When it comes to online social networking, Facebook and Twitter are the names you’ll hear most often. LinkedIn can help small business owners like you develop your brand, business and connections in just a few minutes per day. LinkedIn is not only the most incredible or interactive or even fun social network on the scene today, but no one can deny about this amazing tool for the businesses. If you properly understand it and make proper use of all its features, your business can easily benefit greatly in the long term run. The trick is simply to use all of the LinkedIn’s little aspects and secrets to make the most of the popular social networking platform.
Many business owners overlook LinkedIn, believing it’s a network searching jobs and potential employees. You can use the site to build up your network, online and off, and keep your business top of mind for long-term customers, potential customers and suppliers.
How to get started?
To build your personal profile, simply follow the form given in the website. Fill each box with the requested information, like current and past work history, and upload a current photo.
Next, search for contacts. If you have a Gmail account, you can use your Gmail address book to make the search faster. Adding a personal message to remind each contact how they know you.
Once you’ve made some connections, request recommendations from those you’ve worked with. This helps to build your credibility and tells more of your story than your work history alone. As you make new connections offline, add them to your LinkedIn network.
Today, there are several social media tools available in the market like InBoardPro, which is an open source LinkedIn Management Solution that assists businesses to build brand, generate leads, and recruit appropriate candidates via LinkedIn.
Time to build your business page-
A business page shows customers, suppliers and vendors that you’re interested in the success of your business. Your business page will display your logo, a brief description of your business and your business connections. Businesses can follow each other to stay up-to-date on each other’s latest news and developments, and like on Facebook, businesses can also have fans.
Learning what is LinkedIn and building your profile is just the beginning. There are several ways to leverage your networks to build your business’s online presence.
Find new vendors: Search LinkedIn for venders you’d like to work with to learn more about their businesses. If you have a common connection, ask for an introduction through E-Mail.
Find new suppliers: On LinkedIn, you can learn a lot about the companies you’re interested in working with. See what other companies they do business with, read recommendations and even connect with their customers to ask for a review.
Build your reputation: There’s a LinkedIn group for every interest and industry. Join several active (meaning people are posting there regularly) groups and participate in the conversation. Look for questions you can answer and interesting links you can share to build your reputation as an expert in your field.
Check out the competition: Discover which stores and suppliers are your competitors working with? This may sound covert, but it’s not spying – it’s keeping an eye on your industry so you can make informed choices about your business and thus make a different stand among the competitors.