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
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