I get it. LinkedIn is not sexy or cool.
Although LinkedIn is more serious than other social networks, it provides a great opportunity to connect with professionals without all of the fluff. In fact, a recent study shows that website traffic from LinkedIn converts to leads at a much higher rate than Twitter or Facebook.
If you want to take advantage of this, here are some ways you can leverage LinkedIn for your business:
1. Get active in groups
The number one web referral traffic source for one of my clients is LinkedIn. Why? He is very active in LinkedIn groups filled with his target audience. Sharing his content, which is relevant to group members, is an excellent way to introduce his products to the right people.
Find industry or local groups to join and share useful information (not just your content), answer questions and engage with the community.
2. Find leads
If you’re looking for business leads, you can search keywords (job title, industry, location, etc.) on LinkedIn to help you find the right people or companies to target. Then, you can see if there is anyone within your network who can make an introduction. Here’s a great step-by-step guide on how to do this.
Also, company pages tell you if there are any fellow college alumni that work at the organization. That information can help you make a connection and get your foot in the door at a company.
This is way better than cold calls, don’t you think?
3. Build a Company Page
Last fall, LinkedIn introduced company pages, which allow businesses to showcase employees, services, job openings, blog posts and updates from your company. Here’s our page, for example.
Because company pages are linked from every employee’s profile, it offers a nice way for someone to learn more about your company without leaving LinkedIn.
LinkedIn users can also follow your company and receive updates that you share, which is a great way to expand your network. The pages also offer some nice stats to show you how many people are visiting your page and user demographics for visitors.
4. Get referrals
Referrals are a great way to drive business, so why not leverage your LinkedIn network for some endorsements?
LinkedIn makes it easy to ask for recommendations — either for your profile or company page. Not only will the recommendation show up on your profile, but on theirs too, providing additional exposure.
5. Answer Questions
Spending a little time answering questions on LinkedIn Answers can be a great way to showcase your expertise and provide help when someone is looking for it. You can even subscribe to an RSS feed of questions asked in a specific topic category to help you stay on top of potential opportunities.
Yes, Facebook or YouTube might be more fun. But, if you want results, businesses should pay more attention to LinkedIn.
How are you using LinkedIn for your business?
This article originally ran as my guest post for the Nashville Business Journal.
Image credit: Esther Vargas
7 replies on “5 Easy Ways to Drive Business with LinkedIn”
I know it’s not cool, but I can vouch for the effectiveness of LinkedIn, too, Laura. My favorite way to grow my LinkedIn network is through Answers. After asking a question, I can carry on a further conversation with any answerers and eventually connect with them if it feels natural. My favorite way to get jobs is through LinkedIn groups; just by being active in the right groups, or offering people help privately after they’ve asked publicly has provided business.
What a great testimonial, Shakirah! I haven’t spent a lot of time on Answers myself, but I know it has been very effective for some folks. And you’re right – groups are great if you take the time to find the right ones and participate in them.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
I’m looking at your 5 and seeing how it goes. thanks!
Excellent, Billy! Be sure to report back. I’d love to hear how these work for you.
I will report back. #1,#3, and #5 appeal a lot to me. I think the other two come from them. Speak here soon enough!
This is a great helper Laura. I have been meaning to delve deeper into LinkedIn. You are right about Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is pure B2C and a poor platform at that. Twitter is great for networking within your industry but really hard to score leads and customers in the B2B realm. LinkedIn I fel has much more to offer. What I am unsure about is if the type of clients I seek are using LinkedIn which are smaller B2C Consumer oriented businesses. But going to check it out 8)
Hey Howie – Thanks for the comment and the tweet. Really appreciate it!
The best way to find out where your clients and prospects are is to ask them. Conduct a short survey and you’ll get some great info about where your folks hang out online. Also, tools like Rapportive (a Gmail plugin) and MailChimp’s Social Pro can show you which networks people are on. I talk more about that here:
Good luck and let me know if you have any luck using LinkedIn for your efforts!