LinkedIn has a reputation for being the social network where professionals strategize their next career moves. But the site is also a fantastic tool for establishing and growing a business.
Want to leverage LinkedIn for your enterprise? Here’s how to get started.
- Create a LinkedIn company page. At minimum, take advantage of this feature to tell your brand story. Your company page enables you to provide an overview of your business, showcase your products and services, and interact with job seekers. Facebook-like features also allow you to build a following and engage with customers directly through status updates and content sharing. Analytical tools help you evaluate and strengthen these relationships.
- Generate leads. With more than 200 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest “business mixer,” and you should work it as such. Assess the room to identify a few key players in your industry, and either ask one of your connections to introduce you or approach them directly. Find the group discussions where your audience is active and join the conversation. And you wouldn’t dream of attending a networking event without a stack of business cards, right? Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and complete. You never know when a lead may approach you.
- Find talent. LinkedIn is built on the adage, “It’s not who you know, it’s who who you know knows.” Build a strong, well-rounded network of people inside and outside your industry, and tap into it for referrals. Find viable candidates by joining groups that are relevant to the positions you want to fill. Post openings on your company page to attract active job seekers, too. (Remember, this will likely be their introduction to your business, so ensure that the content on your page accurately reflects your company’s culture to attract the best fit.)
- Become a thought leader. Savvy professionals create and share original content based on their expertise. If you’re among them, post your work regularly on your personal profile and company page. The upshot: You’ll expand your visibility beyond your company website or Twitter account and engender trust in your brand.
- Gather intelligence. Your competitors are already leveraging LinkedIn in some or all the ways mentioned above. Use this to your advantage: Stay on top of who they’re hiring, what new ventures they’re involved in, and what their customer sentiment is like. Consider it an opportunity to cull data that could help your business gain a competitive edge.
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