted resource.