As founder and CEO of the marketing firm Top Dog Social Media, Melonie Dodaro has her finger on the pulse of everything social. But LinkedIn is where she really shines. Her book, The LinkedIn Code: Unlock The Largest Online Business Social Network to Get Leads, Prospects & Clients for B2B, Professional Services and Sales & Marketing Pros, is due out June 3.
The Intuit Small Business Blog recently spoke with Dodaro (pictured) about how small-business owners can better incorporate LinkedIn into their social media strategies.
ISBB: What is it about LinkedIn that makes it especially beneficial to small-business owners?
When setting up a profile, what should small-business owners focus on first?
The key to setting up a profile for LinkedIn when using it for small businesses is to make sure it is client-focused. It shouldn’t be like a bio or resume for small-business owners; it needs to be written in a manner that is more focused on the client.
For example, instead of writing all about yourself, speak to your target audience. Discuss their problems and the solutions you can offer, rather than just writing all about yourself.
There are three important steps to success when creating a profile: First, make sure you are found with the right keywords. Second, attract the ideal clients and be client-focused. And third, stand out by filling out the profile completely, having a good head shot [photo], and including a video.
What about LinkedIn’s company pages? Are these relevant even to businesses with very few employees?
Everyone should have a company page, but not a lot comes out of them. People want to deal with people and not logos, so employees should have LinkedIn profiles (in addition to the company page) because a lot comes from the relationships.
What is the purpose of LinkedIn Groups? What can small-business owners do to stay focused while engaging in them?
Groups are wonderful to engage and to connect with potential prospects or ideal clients. The key to choosing groups is to choose those that have the ideal clients in them. A lot of people will choose groups that are relevant to their industry vs. groups that aren’t but have their ideal clients.
As far as engaging in groups, you can share relevant content, engage in conversations, start conversations, and comment. [The idea is to] establish yourself as an authority on the topic by doing these things.
You can also watch for opportunities within groups. As a member, you have the ability to connect with any member of the group, and you can message people in the groups for free.